Farm Cats eating baby bunnies?GRAPHIC

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Lynnette, May 25, 2006.

  1. Lynnette

    Lynnette Michigan Hobby Farmer

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    I have had a problem lately with what I assume is my cats eating my baby bunnies. There is no way the cats can get in the pens but I think they are grabbing the bunnies feet through wire bottom and killing/eating them that way. At first I thought it was the doe, but I took her out and it is still happening. I have found several dead bunnies, in all conditions of "being eaten" Sometimes I have found just a foot, other times the head and back bone. I feed my cats every night, so they are not starving to death not even close. My hutches are up off the ground but I think the cats are standing on the maure piles and grabbing their feet, often I have found dead bunnies with just a missing foot. I am removing the manure from under the pens and will keep doing so, I feed the cats, I spray them with the garden hose when I catch them out there, is there anything else I can do? It could also be a coon or something, but I am starting with the most obvious, easy to fix problem. What else can I do to keep my cats away from my rabbits? :help: Getting rid of the cats is not an option as they also keep the mouse population to an almost non-existent level. I have been just feeding them dog food because they always eat with my dog and I don't want him to have cat food. I am putting the dog down tomorow, old age, aches and pains, so I can feed the cats cat food, will this help?
     
  2. eulabes

    eulabes full time daydreamer

    Messages:
    71
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Location:
    Iowa
    why not put wire around the bottom of the cages? You could rig up a door to get manure out.

    or

    attach a piece of metal (fiberglass, etc) to the bottom of the cages at a sharp enough pitch for the manure to slide off - but, also discourage a predator from getting to the bottom of the cage.

    just ideas.
     

  3. Lynnette

    Lynnette Michigan Hobby Farmer

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Thanks, that is exactly what I needed! Even if it isn't the cats, I would assume that putting a piece of metal sheeting underneath would keep a lot of things out.
     
  4. eulabes

    eulabes full time daydreamer

    Messages:
    71
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Location:
    Iowa
    if it is a coon they're probably smart enough to reach around a piece of metal. But, since the remains you found were only (sounds like) "played with" - I bet you're right blaming the cats and the piece of metal should work.
     
  5. Goat Freak

    Goat Freak Slave To Many Animals

    Messages:
    1,970
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    Sounds like eulabes has a good idea, and I second that, good luck. I hope that your little bunnies will be safe now. See ya, bye.
     
  6. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

    Messages:
    8,821
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Location:
    S.E.Alabama
    also set a live trap with tunafish under the rabbit cages, keep your cats locked up too when you do this jsut in case they get caught just for fun,
    if you catch something OTHER than a cat, or even a feral cat, you will know it wasnt your cats,
    how high up are your cages? and how are they attached and hangning? something could be climbing up and over then slideing down and climbing around the bottom of the cage to get at the bunnys
     
  7. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,308
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Our dogs would do that, too, but only to new kits born on the wire. They were so good at getting rats and mice, and at an early age, pink things that squeak all look and taste the same to them.

    The only way I was able to stop it was to put boards in the hutches of the does who were about to kindle. I kept them there until the 3rd or 4th week. Or you can put boards around the base of the legs, so nothing can get under the hutch.

    We even had a few cases where the wire was big enough for rats to get in and they were taking and killing the babies. None of our kindling hutches have bigger than 1/4" hardware cloth, now.
     
  8. Lynnette

    Lynnette Michigan Hobby Farmer

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    Thanks everyone, I will defintely be trying a few things this weekend until I find something that works.
     
  9. dixonsrabbitry

    dixonsrabbitry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    55
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    I used to have the same problem with our barn cats a long time ago. and I was told this by a breeder friend once, "you either raise cats. Or you raise rabbits." The cats had to go. I would catch the ones that are doing it, and get rid of them.

    Cats need regular cat food. Not dog food. Ive found my cats wont eat that, and have a hard time with it. Plus Ive heard its not good for them nutritional wise.
     
  10. Lynnette

    Lynnette Michigan Hobby Farmer

    Messages:
    366
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    [SIZE=7]"I used to have the same problem with our barn cats a long time ago. and I was told this by a breeder friend once, "you either raise cats. Or you raise rabbits." The cats had to go. I would catch the ones that are doing it, and get rid of them.

    Cats need regular cat food. Not dog food. Ive found my cats wont eat that, and have a hard time with it. Plus Ive heard its not good for them nutritional wise."


    I had the dog put down on Friday :Bawling: so there is no dog food for them to eat and they are back to eating cat food, even though they don't seem to happy about it.

    I found the cat that was killing the babies and I buried it with the dog. So I think the problem is solved, thanks for the advice
     
  11. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    544
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Location:
    Kansas
    That's good, hope that clears it up for you. It was probably just one cat, so I was going to suggest seeing which one it was and taking care of it, but looks like you beat me to it! :)