Spongegirl
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Rabbits are freakin' everywhere!

I have never seen so many rabbits. 3 holes have already been chewed through my plastic fence thing. Do you guys think that if I put my German Shepherds crate in the garden with her in it at night, of course, that the rabbits would still try and get in?
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cynthia_h
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German Shepherd, yes; in a crate, no. Rabbits aren't the brightest animal, but they know the difference between a dog that can chase them and a dog that can't.

Have you put in a fence with its "toes" facing outwards so the rabbits can't tunnel under it? Dig down and bend the bottom 12 or so inches outwards. Somewhere here in the forum, there's a sketch of what the fence would look like.

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rainbowgardener
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But it sounds like they are chewing through it, not tunneling under. Might need something heavier duty than the plastic fencing. Perhaps chicken wire? Perhaps deer netting--very thin, but very tough, and the very fine strands probably are kind of cutting to chew on.
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gumbo2176
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I know this will probably rub some folks in here the wrong way, but I have no qualms with a nice pot of rabbit stew. I'm would not be opposed to taking such action if I had this problem.

With the time and effort I put into my garden, I'm not going to let critters nibble away on my small patch of lettuce when they have a world full of grass to eat.

Spongegirl
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LOL!

It definately does NOT rub me the wrong way. However, rabbit stew, yuck. Ha! I had asked yesterday if beebee guns were made to shoot out many beebees at once because I would not be able to hit them with one pellet at a time for sure. I don't give a crap about being humane to these rabbits. When they are eaten by predators, we don't think that is inhumane, we call it the circle of life; but you are right, us killing them does rub some the wrong way. My lettuce and peas are already sprouting and it is just gonna take one more rabbit getting in to find the seedlings poking thru the straw. I just hope from last night to today, that it isnt too late. I'm about to find out.

And yes, they are chewing thru the plastic not digging. There are about 4 new holes. I was just being cheap last year. I will just have to open my billfold and do the fence right.

Thanks for all the input everyone. It's gonna be a great day.
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applestar
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If rabbits are your only problem, they won't jump over anything higher than about knee high. Easy to step over. but you do need them to have smaller holes closer to the ground.

I use 24"h 1" hex chicken wire fences and 28 or 30" I forget which rabbit fences which has narrow gaps at the bottom and wider openings towards the top -- ingenious because it prevents the babies and youngsters from getting through the openings, yet allow you to reach through the bigger upper openings to tend or harvest your garden.

Rabbit fences are sturdy enough to support less vigorous short vining plants like peas but you do have to keep the vine stems and pea pods INSIDE the fence.

Canadian Farmer Guy
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A BB gun is fairly ineffective against rabbits.

What you need is a .22 rifle or a shotgun.
If you have any friends or family who are skilled with these,
ask them to help you out.

Maybe offer them some veggies in return, ammunition is expensive.

CFG

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applestar
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It's intellectually interesting that in every thread regarding 4-footed garden marauders, someone inevitably mentions shooting them and/or eating them.

I'm guessing that if you lived in an area where animals are considered part of the garden bounty, this would be an OBVIOUS answer to a rhetorical question that does not need to be said.

If you live in an area where such a measure is considered extreme or illegal, THAT'S when most people come to this forum to ask for advice and clever ideas.

Spongegirl
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please pardon this redneck but...

I never knew it was illegal to kill wildlife in some areas; thanks! Im in Kentucky and in the country and I regard a rabbit as the same as an opossum or a mouse. They are invasive and out of control at this moment in time. I love wildlife! But not when they comes at the expense of my time, effort, and money! I love all nature but I love a balance of nature more. And right now, the balance of rabbits is off. I love this forum!
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rainbowgardener
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applestar wrote:It's intellectually interesting that in every thread regarding 4-footed garden marauders, someone inevitably mentions shooting them and/or eating them.

.
Yeah, when I first responded above, I thought about predicting that someone would come along and suggest shotguns, because I've noticed that too. The mention of rabbits (more I think than deer or any other creature) seems to automatically engender thoughts of shotguns. But I didn't want to be the first to mention them.

I agree, actually, that the balance of nature is off. We have lost all the top predators. Not only the coyotes, wolves, foxes, bobcats are gone from the cities/suburbs, but even those hawks and owls mentioned are pretty few and far between here. Without predation, some of these herbivores do become a plague. Around me rabbits aren't so much a problem (in my experience having outdoor cats or dogs pretty well takes care of them), but deer are. A gardener friend of mind who lives just a few miles farther out from downtown, currently has a herd of 9 of them visiting his property regularly!

It seems like as technologically advanced as we are, we could find some humane way to deal with this. With insects we can trap a bunch of the males and irradiate them to sterilize them and release them. That reduces the numbers. Not sure what the rabbit/deer equivalent would be.... put out a salt lick with birth control in it?
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Canadian Farmer Guy
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rainbowgardener wrote:The mention of rabbits (more I think than deer or any other creature)
seems to automatically engender thoughts of shotguns.
First of all, a shotgun is the most effective, and therefore most humane, gun to shoot a rabbit with.
Rifles work if the rabbit is standing still, but if it isn't, you don't have a chance.

