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Metal cage/ground contact hybrid

 
Philip Nafziger
Posts: 65
Location: Columbia, Ky
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There are many aspects to keeping rabbits in metal cages that I like. Being:
1. Easy manure collection.
2. Easy access for catching and examination.
3. Less disease, Maybe...

But there are cons. The biggest one in my opinion being that birthing is a nightmare. The rabbits are always pooping in their nesting box or they birth on the metal and the babies die etc. I imagine that part of the failure is because rabbits would dig a burrow to birth in and poop elsewhere in nature. So ideally, I want to give them that.

My plan to accomplish the best of both worlds: keep your traditional metal cage but add a 6" black perforated pipe to it as an access passage to a separate burrow area. The burrow area would be a pit about the same size as the cage give or take. It could be lined with bricks or wire on the sides but not the bottom to allow the rabbit to dig down but not out.

This way you feed, water, examine, catch, and harvest the manure, from the cage but the mother rabbit can go into her burrow, and have her babies just like in nature.

Any thoughts?
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1304
Location: Central New Jersey
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How far down and out will a rabbit dig? I do not know what the limits are on their ability to tunnel to freedom, given access to unenclosed ground. They might dig down through the open bottom and head right off to freedom.
 
Joe Camarena
Posts: 76
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I'm envisioning several different things. Could you sketch it out? Sounds possible but there may be some drawbacks depending on how you build this.

Joe
 
dave arcade
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http://www.permies.com/t/37273/rabbits/Raising-rabbits-tropics

I've been thinking of trying something like this too…but not ready yet.
 
Philip Nafziger
Posts: 65
Location: Columbia, Ky
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Once upon a time I had too many rabbits to keep them all in cages so I started letting them run around the coop. I also made a small access door to a fenced in area outside. One of my mother rabbits dug a burrow and had a healthy batch of bunnies in the outside area. She could have easily dug out if she had wanted to but she didn't. So I'm thinking it could work.

I'm working on a sketch but there are some good sketches of similar ideas in the link that was shared, (thank you!).
 
dave arcade
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I've read that they can borrow up to 8-10ft sideways but don't think they go very deep. Most people with ground level pens seem to bury fencing 18'' around the sides but not the entire bottom
 
Henry Ikeme
Posts: 39
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Interesting idea. I'd once read about it in an ebook, but there it was about allowing the rabbits to escape high temperature.
 
Philip Nafziger
Posts: 65
Location: Columbia, Ky
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Here is a quick paint sketch of my idea. I think it conveys my general idea.
rabbit pen.png
[Thumbnail for rabbit pen.png]
 
Henry Ikeme
Posts: 39
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Keep us updated when you finally build one. I'll like to know how it goes.
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1130
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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I think.Abe Connally has a rabbit set up like this. Check out his posts and his blog site.
 
Abe Connally
Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
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We use Rabbit Shelters like this:


and here's another design:



Design details:



Design for flat ground:



A design from Egypt:



And here's ours in a barn:


And how we made them:
http://velacreations.com/blog/352-rabbit-dwelling.html

More information about this system: http://ressources.ciheam.org/om/pdf/c08/95605275.pdf

They work great in places that get a lot of heat. We breed year round, and it gets hot here for most of the year. I read about people losing rabbits in cages with water bottles, misters, fans, etc, and I can't imagine all that work and effort to do something that the ground will do for free. The shelters are easy to make. We used brick, because we already had a bunch of spare brick. You basically make a box that is buried into a hill/berm, and then a cage on the outside. Use something like concrete or brick, ceramic, etc. The rabbits kindle in the box just fine, and we rarely lose kits.
 
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