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Rabbit Forrest and other questions

 
Dawn Hoff
Posts: 379
Location: Andalucía, Spain
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I have a million questions regarding the keep of rabbits.

Originally when we did the site analysis on our land we planned to have chickens and rabbits on two tarraced above the house - rabbits above chickens, chicken above the veggie patch - hopefully in time a small stream running through it all. But then we found a well head on the lower terrace, and it definitely rules out having chickens there... Question is - would it be OK to have rabbits near the well? We have built a house around the well head, to make sure that dirt etc don't fall in.

Secondly my husband and I disagree on the fencing - he says that laying down rabbit fence on the ground a meter in from the perimeter fence will keep them in, I'm not sure (the 'free range' sites I've seen have fencing throughout the entire cage about 30-50 cm down).

How many rabbits could you keep pr. m2? Could you make a pasture system like the one Paul has with chickens? And could you rotate the chicken in after the rabbits (provided they are not close to the well?).

I think I have more questions, but I can't think of them right now.
 
Dawn Hoff
Posts: 379
Location: Andalucía, Spain
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One more: We bought my daughter a rabbit at the pet store a month ago. Sadly it died three days later I suspect it had already been congested when we bought it - poor thing hadn't pooped since we bought it and hardly touched any foods we offered (herbs, vegetables and pellets). She obviously needs a new rabbit. I've been thinking of different options - one being that we catch a wild one (as they are used to the diet in out valley), but after reading in here I can see why that wouldn't be a good option. The other would be buying one from a rabbit meat farmer - but I'm not sure how these giants would do in a food forrest environment... The last option is a little ... Alternative to say the least: I a park close to where we live there are literally hundreds of tame rabbits. People set them free there when their kids loose interest in them. The local municipality are sick of them, even though they have become an attraction - they tend to eat the flowers in the park etc. they are generally mistreated by the kids in the park (I have friends who don't visit the park because they cannot stand seeing how the kids treat the animals there). But most of them are pretty tame, they would be easy to catch and if I need a new one to abound inbreeding I'd have an easy free source of "new blood" - plus I'd be helping the city a bit

Could you see any problems with that solution?
 
Guerric Kendall
Posts: 102
Location: zone 6a, NY
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chicken duck forest garden
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I have a chicken coop 10 feet from my well. It's to the side and slightly downhill though. But rabbits are nowhere near as messy as chickens and they should be fine.

Laying rabbit fencing on the ground outside will only prevent predators from getting in, not the rabbits from getting out. They will tunnel. Fencing throughout the entire cage is best.

The space per rabbit differs from person to person, but no, you can't pasture rabbits. They will not stick to a central place like chickens do. Rabbit colony tractors are much better.


And lastly, your third option for rabbits is best, as they know how to live without much human attention, even though they may get the unwanted sort.
 
Dawn Hoff
Posts: 379
Location: Andalucía, Spain
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I just like the idea of the rabbits being fairly free range - I'm not keen on the tractors...

But I was thinking, after I read about colonies in here: That I could fence in one of our terraces when we rebuild them - first of all it wouldn't be much additional work, secondly the top terrace it to be used as a market/kitchen garden and would have to be secured against wild rabbits anyway so if the perimeter is rabbit fencing, then we'd just need the bottom and the outside fence. I think we might do a place were they can build their "house" (maybe let them stay there untill they have dug it out) and system where they'd have access to different areas of the terrace at different times (maybe even the kitchen garden if it is ever empty). We could rotate the chicken after them maybe (with a portable coop).
 
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