CARE Miscellaneous

Do Squirrels Eat Baby Rabbits?

Squirrels

A question for the ages is one that can be answered in two ways. Squirrels and rabbits may get along when they are young. However, as a squirrel grows, instincts do take over and the squirrel decides to eat is more important than being friends with a cute little bunny.

Both the squirrel and the baby rabbit can be placed in the same cage as they are young, they will cuddle with each other and treat each other nicely.

Squirrels in the garden

Although you will see rabbits in the garden nibbling away, it is the squirrels that you do not want to see in your garden. Rabbits are not necessarily your friend when it comes to being in the garden either.

To protect your garden, there are a few things that you can do. The first is to install a cage or a cover over the garden bed. Plastic bird netting is also a great option, this will also keep the birds out.

The ground cover and hardware cloth can prevent most animals from entering and getting to the plants. Old-fashioned chicken wire has been used for centuries to keep rabbits and squirrels out of gardens.

Keeping squirrels away from rabbits

Squirrels

When you have domesticated rabbits, it is highly important to eliminate the chance of a squirrel getting into the rabbit area and chasing it and killing it.

Here again, ground cover hardware cloth, chicken wire, and plastic bird wire are all things that can be used to keep squirrels and other predators from entering the rabbit zone on your property.

Reasons why

Squirrels

The reason that you work so hard to protect those furry little bunnies is that as domesticated creatures, they make superb pets. A rabbit is not known as the aggressor and will eat a strict herbivore type of diet. This means, grasses, hays, vegetables, fruits and other acceptable plants.

Squirrels hunts for food

Squirrels

Squirrels, on the other hand, will eat whatever they can find. Especially when food is scarce, a squirrel will have no problem chasing and killing a baby rabbit. If it means they eat and do not starve, this is part of the circle of life.

Squirrels chase rabbits

Squirrels

You will likely see two squirrels chasing each other in a form of playing. However, when they are watching bunny rabbits do this, the squirrel sees it like food and the hunt is on. The squirrel does not see this as playtime, they see it as the chase is on and they plan to be the winner.

Squirrels chase, kill and eat

Squirrels

Rabbits do not play in the same way that squirrels do. Squirrels tend to jump on other animals, this in turn makes the rabbit feel as though they are about to be killed.

When a rabbit plays, they run around in circles, and they jump and bounce with each other. When the squirrel sees this, they think of it as a chase and would begin the chase and then jump on the rabbit.

As stated, squirrels eat meat when it is difficult to find other sources of food. When they see the opportunity to attack a baby bunny rabbit, they jump on the chance and the bunny.

Squirrel diet

Squirrels

The squirrel is not usually one that will chase other animals with the intent of eating. However, it does happen. Squirrels are not herbivores alone, they do also eat meat and therefore, part of their menu may include rabbits.

Most often, nuts and berries are top priorities for squirrels. Ince the squirrel likes to store food away for the colder months, it is not feasible that they would attack and kill a rabbit for this purpose. The meat would go rancid and the squirrel would likely become sick from eating it and die itself.

Squirrel speed is greater

Squirrels

If you have ever taken the time to watch animals, you would be able to notice that a squirrel is not a slow animal. They have the ability to run, they can jump and they seemingly can fly from branch to branch in a tree. This does give an advantage to the squirrel when it comes down to a game of chase.

The squirrel will be able to out-distance the rabbit with no issues.

Squirrels are not the aggressor

As already stated, neither the bunny rabbit nor the squirrel is technically the aggressor. However, when it comes down to who is the best between the two, the squirrel shows its true colours and will become the aggressor.

Keeping rabbits safe

Squirrels

Keeping your baby bunnies safe is a priority when it comes to protection from predators. A rabbit hutch should be sturdy and have plenty of room. There should be a roof and doors. If your rabbits are kept outdoors, or you have a rabbit run, this run should also be quality built. Again, chicken wire is one of the best deterrents against squirrels.

However, keep in mind that there are other ways to help your bunny feel safe and protected. Within the exercise run that you have creed for your rabbits, be sure to place piles of hay or straw in various locations throughout. A rabbit will bury itself under the pile if it feels threatened in any way.

Can a rabbit defend itself against predators?

A rabbit has many predators in the wild that are out for them to be dinner. So it is hard to imagine that a cute little squirrel is one of those animals that act as a predator to rabbits. In general, it would be horned owls, barn owls or basically any breed of owl that is looking to have your rabbit as dinner.

When food is scarce, other animals become the aggressor and begin to hunt rabbits too. Yes, this includes the different species of squirrels.

According to the Farm report, when food is abundant, the squirrel has no reason to not live peaceably with the bunny rabbits. When a squirrel becomes aggressive it is usually for a reason. These reasons include:

  • Territorial
  • Scarcity of food
  • Protection of young
  • Playfulness

A rabbit’s line of defence

Squirrels

How does a rabbit defend itself in this large world? They have a built-in bonus, the fur of a bunny rabbit is usually grey or brown. In the wide-open world, this acts as a camouflage to protect the bunny from being seen by a multitude of predators.

Another beneficial aspect of a bunny is the fact that they have large ears and can hear sounds from a great distance. This allows them time to find safety and hide from the predator. When a rabbit has been spotted by a predator, it will run in a zigzag pattern rather than a straight line. This pattern of running makes it more difficult for the predator to catch it.

If the bunny is caught by the predator, it will thump against the predator with its hind legs. This is done in hopes of kicking the predator hard enough to allow the bunny a chance of running away. Between the strong hind legs, the rabbit’s speed and their ability to fight back, the bunny rabbit does put up a tough fight against the predator.

Another way in which a bunny is going to try to save itself is to dig a burrow in the ground. Rabbits are known for their uncanny digging skills, they can make a burrow pretty quickly which may save their lives.

A rabbit, if in fear or feeling threatened will also bite. This nipping motion is done to protect itself and its family. A rabbit will not hesitate to take a bite out of the predator if it means it will give them a few seconds to run.

Ultimately, the relationship between a bunny and a squirrel is complicated. They can spend their days living harmoniously in the same vicinity, and yet, if it becomes necessary, they will fight to the death to protect their territory and their food.

While there is never a way to prevent animosity between the two, humans can provide additional food supplies to help eliminate the risk of battling for food. In the wild, however, this can be a negative thing to do. Animals have a built-in instinct to hunt and gather for their food. If a human is suddenly placing copious amounts of food throughout the area, both the squirrel and the bunny will hesitate when it comes to the food search. They may grow dependent on the food that the human is leaving for them.

Further down the line, if something happens and the human no longer brings food, both the squirrel and the bunny could be confused as to how they are to find their food. In other words, sometimes it is better to let nature do the feeding and leave the animals on their own to protect themselves.

Unless you have domesticated either one of these species, it is best to leave the wild animals be. They have their instincts and know how to protect themselves, how to find the food they need to survive and what to do when they find themselves in trouble.

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