Rabbit Social Hierarchy

Most of us see rabbits to be the cute little and harmless animals usually in zoos and other similar structures. But have we ever stopped for a moment to think that like humans, wolves and other beings, rabbits too could have a hierarchy system within a set group or family? Well, rabbits too follow a social hierarchy which is based on the skills possessed by each group member. This is more so the case among wild rabbits that live in groups and not as far as your house rabbit is concerned.  Let’s look at the social hierarchy followed by rabbits in detail.

rabbit social hierarchyHer Royal Highness

Just like humans, some rabbits are ‘born leaders’.  The confidence, the size and the psychological advantage might help one of the rabbit become the royal highness or leader of the group.  The queen rabbit expects the best of everything and has the maximum freedom in the group.  There is only one queen in a group and she is the mightiest of them all. Her royal highness usually gets the first turn to eat and also the maximum amounts.

The Palace Members

The queen is obviously the leader of the group but besides her, there are others who too are mighty and strong. The palace members too are chosen or selected on the basis of their confidence and skills.  There may be a subordinate male rabbit for the female queen who falls next in line as far as the social hierarchy among rabbits is concerned. Besides the male subordinate, there are other members too who hold high positions in the social ladders of the rabbits.

  • Male subordinate-the male subordinate often keeps guard while the queen rabbit sleeps and also chases off other rabbits if the queen is threatened in any way.

Others

In a warren, which is the name given to a group of rabbits, besides the queen and her male subordinate, there are others who simply follow and do not have any major importance in the group. They cannot threaten the queen and are chased off by the male subordinate if they try to harm her royal highness in any way. They get the last chance at the food and may get the minimum to eat as compared to their superiors in the social ladder of the rabbit hierarchy. These rabbits often start fighting, snatching over food and may be neutered by the queen or her male subordinate.