If you were to look outside your window, there is a chance that you would see a rabbit. In fact, rabbits are so common that they are present on every continent except for Antarctica. As herbivores, rabbits eat plant material and vegetation exclusively. They can also give birth to up to 35 baby rabbits, called kits or kittens, per year. Rabbits are social creatures that live in groups in underground tunnels called burrows.
The eastern cottontail is the most common type of rabbit in North America. It is also the type of rabbit that you are most likely to see in New Jersey. The eastern cottontail has brown fur with white spots on its back, but in the winter, its fur can become more grey than brown. It is mostly nocturnal, but will sometimes be active around dusk or dawn. Despite its small size, the eastern cottontail can jump between 10 and 15 feet.
Rabbits have a bad reputation among gardeners and farmers as they sometimes eat crops. However, you may be surprised to learn that they can actually be beneficial for growing plants. Rabbits are highly-efficient, natural composters and their manure can be used to produce nutrient rich soil. Rabbit feces is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and potash, which makes rabbit manure a good natural fertilizer. Leaving out vegetable scraps and other garden waste can encourage rabbits to create manure and possibly deter them from eating garden plants.
- Check out this video to learn more about rabbits.
- Beatrix Potter (1866-1943) is the author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, a story about a young rabbit who gets into a bit of trouble with the local farmer. Her stories have been translated into 35 languages and 45 million copies have been sold. Check out this video to listen to the story.
- If you want to be an author like Beatrix Potter, you can use this template to make your own book!
- Join us on MHHM’s Facebook page for Storytime: Guess & Go today at noon to hear another famous story about rabbits!
Topic: Nature, Wild About Wildlife
Age / Level: Primary, Elementary