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Planting for rabbit (guinea pig) food

 
                
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Besides some plants for us I would like to fill up the yard with food for rabbits.  I would like to go for higher protien plants as well as greens.  The faster growing the better. 

Secondly,  every single rabbit website has a different list of what is safe and what is not.  There is one terrific site I like to refer to but even there they have a list of safe plants that is contradicted my a link they provide to a list of unsafe!

So, is anyone up for starting our own?  Based only on foods we have actually used.  Any notes you have, like safe except for berries or in moderation would be helpful.
I can start with :
Carrots and tops, radishes and tops, celery stalks and leaves, bananas with peal (be sure to wash peel) in moderation, apples (seeds contain some cyanide but I have found you don't have to worry if you pets get a couple here and there), Pears.  Herbs like parsely, cilantro, basil and thyme.   

If I could get feedback on this particular list that would be great.  It's just a starting point of foods I think are generally thought of as safe but would love to hear what you think.







 
Abe Connally
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juniper bark seems fine, mine love it.
 
Thea Olsen
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So far I haven't planted anything specifically for rabbit food, but my rabbit eats: dandelion, thistle, broadleaf and narrow leaf plantain, yellow dock, radish tops, carrot tops, pea vines, bindweed, white dutch clover, various lawn grasses, maple leaves, mulberry leaves, cottonwood leaves, broccoli leaves......
I'm sure there are more but that's all I can think of right now.  I'm still giving pellets, but in very limited quantities-most of his food comes from the garden, and most of that is stuff that plants itself.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Can rabbits eat sunflower plants?  My sheep and chickens seem to like to eat the whole plant, as well as the seeds, and they are easy to grow. 

 
                
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Ack!  It looks like I was drunk posting on that top post.  The reality was I had two six year old boys playing under the table I am sitting at.  Second child is gone but I am a little brain fried so forgive me if this post is a bit of a ramble as well...

Thank you for your input.   I have seen white clover and red clover on toxic lists (I have also seen them on safe lists as well) so I am wondering if anyone knows why they might have been tagged as toxic.

Rabbits can eat sunflower!  Thanks Ludi.  I think I am going to have to try the front yard though as the chicken (diva) has pretty much destroyed the ones in her yard.  Thea, I have thistle growing all over but have been pulling it as it comes up.  Some is about a foot tall and very prickly.  You think they can grind it up as they chew so I don't need to worry about them harming themselves?

Do we think all maples leaves are safe?
Chinese Elm?

If I were to plant our popcorn kernels is there any reason to think the rabbits and cavies couldn't eat the entire stalk, leaves and ears?  Same for barley?  Chia?
Amaranth is another that has been on both the safe and unsafe lists? 
 
Pat Maas
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My rabbits eat sunflower or sun choke leaves, radish leafs or the whole thing if I've been thinning, choka weed (local high protein weed), young tumbleweeds, greens I accidentally pull up when harvesting, grass of several types and lambs quarter. They prefer this now over their rabbit food and are now eating far more green plants than the feed. Haven't had anybody die or get sick and does are feeding good sized litters in this heat on what they are being given several times  day.

They get most the weeds when I'm weeding the various beds with the exception of the silver nightshade.

I'm culling the youngsters looking for those that are putting weight on in all the right places and growing well out of those big litters.
 
Dave Bennett
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My list states that white clover is safe red is not.  I planted lots of white clover but not the big stuff that is the same as the red variety.  I planted the small white clover.  I mostly forage for extras and grow enough alfalfa and timothy to provide me with enough hay for a year plus I also have smaller plots of rye, oats, & barley.  I found huge fields of plantain and dandelions so I go foraging regularly.  I only have 3 rabbits (2 does & 1 buck) and the kits are so big at weaning that I never feed them.  They are processed straight to the freezer at weaning.  I still cannot figure out why more people don't raise Giant Chinchilla Rabbits.  They seem to be the best breed for producing meat that is only milk fed and since they are close to 7 lbs. at weaning I wind up with 50 lbs. of rabbit meat every 3 months without any additional feed cost.  Right now I have to hide my livestock because I am really not in agricultural zoning.  I keep my ducks at a friend's place.  I can't wait to move so I can have a couple Kinder goats. 
 
Abe Connally
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I still cannot figure out why more people don't raise Giant Chinchilla Rabbits.

People don't raise more giants because the feed conversion ratio is lower than with other breeds.  Sure, they're ready to eat at weaning, but that milk has to come from feed.

 
Saybian Morgan
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Dave your point's are turning me onto the giant breed's I see what your saying, I'm on the brink of starting up just got to build a greenhouse for them on top of the carport. I do have a question about space, I have limited space. I'm going to be running a partial colony rabbit system, male's to the frindge of society women and children get the playground. I was reading up on the giants and they advise 8 x 5 which I'm happy with, I can't see myself running a cage system but I do have a limit on space, 14 long by 17 wide, giving the women 12x 6 and the men, well 3x6 cell block's along the opposite side. My issue is this is my first animal I'll be taking a bite out of and I'm just not that stoic yet about eating animal's at puberty. My way of fighting the poor economics's is by hussling free food as you do to balance the economy. A minimal input's 6 pounder when Im hungry sound's the smartest, but I know somebody is going to end up with a name and eat me into the red. Was spacing an issue for you as it is for my ethic's? I'm willing to back off yield's if a few more hops of space for a smaller breed really make's for a happier life. I'm not really convinced happyness has to do with running around, but at the startup phase I'm prone to "Pet Based" literature rather than Meat Meat MEAT advice.  How large of an enclosure did you allot? for those few who made it past your fork and started eating you out of house?
 
Dave Bennett
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Keep in mind that if you use hutches they must be much larger and really robust.  Mine are "sort of" a collection of designs except they are built with 2x4 lumber and extra heavy welded wire.  They have food grade high density plastic floor sections that are easily removed and cleaned so my heavy weights have a place to rest their feet. My hutches are 36"W x 30" x 20"H.  When a "Mom" has a litter nearing weaning there is close to 100lbs. bearing down on that floor.  I have lots of ideas on making you own pellets without a machine and what I feel is the best way to store homemade pellets to keep them fresh etc.  If you are specifically interested send me a message. 
 
Dave Bennett
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BlueDog wrote:
Besides some plants for us I would like to fill up the yard with food for rabbits.  I would like to go for higher protien plants as well as greens.  The faster growing the better. 

Secondly,  every single rabbit website has a different list of what is safe and what is not.   There is one terrific site I like to refer to but even there they have a list of safe plants that is contradicted my a link they provide to a list of unsafe!

So, is anyone up for starting our own?  Based only on foods we have actually used.  Any notes you have, like safe except for berries or in moderation would be helpful.
I can start with :
Carrots and tops, radishes and tops, celery stalks and leaves, bananas with peal (be sure to wash peel) in moderation, apples (seeds contain some cyanide but I have found you don't have to worry if you pets get a couple here and there), Pears.  Herbs like parsley, cilantro, basil and thyme.     

If I could get feedback on this particular list that would be great.  It's just a starting point of foods I think are generally thought of as safe but would love to hear what you think.









I have a list and will post it but I agree that there are a lot of differences in the lists.  I have never had a rabbit die from something I fed them......yet.  I am by not any means a rabbit expert but do read a lot.

How do I import a pdf file into a response?





 
Dave Bennett
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SaybianTv wrote:
Dave your point's are turning me onto the giant breed's I see what your saying, I'm on the brink of starting up just got to build a greenhouse for them on top of the carport. I do have a question about space, I have limited space. I'm going to be running a partial colony rabbit system, male's to the frindge of society women and children get the playground. I was reading up on the giants and they advise 8 x 5 which I'm happy with, I can't see myself running a cage system but I do have a limit on space, 14 long by 17 wide, giving the women 12x 6 and the men, well 3x6 cell block's along the opposite side. My issue is this is my first animal I'll be taking a bite out of and I'm just not that stoic yet about eating animal's at puberty. My way of fighting the poor economics's is by hussling free food as you do to balance the economy. A minimal input's 6 pounder when Im hungry sound's the smartest, but I know somebody is going to end up with a name and eat me into the red. Was spacing an issue for you as it is for my ethic's? I'm willing to back off yield's if a few more hops of space for a smaller breed really make's for a happier life. I'm not really convinced happyness has to do with running around, but at the startup phase I'm prone to "Pet Based" literature rather than Meat Meat MEAT advice.  How large of an enclosure did you allot? for those few who made it past your fork and started eating you out of house?

