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Life in the country/ poor bunnies

Posted by sammy OK/7A (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 1, 14 at 5:51

We are more city than country here. The front of our house is like all the others in the cul de sac, but we back up to the flood control creek and green belt. All of our neighbors take care of their parts of the green belt, so I think it is rather pretty. This gives us more property, a hill, bank, and creek.

Country life happens, and it is so sad sometimes. In the past we have seen hawks or other birds grab bunnies. (We never let our puppies outside alone until rather were rather large.)

Two days ago my dog was interested in something that was not dead. A baby bunny had gotten into our fenced in dog yard. My husband was home, and managed to get the dogs inside, and grab the bunny. It was scratched, but alive. All the time I saw our dog playing with it, the mother (or at least an adult rabbit) was on the other side of the fence. My husband took the bunny from the yard, and put it a safe distance from the yard where I hope the rabbit can find it and help it.

This is not really life in the country, but just a beginning of what many of you live all the time. As I think about the poor baby bunny, I realize that many of you have to go much farther in your yards to provide humane treatment to animals.

Do you grow up learning this? My brain is going to raising chickens, breeding dogs and cats, all kinds of life situations that most of us do not know how to handle.

I commend you for your abilities to handle your lives as well as most of you do. Calling 911 or the animal control may not be an option for you. Even trying to get a neighbor to help may be out of the question.

I love to read what you are doing, and often I do not have much to say. I get so much help here, but sometimes our lives are so different -- or maybe not.

I just keep wondering if that little bunny is alive, and how many litters will it have in no time at all that will ruin my roses.

Sammy


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

Sammy, If you will just post your address, many of us will send you some Bunnies, possums, coons, deer, armadillos, and maybe a snake or two, We will call it our "wild Life Relocation Program". Please treat them well an they will hang around for every and cover you up with babies.

I think I finally have my deer trained, my electric fence has been off for two night, but I have not seen any damage for a good while.

Larry

P.S. I think a skunk has moved in under my shed, if I can catch it I will send it also.


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

I was sad earlier in the summer because I think my dog killed the mother of the bunnies I pulled up when I cleaned out my cold frame. I fixed the nest back and thought the rabbits were cute. I didn't know they were there when I pulled up the lettuce and disturbed their nest. Rabbits are prey animals and your dog is a predator. If you have a cat it is also a predator. You can't make pets of wild animals or you will be broken hearted. It is normal for a bird of prey or a snake to eat a smaller animal. Rabbits are everywhere at my place this year. The predators will eat some of them and it is not inhumane or cruel. That is the way things work. The predators are more often the persecuted animals. People used to think it is OK to kill all of them because they are killers. There has to be a balance or the prey animals will overpopulate and get disease or eat up all their food. If you get attached to the cute bunnies you will be sad. You have to change your way of looking at it.


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

Sammy, I was thinking about what Helen said. I love watching wildlife also, but it is so often that being friendly with humans is a death sentence for wildlife. My son's in-laws life closer to town than we do, and they had a young buck that would hang around, wanting to be petted or mooch a cookies. It wound up costing him his life. We had 4 young turkeys that would come and visit and were much too tame. I first saw 4, later 2, now none. In both cases the wildlife may have died anyway, but it is heart breaking to see these animals and know that their lack of fear may cost them their life.

Larry


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

  • Posted by dbarron Z6/7 (Oklahoma) (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 1, 14 at 16:20

Let it be said that I love animals, but I don't love feeding them at my expense, when they're not starving. I especially like predatory animals like coyotes, hawks, owls, skunks, etc.

My seedlings are not rabbit chow...and I wish dogs and shotguns on rabbits that think otherwise.


