Rabbits in the Garden: What Do I Do?

| 6/5/2010 10:27:32 AM

A photo of Shannon Saia"Now, my dears," said old Mrs. Rabbit one morning, "you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don't go into Mr. McGregor's garden: your father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor." – Beatrix Potter

Back in the very beginning of April, I went out to check on the state of things in the garden, and I was dismayed to find that something had not only been chomping on the leaves of my strawberry plants, but had also gone fussing through my garlic. It looked as if whatever it was had managed to eat half a dozen of the garlic plants. It had left behind a little cave of straw and a bunch of muddy footprints. My guess was I had rabbits in the garden, because we have them in the yard every year, usually in a burrow under one of our sheds. I poked around the garden fence some and I found the spot where they must have come in, where there was about a two-inch gap between the bottom of the rabbit guard wire and the ground. I plugged it up and went around to inspect the fence perimeter and it all seemed okay. There was no further damage the next night, so I assumed that the buffet was now closed.

Um ... wrong.

Some days later, I was moving some straw around in the garden and I unearthed a rabbit's nest. There were 4 babies and no sign of Mom. I suspect that Mom may not have been around for a few days, since I had plugged up the hole in the fence. I took another walk around the perimeter of the rabbit guard and I didn't see any obvious entrance point, and nothing else had been eaten.

Using a plastic garden shovel and a huge old Tupperware container, I managed to negotiate these rabbit babies out of the garden, and, without touching them, I put them on a bed of straw at the edge of the shed underneath of which is the known rabbit borough. I didn’t want to kill them; but to be honest, I pretty much knew that in disturbing and moving them I was probably sealing their fate. It was kind of a passive aggression. It left open for them a small window of hope. Maybe they would reconnect with their mother. Maybe they would manage to make it on their own.

Or maybe not.

3/18/2015 10:03:15 PM

I just came across your blog and appreciate your inspirational initiative. Really, an innovative idea thanks for sharing! Great job. I work with California Fence Company and I do agree with all of the concepts you have introduced for your post. They are influential and will absolutely work. It is truly said that Electric gates give you the convenience of leaving your home easily without sacrificing security. Like your garage door, automated gates will let you enter and leave the property without having to unlatch the gate. For more details, visit my website—http://www.californiafenceco.com/products.html

Cindy Murphy
6/10/2010 7:15:56 AM

Hey, Shannon - a coincidence, but just yesterday a customer told me what he claims is his very effective remedy for keeping rabbits out of the garden, (there is an "eeeww" factor here, so be prepared). Once a week, he...uhm...(are you ready)...urines in a pump sprayer, dilutes it with water, and sprays the perimeter of his garden. Before you discount this as just completely gross, lemme finish - because you can get the same effect in a less personal way, (and I don't mean commercially sold "predator urines", because my personal feeling is that it is inhumane for these companies to keep contained wild animals just for the purpose of harvesting their urine). I've been recommending cat litter...used cat litter...as an extremely effective way to keep groundhogs out of a garden. And if you can find their burrow, dumping the cat litter down the hole, will cause them to vacate immediately. A friend of mine tried this method, and found it worked just as well on rabbits. It makes sense; a rabbit views the cat as a predator, and will stay out of a freshly marked predator's territory.

S.M.R. Saia
6/9/2010 11:56:23 AM

Pam, Hair, huh? Interesting. I've been thinking about going short, ha ha! I'll have to give that some thought. Funny about the cookbook!

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters