Tag Archives: rabbit management

Questions I get

We have been using a fair bit of Pindone over the last couple of years. How often should we do this?

Pindone is best used May to end of July. On the odd year March and April can work if it’s extremely dry. The doe’s have planted young who can survive without mum by the end of July.If you are using Pindone it MUST be in bait stations unless you are licensed, and even then it must be fenced. Also you must have signage up stating that poison is in use. That’s whether it’s in bait stations or broadcast. 

If you poison someones dog you are liable. Just at one vet practice in Wanaka they are having 3 to 5 poisoned dogs coming in a week! I haven’t heard what the survival rate is but if you get them to a vet in time they can give vitamin K.

I’ve also seen rat poison used. This is, well I don’t know what to say about this. So illegal and so dangerous. Secondary poison can happen with using this for years.

We haven’t got a fence, can you kill our rabbits? Why yes we can, but they will be back hours after we leave, at lesser numbers but who knows for how long.

Fencing really is very important, especially on the lifestyle type blocks OR if you have some government department for a neighbour (good luck to you, you’ll need it). These include DoC, LINZ councils both district and regional, tranzrail or is it kiwirail? I can’t keep up and no doubt a few others I’ve forgotten.

Best advise for fencing is to get the rabbiter in BEFORE you get the fencer, that way he can give you the best methods and places to fence. Maybe the fence should be up the other side of the driveway or other side of a garden.

Fences cost a lot of money so why not do it right the first time. Remember, fencers aren’t rabbiters…..

Any other questions then fire them at me and I’ll add them here.

Cheers Stephen

Rabbiters toolbox: Ferrets

Ferrets, and more so rabbits, are cropping up a lot more in the Otago Daily Times of late. One can only assume it’s because there is a lot more of the later appearing in the last few years. Reporter Mark Price got in touch a few days ago wanting to do a piece on using ferrets as a form of rabbit control, so out we went with all the gear plus a photographer from the ODT Craig Baxter.

Pest Management plan

A critical part of owning land, from the holiday home in Ida Valley through to the big stations is having a good rabbit control plan in place, or Pest Management Plan. Everyone hates spending money on them, but they are here and have to be controlled. It might be something very simple/basic or it might have to be relatively detailed, that depends on a series of factors including the numbers involved, type of country etc.

With every property being different, they each require some thoughtful planning to get the most benefit from any program put in place. This is why an individual plan is needed and should be stuck to with maybe a six monthly to annual review to check and make sure everything is working for you and your property and if needed adjustments to the plan should be made. This of course can happen throughout the year, like if a hotspot appears. Obviously there is then a plan change and the problem area dealt with.

A good way to do this might be as simple as doing your own monitoring, driving around the property once every month or two with a spotlight to see what is happening and whether the numbers are under the required Modified McLean Scale 3 (MMS 3, you can see the scale here), or if it is feasible to get them well below that. Anything over the MMS 3 and work pretty much has to be done, if you don’t then expect a letter from the local regional council with a compliance notice which always involves poison if left to the council to organize. Their preferred method even in this day and age.

A big thing to remember here is the lower the rabbit numbers are the cheaper it is to do control, but somewhere in there is a big multiplier. The more rabbits there is the longer it takes to do an area, but also ammunition costs go a way up.
One of the easiest thing’s to understand is rabbits hate long grass. They don’t like to feed or live in it. Long grass when wet causes a lot of health problems so is in essence it’s own form of control. So the lower the rabbit numbers, the longer the grass….