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

Years ago we fenced in our garden to keep the neighbor's cows out. That also kept our dogs out. The rabbits learned that the garden was a safe place and began to raise their young there--on our young pea, lettuce, spinach seedlings. Rabbits raise their first litter when these things are just coming up. When the dogs begin each spring to claw at the garden gate, I open it and watch them go sniffing for rabbits. At our place the purpose of having dogs is to kill rabbits and run the deer out of the garden. Every year for many years our dogs have killed and eaten at least a dozen baby rabbits. EVERY year. They never decimate the population. There are always more rabbits...and there can be more rabbits...just not in my garden.

The dogs haven't done a good job of running deer this year at all. With only a four ft fence, our garden is wide open to them. They come at night, when the dogs are asleep a city block's distance away. This year I picked two messes of pole beans, two of okra, and a small one of southern peas. The deer killed all those plants by repeated browsing. And they've kept the sweet potato vines defoliated; I doubt that we will dig much. In a hot, dry year I feel sorry for the deer, but not this year. We've had so much rain this summer that there is green deer food everywhere. We're going to build an 8 ft fence to deter the deer, and continue to allow the dogs to kill and eat all the baby rabbits they can sniff out. But we are truly "country" and that garden is meant to feed US.


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

One of the great joys of living in the country like we do is that we are surrounded by wildlife. Yet, one of the great frustrations of living in a rural area is that we are surrounded by wildlife and not all of it is desirable wildlife you want to have around. You just have to take the bad along with the good. At one point or another, we have seen just about every wild thing that lives in Oklahoma her on our place, other than bears and gators. I've told Tim that if we ever have bears show up here, I may have to move back to a city somewhere.

As much as it is possible to do so, we try to live peaceably with the wild critters but, at the same time, if we have wild animals around that are a threat to our domestic animals or to us, we shoot them. For venomous snakes, we have a policy of killing every single one we find that is on the 2 acres surrounding the house, outbuildings, lawn and gardens. However, we don't kill them on the remaining 12+ acres because we'd be overrun with rodents if we killed all the snakes (not that we ever could kill them all anyway). For most everything else, we just try to make sure we have built sturdy, predator-proof animals housing and animal pens and garden fences.

Our pet cats and dogs are taught not to kill the birds, rabbits, squirrels, etc. but we celebrate and praise them when they kill rats, voles, moles, mice or gophers.

Because we fence out the rabbits, I enjoy having them around for the most part. They rarely bother ornamental landscape plants (likely because they have taught me not to plant anything they like to eat). I love watching them run and play in the fields in late afternoon or early evening.

As long as you have a healthy predator population of foxes, bobcats, hawks, coyotes, etc., the rabbit population rarely gets so large that it becomes a problem. We might see the rabbit population get large for a few months, but then the coyote pups start learning how to hunt and kill in August, and the rabbit population vanishes almost overnight. In the wild, a rabbit rarely lives to be 3 years old as there's so many different animals and birds that prey upon them. One healthy doe in her prime reproductive years can have up to 5 litters of bunnies per year, with 3 to 8 bunnies per litter. With a reproductive rate that high, we rarely run out of rabbits here, so the predators usually are very well-fed.

I know that most gardeners hate deer, but I'm the oddball who loves them. I enjoy watching them eat, drink, lie in the shade, frolic in the meadows, etc. I don't enjoy seeing them gobble up the garden plants, but we have fenced them out with high fences, and I know that anything that I plant to climb the fences is fair game as far as the deer are concerned. Anything I toss on the compost pile is fair game too, as far as they are concerned, and I've given up trying to bury fresh stuff under older compost to keep them from finding it. I should just put big feed bowls out by the compost pile and put all the kitchen trimmings in the bowls for them because they're going to eat it right off the compost pile anyhow.

