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How can i atract rabbits to my fields?

 
matt dee
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I live in Ireland. If you go down the fields before 08:00 you should see a handful of rabbits. But i want a lot more around. What can i do to attract them or just to maintain numbers?
Also is there any downside to bringing up the rabbit population here?
Thanks
 
Cortland Satsuma
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Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
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Hi Matt,

You can have all of ours, lol. Based on our experience the formula seems to be: Plant gardens inside fenced area away from brush where they live; Clear field of brush they hide in; and knock down blackberry patches where they live. They will then brave the constantly circling hawks, eagles, and other birds of prey to run great distances across the open areas away from plentiful wild food to seek ways to enter fence and garden and eat your growies...these here seem quit fond of our yellow cucumber cultivar. On a serious note, what is your objective in increasing their numbers?
 
matt dee
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To be honest i dont really know:3
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Matt - if you are after rabbits for the pot I would talk to your local landowners and offer to install some traps for them. They get the traps, you get the bunnies. Live capture drop traps are effective when installed in a fence line.

Before you go too far encouraging rabbits it is worth having an idea of their impact - i read somewhere previously that 6 rabbits graze as much grass as one sheep. If you have grass i'd be far happier turning it into lamb than rabbit!
 
David Livingston
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Dont worry for every rabbit you see I expect there are at least six hiding or underground

David
 
S Carreg
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Location: De Cymru (West Wales, UK)
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If you want rabbit to eat, hunt/trap it on someone else's land (with permission!). Encouraging wild rabbits on your own property... I guess only if you don't have any interest in growing things! They've eaten our hops, nibbled fruit trees, and wiped out the neighbors' veg garden.
 
matt dee
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I want to learn how to snare properly, and i want to replenish the numbers, as from what i have seen its a fairly small group
 
Cortland Satsuma
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Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
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matt dee wrote:To be honest i dont really know:3


Then a bit more research on the subject in relation to the general area you live in is a good starting point prior to actually encouraging them; you need to find any pros to weigh against the cons. Others have added sound advise on using for meat. For us, in our location, the safety issue of eating the meat prohibits us from doing so; and, killing with no use of animal is not something I relish; and, here, we can not trap and relocate rabbits...be sure to know your local laws on such matters.
 
Cortland Satsuma
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Location: (Zone 7-8/Elv. 350) Powhatan, VA (Sloped Forests & Meadow)
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matt dee wrote:I want to learn how to snare properly, and i want to replenish the numbers, as from what i have seen its a fairly small group


ours were a group of 4 last year which we basically ignored; now, there are more than we can accurately count. They multiple at a truly alarming rate with no encouragement whatsoever.
 
Michael Cox
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Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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I'll second what Cortland has said. You definitely don't understand this overall situation well enough to start messing with the population. Just because you think the population looks small doesn't mean it is - only a few rabbits from a colony will be above ground at any time and they love to make use of cover so won't all be visible. Also, the population will be in balance with the surrounding pressures on it - foxes, birds of prey, diseases, available food supplies and farmers with guns are all working to keep that population down. Farmers have good reason to feel aggrieved about rabbits on their land; one place where I occasionally shoot is overrun with them, to the point where their pasture too dangerously uneven for their horses and the rabbits eat so much of the grass that they never get a hay crop either!

Bunnies breed like bunnies - you really don't need to do anything to encourage them.

If you are determined to hunt for the pot, using snares or whatever, why don't you talk to the local landowners - they will probably be delighted to have someone else helping control their problem.
 
matt dee
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No one has a real problem with rabbits, where i live anyway:/ my neighbour even has a haggart behind his house, and nothing gets even a nibble
 
S Carreg
Posts: 260
Location: De Cymru (West Wales, UK)
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It's also very seasonal and it changes year by year. Here (west Wales, so not dissimilar to where you are I think), we have seen a few, limited damage, our immediate neighbour is plagued by them and has lost pretty much the whole garden, the farmer up the road is on a mission to get rid of them too, while half a mile up in the village, no one sees any.

As Michael Cox said, the current population will be in balance for the situation as it is at the moment (predation, food, etc).

It really sounds to me like you need to learn a *lot* more about local conditions - and over a time back in history and a while of observing yourself, a few seasons at least - before you have enough info to start trying to manipulate a wild population.
 
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