Secondly, a shotgun is 100x more humane than the previously mentioned BB gun.
A BB gun would only hurt a rabbit, yet I didn't see anyone complain about BB guns.

I don't have anything against wildlife, I live out in the beautiful Canadian countryside, wildlife everywhere.

But when wildlife threatens to destroy my property,
the time has come to retaliate.
And I will do so in a humane, but effective manner.

If any Australians are reading this,
this would be a good time to bring up some of your country's history regarding rabbits.

CFG

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CFG, you made a very good point about shotguns versus BBs versus a rifle. Thanks for clearing that up, I appreciate it. ;)

Shooting rabbits with a shotgun may not be an option for those looking for a permanent solution because rabbits breed, making them a rock that has to be freshly rolled up the hill every morning. Shooting them is definitely not an answer for those in communities where laws restrict the use of firearms in a public space. Always check with your local law enforcement before attempting something like this so that you do not break your local laws.

A possible natural solution
As far as a solution that works with nature and requires less effort on a homeowner's part in Kentucky, have you considered installing a barn owl nest? Barn owls are nocturnal predators that eat baby rabbits and other small rodents. You may want to contact the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife to see if this is a viable solution where you live. The links I have posted below contain contact information.

Below is some information I found and since it's from a U.S. government site and thus free of copyright restrictions, I have quoted extensively from it. Here is some information I found:

[url=https://fw.ky.gov/navigation.aspx?cid=631&NavPath=C100C366]The Disappearing Barn Owl
Providing nests can help restore their numbers
[/url]
Barn owls, with their distinctive heart-shaped faces and dark eyes, were plentiful across Kentucky as late as the 1960s. However, biologists are concerned about current low barn owl numbers as the nesting sites and hunting grounds of these birds have disappeared.

...Barn owls have gradually lost their nesting and foraging habitat as landowners cut down the old trees damaged by storms and converted pastures, hayfields and grasslands to row crops. Pesticides and competition with other owl species also may have contributed to their decline.

These birds do not construct nests. They prefer to lay their eggs on a flat surface well above ground level, such as a shelf. They lay five to seven white, often nest-stained eggs, which the female incubates for 30-34 days. Juvenile owls are ready to leave the nest about 8-10 weeks after hatching.

The willingness of barn owls to use man-made structures means artificial nest boxes put into areas with the right habitat can boost the numbers of these birds. Employees of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife are already placing nest boxes inside existing buildings on wildlife management areas with suitable barn owl habitat. The department also encourages landowners that have suitable habitat and buildings to take advantage of the opportunity to provide nest sites on their property.
If you follow the link below it will show you how to construct an artificial nest to encourage barn owls on your property.

[url=https://fw.ky.gov/pdf/barnowlboxes2010.pdf]Barn Owl Nest Box Assembly and Installation[/url] (PDF)
The barn owl is a nocturnal species which occurs in open habitats where it preys on rodents and other small mammals. Although they are one of the most widely distributed birds in the world (found on all continents except for Antarctica), they are listed as a species of greatest conservation need in Kentucky’s State Wildlife Action Plan, due to local decline. Nest site availability is a major limiting factor for barn owl populations and providing nest boxes to barn owls has been found to successfully increase populations.

Spongegirl
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thanks for the link...

I will look at that. We actually had a nest in my small plastic hot box house that had the plastic front left open all year. It was a really long nest on one of the shelves and I noticed several eggs but didnt know what bird they belonged until my daughter came in and said there was a baby owl sitting on the shelf.
I didnt know that a bebe gun would not kill the rabbits and I am not about to use any other kind of gun. I'll just get a couple of cats from the shelter to help out. Overnight there was another hole chewed but no damage to the sprouts so far. I'd get some chicken fence and put it up today but it is raining and it isnt gonna stop for a couple of days. I think I'll just have to work in the rain because the peas are getting taller by the day.
Have patience, have patience
Don't be in such a hurry
When you get impatient, you'll always start to worry
Remember, remember, that God has patience too, so think of all the times when others have to wait for you.

tomc
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Well, if shooting bugs bunny is out; howsabout I'll trade you my moles for your rabbits?

Pound for pound even swap...
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tomf
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tomc wrote:Well, if shooting bugs bunny is out; howsabout I'll trade you my moles for your rabbits?

Pound for pound even swap...
:lol:

I put a metal mesh rabbit fence along the bottom of the plastic deer fence and it works for them; the moles still get through some. :?

Spongegirl
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exactly...

that is exactly what i did and so far so good. It looks reallly bad though. I am going to try and hide so of the ugly with green beans, and climbing flower vines.
Have patience, have patience
Don't be in such a hurry
When you get impatient, you'll always start to worry
Remember, remember, that God has patience too, so think of all the times when others have to wait for you.

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