Generally all the wild animals understand they are wild and we are not and they do not try to befriend us and we do not try to befriend them. However, every now and them we get a doe who becomes really comfortable around me, perhaps because they see me in the garden daily, and they get excited when they see me carrying something they think of as food. During the canning season, I may not see them around when I carry a bowl of produce scraps out to the compost pile, but I can carry out a bowl or bucket of stuff, dump it on the compost pile and head back to the house and, by the time I reach they house, they are at the compost pile scarfing up everything there that appeals to them. It is a wonder I have compost at all because sometimes it seems they don't leave much behind to decompose. I am a sucker for fawns, though, and several of the does that frequent our place have twin fawns this year. One doe is too used to me and comes too close and makes me nervous, but hunting season is coming soon and people will be firing off guns and the deer will remember why they shouldn't get too close to people. We don't hunt on our place and don't allow hunting on it though. I feel like there's lot of other places people can shoot deer if they wish, and I'd like the deer to have someplace where they feel safe.

Dorothy, I have noticed the same thing----even though summertime rain has been plentiful and the deer ought to have plenty to eat, it seems like they'd rather just hang around the gardens and compost piles and see what they can find there. Sometimes when my ornamental sweet potato foliage is out of control and filling the pathways, I hack it back and put the foliage out by the compost pile for the deer and they'll eat every bit of it, but I grow my edible sweet potatoes in the interior portion of the garden so its foliage never gets near the garden fence. So far this year, all they've eaten off the garden fence is the "Big Red Ripper" cowpea plants, some of the "Seminole" foliage and the foliage of the birdhouse gourd plants, which kinda did surprise me as they normally don't eat gourd foliage very often.

Our dogs that used to chase away marauding wildlife are old, fat and lazy now. Even our "baby" dogs are 10 years old and 7 years old and Sam, who used to be a really good killer of raccoons, is about 13 or 14 years old. Honey, who is 10 years old, will half-heartedly chase deer but she just ignores rabbits nowadays although she used to kill them and eat everything but the head, which she carefully deposited on the front porch Welcome mat. I guess she wanted us to know how many rabbits she was killing. Ever since she and Jersey, who is 7, got into a battle with coyotes a few years ago, they rarely leave my sight any more and even if they chase a wild critter away, they don't chase it far or for long.

We found a young deer with two broken legs once and called the game warden. He came and got it and took it to a rehab place and thanked us for caring enough to call him. He said most people would have shot it. Well, I guess we aren't most people. We also nursed back to health an owl once after he broke his wing after breaking through a plexiglass skylight in our chicken coop. If we'd been smarter, we would have let him die, but our hearts are soft. He rewarded us by sitting in our pecan tree every night, hunting for and killing rodents and other wild things. He's been gone a few years now, and we have more rodent problems now than we had when he lived here.

When we first moved here, we had a big black and white cat named Moose who killed moles, voles, field mice, etc. and brought them to us. He'd bring in his killed critters through the dog door (we quickly learned a dog door was not going to be a good idea here and no longer have one) and line them up on the floor of the pantry. He wouldn't kill the bunnies thought. He'd bring one of us a live bunny, drop it at our feet, and run back to the nest to get another one. We'd have to relocate the whole nest to stop him from repeatedly "rescuing" them and bringing them to us. He was a great hunter, but became ill and died in 2001. None of our cats since then have been even half the hunter he was, but they keep the rodent population around the house under control.

Some of our worst problems out here in our rural area aren't with the wild animals---it is with feral dogs that have been dumped/abandoned in the country by their former owners who didn't have enough class to at least take them to a shelter. Most dumped dogs end up running in packs and attacking poultry, kids, lambs, colts and calves, which results in the farmers and ranchers shooting the feral dogs. I feel bad when that happens, but people have a right to protect their own animals from predator/feral domestic dogs.

Every day at our house is either a circus or a zoo and much of the time, it is caused either by the wild animals, or the interaction between the wild animals and the domestic ones. In our first year here, some coons would come around, jump up on the porch furniture and look in our windows, tapping on the glass to get our attention. We never fed them, but I expect someone else had been because I couldn't think of any other reason they'd be on the porch trying to get our attention. Coons are vicious killers of poultry and we don't welcome them here at at all. We also don't tolerate skunks that are out in the daylight hours, and any snake in the chicken coop is a goner.

