Western Canada Poultry Swap

Forum dedicated to the buying and selling of quality heritage poultry in Western Canada.


You are not connected. Please login or register

Pasturing your rabbits?

Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

1 Pasturing your rabbits? on Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:14 pm

Schipperkesue

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
I have posted this elsewhere but was wondering if anyone here might have some ideas...

So I have this idea. I have plenty of space here. Many paddocks that I usually end up mowing to keep things tidy. The paddocks are within the barnyard which is fenced with stucco wire. Stucco wire is the best! It is 4 1/2 feet tall with 2'x2' holes. Over the years the grass at the edges has grown up and through it forming a great woven secure seal to the ground. I find my main predators are foxes, coyotes and ravens. The first two seem to stay away, as there are easier pickings outside the fence.

Anyway, the idea. I plan to make two huge grow out pens for weanlings. One for bucks and one for does. I will divide each in four and rotate pastures every week. The pens will be covered with deer fence, a 1'x1' plastic mesh to keep the ravens out.

Here are things I need to think about. Will the young rabbits dig out? How deep will I have to bury the wire? Will the pasture be enough nutrition? Should I add grain? What kind? I have easy access to cheap wheat, oats and barley as well as field peas. What about salt or minerals? Will I have to contend with fights? How about worming...how often and what do you suggest? Shelter would be movable wooden 'sheds'.

Have I missed anything here? Do you have any suggestions for me? Thank-you!

2 Re: Pasturing your rabbits? on Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:15 pm

pfarms

avatar
Full Time Member
Full Time Member
I pastured all my kits I raised this last year. I did it in movable enclosed fences. It looked like over sized chicken tractors... I do not have a photo, but will see if I can find something similar online. I did not bury my wire and they never dug out. I found that as I added new rabbits (one for does and one for bucks) they may scuff for 10 min or so, but that was it. They were all 8 week old weanlings when I put them in there. There was various ages together. They stayed there til this fall when I butchered. It was on fascue and alfalfa. My normal pasture mix. I fed them some pellets or oats every other day. Not much, just enough to keep them used to coming to the door when I went out. Their shelter was a extra large dog kennel. Easy to move with them. I talked to my vet and he used (I can not remember then name!!! Oh I am so bad) the same kind of dewormer you use on cats. You put a drop on the back of the neck. He recommended only do it to the stock I plan to keep for breeding and do it in the fall right after the first hard freeze or when I put them back into their normal winter cages. I did an experiment with them. I left two bucks and two does in the cages over winter. With dog houses that were insulated and plug in cat waterers. Gave hay and about a half cup of pellets with about a tsp of oats (whole with shells on). They are all fat and hoppy. Trails through the snow (of which is several feet deep). No digging into the ground. No digging out.

http://dtfarm.webs.com/

3 Re: Pasturing your rabbits? on Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:28 pm

pfarms

avatar
Full Time Member
Full Time Member
Mine was made very similar to this:


[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]


But wider instead of taller. I used the live stock panel and chicken wire. I found they could and would if given the chance to chew through the chicken wire. Chain link or welded wire would have worked better.

http://dtfarm.webs.com/

4 Re: Pasturing your rabbits? on Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:06 pm

appway

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
So Sue when you have them on Pasture Is it the Chin or the Skipp That herds them HAHAHA
Anyway good Idea about raising them Girls

5 Re: Pasturing your rabbits? on Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:19 pm

Magdelan

avatar
Addicted Member
Addicted Member
very cool post, glad I asked :-). I will search for the other one too. Our neighbor has a pet rabbit that is in a cage that is several feet off the ground, poops drop through the mesh, one end has hay and is enclosed. No insulation exactly, just ply. I was amazed, they must be pretty tough critters and I see a lot of people raising rabbits on here, getting me thinking of another meat we can put in the freezer. I also love stucco wire, we use it for many things - tough, cheap and easy to use. Something we used last summer to keep the deer off our spuds (such slim pickings here, even the spuds get pruned) was a plastic mesh/netting thing - probably exactly what you talk about. Worked really well. I had to release a stripey chipmunk once, he bit me for my trouble. toad :-). That plastic is pretty tough and supposed to be uv resistant. will reuse next spring. ta again.

6 Re: Pasturing your rabbits? on Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:55 am

Schipperkesue

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
So, PFarms, they didn't dig out? That is good news and may save me a lot of time. Thinking I may curve the stucco wire inwards a bit at the bottom for extra security and to compensate for uneven ground.

Magdelan, your description is the set up I have now. They are covered, on wire, and outside throughout the winter. I do give them small boxes with a hole and filled with straw for shelter. My breeding stock would stay in the raised pens but the grow outs would be pastured.

7 Re: Pasturing your rabbits? on Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:50 am

pfarms

avatar
Full Time Member
Full Time Member
Correct, none of mine ever dug out. I just had the wood against the ground like shown. When the pasture or grass was low, I just moved them. I used a bucket with a nipple waterer for the summer, the plug in cat waterer in the winter. I had a tarp over one end to give them shade in the summer. It made my life so much easier!!!

http://dtfarm.webs.com/

8 Re: Pasturing your rabbits? on Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:01 pm

Schipperkesue

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
How did you move them without catching bunny legs under the sides?

9 Re: Pasturing your rabbits? on Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:21 pm

pfarms

avatar
Full Time Member
Full Time Member
The dog kennels I used for shelter. I would put a few pellets in that, they would go in, I would close the door, take them out, move the pen, put them back. I just slid the dog kennel in and out the door. Too heavy to carry. Other option was have Aryah inside walking at the back and they would hop towards the front to stay away from her. Just depended on if I had help that day or not.

http://dtfarm.webs.com/

Sponsored content


Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum