PHIILPROOF FEEDERS FOR RABBIT CONTROL
An alternative to bait are traps, there is more info in the traps section.
- Why use a bait station for rabbit control?
Pindone rabbit bait has traditionally been placed on the ground to control rabbits and has had mixed success. A possible reason for some failures is that rabbits have to feed on the bait for more than one day to get a lethal dose. If insufficient bait is put out or if the bait becomes soggy from rain (and thus unpalatable to rabbits) rabbits may not have a chance to eat a lethal dose.
If a bait station is used, you can put out sufficient to ensure all rabbits that feed from the station have a lethal dose available to them and you don't need to worry about your expensive bait getting ruined by rain. You will also reduce the risk of non-target species (e.g.: dogs and birds) eating the bait.
- Why use a Philproof bait station?
Although the Philproof bait station was originally designed as an efficient way of feeding possum bait to possums and rats, it can be modified to feed rabbits and wallabies.
Even with modifications (opening up the entrance to allow easier access to rabbits and wallabies) the Philproof station is still the most efficient bait station for protection of bait from rain.
Rabbits are very wary animals and for them it is not "a natural" act to feed out of a partly enclosed container. Because the plastic of the Philproof bait station is translucent, rabbits can see light coming through the plastic and therefore may not be so wary about putting their heads inside the feeding area. Also because of the wide and high entrance (after modification) the rabbits aren't putting their heads into a very constricted space.
- How do I use feeders for rabbit control?
Unlike possums rabbits have small home ranges and won't travel far to find food so you need to place stations where the sign is. Often on farmland you will find that rabbit sign is concentrated along fencelines, so fence posts make convenient objects to attach stations to. Place stations along fence line every 20-30 meter's (except where there is no sign.) Attach each station to a post with the base of the station 50- 150mm. above ground level. Place Pindone rabbit bait (usually available from Wrightsons) in the station. Some times the rabbits will "discover' the feeder easier if you drop a couple of pellets on the ground directly below the station (where they will act as an attractant and will be given some protection from rain by the station). Rabbits will also eat Pestoff possum bait, but it can only legally be used in a station. If you find concentrations of rabbit sign out in the paddock more than 20 meters from a suitable fence post use a 50mm by 50mm batten driven into the ground as an anchoring post for the bait station. Alternatively, use no. 8 wire pegs to pin the station to the ground. Then use a spade to dig out a clod of earth from in front of the feeding entrance to a depth of 50-150 mm (2-6") (see sketch). This will both attract the rabbit (the bare earth) and will allow it to comfortably feed at the entrance. Having a 150mm trench in front of the entrance will also eliminate the potential problem of splashback (rain hitting the ground and splashing up wards) dampening bait at the feeder entrance. It may take upto a week for the rabbit(s) to find that the station is a source of food and begin eating. It will then take a few more days before the poison to takes effect. Turning over a sod of earth or scatching the earth bare near the station will act as an attractant to the rabbits.
- How do I modify the Philproof bait station for rabbit use?
Until recently I have recommended opening up the entrance a little to allow rabbits to feel more confident about placing their head into the feeding entrance. However, I understand that some users have found this unnecessary. If you find that (after a week or so) the rabbits still aren't feeding from the station try enlarging the entrance you can use a bandsaw or similar saw to trim 1-2 cm off the top of the entrance and a few mm.'s off the side of the entrance.
- Can I move the stations around to treat new infestations?
Yes the stations come with removable double head nails so it is simple to move them on to a new site once the rabbit sign has disappeared from the area you are treating. However, on parts of your property where rabbits are most rely to re-invade from neighbouring properties, you should maintain permanent bail stations.