Hope Mamajohnson Doesn't Mind.. A GREAT Way to Keep Bunnies

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by chickflick, May 16, 2004.

  1. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    Hope you don't mind me posting this Mamajohnson.. But, I just thougth it was SOOOO GREAT and people are ALWAYS talking embedded in other threads on what is a GOOD way to keep rabbits; so I cut and pasted your way in an April post,here: :worship:

    mamajohnson
    Registered User

    Joined: Nov 2002
    Location: Texas
    Well, I have 6 cages. mainly for the culls. (because sometimes it takes me awhile to dress them out lol!)
    But, overall, yes, I have a rabbit "pen". Works wonderful. We built a pen with welded fence wire, 4' tall. It is buried about 6" into the dirt. We have lots of trees and sand, so I didnt add anything to have a burrow for the bunnies. It actually took about 4 months for them to figure out - or for their instincts to kick in - about digging burrows. The females go into their hole and make a nest, birth the kits, and we dont see them until they come above ground to nibble on feed. I have an automatic waterer (like for a dog) and some bottles hanging around the fence. I did have to go back and put 1" chicken wire on the bottom of the pen, the little ones were hopping out and my dogs were getting in the habit of chasing them. (hence - two bad dog attacks, by our dogs)
    As a result I now have two farrel bunnies, one california and one black bunny (rex mix) I will have to get a live trap to get those two back in the pen, they have grown up on the lamb
    For me this is perfect. My rabbits pretty well come up, especially when I call "here bunny bunny bunny" They love to take range cubes (be sure it is the kind you can give a horse) from my hands, a special hi-protein treat for them. We often toss in the tree trimmings from our heavily wooded acreage. They love to chew on the bark/leaves. Especially sweetgum trees. Anyway, they have chewed the bark off all the trees in the pen for about 1 1/2 feet up and I will probably have to go cut a bunch out. I do release the male for breeding. The only problem I have is, if I dont get the babies up fast enough and sex them, the males will neuter each other. (makes nice fat bunny-roast tho!) I will put in three links, one of the first "old" way that we kept rabbits. We had a dog destroy the cages and kill all but 3 rabbits. (we had 15 at the time - two large litters) So, we then built the "pen" and have only lost a few rabbits at a time when dogs attack, the rabbits run to the holes and hide, they have learned to dig real deep.
    the pictures load slow, they are large. also, the cage and topper you see in pic#1 is now installed in the pen for our "culls" .
    hope that helps!

    http://mamajohnson.com/main/pics/bunnies.jpg

    http://mamajohnson.com/main/pics/bunniepen3.jpg

    http://mamajohnson.com/main/pics/bunniepen2.jpg
     
  2. evilbunny

    evilbunny Well-Known Member

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    I am intrigued by this idea. What about cold weather? I am in Iowa, it gets 20 below sometimes. Couldnt rabbits be kept in something like a tractor type thing like chickens?
     

  3. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    Nope, No 'tractors'.... they'll dig out! Rabbits are only suseptible to wind and rain... they can stand it about as cold as it gets. I feel Mammajohnson's solution is Blue Ribbon! The ground holds heat much better than a free floating wire rabbit cage in the 'sky'!:)
     
  4. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    What about the risk of tullaremia? My understanding is this is caused by ticks. Being housed on the ground would seem like an increased risk.
     
  5. MomInGa

    MomInGa Well-Known Member

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    I dont have bunnies yet, although they are the list of future "wants" but really like the pictures you posted!
    Everything looks clean and lots of room for them to thrive.
    Thanks for posting this thread as I hadnt seen it before, but glad to find it now!
     
  6. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sure you can do a tractor -- just put wire on the bottom as well! They will still be able to nibble the grass through it. I'm thinking of something the size that is usually used on the sides of the cages.

    That's exactly the idea I want to use for growing out meat rabbits this year.

    Tracy
     
  7. mousecat33

    mousecat33 Well-Known Member

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    TX
    Hey Chickflick,

    Thanks to you and Mamajohnson.

    Thinking about getting some rabbits and this looks like a good approach, but,
    have you had any problems with fire ants?

    thanks
    mc
     
  8. mousecat33

    mousecat33 Well-Known Member

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    TX
    Also,

    What are the tires for? Do the bunnies not chew on them?
    thanks

    mc
     
  9. ozarkyehti

    ozarkyehti Well-Known Member

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    How do you protect them from hawks, owls, foxes, snakes etc.
     
  10. barbarake

    barbarake Well-Known Member

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    Upstate SC
    I've heard of this before - I believe it's called 'colony' <something>. I really like the idea, it seems much nicer for the rabbits. Spending your whole life in a cage doesn't seem very humane.

    Since I'm considering keeping just a few rabbits (for meat), I've been planning to do something similar.