Do Rabbits Eat During the Night?

NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Rabbits belong to the family Leporidae, which includes 54 different species of these small mammals. Rabbits live in various types of habitats, including swamps, grasslands, mountains, forests, tundras and deserts. Within these habitats, rabbits are herbivores and feed on grasses, plants, roots, bark and fruits. To avoid being hunted, rabbits developed a unique feeding behavior.

Nightfall Nibblers

Rabbits are crepuscular feeders. This means that they prefer to leave their burrows to feed on nearby plant matter around twilight hours. This feeding behavior prevents them from falling prey to common daytime hunters like foxes or skilled night hunters like owls, since the difference in lighting makes it hard for daytime and nighttime hunters to adjust their vision. Hunting at twilight is also preferred by rabbits who live in hot deserts, like the desert cottontail. This is because the sun is not at its brightest and does not provide additional heat stress to the rabbits while they munch on plant matter.

Pet Rabbit Care

When caring for a rabbit as a pet, food and fresh water should be available to him at all times so he can feed as he desires. Hay should be available daily, as well as 1/4 cup of pellets for every 5 pounds that your rabbit weighs. Rabbits should also be given vegetables like lettuce and clover on daily basis.

Photo Credits

  • NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Author

Amanda Williams has been writing since 2009 on various writing websites and blogging since 2003. She enjoys writing about health, medicine, education and home and garden topics. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at East Stroudsburg University in May 2013. Williams is also a certified emergency medical technician.