The European rabbit is a social animal that lives in colonies of up to several hundred members. They dig a series of underground tunnels called a warren in their territory. These tunnels are connected to burrows used for various purposes, such as nesting. Baby rabbits are naked at birth. They have no fur and are blind. The fur begins to grow after a week or so, and when they are about 13 days old, they can open their eyes. The breeding burrow is lined with grass and hairs from the mother’s fur.
The mother does not stay in the nest with the baby rabbits all the time. The baby rabbits suckle twice every 24 hours, but beyond that, they spend most of their time alone together. The mother seals the entrance to the nest with soil, fur or other materials and then marks the entrance with urine or excrement as a sign to other rabbits not to enter.
The colony’s rabbits mark out their territory by spreading scents from manure pellets, urine and secretions on the ground. If alien rabbits infringe on other rabbits’ territory, they are driven away. If a rabbit becomes frightened, it communicates to the other members of the colony by pounding the ground with its hind legs. This signal causes the flock to take refuge in their burrows.
Grasses, weeds, bark, buds and shoots
Primarily in grassy, plant-covered areas with loose, dry soil.
Number of offspring per litter: