Do Deer Eat Rabbits
Do deer eat rabbits? Shockingly they do, but not in the way we think. In this article, we will look at some bizarre eating habits that deer exhibit occasionally.
Deer are known as plant-eaters. Their excessive love for twigs, leaves, stems, buds, foliage, and fruits makes this fact common and established. Deer are also known for consuming up to 15 pounds of plant-based materials. Therefore, when faced with the puzzling question – Do deer eat rabbits? It does make many of us pause in our tracks. At first glance, such a question seems ridiculous. However, when you remember that deer are also known for being able to eat everything and anything in their part, we may want to rethink our knowledge of deer.
According to research, deer will be one of the first scavengers to visit a carcass site. Further evidence also shows that they typically check out these carcasses in search of gut piles. Sure, this is a far cry from what we know about deer, but it is entirely accurate. One possible reason for these habits is that herbivores like deer sometimes find it hard getting all the minerals they need. Such patterns usually manifest in the dead of winter, when deer find it hard getting their preferred food sources.
Will Deer likely feed on Rabbits?
Aside from scavenging habits, deer cannot eat rabbits. What we mean is that deer do not have the structures for tearing into flesh (e.g. teeth). Sure, they can occasionally eat meat from a dead animal, but hunting, killing, and finally eating a rabbit is impossible. They cannot puncture into the body cavity successfully, and can only scavenge around the carcass. A video report in 2009, showed deer trying and failing to bite into the carcass of a rabbit. However, the deer successfully ate the ears and legs of the dead rabbit. Concerning whether deer can digest meat, speculations suggest it may be able to. This is because the meat is more likely to digest without being regurgitated, as they usually do with plant-based food materials.
Bear in mind that this isn’t the only weird eating habits deer exhibit. Reports have documented deer eating eggs, dead fish, birds, and even human cadaver. However, as said before, these habits mainly manifest during the winter. Still, these eating habits may be a source of concern to many because of the likelihood of diseases. Nevertheless, some research studies have previously shown that such cases of contagion are highly rare.
Do deer eat rabbits? It depends on unique circumstances. Deer can eat the carcass of a dead rabbit. However, Deer cannot hunt, kill, and finally eat a rabbit. They cannot also bite into the body cavity of a rabbit and must rely on what is left behind, after kills by predators. Furthermore, deer will likely eat dead rabbits during harsher winter months, when access to more palatable food sources is inadequate.