My hutches are 36"W x 30" x 20"H all made from 2x4 lumber and extra heavy welded wire screening.  I have been considering making at least 1 "weaning" hutch that will be 48 x 30 x 20 because 10 - 7lb kits and an 18lb. "Mom" can be a "crowding" experience for them.

I use several different sites but mostly I use the Giant Chinchilla Breeders Association for my information because that is what I raise.
 
Dave Bennett
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SaybianTv wrote:
Dave your point's are turning me onto the giant breed's I see what your saying, I'm on the brink of starting up just got to build a greenhouse for them on top of the carport. I do have a question about space, I have limited space. I'm going to be running a partial colony rabbit system, male's to the frindge of society women and children get the playground. I was reading up on the giants and they advise 8 x 5 which I'm happy with, I can't see myself running a cage system but I do have a limit on space, 14 long by 17 wide, giving the women 12x 6 and the men, well 3x6 cell block's along the opposite side. My issue is this is my first animal I'll be taking a bite out of and I'm just not that stoic yet about eating animal's at puberty. My way of fighting the poor economics's is by hussling free food as you do to balance the economy. A minimal input's 6 pounder when Im hungry sound's the smartest, but I know somebody is going to end up with a name and eat me into the red. Was spacing an issue for you as it is for my ethic's? I'm willing to back off yield's if a few more hops of space for a smaller breed really make's for a happier life. I'm not really convinced happyness has to do with running around, but at the startup phase I'm prone to "Pet Based" literature rather than Meat Meat MEAT advice.  How large of an enclosure did you allot? for those few who made it past your fork and started eating you out of house?
If I had the space for a colony system I would but my rabbits seem to be content.  They are always excited to see me even when it isn't feeding time.  I wonder if your "greenhouse will present cleaning problems.  Mine is set up so I have one empty cage so I can more one rabbit, clean the cage and move them back etc.  I have 4 cages and 3 rabbits.  You only need 1 Buck too.  It has been my experience that putting Bucks together crates instant war.  Also, my system is two tiered.  I have a hutch that is 2 cages high and 2 cages long.  The Buck "lives" down stairs.  He does not get to see the Does except when I put them in his cage for a "visit."  Rabbits are very territorial, especially the Bucks.  They spray like crazy so they need to be in an easily cleaned place.
 
Saybian Morgan
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Machinless pellet's ey? I'm in send me a message, I had my eye on a pelletiser but then I found out I need a hammermill and that's when things slowed down. I tried to argue myself that I could make supra quality compost aswell but then my wife showed up and asked me how I was going to sanitize the thing, so all my web tab's closed and I went back to designing my flow through worm bin out of an old duck pen.  I had reread my breed's literature and it left me with a champagne dargent as my first pick but I don't really KNOW based on trust, I'm just reading blurbs about rabbit's from a guy who's suppose to be an expert of 50 years. But the same guy would sell a rabbit to a laboratory so he's pretty close to being pushed off a cliff by somebody.  

I dont have any argument's when it comes to meat to bone ratio, where I live the vegan's and the vegemite's have pretty powerfull lobbying abilities, so to even get a rabbit is 6 dollar's a pound, frozen to the core and shipped from the other side of canada. I actual thought when I had one that the bone's where too tiny and it became like eating fish. Are the bone's actually bigger in ratio to meat or is the whole meal just bigger like a turkey vs a chicken.  Craiglist has got some flemish's but other than that it's new Zealand's and pet rabbit's to small to break out a real dutch oven for.

