Why Do Rabbits Eat Their Own Babies?
Rabbits have a unique and interesting behavior of “eating their own babies”. It may seem incredibly strange and can be concerning if you’re a rabbit-owner. It’s actually not as bad as it sounds, though, and there is a scientific explanation for why rabbits do this.
What Is “Kits Cannibalization”?
Kits cannibalization, also called littersurfing, is when rabbits eat their own babies. To be more exact, the mother rabbit will consume its dead kits. This behaviour is usually seen in domesticated rabbits living in an enclosed space, like a hutch or cage.
Why Rabbits Eat Their Own Babies
Rabbits eat their own kits for a number of reasons:
- To Avoid Predators: This behavior helps the rabbit avoid predators by reducing the smell that attracts them and removing the bodies that can draw their attention.
- To Sustain Health: The mother rabbit will recycle the nutrients from its dead kits in order to sustain its health. This is especially helpful while nursing its remaining kits.
- To Preserve Space: Nests of kits are not large which can put the remaining kits in danger. Kits cannibalization acts as a way of removing the dead kits and preserving the space for the live ones.
Kits cannibalization may shock and worry some rabbit-owners, but it is a natural behavior with a scientific explanation. The mother rabbit is trying to protect her surviving babies and sustain her health while threatened by predators and limited space.