I don't see any bark damage but I'm still concerned. Are they there for the apple tree or something else? I have comfrey, rhubarb, herbs, clover planted underneath but its early December so nothing is up. Should I be concerned? Any recommendations? Thanks
Aaron Festa wrote:I don't see any bark damage but I'm still concerned. Are they there for the apple tree or something else? I have comfrey, rhubarb, herbs, clover planted underneath but its early December so nothing is up. Should I be concerned? Any recommendations? Thanks
I may be wrong, but I would be concerned. I have heard that rabbits like to eat the bark of young fruittrees and may girdle and kill them. This is especially true if you have thick mulch -- like straw or pine needles -- directly in contact with the trunks. The mice, rabbits, etc. like to snuggle into all that insulation and nibble where they cannot be seen. Best thing is to leave the soil bare for a foot or so away from the trunk. Possibly consider some sort of breathable wrap to protect the base as well.
A while back I had a family of rabbits chewing on my young trees' bark so I put trunk guards around them up to the first branch. When the snows came, the rabbits could reach stuff 2 feet higher and girdled many of the trees right above the tree guards. The ultimate solution was to use trunk guards and keep the rabbit population in check with trapping. A bonus is that rabbit meat really is quite tasty. It looks like white tail rabbit season in Connecticut is from Jan 1 to Feb 28, but at least in Indiana it is quite easy to get the okay to hunt/trap longer if something is damaging your crops.
One of the best deals for rabbit traps is Rural King's 2 Trap Value Pack for $30. I ended up getting three of these.
Thanks Deb and John. I think I have been so concerned about deer that I forgot about the potential of rabbits. I'll take some measures. I have been watching videos of using snares to trap them. This approach is not something I would normally try but I am admittedly intrigued. In the meantime some guards are going in place. Thanks again
Be very careful with snares/conibear if you have a bunch of non-target critters in the area like opossums, foxes, and your neighbor's cat. I tried foothold traps as well, but just one time of having to release a very angry hissing possum convinced me that it's well worth it to spend the extra $7-8 a trap and go with cage traps. Also, the animals seem to be much less stressed.
Of course, the downside of the cage traps is that the non-target critters eventually seem to learn they get a nice meal in the trap and will be released a few hours later. There are a couple opossums that show up in my traps so often I'm thinking about naming them.
Wright Selph wrote:I haven't been able to try to myself, but looking at the ingredients, I think bone sauce would make any herbivore uncomfortable with consuming. Maybe you could try it with your rabbit/apple troubles?
- Actually, I see that it's going to work with "herbivores and /not/ generalists/omnivores," and I think that could include rabbits - I just am not sure how opportunistic they can be?
Rabbits are strictly herbivores. Unless you are in a Monty Python movie.
I will suppress my every urge. But not this shameless plug:
Solar Station Construction Plans - now FREE for a while