Controlling feral rabbits

Late summer and autumn is the best time to control feral rabbits with 1080 oat bait. 

Natural Resources Officer Gemma Marshall explains how controlling feral rabbit numbers now, while they are at their lowest from food scarcity is the most effective time.

“Plant seeds are a major part of their diet, making oats an ideal bait. Baiting at this time of year can cut numbers by 98%. Rabbits that survive the summer will breed up quickly once the season breaks and will give you grief when this year’s crops and pastures start to emerge” Ms Marshall said. 

Land managers need to ‘train’ the rabbits to eat the oats by supplying three ‘free’ feeds.

“We recommend that you put out three free feeds at least three days apart then follow-up with a trail of 1080 oats,” Ms Marshall said.

If you do not supply free feeds then you run the risk of a poor uptake of bait and bait shy rabbits on your property.

Rabbit control is an integral part of farm planning, with baiting being only one part of a control program. A full range of control techniques and best practises can be found at

Local Land Managers can book for a free loan of Bait layers and warren fumigators from the Port Lincoln Natural Resources Centre. Twelve kilo buckets of pre-mixed 1080 oats are also available for $25 from the Centre. Please contact Gemma Marshall or Lana Roediger on 8688 3111.


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