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Too many people think rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus or ‘bunnies’ as they are affectionately called are not pests, however if it is your livelihood they are feeding upon or if you’ll be held responsible should anyone trip in a hole or scrape, then the reality is they are a pest! They are also renowned for they’re ability to damage lawns and flower beds and if you have livestock such as horses, a broken ankle could be a terminal injury.
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If you own horses a rabbit scrape in a paddock or field can have terminal consequences. In public areas the owner/proprieter will be responsible should anyone twist or break a leg/ankle. Rabbits are also more than capable on undermining building foundations causing walls to crack and even fall down. They can devistate forestry plantations by stripping bark and also raid vegetable patches. For farmers rabbit numbers are begining to reach plague proportions once more (have you noticed how many fields are now rabbit proofed?), causing significant loss to crop yields.
Private gardens are popular haunts, with lawns kept short they are guarenteed a fresh supply of young shoots, plus all of them tasty plants.
Treatment for rabbits comes in two forms, removing them and preventing them access.
There are various methods of removing wild rabbits from gardens and fields, these include Gassing, working Ferrets, Lamping (night shooting), various traps and snares. To discuss which options are available and suitable for your problem just call us on 0800 046 7433.
Proofing comes in the form of Rabbit Proof Fencing, a perimeter barrier three feet high and either 10 inches down or 12 inches facing out. For more information on fencing please view the Fencing Page.
Rabbits are social creatures and live in colonies, unlike their cousins the Hare, Rabbits choose to live underground in warrens (also known as setts or burrows). Females, or Does reach sexual maturity at just over three months and are capable of producing a litter every month! and litters in exceptional cases can be up to 18! Fortunately mortality is high, but even so rabbits are capable of reproducing at amazing rates.
Males or Bucks are territorial and will maintain dominance over subordinate males through fighting, It is one of the bucks duties to watch over his harem and he’ll often be found sitting on a mound or tree stump acting as look out.
Rabbits eat most things which are green, young shoots being a favourite. They are also proficient at killing trees by chewing the bark away from the trunks and starving the trees of sap.The destructive reputation comes from their appetite – consuming as much as a third of their body weight daily. Nationally this is estimated to cost British agriculture in excess of £150 million!
Interestingly rabbits produce two types of dropping, one black (this is freshly through their stomachs) and the other brownish in colour (second time through), they actually eat their own droppings (the black ones) much like a cow would re-chew its cud.