Well, I think I have finally figured out why there were so few baby bunnies
last year despite all of Ralphable's wild relatives of breeding age that remain
It appears that a family of these rodents has moved into the bushes that
constitute the main warren. In the past, I've only seen ONE rat on an
occasional basis. However, today, I saw 2+ *** rats actually come right up
to Ralphable's aunt and attack her, and they had no problem approaching ME to
within 4 feet! She avoided the bites by jumping over the rats but ran away
about 20 feet. I think that the scar on her face she now has is a former rat
bite. I also believe that the rats have been finding the baby rabbits, before
they mature enough to move around, and have been eating them.
What I'm interested in is (and since rats are generally undesirable anyway):
Has anyone had to exterminate rats WITHIN a rabbit environment before?
The only thing I can think of is to put the rat poison (pellets) into a
cardboard box with an opening too small for the rabbits, but I'm afraid that if
I do, the rabbits will enlarge the hole and get in too. I don't have any
wooden boxes or plastic milk crates to use instead, but I might be able to use
an empty, plastic juice bottle. (I have to check its size against the rabbits
who live inside to verify that they can't get in).
If I could somehow guarentee that the aunt is the ONLY bunny still around, I
could live-trap her, poison the rats, then release her the next day. However,
I don't know that she is, and last year, I did see up to 5 *** rabbits at one
time, so I know that others were around.
If anyone is worried about population control of the rabbits, I live in an area
that has its share of other predators (owls and coyotes have been seen, as well
as the occasional domestic cat), plus considering the dangers that rats have
traditionally been tied to, I don't see a rabbit population explosion happening
with the termination of the rats.
Any [other] suggestions would be appreciated.