As the temperature begins to get lower, and our thermostats start to get higher, it is hard to ignore all the wild animals that have to fend for themselves during the winter months. Luckily, many animals have various adaptations that help them survive in the cold. This is especially true for rabbits.
Rabbits grow thicker fur coats in the winter.
Rabbits cease shedding during the fall months of September and October. This allows them to grow a thick fur coat to keep them warm during the winter, even in temperatures as low as 32 degrees.
In addition to the fur covering their body, rabbits also grow fur pads on their feet. This is because rabbits do not have paw pads on the bottom of their feet, which makes them extremely sensitive to hot or cold surfaces. The fur pads not only work to keep the rabbit warm, but also protect the rabbit’s feet from injury.
Throughout the majority of the year, rabbits primarily survive on grass, clover, hay, and other small plants. During the winter months, when most of the vegetation is covered with snow and ice, rabbits can not access these food sources and must change their diet.
When it is cold, rabbits will eat tree bark, tree needles, twigs, and other wood sources to survive. Rabbits also have a keen sense of smell, meaning they can find fruit, berries, and other food sources that have fallen into snow or ice.
Wild rabbits generally do not hibernate in the winter, but they do seek refuge from the cold weather. Rabbits will search for closed-in spaces, such as caves, tree cavities, hollow rocks, logs, and brush piles. If they can not find a natural place of shelter, these small creatures will make their own by digging holes or tunnels underground.
These enclosed shelters not only help rabbits stay warm, but also keeps them safe from predators in the area. Rabbits usually rely on vegetation to camouflage them in the summer months, but the loss of this vegetation during the winter leaves the rabbits vulnerable.
By staying in these enclosed spaces, rabbits also lower the chances of their fur getting wet. Rabbits are unable to maintain their body heat when their fur is wet, which could result in hypothermia or pneumonia.
Have A Rabbit Problem? Call the Experts at Shumaker Animal Control
If you think you have a rabbit problem on your property, call the experts at Shumaker Animal Control to deal with the problem for you. Our experienced team will take care of the problem in a timely manner, ensuring that your home and pets are not in any danger.
At Shumaker Animal Control, we are a family-owned business who cares about the safety of you and your family but also about the well-being of the animals themselves. All of our trapping and control methods are humane, as we never try to hurt the angry or scared animal.