Since you've been mulling over home made pellet's, what say you about briquette's? I was looking at one of those bottle jack presses for making fuel bricks, can a rabbit tackle such an object if they can tackle a block of wood? Making bricks would allow me to mash in every veg that's in season then space the food out over the year so they can have dandelions etc out of season, and fresh veg anytime there's something to harvest. Getting leaf veg for my duck's daily is turning from a romance into a headache, the more I harvest the better the poisonous weed's grow. I feel i'm bordering on overgrazing on their behalf and putting my good weeds out of business. Dave I wish you lived in canada, sometime's 10 minute's of being in the energy of someones operation is all I need to "Get it" to see that this resonate's with me and I want to emulate it. All the rabbit's I've seen where I happen to be picking up muscovies looked pretty miserable, the whole landscape was littered with old bag's of feed and junk piles of everything. How can I look in someone's face and listen to what they have to say when who they are as an animals husband is barfing up all over the land.

I think I have enough heavy gauge 1 inch wire left form the greenhouse to do something with, my only real worry is flooring. I've got linolium and I really don't trust it's not gunna get chewed up anywhere there's a crack in it. I thought outdoor rubber backed carpet might do the trick but I was lambasted for it's urine accumulation characteristics. Do you have any pic's of your animal quarter's? I've hit the point where too much information is poisoning the well and I just want to adopt what I resonate with. If I stay on the fence any longer all I'll have is fence to eat come September.

side question, Dispatching time. have you seen this rabbit zinger product. http://www.therabbitwringer.com/html/trz001.html
It came up when I was trying to understand the process of death when using captive bolt pistol's, I just don't have the blood to break necks after watching a video of it being dont totally wrong. "BackYard Food Production DvD" cough cough. Thanks paul that was the saddest dvd I ever saw sold for almost 60 dollars, it didn't say it was permaculture but that lady made me turn off the dvd when I saw her plastic broomstick twitchfest.  

I thought I could process one as I want to eat them but I don't think it's a good idea to have death at 7:30pm when the family's starving. It seem's a processing day for the month is the best way to space out the thanatos. I'm coming a long way from being a Vegemite myself, now I lament every piece of meat I had someone "else" bear the brunt of killing on my behalf.
 
Dave Bennett
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Build your own hammermill.  Cheap and not too difficult. $20 bucks for the ebook. http://www.makeyourownpellets.com/hammer-mills/hammer-mill-plans
I use one of these to make my mulched hays for running through my homemade manual pellet press.
 
Saybian Morgan
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Spraying, spraying, spraying. This is what I fear about the hoop house. I have no idea how to stop flying feces, and yes I think my major blindsideness is designing an efficient and happy way to clean, those cage's with the roll down poop system seem Mint. I wanted to focus on eating male's but it seems with rabbit's if you dont eat almost everybody they will eat you in the end. I don't feel for men, there disposable as long as you keep 15% the population never dwindles. All the rabbit books specify no walls, I dont have the nohow to do stacked cages, I probably do but my fingertips can't stand bending wire's and so on if they can avoid it. I can't seem to resolve this efficient protein production vs loving all creatures great and small before they become protein.  

I thought I could solve the poop on the poly issue by going along the outer walls of the greenhouse with a design like this. But I don't know enough about rabbit nature to say I wont be on my knees with a hoe scraping it out when the wife start's screaming stinky rabbits.
RABBITATS Drawings fixed.jpg
[Thumbnail for RABBITATS Drawings fixed.jpg]
 
Dave Bennett
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I use something that looks like this except I built mine from looking at these photos and used wood for the framework.
http://eweporium.webs.com/rabbitcagessupplies.htm
 
Saybian Morgan
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What is the difference between and hammermill and a woodchipper/shredder? Is it the top feed? I saw that site and the video that comes with, the only reason i didn't build one is I couldn't find any other video's of people who have built one other than the people selling the book. I noticed when I feed the chipper wet material nothing comes out nothing comes out, then all of a sudden a green turd in the shape of the exit shoot slowly comes out like baby's first poop. I had hoped a hammermill would help me bypass this effect. In the PNW nothing stay's dry, it's june 29th and my yard still has mud 4 inches deep. I had to break up 20 soaking wet bale's of partialy decomposed hay to make a compost heap and my back almost supernova'd.

