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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am more or less devastated right now about my rabbit herd. I am going to have to cull the entire group and find replacements, due to Pasteurella.

Does everyone have a back-up plan in case your main group is compromised by disease or predators? Whether you keep rabbits, goats, poultry, cattle, etc? With the smaller livestock it would be easier to maintain a separate population, even one male and one female to rebuild your numbers. Or do you have a neighbor who could supply you with new stock if you lost yours to something?

Once we have all of the rabbits culled, the shed sanitized completely, and new breeding stock, I am trying to hatch a plan. I might keep a doe and buck inside the house until a pair from a younger litter are weaned. It wouldn't be as difficult to keep younger rabbits in the house, they aren't as stinky as the adults, and don't need as much space. It would at least give me a back-up to work with if anything else happened. And I hate to go to a closed herd, but it looks like that is my only option. I am too upset about all of this lost work to risk the same thing happening again.

Kayleigh
 

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I read your post in the rabbit forum. That is pretty tough.
We are working on a breeding program that is a closed system.
I am afraid The buck you had that made every one sick would have been culled. Right now you have the option to replace your stock, but if there are no replacements in a SHTF situation your stock is pretty important.
I have 15 holes and every time one is emptied for some reason, a new rabbit fills it. I have no idea what may happen to an older rabbit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When I wasn't sure if it was Pastuerella or not, I was hesitant to cull the buck. Once it was clear that was what it was I was ready to get it over with. My husband has a soft spot for the rabbit, which is why he has stuck around for so long.

And I just filled the freezer not too long ago, I went down to a single buck and three does until spring. I wanted to have a bit of a breather, and was expecting litters any time now to replace what I had gotten rid of. I guess that won't happen again.

Kayleigh
 

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It has taken me awhile to get to the point where I cull every time it is nessasary.
And since I am the butcher in the family, when my husband protests, I just tell him in the morning this rabbit or that rabbit is going today and he justs says OK.
A couple I have told him after the fact. When a little buck I was raising got the rattles last month I just took him out and culled him. No discusion at all.
I wish I was closer I would help you out with some new stock.
 

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Oh no! How awful for you (and the rabbits)! Did you bring a new rabbit into your colony, or do they catch it some other way?

It's probably a good idea if you have the room, to have stock in separate places far from risk of cross contamination. I'll have to give that some thought!
 

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I am sorry for the rabbit problem you are having.
This is a good item for thought. I really started being more careful when the bird flu first came to light, not just with the birds but with all the animals. The same principles apply to us even. I don't know if there is a good answer to something like that. It never hurts to network a bit just to know who in the area may have replacements or a good healthy gene pool if need be. I have been asking more questions in the feed store as to who in the area has this or that animal and even talking to people that are getting the products for the animals in question. Of course most "animal people" like to compare notes so it is an easy way to make new friends ,too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tab...I have an incredibly long PM to finish and send to you. It is of epic proportions. I will get it finished and sent to you before the weekend is up. I don't really "need" to make a trip to the feed store this week, but maybe I'll take a drive anyways and see if they can help me out.

I had a rabbit that was living in a permanent quarantine, more or less, because by the time we were certain he had what he has my husband had gotten very attached to him. Not hard to do, he is cute for a meat rabbit, and friendly too. I had someone else caring for the animals briefly, and there was some cross contamination between him and the herd.

Kayleigh
 

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This is definitely something to seriously consider. We lost all our young meat chickens one time at about four or five weeks old. Their pen was close to the road, and I'm sure it was a human varmint that took them (they disappeared one Sunday morning while we were at church). Now I keep my animals at the back of our lot or right in the back yard, but I have a pen of chickens and some rabbits in different locations (the chickens are by the back door to the garage, the rabbits are in the garage) so even if we lose some, hopefully we won't lose everything. I can't do that with the goats, because we can't keep more than four here, and they need to stay together. But separating the rabbits and the chickens should also help with disease issues, although thankfully everyone has been pretty healthy so far.

Kathleen
 

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Closed "herds" are really a good choice. Way too much chance of cross contamination, even with human visitors in some cases. I have my girls (goats) and I helped a neighbor down the road set up her girls and she has carefully been securing 2 different bucks this past year so she and I now have a good gene pool to draw from for future breeding. She runs several wethers with her bucks so they don't get "fiesty" and into trouble. She also runs a nice rabbitry the same way - she has several bucks kept separate and rotates the breeding between them, keeping accurate records, and so far it's worked very well for her with no disease problems.
 

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I have plan within plan within plans...

If your trusted core of friends, relatives, and neighbors stock the same as you do, you have some safety. If they don't, and the poo hits, and you have to slaughter everything, well, that's the end of that 'stock line'.

Not familiar with pasturella. Do the rabbits die? Not Breed? Not sellable? Can you eat them with pasturella. I like rabbits, however, through experimentation, Ive found that it's almost impossible for them to put on weight, feeding them greens grown on the farm.

In my worst nightmare, the Golden Hordes scouring the countryside... I have plans on slaughtering every single rooster I have. They can be heard for miles, further, if the wind blows right. I've always got young roos 'on line', and the silkie roos hardly crow at all. I could see keeping some of my 'giant' roos alive, but keeping them inside the house, where the sound would be insulated.

No point in having a secure food supply, and lose it all, to opsec (operational security) failures.
 

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Texican, my Silkie roos do crow, but you are right, they don't seem to crow as much as other breeds. I hadn't realized that until you mentioned it! It's a good thing to know, although I don't think I'd want to depend on Silkies as our only egg supply.

Kathleen
 
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