A rabbit’s den or home underground serves several purposes: It is safe from predators and keeps it from being seen when it comes up to eat. It provides shelter in cold weather and protection from rain and snow. The rabbits sleep in their dens when they are tired out by all their digging and repairing of the holes; they build nests inside them with soft plants that they gather nearby.
Do Rabbits Burrow?
Burrowing is a behavior exhibited by many animal species, including badgers, prairie dogs, groundhogs, moles, and gophers. Rabbits do not burrow in the traditional sense of rootling holes in the soil: instead, they dig shallow depressions in the ground to hide their young in. Is this burrowing?
Rabbits don’t burrow in the traditional sense, but they do dig shallow depressions in the ground to hide their young in. In fact, rabbits are often called “engineer rabbits,” because of their tendency to dig holes and tunnels. Rabbits like to build warrens underground.
They do that by digging shallow depressions and then enlarging them year after year by removing the dirt they excavated, digging deeper holes, and then adding more dirt.
They sleep in these underground shelters and eat some of their food there as well. The deeper holes are for hiding their babies in. If you have a rabbit, it may have dug a hole under your lawnmower. It is either hiding its young in it or adding to an existing hole to make its own underground home.
Rabbits dig their warrens underground because they are most vulnerable to predators such as foxes, dogs, and hawks while above ground. Their holes are also airy and dry; high humidity can lead to problems in rabbits.
Do rabbits burrow like badgers or prairie dogs?
No, they do not dig holes like those animals do: instead, they build their own little underground apartments by digging shallow holes in the ground that they then enlarge each year by digging deeper and adding more dirt.
Do rabbits have dens or burrows?
A rabbit hole is called a warren. Rabbits build a warren underground: it is like a network of tunnels where the rabbits live and sleep, raise their young, and store food. There are often several different entrances or exits to a warren.
How long do rabbits live in burrows?
A rabbit digger stays in his or her home until it is abandoned by the whole family (usually when they are evicted by an offspring that outgrows the original nesting site). At that point, the old warren may be taken over by another group of rabbits who built a new one nearby.
Usually, the warren a rabbit uses changes over generations as different burrows are favored. If a rabbit lives in its old warren long enough, it may change the landscape: for example, dig deeper tunnels or enlarge them.
Then it may decide to start a new one close by. What is the purpose of a burrow? A rabbit’s den or home under ground serves several purposes:
It is safe from predators and keeps it from being seen when it comes up to eat. It provides shelter in cold weather and protection from rain and snow. The rabbits sleep in their dens when they are tired out by all their digging and repairing of the holes; they build nests inside them with soft plants that they gather nearby.
What is a rabbit burrow like?
To the rabbit burrow, rabbits bring grasses, leaves, and other plant materials to make soft bedding. When they scratch out a shallow depression in which to make a nest, they enlarge their underground home each year by digging deeper holes and adding more dirt.
Young rabbits are hidden in these shallow nesting holes or chambers. The mother rabbit usually has several of them at different times during the spring or summer.
When the newly-born bunnies are bigger, they leave their old family burrow for another one deeper underground. Most rabbits live in underground warrens with multiple nests inside that look like little shelters with dirt walls and no floor.
What does it mean when a rabbit digs?
Rabbits are well-equipped to dig a home. They have short, powerful legs. Their feet are armed with large hip bones that let them kick dirt backward.
As they kick it back, they move forward—and dig a hole! Their front feet lack long claws that would get in the way of digging, as do their hind feet, which have five toes each.
Do rabbits burrow or just use existing holes? Whatever small space is available is usually used for burrowing: if only a tiny crack is between the fence and the ground, that can be widened; if there is no crack but merely a tuft of grass and weeds in the lawn, then those can be removed to make an opening.
Is it normal for rabbits to dig?
Yes, it is completely normal for rabbits to dig. Although the holes are often under places such as the lawnmower, they are doing this for a reason: to build their own underground homes.
If your rabbit is digging in the lawn, don’t be alarmed: he will replace the grass as soon as it grows, and he will leave a nice hole for his young! If you have found a hole under your lawnmower, check to see if there is a baby hiding down there: it may have been frightened out of the nest and taken refuge under the mower.
Your rabbit may not appreciate having his offspring hauled out of its hiding place by strangers, so cover up the hole with some sheets of cardboard or thick cardboard boxes. Providing food and water nearby will help make sure that mother rabbit doesn’t abandon her babies suddenly after she has been brought to another location.
Meet Fabian Wright, our guide into the animal realm at PetLoversArena.com. Having served as an Animal Care Specialist for the Ruwenzori Team at the Kansas City Zoo, he prioritizes conserving exotic species by replicating their habitats. Fabian aspires to share captivating stories of creatures, big and small, through PetLoversArena.com.