As a nature lover and passionate reader about deer, I have often come across the question, do deer eat rabbits? Myth or reality? Let’s see!
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Do Deer Eat Rabbits?
Deer are herbivores that primarily graze on vegetation. They do not actively hunt and kill rabbits like carnivorous predators. However, if given the opportunity, deer may scavenge on the meat and bones of dead rabbits that come across their path. Therefore, while deer do not typically eat rabbits in the traditional sense, they may consume them opportunistically.
Here’s a shocking video proof that deer can eat rabbits:
And here’s a second video as well:
However, even if deer can eat rabbits, they will not hunt them, as they are just opportunistic feeders.
Deer and Rabbit Behavior
Deer and rabbits are both fascinating creatures that play an important role in the ecosystem. While deer are primarily herbivores, rabbits are considered herbivores or prey animals. Do deer eat rabbits? Well, it’s more complicated than a simple yes or no answer.
Deer do not actively hunt and kill rabbits, but they may eat dead rabbits if they come across them. They are opportunistic feeders and will consume a variety of food sources when available, including vegetation, fruits, and nuts. On the other hand, rabbits are often sought after by predators such as coyotes, foxes, and birds of prey.
Plants That Are Deer and Rabbit Resistant
If you’re a gardener, you’ll know how frustrating it can be to spend hours planting and tending to your garden only to have it decimated by deer and rabbits. Fortunately, there are several plants that are deer and rabbit-resistant that you can add to your garden. Among the perennials that are no-go for rabbits and deer are lavender, sage, yarrow, and coneflower, while daffodils, allium, and garlic are key examples of bulbs that these animals avoid.
Creating a Deer and Rabbit-Proof Garden
In order to safeguard your plants from the nibbling tendencies of rabbits and deer, constructing a well-built fence is the most viable option. To keep naughty rabbits at bay, a mesh of chicken wire supported by poles, at a height of two feet, can do wonders.
Make sure to firmly stake the lower end of the fence to prevent crafty bunnies from digging underneath it. Whereas for deer, a fence that is at least seven feet high can help to restrict their entry, but it’s imperative to ensure that the fence ought to be robust enough to discourage them from leaping over it.
Plant repellents are another option to keep deer and rabbits out of your garden. These repellents work by deterring animals with certain odors or tastes. Common examples include predator urine, human hair, and blood meal. Alternatively, using scented soaps, essential oils, or chili pepper flakes as a spray can also help to repel rabbits and deer temporarily.
Companion planting is a natural way to deter pests from your garden. By planting certain plants together, you can benefit from their natural repellent properties. For example, planting marigolds, chives, and onions near your vegetables can help to repel rabbits and deer. Likewise, planting mint and garlic around the perimeter of your garden can help to deter these pesky animals from entering your garden.
Tips for Coexisting with Deer and Rabbits
While we may want to protect our gardens from deer and rabbits, it’s important to remember that they play an important role in the ecosystem. We can coexist with them by following certain tips. Firstly, avoid feeding them as this can lead to dependence and can have detrimental impacts on their health.
Additionally, try to keep your garden tidy and free of debris as this can attract rabbits and deer. Lastly, consider planting a variety of plants that can provide habitat, food, and water for both rabbits and deer. In doing so, you can coexist with these animals and enjoy the benefits of a beautiful garden without causing harm to the environment.
So, after this deep dive into the eating habits of deer, we can safely say that the answer to the question “do deer eat rabbits?” is both yes and no. No, deer are not known for actively hunting and killing rabbits like carnivorous predators do. But yes, they may opportunistically scavenge on the meat and bones of dead rabbits that they come across. So, while deer may not be the top predator you would associate with rabbits, they still play a small role in the ecology of these fuzzy creatures.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that animals are complex creatures with diverse diets and behaviours. Just because we assume that deer are purely herbivorous doesn’t mean that they can’t surprise us with their food choices. So, keep your eyes open next time you take a hike through the woods and maybe you’ll spot a deer munching away on some rabbit bones!
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