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The rabbit is a very nice little animal that invites itself without complex in our gardens, especially in the countryside. However, it is able to reproduce at the speed of light. A colony of rabbits can cause extreme devastation, causing the loss of crops. We asked Charly de Jardiland what is the best solution to protect the plantations against rabbits.
The rabbit is said to breed at insane speed. Info or intox ?
The rabbit's reproduction speed is not a legend! Gestation lasts only 28 days, and a rabbit can give birth to 15 to 20 young rabbits in a single litter. In the wild, the rabbit is constantly fertilizable from January to early August, and throughout the year in breeding. At the rate of 6 litters on average per year, we dare not imagine the number of rabbits that this represents in a few years, knowing that this rodent reaches its sexual maturity between 4 and 8 months depending on the breed. Nobody has forgotten the dramatic colonization of Australia by this four-legged invader, the source of the creation of a deadly virus, Myxomatosis, and then of its introduction into Australia. We must therefore take the lead in the face of the extraordinary fertility of this small rodent, as devastating as it is touching. The damage it creates in the garden is not inevitable. There are pacifist means to protect the plantations against rabbits.
Does rancid milk against rabbits really work?
This technique can be attempted. Just spray milk on the carrot tops or cabbage leaves. After a few days, the milk goes rancid, giving off a peculiar smell that the rabbit hates. However, this is a difficult solution to implement in a large vegetable garden. Especially since each watering or each rain, the vegetables having been rinsed, the operation must be repeated.
Are there effective rabbit repellents?
You can find repellents in specialized stores that are effective against rabbits for a few days. But none of them stays active long enough. These products eventually lose their repellency, and the rabbits resettle at lightning speed.
Is the fence a good solution to protect the plantations against rabbits and hares?
You can indeed buy a rabbit fence to fence the vegetable garden, or even the whole of the land we own. This represents a significant cost, but it is an attractive solution. It is in any case the most effective parade to date against rabbits apart of course from intensive hunting. The fence has at least the ability to protect the plantations in all seasons against the insatiable appetite of hares and rabbits for cabbage, salads of all kinds and root vegetables such as carrots for example.
What mesh height should you choose to prevent rabbits from invading the garden?
It is essential to opt for a wire mesh the aerial part of which must be at least 100 cm. But you have to be careful to bury the fence fairly deeply because the rabbit digs burrows. The interest is therefore to dissuade the rodent from going under the fence to nibble crops at leisure. Do not hesitate to also install nets around the trunk of young trees, because the rabbit will not hesitate to ransack them with incisors.
Does the rabbit also damage the pleasure garden?
It is in the vegetable garden that rabbits of Garenne and hares make great havoc because they feed on many leaf vegetables and root vegetables. But they don't hate bulbs, quite the contrary! So be careful with your flowering plants that you have planted with passion to embellish your natural space. Again, the rabbit fence will keep this incredible devastator away and leave the spotlight to your summer bulbs for rockeries but also to Pompon Dahlias, Dahlia cactus, to the different varieties of hyacinths so fragrant or to giant Canna and so many other.