What hares eat in nature

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The hare is a herbivorous fur-bearing mammal that belongs to the order of Lagomorphs and lives on almost all continents. These representatives can be found even in the steppes and deserts. And naturally, each species adapts to the conditions in which it exists. How do they survive in the wild? What do hares of different breeds eat at home and in their natural habitat?

What hares eat

What hares eat

What do hares eat

The diet of hares is varied, especially in the summer, although it all depends on where this wild animal lives. The eared ones feed mainly on plant food - the roots and bark of trees, leaves and stems of plants, vegetables and fruits, with pleasure they eat young shoots of shrubs. In the spring, with a deficiency of mineral salts, the hare can eat up the soil and even swallow stones.

Basically, hares are considered vegetarians, but there are cases when they ate the meat of partridges caught in hunting traps.

Varieties of hares

For us, these are small harmless fluffy animals that live in the forest and when danger approaches, they quickly disappear from sight.

Since February, hares begin to have offspring. As soon as the animal was born, the mother feeds the little rabbit and runs away from the burrow so as not to attract predators with her scent. After a couple of days, she returns, again feeds the hungry offspring and runs away. This thick milk is enough for babies for several hours. Within a week, the rabbits have teeth.

Previously, the hare lines the grass in the mink, which the hares begin to feed on after about 10 days. By about a month, the grown offspring no longer needs their mother and begins to live independently.

In Russia, you can find 4 types of hares:

  • hare;
  • hare;
  • tolai;
  • Manchu hare.

In nature, there are only 32 species in one version, according to scientific disputes, adding to this species both rabbits and pikas, 45 species. Let's get acquainted with some of them.

Hare - hare

Lives in the forests of Russia, South America, Mongolia and many other countries. In winter, in order to be less noticeable in the snow, it changes color to white, and only the tips of the ears remain black. In summer, the jumper is gray.

What does a hare eat in the forest? The diet in summer contains plant foods: herbs, dandelions, cereals, mountain ash, blueberries, mushrooms. In the fields, the eared ones feast on cabbage, in the garden, animals can even gnaw onions and carrots. In the fall, white hares feed on the branches of bushes, and in the winter in the forest it is more difficult to feed, so they eat the bark of trees such as willow, aspen and birch.

Still eared of this species can feed on the antlers of a moose, dropped in the forest. If possible, they dig berries out from under the snow, feed on hay obtained from haystacks near the villages. In spring, when fresh grass appears on the lawns, white hares eat this delicacy in flocks.

This animal is nocturnal, so during the day it often lies, and at night it gets its food, running long distances.

Hare - hare

Let's get acquainted with this hare. Rusaks are large individuals of brown color with hairs of different shades. They live in Kazakhstan, Turkey, Iran.

Rusaks eagerly eat cereals, chicory, dandelions. If brown hares settle on agricultural fields, they harm the crop by eating fruits, vegetables, and melons. In Australia, for example, hares are declared pests that pose a serious threat.

In winter, the hare gnaws the bark of trees and bushes. Unlike the white hare, this species feasts on the bark of oak, maple, broom, periodically digging out seeds of plants and fruits from under the snow with their paws. In spring, they often damage the roots of shrubs, eat leaves, young shoots and plant stems.

Hare - tolay

Hares are not large in size, legs and ears are longer than those of other individuals. A representative of this species lives in the deserts and in the Russian steppes, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan.

What do hares eat in nature? In winter, they move closer to settlements. In the mountains, they descend into valleys where there is no snow cover. The main food is the green parts of the plants. In spring, the diet consists of the roots and tubers of herbaceous plants (they also eat young grass with pleasure).

Ephemera grow in the desert - herbaceous annual plants - one of the delicacies of hares. In summer, the food is cereals and sedges, in autumn, corn in the fields, wheat and barley. In winter, there is no good nutrition, so they are content with the bark of trees and shrubs.

Manchu hare

Distributed in the south of the Far East, in the valley of the Amur River, in China, in the north of the Korean Peninsula. Outwardly - almost like a wild rabbit, small in length and weighing up to 2.5 kg. The hind legs are short, the coat is stiff and bristly, with the change of season the color does not change.

These animals are the same forest dwellers as white hares. They feed on the stems of shrubby and woody plants, berries and fruits. In winter - poplar and aspen bark and shoots.

Antelope hare

Due to the habitat in hot places such as the state of Arizona in the USA, due to the too high temperature, hares have very long and large ears. This not only helps better hearing, but also the regulation of heat transfer.

In the daytime, they hide from the hot sun in the bushes, but from evening to morning they lead an active lifestyle. They eat mainly cacti and grass.

Chinese hare

This type of hare is found in the hills of China, lives in Vietnam and is even included in the Red Book. Individuals are small in size, with short, hard fur of brown color with many shades, there are black triangles at the ends of the ears.

In the diet: deciduous plants, branches, shoots.

Curly hare

It lives in China, India, is small in size and weighs about 2 kg.

It is mainly nocturnal and feeds mainly on grass and herbaceous plants.

Some interesting facts:

  • This animal is very hardy. It can reach speeds of up to 50 km / h, covering great distances in a day.
  • Through long ears, heat leaves the body, thereby saving the animal from overheating of the body. During rains, the hare presses its ears and water does not get there, which would provoke an animal's illness.
  • Females live for about 9 years, males - 5. At home, with good and proper care, they can live up to 13 years, but in the wild they often die from the paws of predators, before reaching adulthood.
  • Due to the frequent eating of the bark, their teeth wear out, but new ones grow to replace them.
  • Even fleeing from predators, the hare never runs into someone else's territory.

Under natural conditions, animals get their own food, but what to do with a hare that appears in your house? Of course, to figure out what hares eat?

Feeding at home

It is worth knowing that the nutrition of hares, especially at home, is difficult to bring closer to natural.The fact is that rabbit milk has no analogues. Cow's milk and infant formula do not have the same fat content as hare's. Some farmers feed their rabbits with cow's milk with eggs or cream, but then the probability of death of the eared ones increases. Condensed milk should not be used due to its high sugar content.

You need to feed the eared at least 2 times a day in small portions of 5-10 ml at a time.

Only a monthly hare begins to eat independently. Young rabbits eat fresh grass, vegetables and fruits well, love carrots, tree leaves, berries. From the 2nd month, ready-made feeds can be introduced, but not earlier, since they are absorbed worse and bring discomfort to the animal. For the winter, you can stock up on dried grass harvested in the summer.

Maintenance and care of a hare at home

Under natural conditions, a hare travels a very long distance. Therefore, it is better to keep pets, except for small ones, in a free-range apartment or in open-air cages, where it is spacious, and not in cages. But it should be borne in mind that they leave their excrement everywhere and you will have to clean up the droppings after them.

Young rabbits need warmth, they need to massage their tummy and wipe under the tail with a cotton swab dipped in warm water.

No matter how much you try to love your pets, do not forget that these are wild animals, and you need to bring their content as close to natural as possible. Now you have an idea of ​​how the diet is chosen by the hare and in what conditions it should be kept.

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