Country kids know the joys of particular activities, such as fishing, watching birds, climbing hills, chasing frogs and catching rabbits. Impart country knowledge to kids with primitive rabbit traps, which kids can build on their own. Include lessons about safe and humane methods of trapping and how to approach and treat wild animals. If needed, use the same rabbit traps to help remove pest rabbits in your lawn, such as those that munch on the vegetables or those that may harbour diseases.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Carrot, parley, apple or banana
- Wood or wire box
Find a strong, 6- to 8-inch stick. Avoid flimsy or rotted wood.
Cut an 18-inch-long piece of string. Tie one end of the string to one end of the stick and the other end to rabbit bait. A carrot, a parsley bunch, an apple slice or a partially peeled banana will all entice rabbits.
Place a wood or wire box, large enough to accommodate one rabbit, upside down in a location of frequent rabbit sightings. The box should measure approximately 12 inches deep, 12 inches wide and 30 inches long. A wire box, unlike a wood box, will allow the child to see the rabbit once it's trapped. Shrewd locations to place traps include near fence openings, areas of heavy brush, garden trails or in front of rabbit holes.
Slide a piece of plywood measuring slightly larger than the box opening under the box.
Prop one end of the box up with the stick, so the bait dangles from the top. Once the rabbit takes hold of the bait, the string will pull the stick out, causing the box to drop over the rabbit.
Explain to the kids the dangers involved in handling wild animals, once the rabbit is trapped. For example, rabbits may bite and can harbour dangerous diseases. Demonstrate to the kids how to safely deal with the trapped rabbit. Carefully pick up the box by the plywood to keep the bottom of the box sealed and the rabbit from escaping.
Transport the rabbit to the countryside and release it. If necessary, place a heavy rock or block on top of the box to keep it from sliding off the plywood during transport or secure the box and plywood together with an elastic cord. If unable to take the rabbit to the countryside, contact a wild rabbit rescue organisation or the local department of wildlife.
Tips and warnings
- Talk to kids about how to prepare rabbit for meat in a survival situation. This includes pushing out the urine, removing the skin and innards, starting a fire, making a cooking stick and cooking the meat thoroughly to remove all bacteria.
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