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BrianSkilton
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How to prevent Black Birds and Rabbits in your Garden?

I have seen several hundred black birds fly through my area and roost during the night....there are soo many of them, is there going to be a problem with them eating my plants. Also I have seen at least 5 rabbits hopping about within a 2 week period, how do you prevent them from eating your veg. Thanks.
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GardenLisa
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Okay, my grandpa told me how to kill rabbits.
First you put flat rocks all around your garden.
Then you put pepper on the rocks.
The rabbits smell the pepper, sneeze and...
Well, any members of PETA on here would find the rest of it offensive.

Yes, it is a joke!

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rainbowgardener
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deer netting!

The answer to both those questions is deer netting. I garden a lot in raised beds. So I put stakes all around the edge of each bed individually and wrap it in deer netting (it looks a little like small gauge chicken wire, except it's nylon net not wire, very light and flexible; it's also black so it doesn't show up in your garden too much). I just anchor it at the bottom with garden staples, but I don't have rabbits. For rabbits, you probably need to dig it in at the bottom, down a few inches. Then pull it together over the top and use twist-ties to make a ceiling over the top. Nothing gets in and your veggies are protected! (Doesn't work against insects, just critters).

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Gary350
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I have a lot of black birds that come to my back yard. Sometimes there are so many I can not count them, several 100 birds. The black birds feed in the yard and never get in my garden. I have a few rabbits, possums, skunks and turtles. The rabbits and turtles eat the tomatoes I sometimes find 1/2 of a tomato hanging on the vine. They only eat what is hanging down low. I stake my tomatoes so not many get eaten. It is not a big deal to me.

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applestar
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I use 2 feet high wire fencing around all my garden beds. They're short enough to reach over and rabbits won't jump over them. Until last year, I used 1"x2" opening but found out that the baby bunnies can hop through and baby groundHOGS can squeeze through. :roll: I'm using 1"x1" and 1" hex chickenwire this year. :wink: They say you should bury the bottom 4~6 inches, but I haven't done this. I'll add an extension if I have to. Adult groundHOGs WILL climb over 2' fence though. I'm contemplating electric hot wire. Haven't decided yet because I usually step over these fences even though I've built little gates into the garden paths.... :eek: :oops:

Blackbirds -- we get migrating flocks coming around too. So far, they haven't bothered my garden. Last year, I covered corn and sunflowers with tunnel covers until they outgrew them since I read that blackbirds peck out the seeds -- helped to keep the rabbits out too (they LOVE sunflower seedlings :evil: ) In the summer, they usually bring their fledglings and congregate around the bird feeder and take over the bird bath shooing off all the PRETTY birds. :x

One thing -- the deer fencing -- I've tried using that to keep out the groundHOGs -- they rip holes in them, then rabbits and birds (catbirds going after blueberries) get in and can't figure out how to get out! One year, I used berry netting (thinner plastic strands than deer fencing) and a young bunny got entangled in it -- screaming it's head off. Was not a pretty sight.

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rainbowgardener
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deer netting!

You must have a pretty ferocious ground hog! My ground hog is the main reason I fence everything (though I also have raccoons, squirrels, possums). The deer netting works fine against mine... It's been very entertaining at times watching him try and try to get at the tomatoes behind it!

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rootsy
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rabbit is a fine meal with a side of mixed vegetables...

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My groundhog was the reason I own a Havaheart trap...

Now I have no groundhog... :clap:

HG
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BrianSkilton
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I wonder if I could kill one with a pellet gun, maybe cook him up for dinner...lol It would be kind of hard to kill the little creatures, but they seem to get into my garden...thanks guys for all the advice, I may put a couple stakes in the ground and chicken wire around the stakes. I may have to set up some dead falls, for the rabbits, maybe they will go for the bait. Does rabbit really taste like chicken lol just kidding?

Here is a picture of one of the rabbits I have seen recently, I had a zoom lens so I got real close. The little devil ran away after I took the picture.

[img]https://www.phantom360.com/images/rabbit.jpg[/img]
Why buy produce when you can grow it?
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rainbowgardener
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groundhogs, etc

My garden is "certified backyard wildlife habitat," certified by the National Wildlife Foundation. (Yours can be too, get an application from them, tell them what you are doing re providing food, water, shelter/cover, etc for the critters and they will send you a little certificate :) ). Therefore, it doesn't seem consistent for me to try to get rid of the wildlife! :? So I just try to protect the stuff I want to eat, and make offerings to the groundhog by his hole farther down my hillside. The raccoons come to our backdoor and eat what ever cat crunchies the stray cats leave behind, the squirrels clean up what the birds drop on the ground (because we finally found squirrel proof feeders that work) and everyone is fed and happy!

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rootsy
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I have no tolerance for nuisance animals. Especially those that rob me of income...

BTW, in the state of Michigan, relocating a live trapped animal, without being a certified pest control company, is illegal. Therefore you either let it go where you caught it... or dispatch it if it has been causing damage.

26 raccoons met their maker last year... in the process they devoured 120 DOZEN ears of sweet corn... roughly $480 in gross sales...

Woodchuck are the scourge of the farmer... undermining foundations, digging holes in fields... Hitting a woodchuck hole while cutting hay or cultivating beans and corn is a real exciting experience...

For the bunnies... if you get some chicken wire and cut a piece long enough to make into a ring and tie ti together with some wire you can place it over your non vining plants and it'll keep em away until the plant is large enough to survive any nibbling... Have to do this to most of my pepper and tomato plants due to a few rabbit but mostly due to chicken intrusion... But since they lay my breakfast I let it slide and keep em out as best I can.

