Why Do Rabbits Dig Holes Then Fill Them In?

Why Do Rabbits Dig Holes Then Fill Them In
Why Do Rabbits Dig Holes Then Fill Them In

Rabbits are gonna dig. It’s part of a rabbit’s instinctive nature to dig holes. I recommend you learn why your rabbit digs holes. In fact, I get asked a lot by people why rabbits dig and then cover the holes. So, why do rabbits dig holes then fill them in?  Rabbits dig holes and fill them with leaves, fur or twigs. This makes their holes almost invisible for their predators, and for you! They like to sit in them to feel safe and secure. They also dig hole and fill them to hide their babies. The young baby rabbits are safely hidden in these camouflaged hiding spots.


Why Do Rabbits Dig?

Your pet rabbit naturally digs. In the wild, rabbits dig and burrow underground.Rabbits dig burrows for safety and to get out of too hot or too cold temperatures. Digging also gives your rabbit something to do to alleviate his boredom, stress or fear. Sometimes your rabbit may dig to simply create a comfortable place to lie down in. Digging gives your rabbit both physical and psychological pleasure.

Do Rabbits Dig Deeply?

Wild rabbits dig their burrows and tunnels at different depths depending upon the rabbit and breed.  They like to hide in the shady cool places, it makes them feel safe and secure. Usually wild rabbits don’t dig deeper than 8 to 10 inches, with turns here and there, usually sloping up into a hillside near a tree. Female rabbits tend to be more territorial than male rabbits. Females rabbits tend to dig more than male rabbits.

Can I Stop My Wild Rabbit From Digging In The Yard?

Wild rabbits can be a pest to homeowners. They like to eat your flowers, shrubs, vegetables and herbs. They also dig holes all over your lawn often burrowing under your porch and or your house. The burrows and holes can cause damage leaving your structures sitting on ground that’s full of holes. Here are a few suggestions if you have wild rabbits digging in your yard:

  • Fences-Fences are an effective way to keep rabbits out of your yard. Fence in your entire back yard, choose a fence that’s rabbit proof, any kind is usually okay as long as it has mesh if the gaps are too big. Also sink the fence down into the ground about 6 inches so rabbits can dig under the fence.
  • Rabbit repellents-These sometimes work, but you might have to try different kinds to find the one that works. Some home owners say the repellents work well.  Usually rabbits don’t like strong scents like perfume of body sprays. So try spraying these scents around your gardens and flowers to keep wild rabbits out.
  • Trapping– Many homeowners suggest trapping the wild rabbits then dropping them off in another location. This is humane, as long as they don’t mame or injury the rabbit in the process of trapping him. Rabbits are intelligent, they’re hard to catch. When you catch a wild rabbit, you’ll need to relocate it at least ten miles away or it will return.
  • Fungicides-Fungicide sprays also repel wild rabbits. They don’t like the smell plus it’s toxic to rabbits. It’s probably your last resort since it’s also toxic to humans. Never use this near or on vegetables or herbs. It works best on trees, shrubs or ornamental plants to keep wild rabbits away.

Why Do Pet Rabbits Dig In Their Cage?

Some pet rabbits seem to dig more than others. Even if there’s no dirt around, your pet rabbit might make a digging motion with his feet. Sometimes pet rabbits dig in their cages. This can be loud and annoying especially if your rabbit is digging in the middle of the night. Here are a few things you can do to stop your rabbit from digging in his cage during the day or night:

  • Get your rabbit spayed-Spaying your pet rabbit will alleviate a lot of bad behavior by your rabbit including his urge to dig in his cage.
  • Give your rabbit a digging box-Use an old sandbox filled with sand for your rabbit to dig in freely. This will help feed his urge to dig and give your a break from hearing him dig in his cage.
  • Put a blanket in the cage-Put a thick blanket in the bottom of your rabbit’s cage for him to dig on. You might need to wash the blanket regularly, but it will diminish the noise of your rabbit scratching and digging in his cage.
  • Plenty of playtime-Give your pet rabbit plenty of playtime in the afternoons and evenings. Let him run outside, grazing grass and playing with toys. This might help him sleep better at night.
  • Grass mats-Grass mats made specifically for pet rabbit cages help your rabbit fulfill his urge to dig. They fit in the bottom of the rabbit cage and are perfect for your rabbit to dig or chew on. They’re sold online or at pet stores.
  • Wait till your rabbit is older-The older your rabbit gets the more he’ll mellow out in relationship to digging in his cage. It’s typically the younger rabbits that do this the most.
  • Vet visit-If nothing works to stop your rabbit from digging in his cage, you might want to take him to the vet for a check up. His compulsive digging could indicate he’s got a medical problem.

Why Did My Rabbit Suddenly Start Destructive Digging?

Sometimes pet rabbits begin destructive digging. As a rabbit owner, you might need to do some investigation to figure out what’s going on with your rabbit. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Has there been a big change in your rabbit’s environment? Rabbits are very sensitive to change in their surroundings. It can be upsetting for them when things are changing such as a new cage or new hutch. Try to keep your rabbit calm by keeping his regular schedule, regular food and regular playtime even in the midst of change.
  • Have you moved or has there been more people move into your home relating to the rabbit? New people often cause your rabbit stress. They tend to be fearful of anyone they don’t know. If you have anyone new in your house, allow your rabbit time to get to feel comfortable with the person. Don’t hand your rabbit over for them to hold until your rabbit is comfortable.
  • Are you playing with your rabbit the same as you had the past? Keeping a regular schedule helps your rabbit adjust to change. Try to keep a schedule even if there’s a lot of change going on in your home. Be sure also to provide lots of playtime and free run around the yard time in a playpen for your rabbit.

What Do Rabbits Cover Their Holes With?

Rabbits often dig holes to for their young. Rabbits owners tell stories of how their pregnant rabbits digging a hole in the backyard and filling it with fur, twigs, yard waste like leaves. Other owners tell how their rabbits dig holes in their backyard then fill it in with grass or yard debris and sit in it in the afternoon. Sometimes they’re hidden so well their owners can’t find them!

Can I Create A Special Cage Where My Rabbit Can Dig?

Dig an outdoor pen large enough for your rabbit to play in. Put his cage at one end so he can freely get in and out.  Layer the dugout pen with dirt and straw. Add a hay bed and a litter box at one end of the cage area. Be sure there’s a water bottle, too. Your rabbit can happily dig around his outdoor pen.

Your rabbit digs instinctively, but sometimes they dig out of boredom, too. They don’t dig too deeply, usually 8 to 10 inches deep. Wild rabbits dig holes in yards, but there are several ways to keep them out of your yard. Sometime pet rabbits start digging destructively due to changes going on in the house, new people in the house or moving. You can keep your rabbit calm by sticking to his schedule the best you can. When rabbits dig their holes, especially if they have babies, they will cover the hole they’ve dug with yard debris, fur or leaves. They also like sit in these holes to hide, to feel safe and secure.