The First 48hrs.....

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Back2Basix, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Back2Basix

    Back2Basix Well-Known Member

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    Southwest, MI
    So i picked up my rabbits this weekend as a first time rabbit breeder. Received 2 does/1 buck and barterred some venison for the 3 of them. 5lbs burger, 1lb breakfast sausage, 4lbs of steaks, and a roast; i feel i got a deal!!!

    So lets start with the pros:
    - Expected 10-12wk old kits but received 1yr old New Zealands..... woot woot!!!
    - They've bred before (and ready to breed now) so i shouldnt have any issues with new time mothers
    - The ladies lived together, so there werent and shouldnt be any current or future territorial issues (though they're seperate now)
    - I've found them super easy so far; 1 cup food and make sure their waterers are full

    The cons:
    - They are pretty skittish at the moment. Hope they just need to adjust to their new surroundings
    - Not as social as when we first picked them up. Tried feeding a carrot strip to one this afternoon and she charged then bit my finger. Is biting normal???
    - OMG their urine!!! I knew i was going to have issues this week because i havent built the "poop shoot" yet. I laid a decent layer of straw underneath their cages and sprinkled garden lime but OMG!!!! Did i mention their urine smell!!! Its only been 2 days!!!!


    So my big task this weekend is some way to direct all their sewage waste to a bucket and empty it daily. I'm pretty excited to breed them (hopefully this weekend) but i'm worried about getting too overwhelmed. If i bred this weekend, then the due date would be around Easter but i've got 2 nests of ducklings that are also due on Good Friday or the day after. So upwards of 30-40 little ducklings plus 2 litter of kits and its 23F and snowing. I dont have a growout pen(s) built yet or the nesting boxes, plus i was hoping to get around 25-30 CornishX's to start around the same time. Not to mention this stupid thing call WORK that keeps me busy from 8am-6pm....... UGH!!!

    Anyways, so thats been my last 2 days and as stressful as i'm getting, i'm pretty excited that the Mrs & I dont believe we will ever have to purchase meat ever again!!!
     
  2. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The ones that bite go in the Pot. [​IMG] We call it Rabbit Bog---some call it rabbit and rice-------Not kidding there. "YOU" can give her another chance if you want.

    Urine does not smell----YET---wait till hot summer time----It will gag a maggot if not cleaned Often. My Rabbitery I have now does not smell and requires very little cleaning----Maybe a hour total a month--if even that long. My Last one did not smell either---it just took me several hours per week to keep it clean-----rinsing the slant "tin" daily, cleaning the slant tin good about once a week and washing out the drains good. The urine went to a make shift septic tank out back through pipes. NEVER use tin/metal for slant boards---it will rust to bad. NEVER use anything in your rabbitery that will soak up urine---no wood on the cages etc.

    Raising rabbits can be fun and rewarding or it can be a Pain in the rear and fingers half bitten off if you allow it. Its just according to how you do your rabbitery.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
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  3. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A pic of the older rabbitery.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2017
  4. orea

    orea Active Member

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    Jan 21, 2015
    I found that rabbit tractors, sturdily constructed out of heave wire that is wide enough for limited digging but too small to escape from lessened cleaning chores to once a week: put the rabbits in a holding pen, tap out accumulations, move the pen to fresh ground. Rake flat, toss a little clover seed. If you make the pens a few feet long you can house 2-3 females in one. Males never work well together after 12 weeks. We've since moved all our girls into a barn with a run and are noticing interesting behaviors.

    Give the biter a chance. She is unsure of her new territory and what's to become of her. Speak softly and feed her. handle her only when needed until she calms down. Give her a place to hide. Wear gloves. One of my most sociable bucks used to bite and freak out until he realized we never harmed him, and we brought food. Now he insists I pet his forehead before feeding (nowhere else though heh.) It took 2 months here. We were patient since he was our only buck at the time.

    The cons:
    - They are pretty skittish at the moment. Hope they just need to adjust to their new surroundings
    - Not as social as when we first picked them up. Tried feeding a carrot strip to one this afternoon and she charged then bit my finger. Is biting normal???
    - OMG their urine!!! I knew i was going to have issues this week because i havent built the "poop shoot" yet. I laid a decent layer of straw underneath their cages and sprinkled garden lime but OMG!!!! Did i mention their urine smell!!! Its only been 2 days!!!!


