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How to Feed Wild Rabbits in the Winter

By Kent Page McGroarty | Updated November 01, 2017

Items you will need

  • Twigs

  • Small branches

  • Chicken wire or hardware cloth (optional)

  • Brush (optional)

  • Shrubbery (optional)

Attracting wild animals into your yard is not always the best idea, because the animals may become dependent on an unnatural food source, and they may destroy parts of your yard. Some wild animals may also be carriers of certain diseases, which is problematic if your yard is a play area for children or pets. Though a yard overrun with wild rabbits is not ideal due to the damage they can inflict on gardens and flowers, leaving natural food sources for rabbits in wintertime or anytime may keep them from harming plants you want left alone.

Avoid putting out fruits and vegetables as a winter food source for rabbits. This can attract other animals you may not want in your yard, such as raccoons and possums. Also, the rabbits may start relying on you as a food source rather than looking for food on their own.

Protect cooler weather plants you do not wish rabbits to feed on by putting up chicken wire or hardware cloth in desired areas.

Place small branches and twigs from fall pruning on the ground in your yard for rabbits to eat during the winter. Rabbits consume twigs, branches, young trees, and shrub buds in the winter.

Instruct children not to feed the rabbits or run at the rabbits, which will frighten the rabbits and cause them to run away.


Kent Page McGroarty has worked as a writer since 2006, contributing numerous articles to various websites. She is a frequent contributor to the health and fitness sections of the online magazine EDGE Publications and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Joseph's University.