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Self driving rabbit tractor

 
Matthew Wawrzyniec
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Has anyone here ever made a rabbit tractor that moves itself. I'm looking for ideas or potential problems to a tractor that roams during the day.
 
Chris Kott
Posts: 796
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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For rabbits? I am assuming you have figured out a way to let them forage without burrowing away?

I love the general idea of an animal tractor that drives itself, or that propels itself, say, its length or so over the course of a day with an electric motor and solar panel. One less thing, right? I just don't see rabbits being a good candidate for this.

But if you can figure it out, please post updates.

-CK
 
Matthew Wawrzyniec
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For the bottom I could use 2x4 welded wire. The solar panel sounds perfect. Provides shade and power. Any other potential problems that anyone can think of?
 
Su Ba
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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In my own experience, 2x4 wire won't hold any but the largest rabbits in. I've seen plenty of rabbits escape through 2x4. Something to consider.
 
J.D. Ray
Posts: 76
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If I were going to attempt such a thing, I'd have cam lobe-shaped "wheels" on it so the tractor was lifted (rabbits and all), moved some distance (determined by the shape of the wheel), and set down again. That way, the leading edge of the tractor isn't pushing the grass over.

Having said all that, if you're going to raise livestock, you should be willing to tend to them every day in some fashion. Moving a tractor by hand is less than a minute's work once you're there to check feed, water, and health. The cost of moving the tractor automatically is pretty high. Of course, you have to be physically capable of moving the tractor; if that's an issue, automation might be the answer.

Cheers.

J.D.
 
Su Ba
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Good point, JD. Except under range conditions, successful farmers check their livestock daily. And even under range conditions, I know of ranchers who give their stock small amounts of supplements frequently in order to bring the stock to a central point for visual examination. A rancher friend who just recently passed away said they visually checked their cattle just about daily by bringing a supplement out via a certain pick up truck, which the cattle got to recognize the sound of the engine. They said the stock would come out of the brush to greet them at the feeding pad, resulting in many cattle being treated for problems rather than dying out in the fields.

Here in Hawaii we have both types of ranchers, those who check stock and those who don't. The pastures of those who don't are littered with bones. Good for me because I gather up those bones for making into fertilizer. Bad for them because they lose a lot of cattle.
 
Zach Muller
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Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
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Another method of moving the tractor could be by dragging it. If there was an automatic winch of some sort you could stake it in the ground and tether it to the tractor. Slowly over the course of a few days the winch pulls the tractor toward it. If you could somehow get this going then it would be feasible to setup up automatic feeders with a few days of feed and only visit when you know the winch is done and needs to be moved. This still may not be simple and easy enough to be worth it, but could be useful.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1969
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I guess the question I have is why do you want it to move itself?
 
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