Sway me man, tell me a graphic artist with no male influences can build a hammermill and pelletize his own animal feed. I want to rise to the occasion but I always fear american's have access to product's, "lil things" that make DIY a whole lot simpler. It took me 2 year's to find quick couplings for irrigation pipes, and every diy e-book has been a sham and I feel ripped of 15 minutes after buying it.  Did you follow those specific plant's or is magic dave short for handyman? I'm not handy I just bleed all over my project's and they miraculously get done "never level"
 
Dave Bennett
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A briquette maker would work.  I prefer pellet sized feed because it is easier to control the amount of feed.  Rabbits rarely overeat if they are not stressed.  That is my experience anyway.  If you find feed left over in the morning give them less feed.  Also remember that loose hay needs to be kept fresh so you will need to forage a lot of it.  Rabbits poop a LOT so be prepared for very regular cleaning.  The cool part is that it is vegetable matter poop and can actually be used immediately although I put everything through my compost "system."  I have three different compost "piles."  They are not really haphazard piles though.  I built them from salvaged wooden pallets.  I have a pile of pallets at the very back of my yard.  It is my free supply of very useful wood.  I have "old hippie" friends that have built homes using pallets.  I use them for building all sorts of "stuff" and this winter i will use them for some of the fuel for my rocket stove mass heater.  I bought my firebrick yesterday.
 
Dave Bennett
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SaybianTv wrote:
What is the difference between and hammermill and a woodchipper/shredder? Is it the top feed? I saw that site and the video that comes with, the only reason i didn't build one is I couldn't find any other video's of people who have built one other than the people selling the book. I noticed when I feed the chipper wet material nothing comes out nothing comes out, then all of a sudden a green turd in the shape of the exit shoot slowly comes out like baby's first poop. I had hoped a hammermill would help me bypass this effect. In the PNW nothing stay's dry, it's june 29th and my yard still has mud 4 inches deep. I had to break up 20 soaking wet bale's of partialy decomposed hay to make a compost heap and my back almost supernova'd.

Sway me man, tell me a graphic artist with no male influences can build a hammermill and pelletize his own animal feed. I want to rise to the occasion but I always fear american's have access to product's, "lil things" that make DIY a whole lot simpler. It took me 2 year's to find quick couplings for irrigation pipes, and every diy e-book has been a sham and I feel ripped of 15 minutes after buying it.  Did you follow those specific plant's or is magic dave short for handyman? I'm not handy I just bleed all over my project's and they miraculously get done "never level"
  Most wood chippers have "hammers" but they are not free swinging.  They work more like a really coarse rasp.  A true hammermill has free swinging "hammers" and is less likely to clog.  Mine seems to work well.  I do get an occasional lump but not that often. 
 
Dave Bennett
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SaybianTv wrote:
What is the difference between and hammermill and a woodchipper/shredder? Is it the top feed? I saw that site and the video that comes with, the only reason i didn't build one is I couldn't find any other video's of people who have built one other than the people selling the book. I noticed when I feed the chipper wet material nothing comes out nothing comes out, then all of a sudden a green turd in the shape of the exit shoot slowly comes out like baby's first poop. I had hoped a hammermill would help me bypass this effect. In the PNW nothing stay's dry, it's june 29th and my yard still has mud 4 inches deep. I had to break up 20 soaking wet bale's of partialy decomposed hay to make a compost heap and my back almost supernova'd.

