Rabbit eating problem - need help

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by RMNewell, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. RMNewell

    RMNewell New Member

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    Hello all:
    I take care of 2 acres located on the inlet in North Saanich on Vancouver Island. I am renovating the garden. I have run into a large wild rabbit population. These are not the floppy ear rabbits as best I can tell. They have destroyed recent plantings of Pyracantha vines - all 30 vines over night stripped 20 inches from the bottom. I have placed the nylon mesh rabbit and deer netting over the Pyracantha in hopes it will restart where chewed off. The client will not consider a trapper (my thoughts at least to keep the population down). Before I go further, I have been researching all the rabbit resistant lists - they seem similar to the deer resistant lists. The rabbits are not touching the new Azalea Japonica bushes which is resistant on the lists, but I wonder about the Deciduous Azaleas? I would love to plant lots of those...Anyone know if the rabbits would eat low growing Acer palmatum (Japanese Maples)?? I looked into the FAQ on the site and nothing appeared.
    Any help on these pesky critters would be helpful.
    Thank you kindly,
    Reneé
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Solution is effective use of fencing: review your method and modify as needed. Trapping would last until replacements came in from adjacent land.
     
  3. RMNewell

    RMNewell New Member

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    Hello Ron:
    Thank you for your help, but the property is on the ocean (nearly 250 feet of waterfront and we know the little critters don't swim but when the tide is out - they will find their way up the bank).
    I have doubled the nylon netting and I have wire fence inbetween on the neighbour side I see the tracks coming in...I think at this point I need to know what plants they don't eat...
    Could anyone please assist on what bushes/plants are rabbit proof? or any other approach or solution -- is there any rabbit repellent worth buying?
    Thank you,
    Reneé
     
  4. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    Renée, there are lists of rabbit resistant lists of plants out and about:
    http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/profile.aspx?pid=209

    I am amazed how many plants ARE rabbit resistant! You will have to protect anything you want planted that is also a rabbit luncheon with collars and fencing. You can also plant out a decoy patch of rabbit munchables to draw them away from valued plantings.

    Cats and dogs will help you out here as well, particularly if they have the run of the gardens at night (cat/dog doors to yard).
     
  5. Tree Nut

    Tree Nut Active Member

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    Yep, get an outdoor dog and your troubles will go away. It's worked well on my 10 acres as well as the deer no longer come around.
     
  6. Lysichiton

    Lysichiton Active Member

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    The title to the thread perhaps holds the key..."rabbit eating..."
     
  7. Roger Hawkes

    Roger Hawkes Active Member

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    I tried to trap a wild rabbit in a cage with no luck a few months ago. Last week one of our cats proudly brought 5 small bunnies in over a period of 3 days.Four survived and I took them plus 2 others I found when reaching down to pull a few weeds to the animal rescue center.

    I was told they had been brought over from the Victoria area and released as had a lot of rabbits from University of Victoria.

    These are supposed to be taken to Metchosin and then transported north to a welcoming habitat with other rescued rabbits.

    Good luck.

    Roger
     
  8. mort

    mort Active Member

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    Grey rabbits were introduced to Vancouver Island in the Sooke region over 50 years ago I was told, and you can see easily they have made it their home. They do enormous damage especially in the winter to the garden. They will chew the bark off young fruit trees, munch down blueberry bushes etc. Our first defence was to beef up the fencing to metal small hole chicken wire along the base of the entire perimeter fencing. Second, we try to deter nesting within the fenced area by searching the yard for burrows and removing the covering nesting material. They have shallow burrows often at the base of shrubs, under perennials, under planks/debris/sheds or in long grassy areas. Disturbed earth and rabbit fur often indicate a nest site. A mother rabbit will sit over the nest to nurse the young and then kick the cover back on and move away from the nest to feed in the area. Good luck. Any owls around?
     
  9. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Has the rabbit finished eating the problem yet?

    (sorry, couldn't resist!)
     

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