pasture raising Angora rabbits

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Liese, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. Liese

    Liese Namaste

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    Hello to All, If there is anyone on this list who has been raising their rabbits on pasture? I have electro netting that I use for chickens with very small (2") spacing, with this I can move the hens around to new ground, also do the same thing with different netting for the sheep. So can I hope to have Angoras and provide them "Arks" for night shelter & protection without ruining their fiber?. Pitfalls to watch for? Liese Sadler, Piedmont region, NC
     
  2. Judith

    Judith Well-Known Member

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    I dont think it will work. Even if the little fellers don't get there fibre wrecked, it will be stained green from the grass. Puttin the kids out on the lawn, was one of their biggest down falls, I had to shave them off every time. But it was fun for the kids who had just been plucked, they could play and have a good time then.
     

  3. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    I would think their fiber would be a mess from all the stuff in the pasture. I guess it would depend on what's in the pasture and how often you groom them. Lots of things to consider such as how easy are they to catch and how much fiber will they loose to shedding. What about weather, sudden changes in temp could cause breaks in the fiber. I believe they will provide much better fiber if they are kept in a controlled environment. Overall, I think it might be a big headache to keep fiber rabbits on pasture.
     
  4. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    You didn't say where you live, but here on the east coast, just the moisture from the morning dew on otherwise perfect days would be enough to mat and ruin their fiber.
    If you eep the pasture "vacuumed" of all debris, you can still put them out on nice dry days.

    I used to shave thier tummies/undersides and they stayed pretty clean- until
    the day that one of them started digging.
    I like the idea Salatin had for this problem but we had not intalled it yet-

    You put wire down flat on the ground and then see the grass so it will grow up through it. When you make your arks, size them to fit over the wired areas.

    Good luck. I used to love going outside and sitting with the bunnies on a nice day. Their obvious joy made it so much fun.
     
  5. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    I'm having scary thoughts about grooming an Angora from a pasture pen. :)

    I've raised shorthaired fryers on pasture, but I don't know how it would work with Angoras. Methinks they'd get stuff in their coats, and if they get wet or dig, you'd have a mess on your hands. Shucks, mine get nasty just eating their HAY. :eek:

    I've heard of people putting excercise pens out on their lawns and letting their bunns run around in there for a few hours, but the rabbits lived in normal cages most of the time. :shrug:
     
  6. Liese

    Liese Namaste

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    Thanks to all who replied, including those whose responses were lost in the crash; I did have a chance to read them. Well, I'll be sitting at the kitchen table trying to "think out of the box" whilst taking all your input under advicement. By the way, Arks are not tractors a la Salatin. But I think I maybe heading towards the type of housing with the house up higher with a ramp to the play pen below all enclosed. With a roof the moisture issue may be minimized. regards, Liese
     
  7. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    Liese,

    After thinking about this for a while, you may have a good idea there.

    I used to put a 12' round plastic "fence" out in the yard and let my Angoras play in it for a few hours every day. They loved it, and it did save a lot on the feed bill. I would move it to a new area every day so they always had fresh grass and the manure was deposited in various areas without me having to handle it.

    You might build a play yard for them instead of putting them on pasture. You could keep the grass mowed in the play yard. If you build it with their pens having access to it, then you could open the pens to let them out for a few hours, then put them back in their pens for the night. Angoras are used to being handled so it shouldn't be a problem putting them back in the pens every night. Mine used to hop over to me wanting to be groomed. I think grooming it kind of like a body massage for them. They get addicted to the massages and come to me begging for more.

    If you want to get a bit more diverse with the idea, you could build a portable play yard. You can either carry them to the play yard, or build a portable “hallway” that will lead from the cages to the play yard. Then you would only open the doors and they could exit and enter their cages as they please. Before long they may even learn to go home at the end of the day. You might even help them learn by giving them a treat every evening so they will want to go home at treat time.
     
  8. pasotami

    pasotami Hangin out at the barn!

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    Watch your bunnies for mites! If there are cats or deer and you see them scratching..... you may have a really big problem. They for some reason are a magnetic for the mites, guess their skin is so thin but the mites will cause them to loose the hair at skin level and then they can sunburn.....
    I had a thoughtful daughter whom wanted her EAs to play in the grass.... grooming was a nightmare. I would opt for hay feeders and carpet for them to have fun on!
     
  9. Liese

    Liese Namaste

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    Hey Spinner, I think you and I are getting onto the same brain wave length. I haven't raised rabbits before but my sheep, goats, chickens learnt quickly that a rattling can means food so why not rabbits? Just getting into a routine of calling and making food producing noises might train them to hop back in themselves so that the door(s) can be shut for the night. I think too that I'll seed an herbal lawn that I can keep low, palatable and possibly more stainfree. We don't have deer or outdoor cats but I'll watch for the mites, etc. The free ranging chickens tho have helped greatly with many of these small bugs-no ticks anymore! Thanks everyone for your thoughts and suggestions. Liese, Piedmont region, NC