There is a certain system according to which the food chain works. To survive, a stronger animal may prey on a weaker animal. However, the food chain tactics might result in a lot of losses for you if you own rabbits and there are raccoons in your vicinity.
Raccoons are known to be very flexible with their dietary preferences, and thus, they will attack any weakling that they find out there. They are omnivores, and if need be, they will attack a rabbit to fill their bellies. Omnivores need both plants and meat, and therefore it is highly likely.
An interesting fact to note is that rabbits are much faster than raccoons, so it might be difficult for raccoons to go after a rabbit to catch it. They also portray the characteristics of foraging animals that means that they will resort to scavenging before even thinking about hunting.
The Relationship Between Rabbit and Raccoons
There is no specific relationship that exists between rabbits and raccoons. Rabbits are just a delight for these animals because they can survive on waste as well. Although, it is always a bad idea to have a raccoon around if you have any household pet. Raccoons can harm them and most definitely attack, intending to kill.
The array of their food choices is very vast, and anything which can be a good source of nutrition will be in their crosshairs. Therefore it is really important to make sure that the surroundings near your place of residence are devoid of raccoons if you have household pets.
Do Raccoons Eat Rabbits?
If you own a rabbit or a bunch of rabbits, you should be extremely cautious. However, rabbits are not a part of a raccoon’s daily dietary regime. It happens on very rare occasions, and here is why.
- Diet Choice
As mentioned above, raccoons are foraging creatures, which means that they will actively look for food that is already available rather than hunting it themselves.
They are not very persistent towards meat, they can survive with plants and vegetables too. That is why hunting a rabbit and eating it seems a little far fetched from their behavioral tactics.
Rabbits are known to be one of the fastest creatures on land. They hop incessantly and very swiftly. Raccoons, on the other hand, are dramatically slower than rabbits. The best speed which the fastest of raccoons can attain is 15 meters per hour as compared to 27 meters per hour of the slower rabbits.
It is almost impossible to fill this gap of varying speed if a chase begins between them. However, raccoons are cunning enough to ambush these creatures in their sleep or by evading into their hiding places.
How To Keep The Rabbits Safe?
In a very rare scenario when raccoons do start a rampage against your rabbits, you can follow these steps to ensure safe surroundings.
- Sheltering Inside
Raccoons come into the category of those animals who go searching for food at night. There are certain fixed hunting hours for every animal, which creates a pattern.
You can keep your rabbits inside for those particular hours and give them something to be busy with. If raccoons do not spot any rabbits for some time, they will stop looking for them too.
- Predator Proof Hatching
If you cannot put your rabbits inside due to any reason, it is always suggested to build a very strong hatch for them. Normal hatches made of chicken wire and plywood may not be able to stand tall against predators.
A good hatch that you build with sturdier material should hold good. You can also build a screen that prevents your rabbit from seeing the raccoon because rabbits can get scared and die of cardiac arrest.
- Electric Fencing
Raccoons are used to uneven surroundings and therefore have a great ability to climb up fences. Your normal fencing will not be sufficient to keep raccoons out. The only good way to stop them from setting foot on your property is by setting up an electric fence.
An electric fence will also set an example amongst all the other raccoons which reside near your area. There are many great options which you can explore.
You can opt for any of the two surveillance methods that are available. The first one is the traditional method in which you go out and keep a check on your rabbits in a periodic manner. The other one is to simply install cameras and monitor the movement from inside your premises.
Repellents for Raccoons
There are certain substances that raccoons cannot stand. They tend to drive them away and also develop a fear in their minds.
Raccoons cannot stand eating any spices because it wrecks their internal metabolism. An interesting fact is that even the smell of these spices can drive raccoons away.
You can combine a few of these spices and create a mixture that will always keep raccoons at a distance. You can either spray this mixture periodically, or you can place it in pots at entry points.
Ammonia has a very foul smell, which is used to deter wild animals. Raccoons have a very strong aversion to ammonia because it resembles the smell of urine.
Ammonia is a very successful deterrent that can be used to repel off all the raccoons near your area.
As mentioned above, Raccoons are not exactly fond of rabbit meat. They prefer vegetables and fruits more than anything. They also have a strong liking for watermelon and walnuts. Even when it comes to meat, fishes and insects are their go-to choices.
If you own rabbits, it is very natural to be concerned about their wellbeing. You can follow the above-mentioned steps to keep raccoons away and to rest easy by understanding their dietary patterns.
Your rabbits will be the last place where raccoons will come searching for food, but if they do, you should be all set to fight back!