Is your rabbit digging holes? And filling them in afterward?
This can be a little confusing but don’t worry because this is a very natural phenomenon in rabbits.
Rabbits dig holes and that’s very natural. They dig holes to protect themselves from predators, to protect their kit, store food, and more. They fill the holes so that predators won’t get the scent of the rabbit’s belongings.
If you wanna know more about this, keep reading. Let us hop straight in!
Reasons Why Rabbits Dig Holes
Rabbits love digging and it comes naturally to them. In wild rabbits, digging is instinctual. Digging for wild rabbits is associated with survival as well. In domestic rabbits, though it is a sign of boredom.
Rabbits are natural diggers. There are more than a few reasons why rabbits dig holes. These include protection from predators, protecting the kits, protecting resources, and more.
Protection from predators: rabbits are prone to more risks. They cannot sleep outside in the open as it makes them a target for predators. Because of this they dig holes and spend most of their time inside the holes for safety from the predators.
Protecting the kits: just like them, their kits or babies are not safe in the outside world. The kits make a pretty easy catch for hungry predators. The parent rabbits dig the holes to keep their babies inside the hole as a way of protecting them from predators.
Protecting resources: they dig holes to keep their resources in it safely. This way no predators will steam them.
Pregnancy: pregnant or due rabbits can engage in digging. This is called the nesting behavior. If your rabbit is digging more than usual then it could be a sign that your rabbit is pregnant.
Boredom: rabbits are very energetic and active animals. They always need to do something. Most domestic rabbits, since they are less active than wild rabbits, dig because of boredom.
Weather: if the weather is too cold or hot for the rabbit then they dig burrows and spend time in them to protect themselves from the harsh weather.
Do Rabbits Cover Up Their Burrows?
Yes! Rabbits cover up their burrows after digging them. They do this to protect themselves from predators, protect their kits, protect their resources, due to the weather, prevent burrow theft, and more.
It is a normal behavior in rabbits. This is also one of their biggest advantages. They make burrows that are accessible to them easily so that they can run into them during emergencies.
They fill it up after keeping their food or other resources or their baby inside. They do it so that the predators won’t have any chance of getting the scent of the baby rabbits or the food.
They cover it up pretty seamlessly making it camouflage with the ground. They can dig very deeply for them and can cover it to protect themselves.
Some of the rabbit predators include cats, owls, weasels, and foxes. If they feel threatened by the presence of any of the predators, they cover themselves in their holes. Since the hole is a safe place for them from predators, many rabbits give birth to their babies inside the burrows.
If the rabbits are keeping something precious for them inside the burrows, then they will never keep it open and will always cover it up or fill them in.
Why Do Rabbits Cover Up Their Holes?
Now you might be thinking why do they have to dig up holes if they are gonna cover it up, Well here’s why…
Rabbits dig holes and cover them up to keep their remains inside from most predators, to protect their kit, to take cover from harsh weather, to store their food, and more.
1. Protection From Predators
Wild rabbits live in a very challenging environment. They have to be on the lookout always from predators. Even if they make burrows, some predators will dig to catch rabbits.
They cover up their burrows to protect themselves from the attack of predators like weasels, foxes, and owls. Rabbits cannot even sleep or rest out in the open because they are prone to danger at any time. So they mostly sleep or spend their time inside the burrows after covering it up.
2. Protecting Tunnels
Rabbits are great engineers. They can make a vast network of underground tunnels. They do this because during danger they can hide in the tunnels as they cannot climb a tree-like other creatures to protect themselves.
Rabbits can quickly make tunnels with multiple exits and entrances. After making these tunnels, they will always seal the entrance with a bit of dirt so that their enemies will never find the tunnels and destroy them.
3. Protecting Their Kits
Rabbits keep their babies inside the burrows and close them if they are going out to find food for the babies. The predators can easily get the scent of baby rabbits and attack them in the burrow.
To make sure that doesn’t happen, mother rabbits always close the entrances before leaving their babies alone.
For mother rabbits, covering up their burrows is the main way to protect their babies while leaving them unattended.
4. Protection From Weather
Furry friends and weather changes aren’t good friends. Be it rain nor heat or snow, rabbits are gonna have problems with it.
During rain, if the rabbits get wet, it can lead to hypothermia and can lead to death. So they will avoid such extreme weather conditions by any means.
Their way of avoiding the weather is by covering themselves in a burrow or hole they built. This way they will be safe from all the weather-induced problems.
5. Protecting Their Resources
Unlike some other animals, rabbits stock up for the winters. But they still have some other resources like their bedding and food items.
A rabbit bedding takes time and energy to make and it’s understandable why the rabbits wanna protect the burrows by covering it up.
They are very neat and meticulous about their home and they don’t want other animals to disturb or steal anything from their home.
6. To Deliver Baby Rabbits
Pregnant rabbits tend to dig more than any male rabbits. Pregnant rabbits dig holes and cover them up so that they can have a peaceful delivery inside the closed burrows.
Pregnant rabbits do this to ensure that no harm will come their or their babies’ way during the delivery process and thereafter. This is a very natural phenomenon seen in rabbits.
Destructive digging in domestic rabbits is sometimes a sign of pregnancy as it is instinctual in them to dig the burrows.
Rabbits are very energetic creatures. They always have to be productive and do something. When rabbits get bored, especially domestic rabbits, they tend to dig holes and cover them up.
If your domestic rabbit does this, you probably wanna check into it as it will destroy your lawn. You have to make sure your rabbit is not engaged in over digging. In such cases, you have to immediately follow up on the remedies for this.
What Do Rabbits Cover Their Holes With?
Rabbits can dig very deep. Rabbits dig from 9-10 inches deep. But this varies in different rabbits. After digging they cover their burrows up very meticulously.
Rabbits usually cover up their burrows with dirt, leaves, debris, or grass. They will never leave their burrows open especially if there are babies inside.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Female Rabbits Dig More Than Males?
Female rabbits tend to be more territorial. This means they’ll dig holes and claim them for themselves. Unspayed rabbits will be particularly prone to this behavior.
Do All Rabbits Dig?
All domesticated breeds of rabbits will have an instinct to dig, This is because the vast majority of wild rabbits engage in this behavior. The only real exception is the Cottontail rabbit.
Rabbits dig extensive burrows that are very deep. They also cover them up with debris, leaves, grass, or dirt. They do it for many reasons like to protect themselves from predators, protect their kits, protect their resources, due to the weather, prevent burrow theft, and more.
Well now when you see your furry friend digging up in your yard, you know the reason why.
For more queries, comment down below.