Sway me man, tell me a graphic artist with no male influences can build a hammermill and pelletize his own animal feed. I want to rise to the occasion but I always fear american's have access to product's, "lil things" that make DIY a whole lot simpler. It took me 2 year's to find quick couplings for irrigation pipes, and every diy e-book has been a sham and I feel ripped of 15 minutes after buying it.  Did you follow those specific plant's or is magic dave short for handyman? I'm not handy I just bleed all over my project's and they miraculously get done "never level"


My first attempt at "swaying" you will be this little tidbit of personal information.  I was a touring rock'n'roll musician from 1968 until 1982 when I gave up living in a bus. LOL
I have always had an ability to "see" the mechanics of a project.  You can do it.  You do need a well rounded tool box.  I will admit that there were times in my life when I wasn't making enough from performing and had to find a day job.  That may be an advantage because I have had all sorts of different types of jobs.  I believe that if you can draw a picture on a piece of paper that conveys a three dimensional object then you can build "stuff."
You can build stuff.  Just keep that in mind when you start a project.  I have a lot of different electrical and mechanical skills because of my father.  He was an M.D. but he taught me how to use wood working tools and how to weld etc.  I just started acquiring a collection of tools over the years and learned how to use them effectively.  As an artist I know that you use precision when laying out a design.  Use those skills to your advantage.  Trust me, you can do it.  Measure twice and cut once....cut carefully whether it is metal or wood.  Allow the tool to do to work you are only there to guide it.
How am I doing?
 
Saybian Morgan
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Ah free swinging makes the difference, well crumbs I'm going to have to by that ebook. Are you going to send me the info on the hope pellet making part? or do you have your own pelletizer? The one's that don't need a forklift to move seem to one some pretty minced matterial. But I can't see a viable way of raising rabbit's or ducks for that matter without some way of storing and stabilizing their food. Between post I just want out to the back to grab 20 slugs, some comfrey, lions and salmon berry in the rain. Those slug's are making me work for it these days, I use to get 50 in 5 minutes not it's twenty plus wet pant's and deep bush to find them. I dunno how one could pelletize those sod's but their my only meat source of protein for animal feed at the moment. I don't have free wood anymore, so itle be a home depot mission, if I can just sort out this spraying behavior I really think i could get opperational. I really like the "human" convenience of those cages but I'm bad with door's and hindges. If I didn't build a roof into my enclosure how high can the giant breed's jump.  I've seen competition rabit's do a 4 foot wall, but the giants? this will help allot if there to big to do any escaping, right now it would be the deal maker if they didn't jump at all.

It seem's like family of 3 human stomachs, 3 dog stomachs, could get by one 1 man and two ladies? 2-3 litter's each per year. I'm finding it hard to guess because I'm reading 11 rabbit's from a litter all success, to 3 and 5 died. It seems until you gain some experience there's no way of knowing if you've gone to large or too small. You take em at 6 pounds, but if I grew them out in the summer on free feed, I could end up with 18 pounds of meat per? That's worth building a rabbit tractor if it wasn't for the buttercups. Are they any bit like ducks? do they know what is and what aint good eating if left to pasture. I know in a cage id probably eat a shoe if it was given to me, but can I trust them on pasture?
 
Dave Bennett
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PS:  MagicDave & Blues Deluxe is my band.  

I will help you as much as is humanly possible considering that we are both using an electronic device instead of "hands on" but I think you can do it.  By the way,  My homemade hammermill was made from a 30 gallon drum instead of a 55 gallon drum because I had one available that wasn't filled with something else. LOL  I use the big steel drums for other things and I also have very limited space.  Just an "Old Hippie" from "Woodstock Nation."  If you ever have a desire to make your own milk paint I can help you do that too.
 
Saybian Morgan
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I'm growing, I can't draw, I can't draw a cube, I'm half blind and can't really see depth. My background is 3D! I'm a visual effect's artist, but there's this undo button I can hit, and things tend to hold there shape on computer. I don't know why I was built with a gift and a curse. I have amassed a decent library of tools over the last 2 years with funding from my former career, but I honestly don't know what I'm doing, I'm just doing and getting to know. My greatest achievement to date is 3 warre beehive's and a pvc lean-to that doesn't collect water anymore. It's pathetic from a man's point of view, and major from a nerd's point of view. I'm going to be building our home in jamaica, I picked a monolithic dome mainly because it's only got 2 ingredient's and 1 side. Truth is I wonder if these youtube video's are poisoning our generation, something tells me you can't gain true thinking skill by watching a 3-9 minute clip ona thing. I realized that when I tried to film me turning a compost heap, I just couldn't convey reading the pile by smell. I broke into tear's once because the behive plans where in inches, and I'm dyslexic when it comes to fractions. I spent 12 hour's converting it to metric and when I was done the project and my wood split, the guy at the store had to give me a fatherly lecture about building with green wood. "I thought the cedar just smelt nice"

