How to build a "rabbit tractor"

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Skykomish, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. Skykomish

    Skykomish Well-Known Member

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    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Collins CO
    I would like to make a outdoor cage for my rabbits so they can eat greens that I don't have to pick lol. I have chicken wire and 2x4s so I think those will work. I am not sure how to do it in a way that I can A) Move it from place to place and B) Catch the rabbits if I need to. They're not very tame. I want it to be big enough that I can put a whole colony in. That way the only ones I have to keep inside are does about ready to kindle and the buck. How big do you think I should make it? The width of the chicken wire is about 3 ft, but I can go pretty long. Or if there is a way to make the chicken wire wider and still rabbit proof? How can I make a hiding place in the pen for them that will be easily mobile? Any ideas or plans for ones you have used would be appreciated!!
    Tyvm!
     
  2. MariaAZ

    MariaAZ Suburban Homesteader

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    Phoenix, Arizona
    Good questions! You bring up an issue I'd be interested in hearing about. If I pull a pregnant doe from a colony and keep her in a cage until the babies are weaned, can she be successfully reintroduced into the colony?
     

  3. bricned

    bricned Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Louisiana
    I am planing on building my tractor 3 feet wide by 8 feet long 30 inches tall.
    It will have a solid roof over 4 feet of the top. It will have removal wheels on
    one end. The bottom will have heavy wire and re bar crossing every 18 inches to suport
    the young rabbits while they are being moved to new grass. I plan on having
    12 inches of 2X2"s extending to be used as handles
     
  4. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I have NEVER built, used, or even seen a rabbit tractor. BUT I've read several discussions about them, done Google searches, and we've considered building one/some for grow out pens while leaving the adults in the colony - pretty much exactly what Skykomish is considering.

    Here's what I've read/learned from other who have tried it.
    • Chicken wire is too flimsy to offer protection from predators. You'll need welded wire or hardware cloth or something similar.
    • Even flat ground is uneven, and juveniles will dig out pretty quickly. Figuring out a way to prevent dig-outs is probably the toughest part of building a rabbit tractor. Most folks end up putting some fencing or pond liner or something like that along the edges of the "floor" of the tractor.
    • The tractor will need to provide shade/shelter for the rabbits.
    • You'll need a water supply in there.
    • The "floor" of the tractor has to be either completely open (except for dig-out prevention at the edges) or large mesh wire (4"x 4" openings). Otherwise the grass/greens get bent down by the wire and the rabbits can't/don't get to it very well.

    A search for "rabbit tractor" in this forum and for "chicken tractor" in Google images will yield some helpful info.
     
  5. jimandpj

    jimandpj Well-Known Member

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    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Near Louisville, KY
    We love our rabbit tractor. It is 4 x 8 and 3 feet high. My husband framed it with old 2x4's and he covered it with leftover and salvaged pieces of the wire shelving that you use in closets. Half of it is covered to provide protection. He's got one of the shelving pieces attached on top with hog rings, so you can lift it to get in and out. We secure that down with clasps.

    We raise our rabbits in a colony. The weaned rabbits go out in the tractor. We've kept up to 15 rabbits in there. We've never had trouble with them, but when they're getting really big we do move it twice a day.

    Our tractor does not have a floor to it. We have absolutely no trouble with them trying to dig out in the spring and fall. In the summer they will sometimes dig out - my guess has always been that it is too hot and they are looking for shade. In the winter they also sometimes dig out - my guess is there is no grass so they're bored.

    My children usually have no trouble chasing down the rabbits if/when they escape - so for us it isn't a big issue. (Does rabbit chasing fill the PE requirement for homeschooling??:rolleyes:)

    We've never had any trouble with predators.

    Not recommending that anyone else do it this way - just sharing what works for us.

    PJ