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Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

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Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  middlemamma on 7/9/2010, 7:21 pm

I have been reading about rabit manure...and thinking about having hubby build a hutch and buying a couple little guys for my kids. And using their waste in my garden...anyone do this?

Jennie
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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  Josh on 7/11/2010, 9:24 pm

I do middlemamma and it works really good. the SFG's that have the most rabbit manure in them grow the best.
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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  middlemamma on 7/12/2010, 2:00 am

Josh, can you tell me how many you have and how you care for them? How often do you feed them? How much manure do the number you have produce?

Thanks so much for your input.

Jennie
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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  Retired Member 1 on 7/12/2010, 8:59 am

I'm considering rabbits as I think they will be less work than chickens. I've had both in the past. Two or three rabbits will give you a fair amount of manure if you gather it often. What I would do is put down either straw or sawdust under the hutch and gather it up monthly. A medium sized rabbit will produce about a pound of manure a week -- that adds up really fast. Rabbits need to be fed and watered daily just like domestic pets, but if you don't breed them, are pretty easy. My question is do I want the spend the $$ necessary to get rabbits for the manure or about the same price to get chickens which will also give me eggs? Decisions, decisions.

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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  Lavender Debs on 7/12/2010, 10:17 am

I've HAD them on purpose. They were not pets, we raised them for protein. Poo was a bonus. You would be doing yourself a favor by going to the Farmers co-op (I think it might be Cenex in Idaho) and getting a good book or two on raising rabbits. They are easy but it is nice to know what you are getting into before you go. Rabbits eat wood (not really, they have rodent teeth that they need to grind down) and were easiest for us when we had an all wire cage. My husband made our cages (hutches) but got the plan from our books (pre internet days).

They need protection from the elements, a way to exercise, handling, blah, blah, blah. It is helpful to have a system for the poo to compost without making the rabbits (or your neighbors) unhappy. It doesn't smell bad like chicken or cow poo but it can get a scent from urine in summer heat.

Rabbit poo is not considered "hot" and can go right into the garden if your SFG has worms to break down the pellets (poo). The odd thing I discovered was that rabbit poo in my compost heap (wire cylinder turned weekly in summer) did not break down. The worms ignored it in all the lawn, straw and kitchen scraps in the compost. It would remain in pellet state until it was in the soil. Then it would disappear into the dahlias (or whatever)

The one and only reason we do not have rabbits or hens in town is because we like to travel and no longer have nephews to come take care of them while we are gone. Alfalfa pellets or meal with the compost does about as good of a job as the rabbit poo once did.
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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  jamiedolan on 7/12/2010, 11:02 am

@middlemamma wrote:I have been reading about rabit manure...and thinking about having hubby build a hutch and buying a couple little guys for my kids. And using their waste in my garden...anyone do this?

Jennie

Yes, I currently have 6 rabbits. We had lots of rabbit droppings to go into the garden this year.

The smell isn't bad, just dump bags of peat down below the cages.

They will eat a lot in the winter, so be prepared to purchase food. In the summer they can eat a lot of yard scraps / greens and hay, which is far cheaper than feed.





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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  miinva on 7/12/2010, 12:36 pm

We've had a couple of pet rabbits that were kept in the house, but we didn't garden then. They're very low-maintenance and with a bit of handling they're actually decent pets. The House Rabbit Society has a lot of great information about keeping rabbits as pets.

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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  snowjb61 on 7/12/2010, 5:32 pm

I have a pet bunny. Rabbits make great pets!!!!! I will have to start utilizing his pellets though, I didn't know that you could do that. (I am new to this SQG thing).
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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  Josh on 7/12/2010, 8:00 pm

middlemamma I have three rabbits, I have a white mama and a black dad and back in spring they had babies and I kept one brown one and sold the rest,she had 8.

The two big ones I've had for about 4 years,they are tame and I can turn them lose in the yard and let them roam around. They eat about the same as a small dog or cat would eat,I feed and water them everyday. The cage was given to me and it has wheels so I can easily move it. I just scoop up the poop and put it in my Mel's mix as one of the compost,and I put the rest in the compost pile about once a month. In winter I just let it go till spring,move their cage and scoop up everything and put it in the compost pile or my mix for the garden. The red wigglers love it.

