Rabbits are natural burrowers. They have the instinct to dig holes for shelter, safety, nesting, or even for fun. So, you may also notice these behavioral instincts in your pet rabbit.
The digging habit is cute, but sometimes, it can mess up your yard and garden. However, the more problematic part is if you don’t have a pet rabbit and notice weird holes in your yard.
You might wonder, “Is it a rabbit hole? What does a rabbit hole look like?” It is actually hard to identify and distinguish different burrows if you don’t know anything about them. So, to keep your yard neat, know everything about rabbit holes!
How to Identify a Rabbit Burrow?
You may think every animal’s burrows and holes look the same, but sorry to burst the bubble; they are not! All the holes have different features, depths, and other characteristics, depending on the animal that made them in the first place.
There are many ways you can avoid having your beautiful garden getting destroyed by burrowing rabbits. But the most important one is the identification! If you don’t identify a rabbit hole correctly, it can soon become a pest infestation in your garden.
A rabbit hole usually has a main entrance covered by soft dirt and many connecting underground chambers inside it to exit. However, they do cover some openings with soil to avoid predators.
If you notice, the rabbit holes are smooth, round, and sometimes lined with soft fur or grass to make the shelter more comfortable for their offspring. You can also find pellets near the holes, which makes identification easier.
Rabbits live in soft soil and high vegetative areas. It helps them gather food quickly without being hunted by predators. That is why you usually see rabbit burrows in forests, gardens, or meadows.
Moreover, as we all know, rabbits are social animals that live in their burrows with their family. How cute! So, the burrow size depends on the rabbit’s size and family size. So, the size, depth, height, etc., can easily change when the rabbits want more room.
How big are rabbit holes?
Many times, we can’t clearly say how deep rabbit holes are because of multiple factors working behind them. But to give you an idea of the average rabbit hole, here are a few helpful details:
- The height of a rabbit burrow can be as tall as 1 to 2 feet. That’s pretty tall for a furry little being.
- The rabbit warren is usually 15 cm in diameter, but it can span more than that, depending on the breed.
- The little rabbits can dig burrows over 10 feet underground. Well, it is not usually performed by one rabbit; you can say that it is more like a family effort!
The above measurements can vary depending on the rabbit’s species or breed and the location of their burrows.
You seem interested in the factors. Do you want to know more? Well, you are in luck, because we are going to talk about it. So, moving on!
Factors Influencing a Rabbit Burrow
We have already mentioned that rabbits love to dig, but the burrowing type mostly depends on their breed, family size, and location. So, it is quite important to know these if you want to keep these fur babies away from your garden.
Rabbits love their family and will do anything to protect them from danger. As wild rabbits tend to be at greater risk, they dig their burrows under a grassy or shrubby area and make sure the holes are deep enough. This can sometimes lead to burrows over 12 feet under the ground. To make sure they are safe, they block off any extra openings.
Location is a vital part of digging burrows for rabbits. Soft soil is the most suitable for rabbits as it decreases the burrowing time, and they can dig deep holes for shelter. Rabbits are smart because they also consider the water level of the location when digging burrows. They understand the risk factors of high or low water levels that can damage the burrow and lead to maintaining a standard depth and height.
Not all rabbits dig holes. Unbelievable, right? Different rabbit breeds have different ways of “getting a burrow.” We have three rabbit breeds who “get burrows” in their own ways.
- Hispid Hares: You will never see Hispid hares digging holes. Naturally, they do not exhibit digging behavior. But they create cavities or shallow holes in tall grass to compensate for not digging. These forms of shallow holes are known as “form.”
- Pygmy Rabbits: Pygmy rabbits love to dig burrows. They are wonderful diggers and usually dig holes at sagebrush plants’ bases. The burrows are generally shelters for the young ones, and they love resting just outside of the burrow.
- Cottontail Rabbits: Cottontail rabbits have cute little fluffy tails. But they are not really great diggers. They often take shelter in abandoned burrows of other rabbits and make that their home.
All of the above factors contribute to the size of the burrows, and you can’t still tell the exact measurements of the rabbit burrows. But now you know how you can identify a rabbit hole.
How Do You Identify a Rabbit Nest?
Female rabbits usually nest between mid-March and mid-September. So, identifying a rabbit nest is essential because you can easily hurt newborn babies while mowing the lawn without knowing what to look for.
You may wonder, “If they are in burrows, how will mowing hurt them?” Well, rabbits tend to make nests in shallow holes in an open field or area, so it is possible to hurt the new offspring while mowing. Moreover, the mother isn’t around the nest to protect them from you because she doesn’t want to lure other predators to her babies.
We know you don’t want to hurt these fluffballs, so here are some tips for identifying a rabbit nest. It will hopefully help you save the furbabies.
Tip 1: Look near bushes, trees, and grass.
Tip 2: Look for dead grass patches, discolored grass, and bald patches in the soil.
Tip 3: Rabbits usually dig and cover with leaves, fur, and grass.
Tip 4: Look for any movements before mowing your lawn.
FAQ : Will baby rabbits return to the nest? As baby rabbits (kittens) start growing, they will begin exploring to nibble on some green grass, but these kittens will return to their nests at night for safety.
What to Do If You Have Rabbit Holes in the Yard?
Rabbits can cause a nuisance and destroy your garden. Although they are adorable, keeping them away from your garden fruits and vegetables is actually a good idea. So, here are some ideas to protect your garden from rabbits.
- Cover the holes with dirt and grass. If you want, you can also plant a small tree to prevent the rabbits from coming back.
- Put up a rabbit fence around the garden. As we know, rabbits are excellent jumpers and burrowers, so in this way, they won’t be able to jump or burrow into your yard. It is better to build a 6 feet high and 10 feet deep fence around your garden.
- Make sure to always keep the grass in your yard short and remove any shrubs. If there is no place to make a burrow, you won’t have a rabbit problem.
How Do You Identify Burrowing Animal Holes?
Many other animals dig burrows other than rabbits. They can also take shelter in your yard; some wild animals are more dangerous than wild rabbits. So, you better look out for easy signs to identify animal burrows.
- Water Voles usually dig burrows near any water body or bank. Their burrows are circular and are only 2 to 3 centimeters away from the water.
- Rats usually dig 7 to 9 centimeters diameter holes. They build fan-shaped burrows in tree barks, forests, garbage piles, etc., areas.
- Mice dig holes in crop fields, especially cereal fields like paddy, wheat, rice, etc. They cover their holes with small stones and dried grass for security. Their burrows are usually not that deep and have a diameter of 3 centimeters.
- Foxes only dig burrows in the springtime when they are ready to breed. Otherwise, they love a good nap in the open. Their burrows are way taller than other animals and also have a diameter of 20 centimeters.
Rabbits and other burrowing animals can sometimes become a problem. But it is more challenging when you don’t know how to identify the holes. It can later become a safety hazard for you and your family. That is why we have explained this in this article to help you.
We hope you stay safe and have a wonderful day ahead! If you want more content like this, go through our website. You will definitely find excellent help!
Austin completed his studies at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine of Tufts University. He holds a high amount of empathy and kindness towards people, nature and most importantly animals. Expressing his feelings in powerful words is one of his best qualities.
Like all of us, he is also an animal lover. He owns and adopted half a dozen of cats in his home. Adopting animals instead of buying them is always heavily encouraged by him.
Austin is also an animal activist. We are really happy to incorporate his ideas with our Author team and he’s also happy to join us and help with the things he knows so well.