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Dealing with rabbit problems in the orchard

dealing with rabbit problems in the orchard

We have a lot of obstacles to growing here in Wyoming. We’re high. We’re dry. We have insane winds. We have extreme fluctuating temperatures. We’ve got a short growing season.

Hmm. Why do we live here again? I’ll get back to you on that.

A lot of these things we just have to deal with. Rabbits, however, can be….dealt with. Ok, mostly I just complain about them, loud and often. I’m not a particularly good shot. Mostly I just don’t care to learn. Husband is a great shot though. Encouraging him to get out there and do some mafioso style hits is the problem. The rabbits don’t bother him like they do me. Probably because the growing stuff thing is all me.

We had a dog who was great at hunting rabbits once. Now he’s dead and our other dogs couldn’t catch a rabbit if we held it in front of their faces.

They're so cute though!
They’re so cute though!

I know how a lot of permies deal with the rabbit scourge. I tried Sepp Holzer’s bone sauce last year. The rabbits appear to like it quite a bit. Utter failure. I do put tree guards on all of my trees that are large enough to support them, and some that probably aren’t. The rabbits appear to like their food wrapped. Leaving low hanging branches for them to nibble is a great idea. My trees aren’t exactly large enough to do that. Every branch is a low hanging branch at the moment. I encourage predators. Unfortunately the dogs don’t. In fact they do a great job of repelling predators. It’s like a bunny sanctuary at our house.

I suppose beyond wholesale slaughter of Satan’s furred minions I have no idea what to do about this rabbit problem. I guess I’ll try to look at the bright side and think fertilizer. Bunny poop fertilizer. That’s something I’m not lacking.

IMG_3690

"protected" tree
“protected” tree
Consumed tree
Consumed tree
girdled tree
girdled tree

The above pictures are all of the same tree. Please explain to me how the rabbits did that.

IMG_3688

Just a fun pic. It’s SOOOO hard to get good pics of things when the instant I focus in on something my “help” jumps in the way.

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