Any negatives

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Oregon1986, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. Oregon1986

    Oregon1986 Well-Known Member

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    Are there any negatives to raising domestic kits and then setting them free range once weaned off mom? We are wanting to rebuild our rabbit population on our property
     
  2. ShannonR

    ShannonR hillbilly farmgirl

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  3. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    They do not have the instinct to survive, to hide from predators. In the right location they probably would not live 48hrs unless completely fenced in to keep predators out.
     
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  4. catsboy

    catsboy Active Member

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    This is correct, without a mama to teach them how to hid and look for predators they wont last long at all.
     
  5. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    It's illegal to release animals into the wild in most states.
    Odds of them surviving aren't good.
    If you want to increase local rabbit populations, work on creating more habitat and food plots.
     
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  6. Back2Basix

    Back2Basix Well-Known Member

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    Waste of money. You're better off working on their natural habitat.

    1) Plant brambles (raspberries, blackberry, etc) around your yard/wood perimeter.

    2) Create brush piles from fallen branches or harvested tree tops

    3) Seed clover into your yard. Attracts the bunnies, deer, and honeybees which will pollinate your other trees, flowers, and garden

    4) Don't more the last 12in of your yard perimeter. Especially near my think pines, i find that the rabbits love to use it as quick cover

    5) Deter local predators. Some don't have success but between trapping/killing my coons & possum PLUS putting out a scarecrow with DVDs hanging around my yard to keep the raptor away, it's really really really helped. Haven't lost a duck in 3 weeks ***knock on wood***
     
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  7. Back2Basix

    Back2Basix Well-Known Member

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    Oh also (which might not be legal) but i have an acquaintance "in town" that traps rabbits around his garden. Instead of killing them, he'll relocate them to my 6acre bunny brush hunting field.

    Might want to throw something on Craigslist that says "I want to catch your cottontail garden thieves"
     
  8. Oregon1986

    Oregon1986 Well-Known Member

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    I asked because my neighbor wants to buy 5 of my kits and set them free on her property. Should she instead do bunny tractors?
     
  9. ShannonR

    ShannonR hillbilly farmgirl

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    Yes!!!!!! A million times over, yes.

    I once had some crazy, vegetarian, bunny hugging neighbor next door who turned her rabbits loose..... scourge of the earth, I'll tell ya. I haven't lived there for over 4 years now and I still get mad whenever I think about that.

    If you even suspect your bunny hugger neighbor will turn them loose, I would seriously rethink selling any kits to them. I mean seriously, I don't buy pitbulls or pigs and set them free, same should apply to bunnies
     
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  10. Oregon1986

    Oregon1986 Well-Known Member

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    Lol ok someone is riled up
     
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  11. Oregon1986

    Oregon1986 Well-Known Member

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    Couple years ago we had lots of wild bunnies between our property and the neighbors but I guess the predator population got too large
     
  12. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If she buys them from you---you or her one needs to condition them for a tractor before putting them in it. If its going to be on green grass---they might over eat, get a upset stomach and even die from that.
     
  13. Lookin4GoodLife

    Lookin4GoodLife Well-Known Member

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    I think a good resource to contact would be your county extension agent or your local ag university. They can probably give you (your neighbor) all kinds of good info on building the rabbit population, even with the great advice above. They can also give you information on the regulations for turning wildlife loose in your state and tell you why you don't want to do that. Sometimes folks are leary about contacting government agencies, but the couple times I've contacted mine, they were very friendly and helpful. I'm a "just starting out farmer" and I will definitely be using them more in the future. There's also that "domestic rabbit vs. wild European hare" or whatever the wild rabbits are, I can't remember. Not the same beast and you could potentially upset the natural order of things and actually decrease your population instead of the intended increase and the extension agent can give you info on all that as well.

    With that said....... *IF* I were thinking about something like that...... :) Most folks say colony raising rabbits is NOT the way to go, while others have been quite successful with it. If I were to want to introduce domestic rabbits into the wild, I would build a large colony setting that was inescapable and the rabbits could not dig out of. Once they were burrowing and self-sufficient with me only introducing local plant-life and gradually weaning them off of whatever feed they were living off of, I would then open up a "gateway" of sorts that they could dig out of. Let them escape naturally and go from a "protected" environment into a "have at it" situation. I agree with what's been said above, I don't think they'd last long, but I think that would give them the best chance of survival, because they'd at least know how to burrow and sustain themselves at that point. I've seen where people have posted their rabbits got out and they couldn't catch them, but the rabbits stayed close by and seem to support themselves living under barns or what-not, so I guess it's possible, but kind of like free ranging chickens, not really the best idea if you're interested in production.

    I've got rabbits on my property, or maybe I've just seen the same one several times. He could be one someone's turned out because he/she doesn't seem too concerned about my presence. He'll definitely high-tail it if I get too close, but if I keep my distance, he'll sit there for a good while munching on grass and grooming himself. Again, I don't know if I have many or if I just keep seeing the same one again. I've only seen him around dusk and I'm not over there very often at that time of day, so there could be a horde of them over there, I don't know. :)
     
  14. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Domesticated rabbits will not help rebuild your wild cottontail population. The 2 compete for food and nesting spots. Domesticated European rabbits and American wild cottontails are totally different animals.

    Regardless, no rabbit will survive long without the proper habitat. Build your habitat and they will naturally multiply. Our wild rabbits are so used to us being in the yard they will allow us to get within 10 feet as long as we move slowly and talk softly.
     
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  15. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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  16. Haven

    Haven ~Love Saves~ Supporter

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    I had a few escape that were out for a while because i couldnt catch them. The biggest issue is that even domestic rabbits, when let loose, still have the instinct to tunnel underground. They will naturally seek shelter under your sheds and barns, and dig massive tunnels that compromise your foundations.
     
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