Rabbits will indeed eat cucumber plants.
Both wild and pet rabbits are attracted to cucumber plants, which offer a blend of fibers, minerals, and vitamins that contribute to their overall health.
They will eat leaves, tendrils, vines, and the cucumbers you want for salads and pickles.
Rabbits may even uproot cucumbers and nibble on the roots, but only when they are not getting enough of their real favorite food.
Providing this food is the best way to protect your cucumber plants from rabbits.
How to Protect Cucumber Plants from Pet Rabbits?
The simplest way to minimize rabbit damage to your cucumber plants is to make sure your rabbits always have an unlimited supply of fresh, clean, dry timothy hay.
Hay is the most important food in a rabbit’s diet. A rabbit that has plenty of hay will not strip garden plants bare.
Well-fed rabbits may not bother cucumber plants at all.
But wild rabbits sometimes raid gardens when other food sources are scarce. In those situations, there are a number of humane ways to make sure rabbits leave your cucumbers alone.
Start By Protecting Seedlings
Rabbits do the greatest damage to cucumber plants while they are seedlings.
When a rabbit eats a mature cucumber plant, it eats only part of the plant. When a rabbit eats a cucumber seedling, it eats the entire plant, and the gardener has to start over.
Start your cucumber plants as seedlings.
Then, when you transplant them to your cucumber bed, cover them with a temporary barrier.
The same material that you use to protect strawberries from birds works for cucumber seedlings. Cut out a small strip, and use string to create a very small cage to put over each cucumber seedling.
Let the cucumber plant grow up through the cage. You can attach more string from the cage to bamboo poles to create a trellis the plant can use to grow off the ground, protecting it from future rabbit attacks.
Need a visual example? Check the below video about protecting cucumber seedlings from wild animals.
You can use other methods to protect older, larger cucumber plants from rabbits and other herbivores.
Keep Your Garden Tidy
Rabbits love hiding places.
If you keep your garden tidy and well-organized, they will move to other parts of your yard to find hiding places.
Put Rabbit-Repelling Companion Plants in Your Cucumber Patch
Try planting cucumbers in the same bed as plants plants rabbits don’t like, such as onions.
Or, if you have both flower beds and vegetable beds in your garden, place your cucumber bed next to a bed of betony, mondo grass, Siberian grass (both rabbits and deer hate its scent, even though people enjoy it), lavender, liriope, or foxglove.
Just don’t make the mistake of eating the rabbit-repelling plants. All of them except lavender are poisonous to people!
Additionally, using natural repellents like banana peels and coffee grounds can help create a barrier against rabbits. Scatter them around your garden plants, particularly near cucumber plants, to help deter rabbits.
These natural repellents are not harmful to your plants and can also add nutrients to the soil.
Try Electronic Rabbit Repellants
Ultrasonic rabbit repellers emit sounds that humans can’t hear, but rabbits can.
These devices won’t harm rabbits, but they will make them uncomfortable, so they hop away.
Do not operate these ultrasonic repeller devices within 30 feet (10 meters) of a guinea pig, hamster, or mouse you keep in a cage.
Protect Cucumber Plants with Odor Deterrents
Rabbits flee when they encounter the scent of predators.
More specifically, they avoid the scent of the urine of predators.
Allowing your dog to urinate near, not on, your cucumber plants will help keep rabbits away. You can also buy dried mountain lion urine and sprinkle it near your cucumber plants.
This product may also drive people away. You do not want to get it on your plants.
Fertilizing your cucumber plants with blood meal mixed into the soil discourages traffic from rabbits and deer.
It will not affect the taste of your cucumbers unless you get it directly on the cucumber you intend to eat.
Install Rabbit-Proof Fences
Fences are a good rabbit deterrent. There are two main kinds.
If you have ever lived on a farm, you are probably familiar with electric fences.
To use an electric fence to encourage rabbits to stay out of your vegetable patch, you will need two electrified wires resting on insulators attached to fence posts.
One shock wire should be about three inches (8 cm) above the ground, and the other about a foot (25 cm) above the ground.
You need to keep plants and metallic objects off the wires. They can short them out.
Never plug-in an electric fence into a home power outlet. Always use a safer, less shocking solar generator to electrify your fence.
Chicken wire fences keep rabbits out of vegetable gardens. They need to be about three feet (a meter) tall, with a rabbit-proof gate.
If you forget to close the gate, the rabbit can hop right in.
Don’t place the chicken wire fence so close to your cucumbers that they grow up it. Cucumber leaves and cucumbers sticking out of the fence defeat its purpose.
Wild rabbits will avoid gardens where there is a lot of conversation. They will avoid backyard gardens when children are playing nearby.
Scheduling garden activities for early morning or late afternoon keeps the greatest number of rabbits away.
