Feral Bunnies

Discussion in 'The Village Square' started by Jewell, Oct 28, 2022.

  1. Jewell

    Jewell Incorrigible Gardener Plants Contributor

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    My new home is in a neighborhood where there are feral bunnies. I was at first appalled, worried and now resigned. They are cute and entertaining, but I’ve read they can multiply…like bunnies. (Litter of 6-10 multiple times a year) In the last 6 months I have seen some bunnies come and go. Cars, dogs and just dumb bunnies. Sad. One bunny ran into my shed and got locked in during the heat wave. I had no idea until I was cleaning out the shed.

    I have done bunny proofing around my deck since one bunny wanted that area for: hiding, nesting, digging? I’ve also bunny proofed a sitting area with perennials. Depending on the bunny’s habits I may bunny proof one other area.

    Bunnies like company and there have always been two or three that hang out in my yard. Bunnies need company. Feral bunnies seem to always have a friend close at hand.

    Here are the current residents to the neighborhood. 5E81319D-73FA-4E5B-8A9E-A58009954D49.jpeg

    The neighbor across the street has named them Ninja and Quick Silver. They are pruning my perennials in the front yard. She feeds them strawberries, watermelon, kale and a smorgasbord of fruits and vegetables. They only get to graze the pasture at my place.
    865AC8C9-8A98-4416-B997-06738A1EBBD1.jpeg

    My 3 dogs are all past 10 years, move slow and have poor eye sight so only minimally harass the bunnies. They actually ignore one dog.

    It will be an interesting spring to see how I adapt to the ever changing wildlife. The deer are at least gone, except for an occasional one passing through.
     
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  2. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    Wow. Those are feral domesticated rabbits, right? I'm surprised a fox or hawk hasn't already gotten them.
     
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  3. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest In Flower

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    Jewell. Same issues here .
     
  4. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I never have problems with rabbits thankfully. Squirrels on the other hand and magpies are the bane of my life.
     
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  5. Tetters

    Tetters In Flower

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    Interesting that you have plainly become fond of your feral rabbits Jewell as we found that the same thing happened here. We worried about damage when they first moved in, but have now learned to live with them. Our old dog also ignored them as he didn't seem to have the energy to do otherwise any more. We miss him.
     
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  6. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest In Flower

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    Squirrels are destructive lil buggers. I use a commercial peppermint spray to keep them out of the attic and from damaging the cement walks , foundations.
    Magpies are crazy birds. One had chased my son home from school pecking at his head. It’s a big issue here every spring..
     
  7. Jewell

    Jewell Incorrigible Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Yes CM, feral domestics. The black one goes across the street when the neighbor puts out goodies. These rabbits are now too big to be caught by cats, but I am sure that is what happened to a litter down the street that disappeared. We don’t appear to have foxes, and I keep an eye out for birds of prey since my one dog is under 10 pounds. Do have bald eagles and coyotes but the first prefers fish (salmon are running) and the later keep a very low profile.

    PNW and Eileen, I read some cities have an incredible problem with feral rabbits. I think there are some individuals that help keep the population down in the neighborhood since their digging can be quite destructive and I’ve heard rumors. Since I quit feeding the birds the squirrel problem has lessened. Most of the yard is open slope with no place to hide for squirrels. We don’t have magpies, but crows can have the same behavior. Our big dog got attacked each time he went outside all of one summer because the crows thought he’d injured one of their fledglings.

    Tetters, I feel like cohabitation will work since most of the time they are well away from the house. A little exercise for the old dogs is beneficial and they are too slow to catch anything. Have such a big yard with pasture (can’t call it a lawn) so rabbits mowing and fertilizing is no big deal.
     
  8. Pacnorwest

    Pacnorwest In Flower

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    Jewell. The cold winters seem to have some effect of many critters around here. Lots of feral cats and rabbits. Many dig in during the winters or find optional lodgings. We have cats and dogs and horses which help keep many deer, coyotes, ground digging animals at bay. Some areas the deer have better access and can devour many plants during winters. The resident hawks have nested in out 100’ tall Doug fir trees for years and have their pick of mice, voles etc.
    I have watched the hawks follow me around when I mowing the pastures scaring up dinner for them to find.

    The only wild animal I am afraid of are those big huge fat raccoons they are aggressive. I have bumped into a close encounter once while out at night picking slugs off the hostas. Don’t do that any more… instead use Sluggo now.
    We have also had a bobcat attack one of the horses, not sure what happened if my horse chased and surprised the bobcat. My horse had huge paw scratches on both side of his belly , huge big paws scratch marks down thru the fur on the belly on both sides. Didn’t break the skin….i have spotted tracks and scat in the pastures from bobcats. Wildlife came out and set traps , never caught the cat . In a area of mountains and canyons bobcats have a huge territory are generally difficult to trap. We have a lot of people that move out in the country that are unsuspecting to the wildlife in this area , I think they were here way before we all moved in. I suspect that the deer, coyotes, bobcats were here a very long time by all the tracks and trails I have found in the woods near by. It’s always something.
     
  9. Jewell

    Jewell Incorrigible Gardener Plants Contributor

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    PNE, We live side by side with many predators in the cities and areas of the Puget Sound. Cougar tracks and scat are found regularly but never seen unless young and dumb and are then permanently removed. Bear and coyotes are common but like cougars are seldom seen. Raccoons are a menace to people, pets and property in town. Possums used to be pretty common for several years but I would not be surprised to find out raccoons started preying on them as well as pets. I find it interesting peoples responses to wildlife and life in general.:rolleyes:
     
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  10. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    We have fisher cats, foxes, coyotes, crows, birds of prey & black bears. Oh and wild rabbits (not the domesticated kind), deer & groundhogs. That's about it.

    We have to wait to put the bird feeders up until the bears go into hibernation. They will otherwise destroy the feeder pole & the feeders. Replacing them gets expensive.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2022
  11. Tetters

    Tetters In Flower

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    You really have such a vast array of animals where you all are in the USA - far more than we do. Do you have any of these and do you have stoats, weasels or shrews?
    upload_2022-10-29_19-9-13.jpeg
     
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  12. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    What are those? What's a stoat? Is a shrew like a vole or a mole?
     
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  13. Tetters

    Tetters In Flower

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    stoat [​IMG] shrew...[​IMG]
     
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  14. Tetters

    Tetters In Flower

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    I found an unconscious shrew one day the cat had been playing with. He was popped into my pocket to keep warm while I carried on in the garden and I forgot he was there. When I reached into my pocket for my hanky he had recovered and bit my finger so hard and wouldn't let go. I took my finger with shrew attached to the field and just waited for him to escape :sulk:- eventually he did.
     
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  15. Tetters

    Tetters In Flower

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    The weasel upload_2022-10-29_19-27-3.jpeg is the UK's smallest carnivore - in the same family as the stoat.
     
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