Why Do Rabbits Dig Holes Then Fill Them In? (And How!)

It’s common to see rabbits digging and making use of their sharp claws. It’s a natural advantage that’s key for their survival and it is something that has evolved over the years as rabbits have developed. Keeping this in mind, it becomes important to pay attention to a specific habit. Why do rabbits dig holes then fill them in?

Rabbits dig holes and then fill them in as a way to protect underground tunnels, food, babies, and/or other general resources such as bedding material.

The idea for a rabbit doing this is to make sure their assets are protected in the wild. Remember, they are always on the lookout for predators and there are several lurking nearby looking to take advantage of them. This is the way the food chain is!

As a result, rabbits have to be as resourceful as possible, which includes focusing on digging holes and then filling them in.

The key details to consider include:

  • The Type of Holes
  • The Size of the Holes
  • What is Being Protected

It is these details that are going to shed light on your query, “Why do rabbits dig holes then fill them in?” at the end of the day.

It’s normal behavior for rabbits because it is one of their biggest advantages. They know how to dig and they can do it faster than other animals.

When combined with their ability to pinpoint specific sounds and sights, they tend to stay relatively safe as long as they are underground. For this to be possible, they have to make sure to dig holes the right way and have them nearby.

Here is a detailed look at “Why do rabbits dig holes then fill them in?” and how they go about digging the holes to make sure everything is safe.

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Reasons for Rabbits Digging Holes And Filling Them In

1. Protecting Underground Tunnels

One of the main reasons has to do with underground tunnels.

Rabbits are passionate about developing intricate underground tunnels that keep them safe. It is a natural reaction to their surroundings as it is not as easy to climb trees and/or find other safe spots around the environment.

Experts Say...
Rabbits are known to build extensive tunnels with multiple entrances/exits to ensure they are safe from predators.

By quickly digging holes, they can start to build small tunnels that are spread throughout the area. Once they have done so, they will often cover up the entrances with a bit of dirt.

This is when you are going to ask “Why do rabbits dig holes then fill them in?” because it can be a weird sight at first.

why do rabbits dig holes then fill them in

2. Protecting Their Young

This is something mother rabbits will do when it is time to find food for the young.

Baby rabbits will have to eat something and that is when the mother rabbit is going to find ways to locate the necessary food to keep their young safe.

Experts Say...
Rabbits realize their young are prone to getting attacked making it important to dig holes and putting them inside for protection.

When the mother rabbit steps out, she is going to dig a small hole and place the baby rabbits inside. For her, this is the best way to keep them safe and out of harm’s way when predators are nearby.

If they were to be left exposed, they would get hurt and that is the last thing they want to see happen.

why do rabbits dig holes then fill them in

3. Protecting Food or General Resources

It is often assumed rabbits will only do it to protect their young, but it is also possible for them to start digging holes as a place to deposit food.

If they don’t want to eat more and want to preserve a little bit, you will see them do this from time to time. This can be quite a common sight when it is starting to get colder outside.

They will want to keep the food ready to go.

This is key when asking “Why do rabbits dig holes then fill them in?” because they are going to focus on this element.

Final Thoughts

“Why do rabbits dig holes then fill them in?”

It is a good question and most rabbits are just looking to keep things safe. Whether this has to do with babies, food, bedding materials, or anything else, they will want to dig holes to preserve them.

It is just like anything humans would do when it is time to protect something dear to them. Rabbits have strong claws and can easily dig holes making it an ideal way to preserve their assets. This is why they are seen doing this often in the wild.

Here is more on rabbits – cleaning rabbit poop in the yard, rabbits giving birth in the cold, reasons why cottontail rabbits can’t be domesticated, and bleeding in rabbits during birth.