Do foxes eat rabbits?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Do foxes eat rabbits?” We will also discuss the way foxes hunt rabbits, the time they hunt rabbits, and the other animals that foxes eat.

Do foxes eat rabbits?

Yes, foxes eat rabbits. In fact, rabbit is one of the major sources of food for foxes, especially in rural areas where do not get the opportunity to scavenge. Rabbits are rich sources of proteins and fats which makes them a perfect meal for foxes. 

Also, the fact that eating rabbits will aid them in fat storage and help them survive the winter when food is scarce makes rabbits even more ideal choice of food for the foxes. Furthermore, rabbits are easy to catch so they don’t have to work too hard to hunt them down.

They attack any smaller pets like chickens, guinea pigs, or rabbits accessible to them. Foxes are omnivores but they will not leave a single opportunity to attack a rabbit when they see one. Not just rabbits, none of the weaker animals are safe when foxes are around.

How do foxes hunt rabbits?

Foxes are successful predators with powerful long legs that enable them to keep up with a rabbit during a chase. They also have flexible ankles, which allows them to change course without losing much speed if the rabbit suddenly changes direction.

Even if the rabbit flees into its burrow, the fox will not hesitate to pursue it. The semi-retractable claws of foxes easily help them to dig their way in. It will use its powerful sharp claws to drag the rabbit out of its burrow if they have to. Foxes also have excellent night vision, allowing them to spot any rabbits that come out from their burrows in the dark.

When do foxes hunt for rabbits?

Foxes hunt for rabbits, especially during the winter. This is because throughout summer they have plenty of plants available for their diet. Foxes are extremely adaptable, and their diet changes based on their surroundings and seasonal availability. In the summer, they eat different plant-based foods like berries, corn, apples, acorns, cherries, and grasses.

However, during winters many plants are dormant or shrouded in ice or snow and the soil is not in a good enough condition to grow plants. So, throughout the winter, they rely on small animals such as rabbits, voles, mice, and squirrels.

This does not mean that they do not hunt during summers, but hunting activity is more frequent during the winter due to the scarcity of plants. Regardless of the weather, their supersonic hearing and an exceptional sense of smell allow them to catch their prey.

Foxes can hear their prey relocating beneath the earth or snow in the winter. As soon as they have an idea about the location of the prey, they will swoop down and start digging the soil to catch it. 

They hunt mostly at dawn and dusk as they are nocturnal. This comes with their experience as foxes have adapted to their surroundings and prefer to hunt when they are most secure. Also, they are less likely of coming into contact with humans or other predators during nighttime.

What other animals do foxes eat?

Foxes usually attack and eat animals weaker or smaller than them. Smaller pet animals like guinea pigs, rabbits, and chickens fall prey to the attack of foxes. Other pet animals like cats and dogs can also easily be attacked by the foxes if the opportunity arises. 

A fox’s feeding opportunities vary depending on the time of year. Foxes are predators during the colder winter months. During this time, their main sources of food are small animals such as rabbits, rodents, birds, and whatever else they can catch.

Likewise, foxes will eat more plants when autumn comes. The plant-based foods in a fox’s diet include berries, apples, acorns, tubers, and whatever else they can find. 

In the summer, foxes will eat small prey, mostly insects like crickets, caterpillars, and beetles, but they will also eat small animals like rodents and frogs. Similarly, their springtime diet consists of earthworms, bird eggs, and going shallow-water fishing for fish and crabs. For a complete list of a fox’s diet, please click the link here.

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “Do foxes eat rabbits?” We have also discussed the way foxes hunt rabbits, the time they hunt rabbits, and the other animals that foxes eat.

Citations 

https://petkeen.com/do-foxes-attack-and-eat-rabbits/

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