    So my big task this weekend is some way to direct all their sewage waste to a bucket and empty it daily. I'm pretty excited to breed them (hopefully this weekend) but i'm worried about getting too overwhelmed. If i bred this weekend, then the due date would be around Easter but i've got 2 nests of ducklings that are also due on Good Friday or the day after. So upwards of 30-40 little ducklings plus 2 litter of kits and its 23F and snowing. I dont have a growout pen(s) built yet or the nesting boxes, plus i was hoping to get around 25-30 CornishX's to start around the same time. Not to mention this stupid thing call WORK that keeps me busy from 8am-6pm....... UGH!!!

    Anyways, so thats been my last 2 days and as stressful as i'm getting, i'm pretty excited that the Mrs & I dont believe we will ever have to purchase meat ever again!!![/QUOTE]
     
  5. ajneal30

    ajneal30 Well-Known Member

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    Nevada
    I'd give the biter some time to settle down. If she stays aggressive then stew pot her. You can use one or two fingers to thump her on the nose too. Most it works on, a few just never get it.
     
  6. Marinea

    Marinea Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on the buns!

    Just a quick note- a cup of food each, if I read it right, seems a bit much. Overweight does have a difficult time kindling. I use the "tuna can" analogy for new rabbit folks. A tuna can of pellets daily, fresh hay, and greens as available. You might have to adjust the amount of pellets slightly after watching how the rabbits do weightwise.

    Good luck!
     
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  7. LuckySpotFarm

    LuckySpotFarm Active Member

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    I would give all of yours time to adjust before trying to handle them too much. It is very stressful for them being in a new home. Usually I try to give my rabbits about a week before I mess with them too much. Each day I may do a little petting as I give them hay and pellets but other than that I don't bother them.

    I have also found waiting to breed them until they have settled down really helps as well. I have tried to breed right away previously and it resulted in either no pregnancy or stressed out bad moms resulting in all or some of the litter dying. :(

    I know a lot of people also have this problem with winter and their females not getting pregnant. I personally don't have that problem this year but we have had a very mild winter and all of my does now are very proven does. :)

    I'd give them a week and then look into starting to handle them and breed them :) Also keep in mind a lot of meat production breeders really don't handle their rabbits much. So usually buying adults off someone often means they haven't been handled a lot. Good luck with your rabbits! Make sure you post lots of pictures and updates!
     
  8. Back2Basix

    Back2Basix Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Yes i noticed they are all still super super stressed. Tried breeding this weekend and it was a complete failure plus one of my does is actually a buck. Thankfully it's the one that bit me, so he's destined for freezer camp
     
    Fire-Man likes this.
  9. a7736100

    a7736100 Well-Known Member

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    Even my gentle ones will bite me if they are super hungry. Once in a while when I'm really late with their pellets they'll try to bite anything going into the cage.
     
  10. cfuhrer

    cfuhrer Wood Nymph / Toxophilite

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    New buns is always so exciting!

    I'm not sure why you'd be having trouble with urine smell; I've got dropping pans and they never smell.

    Hopefully it's just the stagnant winter weather or something.
     
  11. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How often do you dump/clean those dropping pans?
     
  12. cfuhrer

    cfuhrer Wood Nymph / Toxophilite

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    I aim for weekly but usually it's longer than that.

    Maybe it's just me. When I was a kid we did a dropping pit and with no treatment and only being cleaned twice a year (garden prep, garden close) I still never found the smell to be an issue.
     
  13. secuono

    secuono Well-Known Member

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    Rabbits stink to heck, so I had them as pets for a very short time!
    Dump pans and buckets often, much easier than when they are full. You don't want to spill that nasty soup on yourself.
    Very rarely will you have a true aggressive rabbit. I had one like that, as soon as I got him home, he turned nasty and stayed nasty for months! Massive waste of $90! =/ Many rabbits are just fear biters, so they just need time to get used to their new life, everything is different and some rabbits stress easily.

    I wonder why he gave you adults and the wrong genders. It's possible he played you and needed to get rid of culls and a newbie is easy game.
     
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  14. crittermomma

    crittermomma Well-Known Member

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    Illinois
    I raise sheep and my husband raises rabbits - he has over 100 right now - between does, kits, and bucks. He can barely keep up with cleaning the sewage - I am always telling him that sheep are MUCH easier to care for! But, he digs in his heels and keeps with the rabbits. :) He has a few does that are completely insane - they charge the door when I try to water them. I have a special spray nozzle I have attached to the hose - when she charges - she gets sprayed. I too would send her to freezer camp - but he keeps them JUST IN CASE they become easier later on. She is still insane. Oh well.....