If you live near a wooded area, there is a good chance that you’ve encountered a few raccoons over the years. You may take them for granted but raccoons are intelligent creatures that will do what they must to protect themselves and their offspring.
Furthermore, you should learn as much as you can about these animals so you can take steps to keep them away from your home. One thing people wonder is whether or not raccoons will eat rabbits. Do raccoons eat rabbits?
Raccoons do eat rabbits. So, you cannot let your rabbits run free because a raccoon could be lurking around the corner. If you’re a fan of rabbits or intend to keep them as pets, you’ll want to go above and beyond to protect your rabbits.
Thankfully, there are numerous ways to keep raccoons away from your home. However, you have to go to great lengths to protect your rabbits because raccoons will eat them.
First and foremost, it should be noted that raccoons are omnivores. This means that they’re going to eat plants and animals. Raccoons are not picky. They’ll eat whatever they have to eat to survive. When they’re unable to find other animals to eat, they’ll consume plants. These animals are willing to eat anything they encounter and this includes rabbits.
What Else They Eat
As mentioned above, raccoons are omnivores meaning they’ll eat almost anything. When possible, they’ll consume fruits, berries, and nuts. They’re also going to eat fish, frogs, crayfish, turtles, insects, bird eggs, and muskrats. Again, raccoons are not picky so they’ll eat whatever they must to survive.
What Do Domestic Racoons Eat?
Domesticating a raccoon goes against the grain. What does this mean? Well, it basically means that it is not natural to domesticate a raccoon. With this said, some people are willing to go against the grain. They turn these wild animals into domesticated pets. Unfortunately, it does not always end well.
Unlike cats and dogs, raccoons do not obey commands from humans or any other living creature for that matter. So, the domestication of raccoons is not recommended.
You must decide if you want to stick with this diet or mix things up a bit. Some people are not willing to feed their domestic raccoons their regular diet because they do not like the idea of feeding them wild meat.
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Raccoons love eggs. They will devour them every chance they get. In the natural habitat, the raccoon will feast on eggs of other animals, including turtles, ducks, geese, birds, and alligators.
Eggs are rich in vitamins B-12, A, D, and E, as well as calcium, iron, zinc, and essential fatty acids. All of these nutrients are essential to the raccoon’s health.
Eggs are difficult to come by in the wild. Fortunately, the raccoon’s diet is a mixture of meats and vegetables. So, when eggs are not available, an alternative maybe.
Raccoons will eat just about anything put in front of them, which is always a plus in the wild. Earthworms are a great alternative to other meat sources. Their body is made of protein, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and essential amino acids.
With this said, to survive on earthworms alone, the raccoon must consume a lot of them each meal.
The good news is, earthworms are generally plentiful in nature. However, they are the preferred food source for birds, pigs, shrews, frogs, snakes, moles, rats, skunks, and salamanders. So, there must be enough to go around to satisfy the raccoon’s nutrient needs.
Muskrats originate from North America. These semi-aquatic animals are a great food source for raccoons and other wild animals. The average weight for these animals is four pounds. They can grow anywhere from 16 to 28 inches in length, which is very similar to the raccoon.
While it may be difficult to fathom, raccoons will eat muskrats if they are hungry enough, even though they are about the same size.
A medium-sized muskrat can make a great meal for raccoons of all sizes. However, muskrat meat is not filled with nutrients like some other wild animals. It contains mostly fat and protein, with a mixture of vitamins and calcium.
There are other meat sources that are more nutritious compared to muskrat meat. But, in the wild, a muskrat may be the only option a raccoon has to choose from. When it comes to starving or eating, the raccoon will always opt for the latter.
The Problem With Rabbits
Raccoons can and will eat rabbits. However, this won’t be the easiest prey for them. The problem with rabbits is the fact that they hide exceptionally well and they’re very fast.
Before a raccoon can eat a rabbit, it will need to infiltrate the rabbit’s hiding spot and ambush it.
Furthermore, it must catch the rabbit and that will prove to be very difficult. Rabbits tend to be faster than raccoons. With this in mind, rabbits are not the best meal for raccoons.
They have much better and easier alternatives. However, if you’re housing rabbits in your yard and entrap them, you might be setting the rabbits up for a bad encounter with a raccoon.
How To Protect Your Rabbits
You’ll want to protect your rabbits and help them avoid becoming food for raccoons. Thankfully, there are numerous things you can do to help keep your pet safe. First and foremost, you need to make sure that your rabbits are housed in a secure hutch.
You can find some raccoon-proof hutches and you’ll want to use those to your advantage. If you place a lock on the hutch, you’ll be able to prevent raccoons and other thieves from breaking inside and stealing your rabbits.
Furthermore, you’ll want to replace the chicken wire with something better. Hardware cloth works great in this area since it is much thicker. Make sure that your rabbits are kept in an enclosed area and that raccoons will not be able to enter your property.
Do this and you’ll never have to worry about your rabbits getting killed and eaten by these pesky animals.
Keeping Raccoons Away
At the end of the day, raccoons can create a mess in and around your property. So, you’ll want to do everything you can to keep them away. Otherwise, you might wake up and find that an animal has torn into your garbage outside. These animals will also dig holes in your lawn, eat your fish, and empty your bird feeders.
Keeping them away is the best solution to these problems and it isn’t difficult to stop them from destroying your property. You’ll find tips for doing this below.
Make sure you protect your garbage. Be sure to use a trashcan that raccoons cannot tamper with. The lid should be tightened securely so the raccoon cannot open the lid easily.
You’ll also want to spend time cleaning up your property. Make sure you keep your grass cut and bushes trimmed. This will eliminate raccoon hiding places and give you a better chance of keeping them away.
Another good way to keep raccoon away is by scaring them. There are several ways to achieve this goal. For instance, you can use motion-detecting sprinklers. Motion-detection lights work great too. Radios can help. Try to do what you can to scare the animal and it will stay away.
Fencing is very important. If you want the most effective solution, you should install an electric fence around your yard or garden. You can always use a timer that forced the fence to turn on after dark. This will keep the raccoon away while ensuring nobody gets shocked.
Using repellents is another solution to the problem. Some work great but you have to understand that raccoons are persistent. They may return again and again until they get what they want. One of the best repellents for raccoons include cayenne.
Finally, you should make sure that your property isn’t littered with food sources. Make sure that vegetables are collected. Bird feeders should be taken inside at night. Cut off the raccoon’s food source and you’ll likely be able to keep it away from your home.
If all else fails, you should think about hiring a professional exterminator. This is a good way to eliminate the problem so you can protect your pets.
Raccoon will eat rabbits. If you intend to keep rabbits as pets, you’ll need to do your best to protect them. If you don’t, your rabbits are going to get eaten by the raccoon. Be cautious and use the tips above to prevent this from happening.