For the first time I have a wild rabbit in my garden. Any ideas on how to deal with him?
He has already eaten my sweet peas and I have other things to plant out!
You have my full commiserations, I too saw our first ever rabbit about 6 wks ago, He was dispatched and left for the red kites to lunch on. I have since seen one or two. It has had an affect on my gardening. I find myself saying why should I bother if I'm only feeding the rabbits. But I have pressed on. Tbey haven't found the herbasceous borders yet, which are 95% full of rabbit menu. It was suggested I wire off the area with rabbit proof fencing but that would prove too expensive. So I have just dusted down the shotgun and am ever alert. Can't be of any more help other than say I really feel sorry for you.
Poor Bunnies- I have heard applying ammonia around the border scares them off...as does dog pee. I saw one a couple of years ago, but since I have 2 little terriers who pee fiercely all over my yard, as do the neighbours on either side ( one has 2 Airedales, the other a Scotch terrier) Try getting a little rescue dog. They are so serious about thier jobs.
Too bad they are such prolific breeders. They are so cute.
I wish I could agree with you ref the dog pee! If that were the case, the three baby rabbits I could see this afternoon might have chosen to stay in the field on the other side of the garden fence - despite the various "efforts" of my two whippets to keep them away. As a previous poster has said, there seems to be nothing you can do to keep them out apart from wire netting fixed both above and below ground all round the garden boundaries. This, for me, is not an option not only because of the costs involved but also the various levels twixt garden and field area beyond.
Over the years I have had to learn to live with the problems which result from living on the edge of rabbit-ridden fields. The only rabbit-proof part of my garden is a small raised bed which does have chicken wire to protect it - the rest of it has bolt holes & rabbit latrines in the lawned areas, as well as several burrows in the shrubbery areas. I have found that even those plants which are suposed not to be favourite rabbit food will in fact be eaten - they seem to find any newly-planted stuff almost irresistible. They will even stand on their hind legs to nibble away at stuff in fairly tall terracotta pots. Some chaps come ferretting from September to March - and this helps quite a bit. During the last foot & mouth outbreak they weren't allowed access on to the land - and when they did start ferretting again they caught 406 rabbits, over six visits, within 200 yards of my house.
Until two years ago I had semi-feral cats which certainly kept the front garden totally rabbit-free. I never ever saw the cats in the fenced part of the garden where the dogs are free to run round - whippets seem to be "hard-wired" to chase cats and small furry things, so they had to be kept separate from the moggies' area. Since the last of the cats died, the rabbits have taken up residence in the front garden too.
So, if you don't want to resort to having to shoot the rabbits and don't want to have a dog - which wouldn't be free to roam in the way that cats can - I suggest a semi-feral cat or two might be one solution to the problem for you. If anyone else can come up with an utterly foolproof rabbit deterrent, I'd simply love to know what that is!
I've just watched six baby rabbits killed by a crow. Not pretty but fairly fast and I'm not too romantic about rabbits. They are a non-native destructive species.
I have a local contact with a rifle who comes and shoots rabbits for me periodically and feeds them to his dogs.
I don't have any good suggestions apart from a really good fence. I do have some plants that are not eaten by rabbits, generally grey-leaved or pungent plants, but, as the previous poster mentioned, rabbits will eat almost anything if curious or hungry enough.
Thanks every body. It looks as if I'll just have to live with them!
Seven baby rabbits in the garden this morning............. and they say that for every one you can actually see, there's another three out there too.
Try a good mulch of farmyard manure around your favourite plants - rabbits hate putting their paws on it and it seems to be a deterrent.