Daddy rabbit enjoying the SFG,he does not bother the veggies most of the time,but once he helped himself to some lettuce.
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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  Ginger Blue on 1/23/2018, 2:56 pm

Resurrecting this old thread, for benefit of the current crowd (or at least myself, if no one else is interested)... Cool

I'm considering raising a small number of rabbits for practical, "homestead" purposes. I've never owned rabbits or been around them, so I'm wondering if they're worth the effort and expense.  Does anyone here have practical experience to share?
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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/24/2018, 8:13 am

They ARE an on-going, quick source of meat... Haven't raised them myself, but have certainly considered it.
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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  countrynaturals on 1/24/2018, 1:34 pm

@snowjb61 wrote:I have a pet bunny.  Rabbits make great pets!!!!!  I will have to start utilizing his pellets though, I didn't know that you could do that.  (I am new to this SQG thing).
We have a pet rabbit, rescued from a predator as a baby. We named him Frankenbunny, because he had staples in his tummy that made him look like a stuffed bunny, poorly stitched up.  Razz 

Frankie is now big and spoiled. He loves kale and carrot tops from the garden. We always composted his manure and bedding, but last fall, when I was prepping my first ANSFG bed for spring, this wonderful group put me onto direct application of rabbit poo into the garden. We now spread it everywhere that needs it. I can't wait to what it does for my veggies.

As far as maintenance, I wouldn't advise getting a rabbit if it won't be a beloved pet. They require about the same amount of attention inside as a small dog. Outside, their maintenance is a little higher than chickens. They need a little more protection from the elements and predators.
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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  Ginger Blue on 1/26/2018, 5:35 pm

Thank you Suz; I appreciate your input.

Marie, what pros and cons influenced your decision when you considered the option?
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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 1/27/2018, 6:55 am

Pros: Relatively small amount of space needed to keep them. Quick "turnover" since I was looking at them for meat purposes vs. pets. Quiet.... Big one there....

Cons: Like with any animal, there's feeding, vet bills, bedding, housing. So, monetary expense. Although long-term it would have paid for itself. And in our case they would be "business expenses" for the emergency prep division of our company. We could use them for teaching classes, etc.

But the big kicker is that we're just SO busy (with our company in other areas & relatives are getting older, so sometimes emergency trips are necessary), that I didn't feel I have time to take care of them properly. Heck, I have a hard enough time keeping up w/ the garden, lol! And you've seen that I don't spend NEARLY as much time on here as I used to. (You'd think that in working from home I'd have all the time in the world... HAH!)

I don't want to depend on our neighbors in those emergency/travel cases. That's not fair to them.

For me, it's like getting another dog. Would love one, but....
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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  plantoid on 1/27/2018, 9:59 am

We used to grow them by the hundred as a full time business ( sudden disabliities  caused me to have to give it up .
I grew commercially as meat rabbits ....big  Carolina New Zealand crosses for human & animal food & as pets .

The pet sheds had several strains of very selectively bred miniature dwarf rabbits where a full grown adult would sit on the palm of your hand . Breading to this standard is not easy

 The smaller the animal the greater the need for strict stock welfare care & cage hygiene . Do plenty of research before hand so that you do not unintentionally neglect these needs .

 A rabbit lives for about five years in a good caged environment so long as it is also kept protected from biting insects as these spread Calci virus , RHD & VHD .
 I know of some pet rabbits that reached 13 years old before turning their toes up but generally the rule is usually the smaller the rabbit the shorter it's lifespan .

 Once a doe has eight litters she is generally on the downward slope to infertility & the chances of dying from a stuck or large kit is greater .
 With small rabbits this fertility span reduces to about half
 To bred  for the first time a doe ought to be about 22 weeks old 7 a  buck 18 weeks old , if breeding does not happen in this critical time  things become very hit & miss.

If you are breeding let the doe recover for about 2 months after her kindling .

 Most young rabbits will need separating from the mother at about 30 days old , meat rabbits are good to go at abut 3.5 pounds after that they will eat you out of house & home
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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

Post  Ginger Blue on 1/27/2018, 11:02 am

Thanks Plantoid, great information!
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Re: Anyone have rabbits on purpose?

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