I have several rabbits in my yard I think two are cottontails and one seems a...

Asked November 3, 2014, 9:28 AM EST

I have several rabbits in my yard I think two are cottontails and one seems a larger rabbit type. I have bought straw to put out for shelter for them near the food I provide for them. How should I use the straw? Would a heat pad or dog house like structure be better? I know I need it to open on both ends. Are rabbit houses available?

Ramsey County Minnesota

1 Response

It sounds like they are wild cottontail rabbits. They are able to find shelter and survive quite well. I would not provide a heating pad. A couple of straw bales next to a building might be used by the rabbits as shelter or not. You could provide a dog house as an option but again they may or may not use it. Rabbit cages are available for domestic rabbits that are kept caged all the time. You do understand that cottontails will reproduce and eat anything that they like in your yard, including young tree bark, shrubs and any plant material that appeals to them, including flowers and vegetables. They can be very destructive. If you have neighbors they may not appreciate the rabbits damaging or killing their trees, shrubs and plants. They are capable of having several litters a year and in theory could produce 20-30 babies a year. They are also hosts to fleas, ticks and lice.