My favorite wildlife I've seen since we've been here is the bald eagles, the golden eagles and all the baby deer and bunnies. Even baby skunks are cute to look at. My least favorite? That's a tossup between the large predators that kill chickens and the beavers that destroy so many trees in order to build a dam. Oh, and pretty much all snakes. I'm just not a snake person. The most interesting wild critter ever? Maybe the ringtailed cats, which we only see very rarely.

Dawn


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

Many years ago I visited Washington state. We arrived at an old cabin after dark. There was no running water. I went out, but I hate outhouses, so I just looked for some bushes. A racoon walked right up to me, stood on his hind legs and cocked his head first one way and then the other. Shooing him only caused him to cock his head the other way. The next morning I was mortified to find our cabin sat among modern cabins complete with TV antennas and the neighbors fed the racoons.


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

I can relate. We went to Pennsylvania one year back in the 1980s to visit Tim's family and went way up into the mountains to visit his grandparents. The guys wanted to go to a state park (or maybe it was a national park, whichever...) and fish, and I went with them. When we went to the park's outhouse facility, there were bear tracks in the mud right up to the door to the women's outhouse. I said "never mind" and held it for about 3 more hours until we got back to civilization and I could use a toilet that wasn't surrounded by bear tracks.

I have a friend who feeds a female coyote that lives on/near their property and has raised several litters of pups there. She puts out stale crackers, bread, etc. for the coyote. There are people who think I am crazy because I feed the deer, but at least I am not feeding the coyotes. Although.....we have a lot of native persimmon trees and the coyotes usually eat all their fruit while it still is green, so in that sense, I guess we are feeding them too. Or, we're feeding rabbits and the rabbits feed the coyotes.


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

We used to have more coyotes than we do now. A few years ago a neighbor started killing coyotes and hung nine of them from a limb by his house. Maybe that's why we have so many rabbits. I haven't heard coyotes calling for several years and they used to be common.
We have a selective attitude toward snakes. We only kill the poisonous ones. That's mostly copperheads, although 25 years ago a 4&1/2 ft rattler crawled up into the yard and was rattling at the cat when I heard it. We also kill black rat snakes aka chicken snakes because they kill chicks and baby songbirds. but the king snakes, both speckled and scarlet we leave alone.


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

Larry, you are funny. You are also correct. Helen, I agree with you. I don't look at my dogs as predators since they are in a fenced yard. But few people approach our house without our knowledge.

dbarron, I agree. I do not grow food, but I do not like for them to nibble on my flowers. I also do not like the fact that I can get so close to them.

mulberryknob, how interesting. I would have difficulty watching my dogs tear a rabbit apart, but many of you probably kill your own chickens and turkeys.

My father used to tell us stories about living on the farm. He was born in 1910, and there were no humane societies or any other organizations to help with animals. There really is a difference between city and country.

About your fence--- On my roses forums fences have been discussed. There is something about having two fences that many write about. I think one is a good fence and the other is a cheap one. It isn't that the deer will get stuck between them, but something about their vision or their perception. I don't know if that is any help to you at all. Mulberry, what kind of dogs do you have?

The storm is here, so I will continue later. I wonder if there will be much rain with it, or if it will just be loud and pass.

Sammy


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

Sammy, The thing with two fences is that deer can jump high or they can jump wide, but they cannot jump high and wide at the same time. Thus, if you put two relatively short fences (3' or 4' tall) about 3 to 4' apart, the deer usually don't jump them.

We had the two short fences around the veggie garden originally and it worked for about six or seven years. I grew flowers in between the two fences, so that our veggie garden was surrounded by a fenced "moat" of flowers. The deer sometimes nibbled, and occasionally devoured, all the flowers growing in between the fences but they didn't invade the garden and couldn't eat the vegetables. Then, a smart deer figured out how to make a short leap into the moat between the fences, and after that he figured out he could just jump into the big garden from the moat. Of course, others watched that deer and copied his or her method. I fought them for a while, but eventually took out the inner fence since it no longer deterred them. Some years they didn't bother the garden much at all, but then it got to where they were jumping the fence at night in early to mid-spring and devouring everything. I'm come out in the morning and would find an entire area had been eaten down to the ground.