I really believe I'm growing phenomenally, but I also know right now my only hope with this rabbit situation is coming from an internet forum and if you go offline mid discussion my world stops. I'm going to buy the book for the hammermill I still dont know how to pelletize without droping 3-4k on another object I can't lift. I'm going to go the 2x4 plus mesh route for the walls, at least I learned how to use a framing nailer on the beehives.
 
Saybian Morgan
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Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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what did you think of that illustration of the box with the imaginary food successfully growing on top of it? if I droped one of those off at your place would you use it or stick to the cages? And do you have any answer about the jumping ability of the giant breeds? I really feel like at least getting the structure going today if possible, I'm starting to think working in the poring rain is my thing. Not enough sunny days to get anything done. Heavy mesh is impossible to find, the stuff I got for the greenhouse was from an industrial lot, and I had to walk a quarter mile with a roll on my shoulder back to my car as cross country 18 wheeler's drove past me. chicken wire home depot has, 1/2 inch bendy wire they got heavy anything they dont, and the once great feed supply store's round her mainly focus on brushes for horses.
 
Dave Bennett
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SaybianTv wrote:
Ah free swinging makes the difference, well crumbs I'm going to have to by that ebook. Are you going to send me the info on the hope pellet making part? or do you have your own pelletizer? The one's that don't need a forklift to move seem to one some pretty minced matterial. But I can't see a viable way of raising rabbit's or ducks for that matter without some way of storing and stabilizing their food. Between post I just want out to the back to grab 20 slugs, some comfrey, lions and salmon berry in the rain. Those slug's are making me work for it these days, I use to get 50 in 5 minutes not it's twenty plus wet pant's and deep bush to find them. I dunno how one could pelletize those sod's but their my only meat source of protein for animal feed at the moment. I don't have free wood anymore, so itle be a home depot mission, if I can just sort out this spraying behavior I really think i could get opperational. I really like the "human" convenience of those cages but I'm bad with door's and hindges. If I didn't build a roof into my enclosure how high can the giant breed's jump.  I've seen competition rabit's do a 4 foot wall, but the giants? this will help allot if there to big to do any escaping, right now it would be the deal maker if they didn't jump at all.

It seem's like family of 3 human stomachs, 3 dog stomachs, could get by one 1 man and two ladies? 2-3 litter's each per year. I'm finding it hard to guess because I'm reading 11 rabbit's from a litter all success, to 3 and 5 died. It seems until you gain some experience there's no way of knowing if you've gone to large or too small. You take em at 6 pounds, but if I grew them out in the summer on free feed, I could end up with 18 pounds of meat per? That's worth building a rabbit tractor if it wasn't for the buttercups. Are they any bit like ducks? do they know what is and what aint good eating if left to pasture. I know in a cage id probably eat a shoe if it was given to me, but can I trust them on pasture?

I will start with the ducks.  If I were going to raise ducks they would be Muscovy ducks.  They do not need a pond ad they are one of the best insect control animals.  Just like chickens their most important food are insects not vegetables.  I have had a couple of Muscovy ducks before and they are excellent eating with very little fat.

My pellet press is made from stainless steel pipe.  It works very much like a cheese press except I use a hydraulic jack to push the "piston" which is a piece of stainless steel pipe that is the thickest walled I could find.  That website I posted earlier shows I.D and O.D and wall thickness of the pipe that they sell.  Buy pipe that has the thickest walls and choose sizes that are practical.  I used a pipe cap on the larger pipe (cylinder)at one end.  That cap has a pattern of holes very carefully drilled in the end.  Those act as dies where the "green spaghetti" comes out.  I will try to get my camera to work and post some pics as soon as possible.  I can't use my cellphone because I don't own one.  I hate them LOL.  In the mean time I will try to describe my "machine."  It is a slow process making pellets this way but I cannot afford to buy a pelletizer.  

