How Can I Protect Rabbits From Snakes?

Rabbits are incredibly vulnerable animals and are at risk of being targeted by many predators. Depending on where you live, there may be several different threats to your rabbit, including wild snakes. But just because you live in a snake-prone area, this doesn’t mean that you cannot keep rabbits, you simply need to make sure they are protected.

To best avoid snakes, you should keep your rabbits indoors. If this isn’t possible, you should ensure that you build a solid hutch that is not surrounded by hiding places such as long grass, where snakes could go unnoticed.

It is not uncommon for snakes to target rabbits and while your rabbit may be fast, he is a prey animal and requires an intense level of protection.

How do you keep snakes out of rabbit cages?

Snakes are opportunistic and if they stumble upon a potential food source, they are going to investigate it. What’s more, many snakes will actively search out resources such as food and shelter. It is for this reason that you might often find them hiding out in your roof space or basement, if they can gain entry.

This is bad news for your rabbit since his hutch and rabbit run will be of interest to a snake looking for something he can take advantage of. However, depending on the type of snake and the size of your rabbit, the threat level may vary. Larger snakes and a new litter of kits are never a good combination. If you have a big rabbit and the local snakes are pretty small, they may not be able to eat your rabbit, but they could bite or frighten it.

For many years, rabbits were almost always kept as an outdoor pet but modern owners are now keeping their rabbits indoors for a variety of reasons. Not only will this help them to feel part of the family but they will also be much safer. That isn’t to say that your rabbit doesn’t need outdoor time because the fresh air and exercise are essential to his well being, but bringing him indoors at night can make a huge difference in terms of safety.

That being said, if you must keep your rabbits outdoors then you will need to ensure that you create a solid home that is not easily penetrated by snakes or other predators. Wooden rabbit hutches are specifically designed to keep these animals warm and protected and this should be your main priority when setting up an outdoor rabbit enclosure.

Snakes can climb but leaving the hutch on the ground just makes it more accessible to passing snakes. By raising it a few feet off the ground, the snake will have to go to more effort to try and break in, most of the time, this will be enough of a deterrent. Furthermore, the hutch will need to be secured either by bolting it to the ground or the side of a building so that larger snakes and animals cannot knock it over.

But protecting your rabbits from snakes and other predators isn’t the only thing you will need to consider when setting up their home. Rabbits require relatively cool conditions to live, although they should never be exposed to extreme cold. If the hutch is placed in direct sunlight, the rabbits will be very susceptible to heatstroke and this could prove fatal.

For this reason, you should always locate the hutch in a shaded area, all the while being mindful of potential hiding spots for snakes.

On the flip side, you will need to consider that the rabbits must also have protection in more extreme weather such as heavy rain or wind. The best method to use here is to provide excellent cover for the hutch using curtains around the outside to act as a shield. This will also serve as a further deterrent to snakes and other predators.

Do rabbits attract snakes?

Rabbits in the wild may serve as an attraction to hungry snakes who are out for their next meal. Your pet rabbit is no different; if a passing snake sees him as a meal, then this will cause the snake to investigate further. However, simply owning a rabbit won’t cause a slither of snakes to come rushing to your yard.

The problem is with the hutch. This can be a huge attraction to snakes who will want to find out whether it contains a food source, or somewhere for them to hide out and shelter from the elements. In any case, it is important to go back to the tips we provided earlier on how to build and fortify your rabbit’s outdoor home.

Are rabbits scared of snakes?

Rabbits are not just scared of snakes, they are scared of any animal that could serve as a potential threat. In the wild, rabbits are accustomed to dodging predators and are always on their guard. While domestic rabbits probably wouldn’t survive long in the wild, they still have the same instincts to protect themselves.

That being said, it is not unheard of for a rabbit to fight back to a snake and while many would believe that the snake may win, a determined rabbit could overpower a snake.

Will snakes eat rabbits?

Snakes are carnivores and this means that any meat-based meal is on the table, including rabbits. That being said, not all snakes will be capable of eating rabbits. The problem is that even some smaller snakes are capable of swallowing an animal as large as a rabbit. There has been research that has shown snakes can swallow prey that is almost twice their own size. So if you live in an area with smaller snakes, don’t become complacent.

With that in mind, there are some smaller snake species that don’t typically eat warm-blooded prey and opt instead for things like insects and small reptiles. These include the brown snake, native to Australia. However, snakes such as the gopher snake, kingsnake, rattlesnake and various pythons may all pose a threat to your pet.

Are rabbits immune to snake venom?

A lot of people believe that snakes will kill their prey by biting an administering venom. However, this is often not the case and the snake will simply grab the prey and swallow it whole. But that isn’t to say that a snake won’t bite your rabbit in defence or as part of an attack.

The good news is that rabbits are immune to snake venom so where it could kill a human, it wouldn’t have much of an effect on a rabbit. Rabbits naturally produce antivenom and for this reason, are often used in the creation of antivenoms for humans.

That being said, if a snake were to bite your rabbit, this could cause an injury in another way such as a penetration wound, which may become infected. What’s more, with rabbits being such timid animals, an attack like this could be detrimental to their emotional well being and in the worst cases, could result in shock. Even if your rabbit seems well, it is always a good idea to have him checkout over after an altercation with any other animal, including a snake.



Darren is the founder and editor at Bunny Advice and has been caring for rabbits for over a decade. He has a passion for helping animals and sharing his experience and knowledge with others.

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