After trying various repellent methods and trying caging lots of plants to protect them, we gave up and errected a taller fence. Since then, the deer have only found their way into the garden if someone left a gate open overnight. They do check out the fencelines every night and gobble up anything sticking out through the fence

Dorothy, Tim used to want to remove chicken snakes and rat snakes from the henhouse and relocate them....like a hundred yards away.....and then they'd be back in the coop the next day eating eggs, chicks, keats, etc. It took me years to get him to accept that any snake that eats chicks or keats must be killed. We had one black rat snake kill 4 or 5 keats in one visit, and we caught him in the coop with 4 suspicious large bulges in his body and he was wrapped around the 5th keat constricting it to death. They were the only 5 keats the guineas had hatched out that year and I was so upset about losing them.

Our tolerance of various forms of wildlife developed over time based on how much of a risk they were to our animals. I thought coons were cute when I first saw them running around the yard, climbing trees and climbing our porch pillars. I thought they were a lot less cute after they got into our chicken coop one night and slaughtered all our chicks and chickens. We still don't shoot coons on sight or anything, but when they are lurking around our house or chicken coops we chase them off. If we make a mistake and fail to lock up the chicken coop door securely one single time, the coons will get in there and kill chickens so we have to be very careful to secure all the doors and windows every single evening. If a chicken is so foolish as to not return to the chicken coop at night, we'll find a bunch of feathers in the yard in the morning and may or may not ever find what is left of its body. That tells me the coons come around every single night checking to see if a stupid chicken stayed out or if a stupid human forgot to close and lock the door. We may not see them, but they are there. If a coon somehow gets into a fence or coop that had seemed to be predator-proof for years and slaughters our poultry, we lie in wait for it the next night when it returns and then shoot it or them if there's more than one. We had ringtailed cats get into the coop twice, but we merely ran them off. They will kill poultry too, but since they are a lot more rare than coons, we didn't want to kill them.

I love wildlife, but some of them teach you the hard way that you have to stay on your toes 100% of the time. If you forget to do one little thing one single time that keeps your animals or garden safe, they will exploit that error every time. It makes me think they are nearby and watching us a lot more often than we realize.

In the worst winter weather and worst hot, summer, droughty times, I will put out water for everyone and put out food for them when we have something to spare. I know that the less desirable wildlife is out there drinking and eating with the ones we enjoy having around. We feed and water them all. They, however, have to be good guests and stay out there at the wildlife feeding areas and not come up to the house and start eating our plants or our animals.

Dawn


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

I live in the city, but dream about purchasing my grandparents. Deer would definitely be a problem in rural central Indiana. I wonder how Dawn's moat idea would work modified to a dog run? Of course, this would only work if the dog's where outside 24/7.


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

mrsfrodo, I use an electric fence to keep the deer out. One year I had a problem with one or more deer jumping the fence, which was a little more than knee high. I strung other wires to make a "Moat". When the deer would jump one wire they would land on another wire. It appears that what ever is on the under side of a deer is tender to electricity. The damage stopped after one night.

Larry


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

Andria, I think a dog moat could work, but then there is this to consider.....in our rural area, dogs and cats that stay outside in the more remote areas generally run into trouble at some point, even in fenced-in backyards or dog runs. They can be attacked and even killed by coyotes and other predators, or attacked by skunks or bitten by venomous snakes at night. If I were going to have a dog moat, I'd have one of the types of guardian dogs raised to protect domestic farm and ranch animals from wildlife---and I'd have two of them so they could help protect each other. Guardian dogs protect sheep, goats, poultry, calves, colts, etc. from all kinds of predators and they do a great job of it. Some folks that live here in our county use donkeys for the same thing. A guardian donkey will even go head-to-head with large predators like cougars or wolves, for example.