Also read: What Noises Do Rabbits Hate?
Use a Guard Dog or a Guard Cat
Allowing a dog or cat access to your garden discourages rabbit traffic. Your dog or cat does not have to stay in the garden at night.
Rabbits will not usually raid garden beds at night (although deer will).
Also read: Do Rabbits Eat Tomato Plants?
Recognizing Rabbit Activity
If you’re worried about rabbits munching on your cucumber plants, it’s essential to know how to identify the signs of rabbit activity in your garden.
Recognizing these signs can help you take the necessary preventive measures to protect your plants.
One clear sign of rabbit presence is bite marks on your cucumber plants. Rabbits have a keen appetite for cucumbers, and they will eat the leaves and blossoms of your plants.
You can distinguish rabbit bite marks from those of other animals by their clean, 45-degree cuts on young stems up to approximately 3 feet high, as they cannot reach beyond that.
Another way to identify rabbit activity in your garden is by spotting their droppings.
Rabbit droppings are small, round, and dark-colored pellets that are often scattered around the plants they have been feeding on.
If you find these pellets near your cucumber plants, it could be an indication of rabbits visiting your garden for a snack.
Noise can also be a clue of rabbits in your garden, especially during dawn and dusk, which are their most active periods.
While rabbits are generally quiet animals, you might hear some rustling in the bushes or grass as they move around and munch on your plants.
Keep an eye on your garden regularly to observe any changes or potential signs of rabbit activity.
Being proactive and vigilant will help you protect your cucumber plants from these adorable but destructive creatures.
Also read: Can Rabbits Eat Money Plant?
Frequently Asked Questions About Rabbits, Cucumbers, and Cucumber Plants
Q. Do rabbits ever eat cucumbers, not just cucumber plants?
A. Rabbits will eat cucumbers of all sizes, although they may reject large, old, yellow, bitter cucumbers that you would not eat, either.
Q. Can I feed my rabbit cucumber peels?
A. You can give your rabbit the peeling off one cucumber a day, as long as it was not waxed, to make it look greener for the produce display.
You can also wash off the wax with hot water before peeling the cucumber.
Q. Do rabbits like cucumbers?
A. Rabbits like cucumbers unless the cucumbers are old and bitter. Rabbits do not like bitter foods.
Q. Can I share my cucumber and tomato salad with my rabbit?
A. Rabbits should not consume tomato seeds. A piece of tomato up to about the size of your thumbnail once a day is OK for your rabbit.
Q. Can rabbits eat cucumbers every day?
A. Cucumbers should not be the only vegetable that you feed your rabbit. Up to 1 ounce (about 30 grams) of cucumber and cucumber peelings is OK, but most of your rabbit’s diet should be hay, and most of its vegetables should be dark leafy greens.
Q. Will Lionhead rabbits eat cucumbers?
A. Lionhead rabbits will eat cucumbers, but they need to have them sliced first.
Q. Are there any risks of feeding cucumbers to rabbits?
A. Giving your rabbit the peelings off cucumbers that the store waxed to look dark and shiny can give it diarrhea.
The peelings off cucumbers you grow yourself are a tasty addition to your rabbit’s daily diet, as long as you use them as a supplement two or three days a week.
Your rabbit’s main food should always be hay.
Q. What precautions should I take when feeding cucumbers to my rabbit?
A. Wash any cucumber you feed your rabbit first. Don’t give your rabbit cucumbers you have sprayed with pesticide.
Dead cucumber vines are not “hay.” Compost them instead of giving them to your rabbit.
Q. How often should I feed cucumbers to my rabbits?
A. It is OK for your rabbit to eat a few slices of cucumber every day, as long as it is just a few slices. Rabbits need a variety of plant foods in addition to hay for optimal nutrition.
Cucumbers are not a good source of fiber or beta-carotene, and they are not a good substitute for the leafy green vegetables you add to your rabbit’s diet.
Q, Are there any benefits of feeding cucumbers to rabbits?
A. Cucumbers are a good source of hydration. Whole cucumbers can be a fun food for your rabbit, but one or two whole cucumbers a week is enough.
Q. Is eating cucumber plants ever harmful for rabbits? What about eating cucumbers, not the plants?
A. Eating plants treated with pesticides is harmful to rabbits. If you believe your rabbit has eaten a plant treated with a pesticide, you should start a chat on the Animal Poison Control Hotline online for further advice.
Rabbits could develop diarrhea if they eat just cucumbers due to the large amount of water in cucumbers. This is not a problem if they eat seedlings, vines, or flowers.
Q. Do rabbits eat pickles?
A. Never give a rabbit pickles. They won’t like the taste. Their digestive tracts cannot process the vinegar or salt of the herbs and flavorings used to make the pickles.
Chances are that your rabbit will turn up its nose and reject pickles.
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