Is it a good idea to try and attract wild rabbits?

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Shinitai

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Greetings,

There are a few wild rabbits in my area, not many, but I’ll see one every now and then.

I was wondering if it would be a good idea to plant a garden full of plants such as basil or mint in the yard to try and attract some of them.

I wouldn’t want to take them and keep them as pets or anything like that, but just to watch them run around in the yard. Would that harm them in any way?
 

Blue eyes

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My concern with attracting wild rabbits (if you have a pet rabbit) is that those wild rabbits could potentially be carrying RHVD2 and infect the yard with it. If that happens, your rabbit will be at risk.

Here's a thread with more on that:
 

samoth

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I feed the cottontails outside my house by throwing out food for them -- I've taught them to respond/come with a *tsktsk* sound (like the sound one hears people make when riding horses), which they asociate with food. I'm doing this from a 2nd floor deck; I doubt I could do this if I was on the same plane as them.

My rabbits are 100% indoors, though. If they ever went outside, I would be concerned with the spread of RHDV2, even though there are cottontails in the yards around here regardless of whether I feed them.
 

SirLawrence

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My neighborhood is lousy with rabbits. I don't do anything to attract them, but I do have holes in my fence so they can come and go freely though. I also worry about them bringing in RHDV2, but I don't think there's really anything I can do about "getting rid" of them, and honestly, I wouldn't want to. I just let them live their best lives with no resistance from me. I will admit, I've tried leaving food for them, especially when one was healing from a particularly bad broken leg, but it was never once touched. It's not like they have a shortage of food, I just wanted to make sure the little guy could find food if he was having difficulty moving around. BTW, I saw him a few times recently, and he made the fullest recovery possible... his leg didn't heal right, but he was hopping around and running like a normal rabbit!

And as I understand it, RHDV2 can be "tracked in" by humans or other animals, so the fact that my rabbits are indoor only (as well), I don't consider a safety measure. And I would hope that I'd see some dead outdoor bunnies if the virus is in the area, as horrible as that sounds, and could take more extreme precautions.

I could be wrong on any point above. Just my input!
 

DelawareRunner

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My yard is loaded with cottontails. One has babies every year under our shed. My neighbors next to me feed them so they won't be going anywhere anytime soon. I love watching them! My bunny is indoors only though.
 

Orrin

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We welcome cottontails in our yard and we also have a separate rabbit pasture where our domestics go morning and evening. We've had no cases of RHDV2 in our region, however. If the disease cropped up in our area the cottontails would still be welcome; but, our domestic rabbits would stay indoors. We would also avoid walking in the cottontail area, for fear of picking up the virus on our shoes.
 

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