The area of central Indian where your grandparents' place is might not have a lot of the large predators roaming that we have here, but I bet they do have a lot of deer.

Dawn


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  • Posted by dbarron Z6/7 (Oklahoma) (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 2, 14 at 18:46

Dawn, I'd love to see the donkeys chasing rabbits (lol)...I know the thread kinda veered.


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

I wonder if they would chase rabbits? I guess that would happen only if the rabbits were a threat to some domestic animal they've been trained to protect. lol

I've never seen a rabbit attack anything except garden plants and ornamental flowers I foolishly planted in a flower bed that wasn't fenced.


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A cowboy told me a story about an owner (city guy) who heard llamas would kill coyotes. (For city people, coyotes will kill calves, so they are hated by cattlemen) This guy unloaded a llama into a pasture with new calves, where it promptly stomped a calf to death. Apparently they kill anything they aren't familiar with. I guess there are no easy answers


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Yes, we kill our own chickens, and have killed and butchered goats, calves, deer, ducks in the past. But I don't like to see our dogs torment baby rabbits. Early in spring, they are so rabbit hungry that they just eat them down. Later they take to playing with them. If I know they've caught one and injured it but haven't killed it, I take it from them and dispatch it with a stout walking stick. IF I can catch them. Oh, they are mutts, but mostly border collies. One black and white, one gold and white.


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

Andrea: I've comptemplated the "dog moat" idea too and also thought it could serve as a chicken run possibly (obviously not while dogs are present). I think it's something worth thinking about but I'm glad to see a rural seasoned veteran chime in and discuss the pros and cons. Glad to see someone else had the same thoughts and I'm not the only garden daydreamer/planner out there!


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I've heard llamas make good guardian animals but haven't seen any being used that way, whereas I've seen lots of donkeys in fields with other animals and I've always assumed the single donkey in a pasture of other animals is meant to be the guardian animal. Otherwise, I am not sure why people would want a donkey. Donkeys do not particularly like to stay where they are put and spend a lot of time escaping from their pasture and running the roads until a sheriff's deputy or resident finds them, figures out where they belong and puts them back where they belong.


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I've wondered the same thing, Dawn. But till you mentioned it, I never new they could be gaurd animals. I know some horse people harness an unbroken horse to a mule. I could be wrong, could be donkey. The mule, of course, does what it pleases and suposedly teaches the horse it can't always have its own way, which I suppose makes it easier to train. If you are a horse person and I have this wrong or its considered cruel, please speak up. I was told a lot of stories when I worked on the ranch and sometimes they may have been having fun at my expense.


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George, (macmex) can tell you about guard dogs. He has a couple that sleep during the day and roam his place at night, I believe.


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

I started with one cute little bunny a little over a year ago. I have extensive gardens so I wasn't too surprised to see one hanging around. The first one was cute, but now I have three and they have really settled into the yard and are feasting on several plants and flowers.

I've done a lot of reading and there really isn't much I can do. The latest damage was because it turns out bunny poop pellets can be very toxic to dogs. My great dane ate some a couple of weeks ago and it almost killed her. $600 later from critical care and $200 more for cleaning all the messes on the floors in the house, I think we're ahead of it for now.

So I can't say I like my cute little bunnies very much any more.

Mark


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I would never have imagined!


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

  • Posted by dbarron Z6/7 (Oklahoma) (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 12, 14 at 13:58

Toxic rabbit pooh ? oh dear, save us :)


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

I had never before heard of toxic rabbit poop. I raise rabbits in one room of our barn, and the produce hundreds of pounds of the stuff. The dogs follow me in there, when I take care of the rabbits, and we have never had a problem. Perhaps the wild rabbit ate something which passed through and hurt your Dane. Another thing that comes to mind is that Great Danes are renowned among vets (my son and daughter-in-law are vets) for being prone to health issues. Maybe their digestive system is more "persnickity" than that of other dogs.