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smokensqueal
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The kids and wife begged for a dog for about 2 year. I finally got one last fall. And he finally earned his keep. Got one young rabbit and found a nest of baby rabbits. All gone now. :twisted:

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rainbowgardener
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"nuisance animals"

Rootsy -- I'm not a farmer, trying to earn income off my produce, just a small scale hobby gardener. So our situations are very different. But I do think some of the people in my situation need to develop a little more tolerance for wildlife... it's all part of the ecosystem we are trying to nurture. You can protect your hard won produce without killing any animals. The eliminating animals is probably an on-going struggle anyway, because Nature abhors a vaccuum... if there's an empty habitat niche, it will get filled. If you get an agreement going, you can at least reach a steady state. I was concerned when my partner started feeding the stray cats in the neighborhood, picturing hundreds of them showing up. But we've been feeding the same three for years now and they pretty well defend "their" territory against any new ones showing up.

THespos
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Someone once told me that the best defense against rabbits involves giving your neighbor's kid a pellet gun for his 13th birthday. But such approaches tend to get folks upset in this day and age. :wink:

Anyway, I've kept the bunnies out by putting up the 3-foot green wire fence and making sure the bottom of the fence extends a good 6 inches into the soil. YMMV.

First year of my hobby garden I didn't protect against the rabbits and they munched EVERYTHING. First thing I tried was the Hav-A-Heart spray that's also supposed to repel deer. That worked, like, not at all. I lost all of my snap peas and many of my tomato plants.

The fencing worked really well, though. I have only two complaints. First and foremost, it's that the wire fencing with small openings is reeeeeally expensive, and the metal stakes are no bargain, either. The second is that trying to erect fencing around the entire garden, while making sure it's taut between stakes and making sure that at least six inches extend into the soil is a giant pain in the butt when there's only one person to do the work.

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rootsy
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Electric fence works for chucks and coons also... Fiberglass posts, bag of plastic insulators that go on the post and string one wire 6" off the ground and another at 12"... Hook it to a fencer and keep the grass cleared beneath the bottom wire so that it doesn't ground itself...

Never have had a rabbit in a live trap... They either become dinner in the winter months or do the little round wire fence / plant... with 500 pepper plants and another 700 tomato plants that can get quite tedious... But on a smaller scale it is pretty easy and it works pretty well...

Eradication of wildlife is not what I am advocating. But there are some species that easily over populate and justifiably need controls put in place.

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GardenLisa wrote:Okay, my grandpa told me how to kill rabbits.
First you put flat rocks all around your garden.
Then you put pepper on the rocks.
The rabbits smell the pepper, sneeze and...
Well, any members of PETA on here would find the rest of it offensive.

Yes, it is a joke!
Screw that whole PETA sensitivity thing...we are at the top of the food chain....Rabbit Soup!
Semper superne nitens

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webmaster
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Just a friendly reminder that this discussion is about preventing rabbits and blackbirds from getting into the garden- not about eradicating them.
How to prevent Black Birds and Rabbits in your Garden?
Please, let's not change the topic, it's not fair to the person who started this discussion.

Thanks a bunch.
;)

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rainbowgardener
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thanks!

thank you very much webmaster. I appreciate you moderating the tone of this discussion!

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jal_ut
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Don't worry about the blackbirds.

The rabbits? You have two choices: fencing or kill the rabbits.
Live trapping and relocating is not an option in my book.

You decide.

You may want to check the laws in your area before you blast the rabbits should this be your choice. Some states protect certain species of rabbit, and there may or may not be seasons on them. I am assuming these are wild rabbits?

Of course you can always just Shoot, Shovel and Shut Up ;)

Those break barrel air guns in 22 cal are adequate for small critters. Again check your local laws as these are sometimes illegal to use in city limits.

You could just plant 20 times more stuff so there will be some for all. ;)
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

snafu918
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Rabbits are easy, just email your local falconers association (theres one in 48 states) and ask them if they have anyone that wants to hunt cottontails. I'll bet you good money they will send someone out and then just ask them to kill em all. This is an easy and organic solution and the hawk will eat the rabbit so nothing is wasted.

tiny1
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I do hunt and eat rabbits, but as the mod said, this is about prevention. I get hair from my Barber and spread it. I use a homemade rabbit repellant, and a 3 foot fence. I agree that the ecosystem needs to be preserved and rabbits are a part. The only ones I kill are the ones I want to eat.
My friend bought a device that has a motion detector and emits the sound of a predatory bird(hawk, I think) and he has done well with it, but I cannot see spending $139 for that. I have a weak BB gun that "persuades" them to leave without any permanent harm, as a last resort.
I LOVE SOMEONE WITH AUTISM.

Peterjay
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We've got a wild raspberry patch in back of the garden that produces rabbits by the dozens, but the damage they do is pretty minimal compared to what a deer or groundhog would do. They might nibble seedlings or strawberry leaves, but once the plants are good-sized the rabbits pretty much leave them alone. We also have a lot of clover beyond the garden, which may be the reason for the lack of bunny damage. When they come out to graze at dusk, they all head straight for the clover - I've never actually seen one in the garden. Another reason might be that the motion sensor/sprinkler I use to repel deer might also be scaring the rabbits, but unless I spend a night sitting out there, I guess I'll never know. We also have a bunch of grackles and red-wing blackbirds that frequent the garden, but I've never seen them eat anything but bugs. Without the blackbirds, bluebirds, flycatchers, etc., out there, we'd probably be overrun by pests.

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