RAW Day 3 – Behaviour

The behaviour we are looking at today is


Foraging is searching for and collecting wild food resources such as edible plants, fruits, nuts, seeds and fungi. Foraging plays an important role in keeping an animal fit and healthy increasing their ability to survive and reproduce.

Rabbits forage by eating leafy plants and leaves, digging and chewing roots, grazing grass and stripping bark –  depending on which season it is!

Unfortunately pet rabbits are very rarely kept in a way that allows these natural behaviours to be performed. However, pet rabbits will still perform foraging behaviours when searching for their food. This is very important as it means they will spend more time searching for and eating their food reducing the chance of them becoming overweight, poorly and bored.

3 ways to help your rabbits show normal foraging behaviours...
1. Provide Companionship
Rabbits need companions to be able to forage more, this is because they are less stressed. Rabbits live in groups because it reduces the time that each individual rabbit has to be alert for danger. Solo rabbits will spend more time alert and less time on important activities such as foraging for food.
2. Feed The Right Diet
Feeding your rabbits mostly good quality hay and freshly picked grass will help them show more foraging behaviours as these contain many different plant species. Rabbits will nose through the grass and hay to find the bits that smell and taste the best to them. To encourage your rabbits foraging behaviours you could sprinkle their small daily feed of nuggets in through the hay and grass, making them search for it. Offering them fresh fruit tree branches and garden weeds will also help simulate different forms of foraging behaviours.
3. Providing The Correct Environment
Letting your rabbits graze on your lawn, making them have to move around to find their food and giving them the opportunities to select different plants to eat, would be ideal.
However, we understand that this isn’t always possible. Other things you can do to encourage foraging are using puzzle feeders, hiding leafy greens in different places so they have to look for their treats or tuck their hay and grass into boxes and tubes.
Rabbits that forage are more likely to be happy, healthy and entertaining to watch.
Quarry House Vets