Rabbit Trapping2018-06-17T13:52:44+00:00

Rabbit Trapping

Items you will need

1 x Fenn Mark6 Rabbit trap
1 x trapping hammer
1 x tent peg
1 x setting stick (about 10” long, whittled so that one end is wide and flat)
1 x shallow sieve (5mm mesh) say 6”x4”
1 x garden hand trowel
1 x mesh trapping tunnel (optional)1 x length of wire (optional)

The Legalities:

The rabbit is officially classified as vermin. You are therefore legally entitled to kill them – provided you observe the correct practices. You must use an approved spring trap placed in a tunnel or safety cage.  Rabbits are not allowed to suffer so you cannot, for example, use a gin trap.

All things considered, the best way is to use a Fenn Mark6 trap in a burrow or artificial tunnel.   This way, you stay legal. The idea behind the tunnel  is to prevent non target species like birds, cats or hedgehogs getting injured.

Preparation:

Start by making a visiting the site, a few days before placing the rabbit traps. This is especially true if there are many burrows or if the area is overgrown. If you have to disturb the foliage or widen a tunnel entrance slightly (to accommodate the trap), it is best to do it now. Give the rabbits a chance to become accustomed to it and be less suspicious of any disturbance that you cause later when actually setting the trap a few days later.

Before doing anything make an assessment of the burrows, see which ones are currently in use. Select the fresh, well-used, well-worn burrows.  Mark them with a twig above the entrance. You have too many burrows so block off some with twigs and branches. This is necessary as the old ones may still connect underground with the others.  These can be used as an escape route by the rabbits if they encounter a problem underground like a stoat. Blocking some will increase the traffic into the target burrows you have selected.

Check if the entrance to the hole is sufficiently large to accommodate the trap. If necessary use the trowel to enlarge the hole. Test it with the trap for size in both set and unset condition. Ideally the trap when fired should almost touch the top of the tunnel.  Too much clearance above and you will have missed catches. Mark6 traps are designed to jump up slightly and so the rabbit has no room to evade and escape. Leave the burrow alone for a few days to let the rabbits become at ease with any changes that you’ve made.

Setting the trap:

Dig a shallow depression for a ‘bedding in’ the trap in the rabbit burrow floor. Choose the spot so that the trap is inside the burrow entrance so that rain cannot fall on it as this will disturb the concealment measure explained later. Check the bed you have dug with the safety catch on and the safety catch holding the strike bar down against the spring.

Take the trap, fully set but with the safety on, and place it in the shallow bed. Make sure to remove any stones in the vicinity of the trap. Place the shaped end of the stick under the plate.  This prevents the trap being accidentally triggered. It is necessary now to disguise the trap. Only use soil from around the burrow area or from mole hills so that there is no hint of extraneous smell.

Sometimes, I take a square of grease proof baking paper placing it over the treadle so it extends outside the perimeter of the trap. This stops sand and debris getting under the treadle. You could use moss or peat to do the same job as the paper. Covering will involve fine dry sand which you apply with the sieve.

Now peg the chain for the trap down securely because you d not want your trap and rabbit to be taken by predators such as foxes. Now release the safety catch using the other end of the stick.

Finally, remove traces of your footprints etc by swishing the entrance area with a branch so that the rabbits are not alarmed. You also do not want to advertise to other that one of your precious Fenn Mk6 traps has been placed in the burrow.

Finally:

On a new set I would check both in the morning and the evening because you are very likely to get a result and you don’t want the other rabbits getting trap-shy too early on.

If you come back and it is evident that a rabbit has been using the burrow but the trap has not fired, then it because there is either debris under the plate or that you left the safety in place!

Now peg the chain for the trap down securely because you d not want your trap and rabbit to be taken by predators such as foxes. Now release the safety catch using the other end of the stick.

Finally, remove traces of your footprints etc by swishing the entrance area with a branch so that the rabbits are not alarmed. You also do not want to advertise to other that one of your precious Fenn Mk6 traps has been placed in the burrow.

Finally:

By law you must check your traps at least daily.  On a new set I would check both in the morning and the evening because you are very likely to get a result and you don’t want the other rabbits getting trap-shy too early on.

If you come back and it is evident that a rabbit has been using the burrow but the trap has not fired, then it because there is either debris under the plate or that you left the safety in place!

Rabbit
Rabbit factoids

The rabbits we find in Europe have the scientific name of Oryctolagus cuniculus being from the Lagomorph family – the same as hares. There are several significant difference between them however. Hares are born with their eyes open, hair covering their bodies, and they can run within a few minutes of birth. Rabbits are born blind, naked, and remain in a fur-lined nest for the first days of their lives.The male, female and young rabbits are commonly called bucks, does and kits respectively.

A rabbit’s teeth never stop growing! Many people believe they need to chew to keep their teeth short. While they do enjoy chewing, it’s the normal wear from where their top and bottom teeth meet that keeps a rabbit’s teeth short.

The average size of a rabbit litter is usually between 4 and 12 babies following a short 30-day gestation. Male rabbits can reproduce as early as 7 months of age, and females as early as 4 months. This means in one year a single female rabbit can produce as many as 800 offspring.

.

Now even BIGGER & better - new premises, more stock, new products, new web site content - but still the same low prices. What could be better than that? Dismiss