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Discussion Starter #1
Have one less rabbit running around the farm mostly due to no cover. Use the rabbits for training my beagle. This a.m. we were snooping around and she kicked up a hawk in an old blown over apple tree. Couple minutes later she comes out w/ a freshly killed rabbit. I have the barn and a few brush/junk piles that the rabbits use but to get back and forth to food it's open ground. What type of plants could I plant that would survive rabbit browsing and still offer food? I've seen good rabbit numbers in blackberry patches. To these offer the rabbits food and how hard would it be to etablish an acre or two? What other plants could I use?
 

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You pretty much answered your own question. Thorny brush is the best cover. It's terrible to walk through but it gives the bunnies protection from predators of any kind. A few rows of raspberries or blackberries would be great. They spread very rapidly and you can propagate them from your existing blackberry canes if you wish.
 

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I have been working on improving my land for rabbits also. I found that laying 8" pieces of tile about 3-4 ft long in more open areas give the rabbits a place to hide or possibly escape a predator. I works good in grassy areas. I also cut down any dead trees around the edges of where the rabbits tend to be.
I collected christmas trees after christmas and made small piles with them but the rabbits never seemed to use them for some reason. Maybe this year will be different well see.
 

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An idea from a segment on a Michigan-out-of-Doors television program. Take four wood pallets and place them in the shape of an X. Then pile Christmas trees on them. A month from now you can pickup plenty of free Christmas trees from the side of the road. I do this along with adding brush that I cut on my property.
 

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bhntr

Use some of that tile, or knock the bottom out of old pail, and lay that down and build your brush pile. This will def. increase the use of your brush piles. I usually just use an old 2 - 5 gal pail.
 

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Wouldn't this be called 'rabitat'? :p
 

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The following is from a former thread.
http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/f...1127&page=1&pp=15&highlight=rabbit+brushpiles

I make my piles by first lining up several parallel logs and placing cross pieces, culverts, or pallets for compartments. Then I take my old scrap plywood whatever and lay across the logs for a roof. On some piles I throw over a scrap piece of plastic and one pile has my old waterbed plastic. Then I cover everything out of sight with pine brush. Now the shelters are dry at all times of the year snow or rain. The nest dampness causes baby rabbits to get pneumonia as a high cause of mortality. I consider dryness as important as predator retreat. We can get away with using scrap materials on private properties, but need not make the property a junkyard. Just make sure the shelters are covered and refreshed with ample natural brush materials.

Since that last thread my property WHIP plan requires I make more brush piles. Now after the 2004 logging that was done I have more stumps and limbs to start with for the brush pile foundations. I still have endless supply of building materials. I also have a supply of Christmas wreath materials (fir green cuttings) discarded after production from my neighbor down the road. I leave my 6'x10' trailer at his business and one trailer load of cutting greens makes a fantastic insulating green bough cover for a large brush pile. Lately I've been taking the neighbor's discarded plastic that covers his spray tables. Christmas wreaths are sprayed with green dye to preserve color past Christmas season. Remember I still make the deluxe cover foundations using compartments, building roofs, now green plastic cover, then cover with the green boughs. Right now those new piles are covered with white snow, but under that snow is a couple feet of warm insulation, dry water roof, and cozy compartments for wildlife.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've got the brush piles down just need cover and food to get the population up and cover when their feeding. Do you buy blackberry from seed? Never planted it or reaserched it.
 
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