Feral rabbits & rabbit warrens

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by deesalie, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. deesalie

    deesalie Junior Member

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    I'm interested to know what the stance on feral rabbits is from a permaculture point of view?

    I've just received an email from a BIL who is working with a community environmental group to eradicate an extensive network of rabbits and their warrens by fumigating, using 1080 baits, and destroying warrens and he was interested in doing the same on our place.

    I'm only new to permaculture principles but from my understanding quite often permaculture and conservationist ideas are at polar opposites. What could the potential benefits of rabbits be on a permaculture farm?

    Any thoughts appreciated :)
     
  2. ppp

    ppp Junior Member

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    They are a pest that do great damage to the Australian landscape eradicate them. And move on
     
  3. deesalie

    deesalie Junior Member

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    Short n sweet....
     
  4. dannyboy

    dannyboy Junior Member

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    Fast food?
     
  5. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    Positives are they aerate and fertilise the soil,taste delicious and breed like rabbits.
     
  6. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    What country do you live in? What natural predators do the rabbits have? What is the land being used for? What grows there?

    You don't have a rabbit problem, you have a surplus of rabbits and a shortage of... what? How are rabbits a resource?

    Also, rabbit over-populations occur when land is degraded by other uses eg over grazing pasture with sheep creates ideal conditions for rabbits to burrow (they don't like long grass).

    If you are serious about learning about wild animals and pc, go check out Paul Wheaton's podcasts. I can't remember which ones but you might find some stuff on his forum at permies.com. Ask there too. Just be careful to learn the ropes though as Paul has a tendancy to edit or ban people who overstep his mark. He has some really good things to say on 'pests' though.
     
  7. deesalie

    deesalie Junior Member

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    What is it about forums huh? As a member of several forums of other topics there's always forum rivalry & people in positions of power. Meh. I'll see if I can find the podcasts.

    Interesting about the surplus of rabbits... shortage of what? Shortage of guns springs to mind. There's no "natural" predators, except foxes, which are not exactly natural to this landscape either and not something I'd want to encourage. Perhaps the occasional wedge tailed eagle. Once upon a time the land was certainly over grazed but now there's extremely high grass. There's also some huge blackberry bushes which are harbouring the little suckers which we will cut back and try and train along a trellis. The berries are too delicious to just destroy.

    Lots to think about...
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    The surplus of - shortage of - comment is a standard permaculture answer deesalie - pebble wasn't winding you up. It's about thinking about the issue in a different light.

    Most farmed animals in Australia are introduced, so it is hard to argue that all non-natives should be destroyed (I'd miss bacon particularly....). It would be a process of examining what the rabbits are doing to your place. Are the effects overall positive or negative? Can you change the balance subtly to impact on them to bring them back into a greater degree of control for example by getting a loud scary dog and letting him out at night?

    Spreading poisons and / or traps across the landscape without thought about the collateral damage would get a thumbs down from me.
     
  9. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    Predators= Man
    "The berries are too delicious to just destroy".... so is the rabbit

    https://www.convictcreations.com/animals/environment.htm

     
  10. deesalie

    deesalie Junior Member

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    Oh I know pebble wasn't winding me up. I didn't take it as so...

    I have come across the notion of the problem being the solution :)

    Thanks all for your input. It's helping me to put things into perspective and should spark a lively debate with the rest of the family!!
     
  11. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    Long grass... are the rabbits making burrows in that? Why? Is the grass thin or dry? Why do you have grass? You need to change the environment so the rabbits decrease. If you poison, you will decrease the populations temporarily, so if you don't change the conditions then you have to commit to using poisons on a regular basis. Where I live poison drops sometimes last 6 months if you're lucky before the numbers are rising again. Killing lots of animals is a good way to incentivise them to breed.

    Foxes... no cats, or mustelids?

    Guns... I agree that rabbits are yummy to eat. Make great petfood too. And fertiliser. Maggot breeding for the chooks....
     
  12. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    I'm still curious what country you live in 'cos I didn't think many places used 1080 now. Is the land conservation land? Or farmland?
     
  13. floot

    floot Junior Member

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    Deesalie is an aussie ''occasional wedge tailed eagle'' is the clue.

    Dee, rabbits should be controlled and it is the responsibility of the landholder. Authorities can step in if they become a real problem and either fine you or send you a bill for service. If you have no desire to do it yourself contact a gun club or put an ad in the paper. There may be local ferreters available. I think the old jaw style traps have been banned in most states. Contact your local lands board or similar, they may have an active programme like introducing myxomitosis or similar.

    I dunno where in Oz you live but you may be able to access 'phostoxin' [from memory] these are highly dangerous gas forming tablets that you throw down the burrow. I would hesitate to use 1080 it is very effective and it will kill anything that consumes it, an indescriminate killer. 1080 will also kill anything that eats the dead rabbit including dogs, cats, reptiles and birds.

    Personally I would be mechanically ripping the burrows and then shooting them and using them for pet and human food. Also, look for a local python and put it down the burrow.

    If you can rid yourself of rabbits you will be amazed at the return of flora and only then will you appreciate just how much damage rabbits cause.

    Cheers,
     
  14. Dzionik

    Dzionik Junior Member

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    I recently thought that I had a similar problem. Although for years I see a rabbit and damaged young tree, the last settled in the middle of the gardens in cucumbers tipi.

    [​IMG]

    It was young at the time so i catch him with easy with my hands.

    [​IMG]

    I was thinking what spices to put and how to cook ti but...

    [​IMG]

    its easy to get emotional with this sweet animal so he prevailed for now. For now is because couple of Martes foina living on the attic of house.

    [​IMG]

    He does not have good chance to survive winter so maybe the first choice was the right one.:)

    And to go completely off topic, what to do with such a predator (also wonderful) on attic?
     

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