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20 messages
18/05/2014 at 21:05

Hi All

So a pheasant, squirrels, hedgehogs and occasionally foxes come to our garden and at night I can hear an owl. 

However, we now have rabbits... grr!! 

I have cloche'd all my veg or put chicken wire around it but the rabbit droppings and 3 young children don't mix. 

Is there a way to deter them? Or a way to attract something that will eat them  

Thanks!

18/05/2014 at 21:11

Depending on the size of your garden, rabbit proofing the perimeter would probably be the best way to go..............but you need to sink the fencing 18" or so to make it effective

There are Falconry groups who may well be happy to use your garden to train their birds but I suppose you would be very lucky to find one near you.

Other posters will have some ideas/advice so don't despair just yet 

18/05/2014 at 21:25

Thank you... unfortunately I love the other wildlife and don't mind it they come 'occasionally' but the whole family is here now including tiny ones ! ARGH!

The garden is 150ft+ so I fear that it would be cheaper to move house hahah! 

Little blighters.... I am considering buying a Falcon to get them! Grr!! 

18/05/2014 at 21:31

A good rabbit proof fence would be your first line of defence, one were the chicken wire is buried under ground and then turned outward to stop them burrowing under.

A terrier would be another good choice if you like dogs. You don't mention mice, now they don't like onions and garlic or the smell of FBB so surrounding your plot with either or would in part deter mice although you can't plant onions/garlic each year in the same spot. 

Fox's like the smell of FBB and go after rabbits. A sprinkling of FBB would be another good choice, attract a fox to kill the rabbits, unless it's an urban fox which has adapted to eat stuff from bins most will leave your veg alone, I maybe wrong on this latter point though?    

Also try planting some stuff which rabbits don't eat, it's my understanding they leave fruit bushes alone and rubarb.

Apart from the fence, I'm trying out some of the above stuff this year on a new allotment for the first time so can't speak from experience. The information was gained from reading books and stuff on the internet, someone else maybe able to offer better advise...   

18/05/2014 at 21:48

Chicken wire bought in small lengths is expensive but bought in 50m lengths it's alot cheaper. I bought 50m x 1m with 25mm holes for about £40 on line with free P & P in a sale. Posts purchased from a wood merchants are a fraction of the cost of those in GC's.  I needed 20, the whole fence around the allotment cost less than £80.

When you consider the fence will be there for a good number of years, it's a good investment in unspoiled veg.

The rabbits on our allotments are so braizen they can be seen running around on the track up the centre of the plots some mornings.  

18/05/2014 at 21:54

I'm with Zoomer44 on the fencing.  We also had rabbit problems but got our whole garden fenced.  It cost us about £250 cos we had to get someone into do it because our boundary was quite awkward to get to.  We now wave to the rabbits who sit longingly on the OTHER side of our fence

18/05/2014 at 22:04

Nicky, you say your garden is 150ft, but how big is your veg patch? Unless you have the whole garden as a veg patch, then just fence the veg patch.

18/05/2014 at 22:13

Get a couple of ferrets as pets and let them loose in the garden at night QED!

18/05/2014 at 22:38

But Dave, rabbits eat plants and flowers too!

19/05/2014 at 18:06

If you live in the country then rabbits are something you live with like all the other wildlife. Rabbit droppings aren't harmful to children, they will only eat them once.

Rabbits have been around since roman times, so fence the veg patch and plant rabbit proof plants. Oh and get a terrier and a cat.

19/05/2014 at 18:24
I don't quite get the rabbit droppings/children comment?? I always had a pet rabbit as a child and my boys did too, the only reason we don't have a rabbit now is that the last one got 'taken' my a fox so I wouldn't get another. I never ate rabbit droppings and neither did my children, I suppose it's just what you teach them?

I can understand you not wanting the rest of your garden ruined as I would also be gutted, but like Dave says it's a chance you take if you live in the countryside. The best solution I would say is to get a dog - hound or terrier
19/05/2014 at 18:41

Find someone with a pair of pet rabbits that uses a litter tray.. Take the tray contents spread around perimeter.

19/05/2014 at 18:45

I don't think Dave was advocating a diet of Rabbit droppings .....just that once tried, even the greediest child isn't going to come back for more

The best solution is to fence..........you only get a dog if you want a dog.....not to solve a gardening problem.

19/05/2014 at 18:52
I will tell you about my experience with rabbits, and then you can draw your own conclusions. The nearest the house part of our garden is a crew yard of 2ft depth of fused iron ore. When we moved here I thought we could dig some beds into the gravel.... but obviously not. So I built raised beds and a pond out of leftover stone and brick..... Between the iron ore and the paddock was a broken down fence. I filled the raised beds with soil and plants, only to have rabbits come in and eat all my flowers.

The next year, we built a picket fence, and put netting behind it to stop the rabbits coming in, and they didn't come in, even though we got lazy and didn't close the gates.

The year after that, in the area beyond the picket fence, we levelled and put in a pitch for football etc. And still the rabbits didn't come.

The gates are always open now, and no rabbit has ever come in.

Throughout the whole time, Lincolnshire continues to be over-run by rabbits.

So my conclusions are....

That just because you get rabbits one year, you won't necessarily get them the next.

That when we enclosed the bit of the garden with the raised beds, even though we left the gates open out of laziness, the rabbits were aware that there was only one escape route and didn't want to take their chances.

That when we put a whole area of short cut grass between the wild mayhem of the overgrown paddock (where they hang out) and the garden, the rabbits did not want to travel over it for fear of being exposed.

The only other factor which may have had an effect is that next door got cats, so maybe rabbits don't like them?
19/05/2014 at 19:39
Of course my dog comment was slightly tongue in cheek and as Philippa says only get a dog if you want one and have done your research etc. As an owner of two rescue Beagles I wouldn't advocate getting a dog just as a culling device
19/05/2014 at 21:02

I agree with you Busy Bee2, in our first year of serious gardening with new hard landscaping and lots of planting we had a lot of trouble with rabbits, they even chewed the bark off our young trees, now two years on we have no real rabbit problems, we do have rabbits under our shed, and there are rabbits all around, but they do not bother us, we do take preventative measures like wire round young shrubs to stop rabbits getting to them until they are established, we even bought a battery operated sensor in the shape of a owl that hoots and it's red eyes flash when it's set off, but just remember plants move in the breeze, our first night couldn't sleep for the thing hooting, had to get up in the wee small hours out into the garden and switch it off... It is confusing to me why we don't have rabbit issues, the only reason i can think off is that there is easier food to be had in surrounding gardens...

19/05/2014 at 21:28

Thank you phillipa, I wasn't advocating a new fad diet for children, my boys chewed all sorts of things on the way up, now I can't stop them clearing the fridge as soon as it's half full. Maybe a chocolate coated rabbit dropping or two would discourage them?

19/05/2014 at 21:35

Dave...

20/05/2014 at 08:19

My comment re the children was actually aimed at the OP, of course you wouldn't feed your children rabbit droppings LOL 

20/05/2014 at 09:20

Everybody wants to kill the rabbits  Its so sad. And the rats.  Fencing to keep them out is the best idea ( in my opinion )

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