Here's a picture of Mando, our newest. He's an Anatolian Shepherd. The picture was taken at just over 4 months of age.

Every livestock guardian dog that I've had has been an egg thief while young. But every one also grows out of it. They have all been bound and determined to catch and eat rabbits. I believe they have centuries of selection, back in their native countries, of being fed only part of what they required in order to thrive. They were expected to catch and eat rodents. I don't fully understand it, but I can definitely teach them not to bother poultry, while rabbits... forget it. If one of my rabbits escapes, it's toast.

I leave the main chicken coop open at all times. Guerrero, our main guardian actually sleeps in there. Coon are almost never a problem any more. But this summer I lost 8 young turkeys during the night. They would sleep on a fence, pretty far back on our property. We lost our main guard dog in February, so we have been a little short handed. I suspect that 1) a coyote figured out that it could dash in and out with "carry out," before Guerrero could get over there, or 2) an owl started frequenting the fence like a drive through. So, those birds, in that outer pen, are getting penned up at night.

Disadvantages of the livestock guardian dog (LGD) are:
1) They don't readily recognize property lines.
2) They like to roam.
3) They do take about 2 years to mature and become the true champions that they are. Before that, they can be trying.

But I would not be without two of them. They work as a team. They also protect us. My daughter was working nights and came home at 2 AM on a regular basis. TWICE strangers followed her right into the driveway! Both times, as they started to exit their cars, two of our LGDs came roaring over the fence and drove them off. I suppose they could tell that my daughter was frightened. Another interesting item about them is that they seem to be able to detect drug users. A number of times my dogs have corralled visitors. At first, I couldn't figure out why. But with time, I learned that those were people with drug problems. One fellow was actually "punched" in the leg, by our first LGD, a Great Pyrenees, because he ignored the dog's warnings, not to proceed to the back door without my permission. Three years later the same fellow drove into our driveway, wanting to buy some chickens. Guerrero, who had only seen the man when he was a little bitty pup, wouldn't let him out of the car, period. Yet, with most visitors, our dogs are either friendly or indifferent.

Donkeys can do a good job protecting. But I hear they tend to go stale after a few years and lose interest in it.

Anatolian Shepherd Pup 40 months old photo photo_zpsa550a3ff.jpg
Mando at four months

George
Tahlequah, OK


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That is a big beautiful baby you have there George.
kim


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

That pup has big feet! How big are they full grown? I have a beagle hunting something in the shed. At least I don't smell skunk! I assume that there is special training involved with these dogs.

We used to have 2 geese (they will raise an alarm when anything comes in the yard.) A rabbit imprinted on the gander some how. I think someone moved and released a pet. It used to sleep with its head on the gander's back. We had 2 dogs at the time, neither of which bothered the rabbit, but I am sure would not have been above eating turds, since kitty crunchies were considered a treat. There was also a duck that adopted us at that time. That silly rabbit would run, put up its back feet and kick the snot out of that duck. He also did it to the pup and occasionally to people. I think it had no idea what species it was!


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

George, that really is a pretty dog, I bet he will soon be big enough for you to ride.


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

There is a quite a bit of variability among LGDs. Most Anatolian males seem to top out at about 150 lb. Some, especially among the Pyrenees, can go over 200. Our neighbor has a Pyre crossed with Komondor (female) which probably only weighs 60 lb. But she is a lion!

George


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

Beautiful dog!


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

It certainly is a beautiful dog.

This forum is so interesting to me. I know so little about country life. I have taught school much of my life, but my students live in the same school district where I teach, and I never have heard so much about country life.

I cannot imagine seeing a snake, and being prepared to kill it if it is dangerous or letting it go if it is safe.

I had to go out of town for a week and cannot even begin to respond to all of your messages, but I love the very interesting posts. I am certainly looking at bunnies in a different perspective.

