Rabbits are adorable fluffy pets that all have unique mannerisms. Perhaps one of the habits you’ve seen your rabbit start to adopt is digging holes around your lawn or around their run when you let them out of their hutch. You may even notice your bunny burrowing down into their bedding! But why do rabbits dig holes?
This is because wild rabbits live in burrows underground. They dig themselves a home in the earth, which is often referred to as a den or a warren. A warren will consist of several different tunnels which the wild rabbits use to store their food as well as create sleeping areas.
These warrens give rabbits safety away from predators, and they are also used as places where rabbits can safely give birth. Dens and warrens can also give the wild rabbits somewhere cooler to escape extreme temperatures.
You may think that your domestic bunny doesn’t need to do this in your backyard. Which is true, as they will be pretty safe from predators if you’re keeping a watchful eye on them.
However, your pet rabbit likely finds the activity of digging soothing and stimulating. If you notice that your rabbit likes to dig around your backyard, it will be worth giving them a digging box so they can do so safely without damaging your property.
What does it mean when a rabbit digs a hole?
There’s no need to be concerned about your rabbit’s behavior if you notice them trying to dig in your backyard. Even though domestic bunnies don’t technically need to dig warrens or tunnels, they will still find this a fun and soothing activity. It’s also a great way for your bunny to get their much needed exercise.
If your rabbit is what you would consider a more destructive digger, then it will be worth looking into how you could let your bunny dig away in your backyard safely. A digging box can be the perfect solution. This will give your bunny somewhere they can dig away to their heart’s content without you having to worry about them damaging your property.
All you need to do is buy a large box, which you can then fill with a rabbit-friendly material for them to dig in. This can include dirt, hay, paper, paper bags, or towels. It will be best to avoid anything that’s unsafe for your rabbit or something that could irritate their skin.
On the other hand, if you are happy to let your rabbit dig away in your backyard, you should ensure that they’re able to do this in a safe area away from any potential predators such as cats or birds of prey.
If you notice your rabbit is trying to dig during periods of hot weather, they are likely trying to find a way to cool down. You could try adding some ice cubes to their water, give them some shady shelter, or try misting their ears to cool them down.
Do rabbits dig holes in lawns?
Some domestic rabbits can dig holes in your lawn, yes! As we’ve already mentioned, your rabbit is likely to find this a comforting activity if you do find them digging away in your lawn. If you’re worried about your rabbit damaging your lawn or backyard, then you should give them something like a digging box.
If you’re not particularly precious about your pet digging away in your lawn, then you can leave them to happily dig away.
How deep do rabbits dig?
The depth of rabbit holes will differ depending on the soil. They could be anywhere between 2.5 foot to 6 foot deep. If your rabbit is having fun digging away in your backyard, it will be important to not let them dig so deep that you won’t be able to retrieve them afterward. It will be best to limit their hole digging to around 12 to 18 inches.
If you’re concerned about your rabbits trying to escape your backyard, then you should ensure that you fence off the area you are happy for them to dig in. This wire fencing will need to be buried within the earth so that your rabbit can’t accidentally escape while you’re not looking.
It will also be best to keep an eye on them at all times to ensure that they don’t get into difficulties with any predators that could be lurking nearby.
Why did my rabbit fill in her burrow?
You may notice that your rabbit has spent a fair amount of time digging out a burrow. But then they decide to fill it in. This is largely down to their natural instincts from their wild ancestors.
Wild rabbits would often dig holes and then fill these in again. This was so that they could protect the other underground tunnels that were next to them. Filling in a hole could then protect any baby rabbits or food that they didn’t want predators to get hold of.
So your rabbit is likely only filling in their hole because their natural instincts have told them to do so. There’s no need to panic – they will likely still be happy to dig away in your backyard or digging box the next day, too.
So now we know that bunnies do indeed dig! This is because their wild ancestors live in underground tunnels known as dens or warrens. These underground homes help to protect the wild rabbits from any predators that could be lurking nearby.
Warrens are used for all manner of things, including sleeping, giving birth, and storing food away. It also gives them a cooler place to hide out of the heat.
If you notice your rabbit trying to dig around your backyard, in your home, or in their hutch, this is nothing to be concerned about. For domestic bunnies, digging is a fun activity that they often find soothing.
If you’re concerned about your rabbit damaging your property, then you can give them a digging box to keep them happy and occupied. This will allow your rabbit to dig away safely.