do rabbits hibernate

Do Rabbits Hibernate? What You Need To Know

Rabbits do not hibernate in winter or any other season. While many people may think that the rabbits hibernate or migrate to some other place during the winters, the reality is far from it.

When people cannot find many rabbits during the wintertime, they think that the creatures have migrated to some other place like the birds. Others may think that they hibernate like other animals and dig their holes where they can sleep during the winters, just like the mammals do. The article below will answer the question “do rabbits hibernate” and will provide you with sufficient information related to the topic.

Do Rabbits Hibernate?

It is wrong to say that rabbits hibernate during the winters or migrate to any other place. In the winters also, the rabbits continue to live in the same place where they live during the summers. The behavior of the rabbits also remains the same throughout the year.

If you find that there is a lesser rabbit population in your area during the winters or any other season, it may be because of a decline in its population of it. Rabbits can also take shelter from the winter cold in some other warm and cozy locations, but they do not hibernate due to the winter.

Rabbits Do Not Hibernate

Hibernation is a process through which the animals may go in a deep sleep, after which the metabolism rate of their bodies slows down. During hibernation, the heart rate, body temperature, metabolism, and breathing rate of the animals and the creatures will go down to a very low level.

When the metabolism rate drops, the body of the creatures can save more energy and food. Therefore, the animals can sustain their life for a longer period with the same energy they have if they go into hibernation.

However, the anatomy and physiology of the rabbit are not modulated to hibernate. The rabbits cannot modulate a slowdown of their body functions. For instance, if the digestive system of the rabbit slows down, the creature can go into a dangerous health condition and can also die due to it.

The digestive systems of the rabbits are constantly moving and require a diet rich in fiber. Therefore, the physiology and anatomy of the rabbits are well suited for their active lifestyle and they cannot go into hibernation.

Do Rabbits Migrate To Some Other Place?

Migration takes place when animals and creatures may move over long distances and cover world regions. The animals may move from their home location to some other location on a seasonal or annual basis.

For instance, the Siberian birds fly from their home in Siberia to India during the warm seasons. Some mammals may migrate because of the better grazing opportunities that may be available on distant lands. However, the rabbit populations do not migrate to any other land or region.

The rabbit populations normally spend their whole life at a given location and region only. A rabbit population will grow and proliferate within a land area of a few acres. In the majority of cases, they do not travel to any other location.

However, during the mating season, the rabbit populations may extend to as far as an area that covers 10 acres of land. Migration has never been observed in the rabbit creatures and the species.

rabbits do not hibernate

The Habitat of Rabbits

The majority of rabbits live in their underground tunnels and networks. It is true for pet rabbits and European rabbits. The rabbits come out of their safe tunnels only when they need food and go out scavenging for it.

However, a species of rabbit called cottontail rabbits do not live in the underground tunnels. This is a wild variety and species of rabbit that can live on solitary surfaces and can be found in the shallow holds, the bushes, and in the abandoned caves and dens. The rabbits will turn out to be a predator roaming from one place to another if it does not find enough food resources close to the place where it lives.

Can The Rabbit Population Survive The Winter?

Rabbits as a species and as a population live in the same terrain of land for long periods. Therefore, they make proper behavioral and physical adjustments accordingly, through which they can survive and can face the changing seasons and conditions.

The changes also include the adjustments that the rabbits make to their diet. It also reflects in the energy levels of the rabbits during different seasons (including the weather in winter). The rabbits may also undergo certain physiological changes due to which they may feel extra warmth during the winters.

The Food of Rabbits

Rabbits may feed on the grasses and other kinds of leafy plants that can be found in abundance in the natural habitats where they live. This kind of natural and organic foliage can be found throughout the year. The food is also high in fiber, which is good for the digestive systems of highly active rabbits.

The vegetation is not enough and the food supply gets scarce for the rabbits during the winters. Many of the flowers and plants will wither and do not survive during harsh winters. The vegetation is again good and lush during the springtime.

The plants that survive during the winters are also covered by snow and therefore the rabbits cannot feed on them. Therefore, in such circumstances, the rabbit starts to feed on a rough diet including the tree barks and the bush twigs.

They can also eat the pine cones that may lie on the ground and the surfaces. Wild rabbits are also found to dig the evergreen tree needles. However, because the food is scarce during the winters, any kind of foliage is good enough for the rabbits.

are rabbits hibernate

Other Adaptations Of The Rabbits

Rabbits may also grow a thick coat that can provide their body better insulation during the winters. Rabbits are found to undergo seasonal shedding, through which they change their body covering to a thinner summer coat in the summers.

During the winters, the rabbits may have a fluffy and full-flurried coat. The rabbits may start to eat more at the end of the summer. The extra food eaten turns into fat, which covers their body during the winter. It is a kind of insulation that helps the rabbit survive the winter.


Rabbits do not hibernate during any season, including the winters. Their body is not modulated for hibernation. However, rabbits do undergo certain adaptations, which help them survive the winter cold better.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Check out my comprehensive guide on the best rabbit food.

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