Sammy


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

  • Posted by dbarron Z6/7 (Oklahoma) (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 14, 14 at 8:19

Not about 'poor bunnies' (or not really), but on the way driving home Friday night (I seldom come in very late..this was medium to late..late), on the 1/2 mile drive from highway to house (dirt road), I saw 1 coyote (probably looking for cats or trash), one possum (scurrying vainly about a metal trash can and trying to figure out how to get in it), and one bunny (strangely out in pasture eating some native fodder, rather than in my flower bed).
I like seeing 'wildlife' that doesn't cause me problems (like trash all over yard, or everything eaten)...so since that was my neighbors' trash can and all...I was happy.


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

yes bunnies are cute but they also taste good.

When I was a kid me and my little sister was left on 2000 acres alone 99% of the time with no food, neighbors and all phone call were long distance.

Sis would get hungry and I would do the old BOX with STICK with Rope with Food underneath. Caught lots of rabbits also great for catching yard bird.

With my old tom cat dead and my replacement gone the rabbits ate everything popping up all growing season.

Paula gave me a good replacement and next spring will be better. (she's already brought me a rabbit and a few rats)

I cant fell sorry for something that steals my food.

But they R cute I rescued one a few years ago.

Tree


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

Mark, I am glad y'all were able to save your dog. I assume the dog contracted either coccidiosis or leptospirosis from the rabbit poop? I know that dogs sometimes can contract those diseases if they ingest feces from a rabbit that had either or both diseases.

We have tons of wild animals here and I really watch our animals like a hawk because there's so many ways they can make themselves ill by eating wild animals or their feces. Some friends of ours who live here on our road lost a cattle herding dog in a strange incident. You know how dogs like to roll on the dead bodies of various wild animals or even to roll in the poop? Their dog rolled on top of some cow manure one day. Apparently he had a cut or broken skin somewhere on his body (they think it was on his back) and, when he rolled in the cow manure, he contracted an E. coli infection and it ultimately killed him despite their efforts and the vet's efforts to save him.

George, Your dog is so beautiful!

dbarron, lol lol lol. That rabbit just hadn't found your flower beds yet.

Tree, We've rescued a lot of baby bunnies that the cats find and bring to us alive. I'm not sure what the cats expect us to do with their "catch" but we just try to find the nest and return them. If the cats caused a scratch or puncture wound on the rabbit, we clean it up and disinfect it before we take the baby bunny back to its home. (We find the bunny nest by following the cats because, having brought us the gift of one bunny, they always go right back to the nest to bring us another one.)

We had oodles and oodles of cottontails all spring and part of the summer but are seeing very low numbers now. I'd say the predators have been eating very well for the past few weeks.

Dawn


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

Dawn I have cottontails and jack rabbits wich is a new ball park for me.
The rabbit I rescued was an easter bunny that was being tortured. it sure tore the house up. just in one day wile I was at work it ate every houseplant all the rubber of every electronic and party all the time. I built an outside cage and within a day gone he became the neighborhood bunny funny thing is he never ate out of my garden.
Tree


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RE: Life in the country/ poor bunnies

Rabbits are hard on gardeners and their gardens, but I love watching them hop around the yard and play anyway. We mostly have managed to fence them out of the garden, although every now and then one will find its way in. We only have cottontails here. I guess we aren't far enough west to have jackrabbits. I remember seeing jackrabbits on trips through west Texas and I loved seeing them. They could move so fast!

We were given some rabbits after we moved here (when you move to the country, all your friends who have animals they not longer want are quick to offer them to you so they can tell their kids that the pet went to live at a nice place in the country) and they had a terrific rabbit hutch and a nice 10' x 10' fenced run. The problem was that they saw wild rabbits out every morning and evening so they kept escaping to run with those rabbits. We would chase them down and put them back in their pen or hutch and they'd sulk, so finally we just let them go free. After they'd been running free for a couple of months, they disappeared, so I guess something got them.


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