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We raise NZ for our own table meat. We have a very nice shady area that is grass/weeds @ 10-12' wide and can be up to 40' long. We seem to have a lots of wire left over from other projects. Could I put 4"x4" concrete wire on the ground (I think they could dig some but not a hole), 2"x4" wire 4' high along sides to make a "pasture"? Then I thought about a covered area over one end arching 10'-12' across with PVC pipe and a heavy tarp for a dry area to put in 6 bales of hay for them to tunnel through for their nests. I would cover the remaining top with wire. Would this area/idea work for 3 does and their babies until 8 weeks old and a visiting buck? If it would work, how big should I make the pen. We are in zone 5 and I would hope to have them in there all year, winter too...Joan
 

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I have a rabbit tractor with 2x4 wire in the bottom and if I had gone larger they would have been able to dig out.
I've only had 2 pound and larger rabbits in there so far.
 

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Lost in the Wiregrass
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i would sink some of that fence down a few feet into the ground and forget about laying any to prevent digging, if you want them to be on the ground all year they need to tunnel, its warmer down there than up above ground but everything else sounds good to me, i would make the pen as big as you can, if you wanted to you could make two pens though each with three does and a buck, i like the coverd part idea especially in your location and the hay bales is a great idea, just let them dig their burrows and you will be fine.
 

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I agree - they'll dig through 4x4 fencing so don't even bother putting it down. Besides, you want them to dig and burrow. It keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer and IMO that is the single strongest advantage of keeping rabbits in a colony rather than hutches.

They *won't* burrow into the straw bales but they will climb on them and use the straw to line their burrows when they kindle. I leave a few tied up and always have one with the binding cut off so it's easier for them to drag it around to wherever they need it.

I also agree that you should sink the fencing into the ground so they won't be as likely to accidentally burrow out beneath the fence. They like to dig burrows against things, like fences.

The shade/cover is a great idea. Likewise a covering over the top.

Kits will go through 2x4 fencing like it's not even there. They'll go through 2" chicken wire too. It doesn't even slow them down at all. Use hardware cloth on the bottom 18" or more - they'll climb up and go through the 2x4 if the hardware cloth is only 12" high. I'd go 24" or more, actually. Those buggers are escape artists.

The area should be big enough for three does and their kits. I have 2 does and their kits in about 900 square feet or less. It gets busy sometimes, but so far no fighting and everyone seems to be able to get off by themselves if they want to.
 

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I have a large pen also but I have to say I wish I would have build it in a very sunny spot. The spot it's in now doen't get any sun and the rabbits never give the grass time to grow. I think if I would have built the pen in a sunny spot and just provided a shady spot for them to hang out I wopuldn't have to feen them as often. I'm only feeding my rabbits greens anyway so I guess you wouldn't have this problem if you use feed.
 

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Lost in the Wiregrass
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i would build grass pens for them, some 2x4s turned up on their narrow side nailed into rectangles and coverd with cage flooring so the grass can grow up through the wire and the rabbits cant eat it to the ground,

also these frames can prevent digging along fence lines and help keep away errosion on slopes
 
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