Rabbits in the Garden
An unwanted guest to Gardeners, but they are cute!
Photo: © Down the Lane
Rabbits are wonderful things to see in Fields and Parklands and children love them, but start seeing them in the Garden can be a problem.
Nuisance they may be, but clever they are. Their survival proves that.
Rabbits will dig their Warrens almost anywhere where they can dig deep enough., this includes banks, woodlands, marshland.....or quieter places in a large Garden.
As we know from all sorts of idioms and jokes, they breed like no one else thus in some areas causing things to be too much and a cull takes place.and weeks. Litters vary between 5 and a dozen. Much of the time during the first days, the Mother will leave them just returning a few times a day to feed them.
Wild Rabbits rarely survive more than two years.
I have Rabbits wandering in and out the Garden but it's a rare event for them to take Vegetables, they seem just as happy to eat their normal diet of weeds, grass and clover. Saying that, they can decimate a Flower Bed should they wish to!
In Winter they will survive on Buds, small Twigs, Tree Bark and anything still green.
Gestation is around 30 days, they are born deaf and with no hair but develop quickly leaving the nest at 30 days of age.
By the time they have left, the Mother will be more than likely pregnant again.
They have many Predators from Cats to Foxes via Weasels and Snakes. But there warning system is good, they will thump their legs on the ground and upon running will show their white haired backsides, a fantastic naturally evolved feature.
So love them or hate them, rabbits are here to stay and if left alone will multiply freely. The main thing which stems the population somewhat is Myxomatosis.