Gardening for Wildlife forum: A New Litter of Bunnies

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Name: Deb

Charter ATP Member Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Dog Lover Region: Illinois
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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Windigo
Aug 1, 2014 6:15 AM CST
I just found I have a new litter of bunnies in my front yard. Now, personally, I have nothing against rabbits, but I hate burying them. I have 5 dogs, sighthounds, that love nothing more than a chase, which usually doesn't end up well for the rabbit. The dogs don't have access to the front yard, where the babies are, but the only way to get to the front yard is from the back yard where there is a small gap in the fence. I have chain link around the front, and wood privacy fencing in back. Last evening I saw a rabbit in the front yard again, went out to chase it away (I removed the hardware from the bottom of the chainlink in one corner and am able to pull it back to make an escape route for the rabbit). I was able to get within 5 ft before she ran. After she did, I was walking back and noticed a couple of baby bunny heads in a hole. So, she's got babies. I didn't see her this morning, but I left the opening in the fence, and I left the front gate open. I need to keep them from going in to the back yard. I know I can't move them. How long before they leave the nest? They looked very little, but they have fur, you could probably hold a couple of them in one hand, easily. Neighbors won't be thrilled that I can't mow the front lawn. I just hate that the last two years they've been coming into my yard. I hate dealing with dead rabbits. My yard is too big to check out before I let the dogs out. Once this litter is grown (or .....) what can I use to keep them out? I would have thought the smell of the dogs would be enough.

Sorry this is long. I'm just so worried about these babies, and other than buying some rabbit proof fencing to keep them out of the dog's yard, I don't know what to do.

Any advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
Deb
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Kaspar-scourge of daylily seedlings
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
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Gleni
Aug 6, 2014 4:09 AM CST
How wonderful to have them. Do you have any photos, Deb?
Name: Deb

Charter ATP Member Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Dog Lover Region: Illinois
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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Windigo
Aug 6, 2014 6:15 AM CST
No, no photos. Not a good turn out. When I got home from work last Friday, something had come in to the yard and raided the nest. It had been partially dug out, there were four dead babies laying on the grass, I found another dead baby in the nest. I was starting to fill it in after I buried the babies, and heard a squeak noise. I carefully dug out what remained of the nest, and found four more babies huddled in the dirt. They are currently doing OK, my neighbor took them and has been bottle feeding them with KMR. She just told me last night that they are starting to eat a little greens. If they are eating on their own, then hopefully we can release them within a short time. I'll try to take a few pictures next time I'm at her house. They are cute, but still so tiny. Everyone that I talk to seems to agree that it must have been a cat, though I haven't seen any cats out around my house for years. And, these were babies that had not been out of the nest, so not something fun to chase. Whatever it was, I hope it stays away, and I hope the rabbits find someone else's yard to make their nests in!
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Kaspar-scourge of daylily seedlings
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
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Gleni
Aug 6, 2014 7:10 AM CST
That was good luck to find the living ones.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
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Marilyn
Aug 8, 2014 11:44 PM CST
Poor baby (dead) bunnies. Crying Sad
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
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JuneOntario
Aug 9, 2014 3:03 PM CST
According to my DH, who used to rescue wildlife for the local Humane Society, baby bunnies are ready to live on their own when their ears start to stand up. If their ears are down, they still need parental care.
Name: Deb

Charter ATP Member Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Dog Lover Region: Illinois
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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Windigo
Aug 11, 2014 6:05 AM CST
I had heard that about their ears, too. Their ears were still down, they're up now, I told my neighbor that it's time to release them either in her yard, or take them to the wildlife rescuer and let them do it. She thinks they're still too little, so I've got to get her husband to help me convince her that it's time.
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Kaspar-scourge of daylily seedlings
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
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Gleni
Aug 11, 2014 7:04 PM CST
Any pictures Deb? We don't get to see bunnies here. They are mercilessly illegal here.
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
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Marilyn
Aug 21, 2014 7:16 PM CST
Gleni said:We don't get to see bunnies here. They are mercilessly illegal here.


Why? Confused

Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Kaspar-scourge of daylily seedlings
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
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Gleni
Aug 21, 2014 8:53 PM CST
Marilyn, see here.

https://www.daff.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/5778...
Name: Marilyn
Northern KY (Zone 6a)
Laughter is the best medicine!
Rabbit Keeper Birds Hummingbirder Salvias Xeriscape Organic Gardener
Container Gardener Cottage Gardener Bee Lover Forum moderator Butterflies Apples
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Marilyn
Aug 21, 2014 11:15 PM CST
Blinking

We have kept ours indoors 24/7 since we got them early Feb. 2002.

I'm surprised it didn't say anything about people getting them and having them indoors 24/7.
Welcome to the Agastache and Salvias Forum!

Hummingbirds are beautiful flying jewels in the garden!


Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Kaspar-scourge of daylily seedlings
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
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Gleni
Aug 22, 2014 1:06 AM CST
Yes, it would be so nice to have a bunny - so cute. But the governments and the farming lobbies are never going to forgive them for eating a substantial portion of Australia..
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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greene
Sep 10, 2014 11:07 PM CST
Windigo,
There are two types; are they feral pet bunnies or are they the wild rabbits?
Either way, they can be - or should I say, they will be a problem down the road.
I live in a small mobile home park and two of my neighbors each released just one pet bunny.
How cute. Lovey dubby

Not cute anymore. They are everywhere. Over 100 of them last count, and that's just the ones we can see.
They have eaten everyone's garden, they dig holes for feet to get caught in (and I am at that age where breaking a hip would not be amusing), and forget trying to keep dogs under control when they see 12 or 15 rabbits running in every direction.

We found one rabbit dying of a broken neck Crying in the back yard, attacked by the neighbor's yard cat who is a good hunter.

Please, as soon as you can, gather up the rabbits and take them to a proper animal shelter and do not let them run free.

http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/hb/hbtulare.htm

(I used to raise rabbits when I lived in Connecticut.)
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Deb

Charter ATP Member Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Dog Lover Region: Illinois
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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Windigo
Sep 11, 2014 6:22 AM CST
These are wild rabbits, my neighbor raised them for a few weeks then let them go. We have a huge population of wild rabbits here, I just wish they'd stay out of my yard, because my dogs will kill them if they have the opportunity, and I hate dealing with the bodies.
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Kaspar-scourge of daylily seedlings
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
Image
Gleni
Sep 11, 2014 6:27 AM CST
Greene I had never heard of tularemia. I was surprised to read that there has been two reported infections in Australia - both in Tasmania.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Sep 11, 2014 7:23 AM CST
Not just Tularemia; people can contract Leptospirosis - not a fun thought; rabbit tapeworm can be spread to the dogs. Coccidiosis, Giardiasis, Cryptosporidiosis; so many reasons to keep our dogs away from 'cute little bunnies'.

The mother rabbit only stays with the babies for about 5 minutes at a time to nurse them; then she goes out to forage. People, well-meaning people, assume that the babies have been abandoned. Mom will come back in her own time.

When we raised domestic rabbits we had to learn all this stuff. As cute as the wild rabbits may be, they are still vermin. I hate to say that, but it's true.
Dogs like to lick and eat things like rabbit poop and urine - hey, they're dogs; it's what they do. If the dogs are quick enough they can kill a rabbit thus coming into contact with the flesh, blood and intestinal stuff. Yuck. Our first responsibility is to our family and to our family dogs, not to the wild rabbits.

When we first tried to raise domestic rabbits (before we got serious and studied), we lost our entire population of rabbits to Enteritis. Very messy and not fun. We delivered one dead rabbit to the University of Connecticut to obtain a positive diagnosis. Dogs can catch this and it is often fatal. http://www.medirabbit.com/EN/GI_diseases/Generalities/Enteri...

Confused (Sheesh, I sound so serious! Crying Sorry. Feel free to ask me to edit or delete the bad stuff if it offends, okay?)
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Deb

Charter ATP Member Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Dog Lover Region: Illinois
I helped beta test the first seed swap
Image
Windigo
Sep 11, 2014 11:18 AM CST
Thanks for your input, Greene. It's important stuff to be aware of. Of all the rabbits that the dogs have gotten, I have never seen blood. No punctures, just a grab and a shake. They're sighthounds they'll chase anything that moves, once the don't move, they lose interest.
Up until last year I never had an issue with rabbits getting in to the yard, it's fenced front and back, but the broken bottom of one of the pickets on the wood fence was all it took. That's patched up now, so I'm hoping our ordeal with the rabbits is done.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Sep 11, 2014 12:48 PM CST
I am putting myself into the mind of the rabbit for a moment...

"Ah, I laugh at your fence. Do you not know that I can dig a tunnel under your fence. Ha! Wait until you see my warren; it will be beautiful with several chambers and I will have many, many children to torment your dogs."

Okay, I am back to being just plain greene again. I wish you could see the yards here that are full of holes. The rabbits have at least 3 or 5 entrances they can escape into when they are being chased. Do a Google Image search for 'rabbit warren' and you will get an idea of what you are up against. One of my neighbors commented to me the other day, "Did you see how fast they can dig?!!"
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Sep 20, 2014 3:09 PM CST
Hilarious! I agree
Name: Deb

Charter ATP Member Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Dog Lover Region: Illinois
I helped beta test the first seed swap
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Windigo
Sep 22, 2014 6:50 AM CST
Well, hopefully it's done. I have never had rabbits in my yard in the 27 years I've lived here, other than one litter last year that the dogs killed, and the two litters this year, one in the backyard, which the dogs killed, and one in the front yard that something else slaughtered and left the bodies scattered. I haven't seen a rabbit even outside my fence since the day after the slaughter. So, I am just hoping it's done. Otherwise, I guess I'll go through the same thing again next year.

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