7 Difference of Domestic and Wild rabbit (Hare)

Rabbit is one popular pet, but many people have can’t differentiate his beloved pet is a domestic rabbit or the wild one. Some people might conclude wild rabbit and domestic rabbit as one kind of species because of the similarity of their look. Wild rabbit, that called as the hare is in the same family as rabbit, Leporidae, but they are coming from different species like of a sheep and goat. similar but not quite.

Should you want to pet a rabbit, you can read this guide on how to buy healthy rabbit tips or this guide on how to adopt a rabbit for the beginner. Hare is not recommended to become your own pet because hare is really aggressive, wild and will stay wild, so please prefer to own rabbit than a hare. So here are 7 Difference of Domestic and Wild rabbit (Hare).

1. Hare and Rabbit Difference in Build

While rabbit and hare same long ears, powerful back legs, and a divided upper lip. Hare build is bigger and much quicker than the rabbit. While rabbits’ fur always stays the same color year-round. Hare, on the other hand, has the ability to change their own fur color from brown or gray in the summer to white in the winter.

2. Hare and Rabbit Difference on Where They Build their Nest

Another distinct difference between rabbit and hare is where they built their nest. Hare live and make their nest on the grass or open areas. Rabbit, on the other hand, makes their nest by burrowing and make a rabbit hole except for the cottontail rabbit, a type of American rabbit that does not burrow.

3. Hare and Rabbit Difference in Their Babies

There also quite a few distinct difference when they are born. Hares babies are precocial, which mean, hare babies born with the ability to open their eyes early and already have thin fur that already been grown in. Its indicated that their babies don’t really require a lot of their parental care. If you have a rabbit as your pet, please read this “5 Signs Before A Rabbit Gives Birth” article for the preparation as the rabbit is quite a fast breeder.

Rabbits babies, on the other hand, the babies are born naked, blind, and helpless, which encourage them to live in the more secure underground nest for better protection from the outside elements.

Rabbit also has a difference with their pregnancy period, While the rabbit usually gives birth around 30 or 31 days, hare gives birth around 42 days.

4. Hare and Rabbit Difference on Their Social Behavior

Rabbit is quite a social creature and dependant to be sociable with other rabbit or its human companion. Rabbit tend to live within the colony with other rabbits and will likely to be stressed if left alone. It is quite rare for the rabbit to be aggressive except for if the rabbit is being territorial or not properly introduced again other rabbit companions.

Meanwhile, hare prefers being alone in solitude. They really aggressive toward other rabbit or really scared in presence of any predator. Hare are mostly meet and socialize with other hares during mating season. Due to their nature and having great reflex, hare (During captivity, or small enclosure) really easy to be spooked at the slightest stimulus that sometimes can cause their own death due to shock, they also really hostile and aggressive to the other rabbit which makes this behavior is a few reasons why hare is not recommended to be owned as a pet.

5. Hare and Rabbit Difference on Mating Ritual

If there more than one male rabbit within the colony, During mating season, the male rabbits will likely to fight within the colony to become the dominant male. The dominant male rabbit then will go mates with most of the females within the colony.

Hares live most of the time by themselves. They come together in pairs for mating only. There is almost no fighting among hares, they just pair off and be done with it. Hare mating ritual is quite unique than the rabbit, while rabbit will only just fight to determine the dominant male one, the hare will do some sort ritual that like doing something like bolting around and leaping into the air which gives birth the term of “Mad as March Hare.”

The ritual consisted of a female hare, that commonly called jill will test a male hare, called a jack, by making the male hare to give the female hare a chase over several miles. If the jack catches jill, The female will willing to mate with him;  if not, then the female hare will walk away from the male hare.

Should the female hare are not ready to mate, the female hare might stand on her hind leg and throw one or several punches to the male hare until the male hare went away. Quite different to the female rabbit that kind of resigned to the fate and only attempt to go run away from her male counterpart.

6. Hare and Rabbit Difference on Diet

Rabbit and hare can eat the same diet but there is a difference in their preference vegetarian diet. Rabbits prefer softer grasses and vegetables (like carrots, kale, hay), hares prefer to eat a harder diet like bark and twigs.

Should you need more information on how to provide food for your rabbit pet, you can read this “Easy Guide on How to Gardening Your Rabbit“article.

7. Hare and Rabbit Difference on How to face Predator.

With their trait that likes to make a nest burrow and make a rabbit hole, rabbits prefer to take go into their hole to hide from their predators rather than trying to outrun their predator. Hares are runners, Supported by their strong leg and hind, they can run fast and prefer to bolt away and outrun their predators.

That is all of it for the list of the difference between rabbit and hare (wild rabbit). It’s quite clear that while Hare is seemed superior to their domesticated one, hare is not quite fit to become a pet due to their wild nature while the rabbit is perfectly fit because of their tame, friendly behavior and their need for companionship.

Should you found an injured or stranded hare, you can take care of them by giving them to the rehabilitator for further expert care. Hare belong to the wilderness so please don’t disturb them by trying to forcefully domesticate them.

I hope this article will provide you with insight on how to differentiate between them.