As far as storage after making pellets, buy the best quality vacuum sealer that you can afford.  I have this one: http://www.amazon.com/Foodsaver-FSFSSL0320-000-Heavy-Duty-Vacuum-Sealer/dp/B004M1801Y  I wish I had the money for a better one but this one works well.

As far as "growing them out" I don't think you want to grow them to adult size.  Imagine eating an old hen that has stopped laying eggs.  They are only really good for the stock pot because their meat is stringy and tough.  The same goes for rabbits.  If you are raising Giant Chinchillas the Kits will give you 5.5-6lb. rabbits at weaning.  Feeding 10 weaned Kits for several months means 15 extra cups of feed every day.  The point of raising these heavy weights is to avoid feeding the Kits to raise their weight.  I feed 3 rabbits year round.  I average over 300 lbs. of meat on a yearly basis.  There is no savings by feeding the Kits to adult size.  You will also need LOTS of space to house them.
 
Dave Bennett
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SaybianTv wrote:
what did you think of that illustration of the box with the imaginary food successfully growing on top of it? if I droped one of those off at your place would you use it or stick to the cages? And do you have any answer about the jumping ability of the giant breeds? I really feel like at least getting the structure going today if possible, I'm starting to think working in the poring rain is my thing. Not enough sunny days to get anything done. Heavy mesh is impossible to find, the stuff I got for the greenhouse was from an industrial lot, and I had to walk a quarter mile with a roll on my shoulder back to my car as cross country 18 wheeler's drove past me. chicken wire home depot has, 1/2 inch bendy wire they got heavy anything they dont, and the once great feed supply store's round her mainly focus on brushes for horses.

I would stick to the cages.  Finding suitable welded wire mess is easy.  You might have to order it online.  If you are "sold" on Giants then I would suggest "hardware cloth" for the floors and 1 x 2 for the sides and top.  You will still need to provide a removable washable solid "foot rest" so they aren't always standing on wire mesh. 
 
Saybian Morgan
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Alright, I've put my inner child back in the closet and he wont break the bank, it's cold hard inner adult economics. 3 rabbit's is the name of the game, 5-6 pound's is my harvesting size, rabbit yield over feed is the goal. High nutrition mom's = supermilk for babies. If it's really 1 cell block for the man, and two roomates and their kids, I think I definetly have enough space cage or no cage. More cage'd into a space than A cage. I read the giant's can jump 2 feet, so 3 foot walls sounds plausible, maybe not cinderblock, but I'll be using high pressure/heat steam cleaner for sanitization so watever I can get better take a cooking. Flooring in my circumstance is still iffy. I'm doing this on a patio on top of a carport, so rain wont fall on them, but i fear it will pass under the greenhouse.

I guess the only reason i dont know old meat taste funky, is i've never had the pleasure. But then again I've been accused of overcooking meat to the point only a barbarian lord could take a bite, but I see what your saying and I think your right. If I fail to adhere to this criteria of harvest at ween, I will realize it when i'm at the feed store because i've run out of food.  I'm probably going to try 1 old rabbit when i get the chance, I think I like being a barbarian lord, I think..............

Ok I'm excited now, i been on the net ever since the last post, I guess no compost is getting sifted today for compost tea. Ok I'm more than excited I'm starting to feel confident. I think I want a flooring that double's as worm bedding if possible, it would be stellar to just scoop it all up and dump it in their bin rather than get into sifting it or running around the garden on a rainy day. For a moment i thought woodchips can absorb allot of urine before cleaning, but if cleaning mean's worm gold I think i really want to clean, it's just a matter of media and dampness. If I can keep additional rainwater from flowing under their floor I'm set. All cute idea's aside, I actualy need meat to eat.  I had the great conflict between Job and permaculture, you just can't establish a system working 12-16 hour days 11 months out of the year.  I got myself fired unconsciously intentionally, and I'm too far permied to make another talking Dog movie. Yes if you have a 6 year old I'm directly responsible for Disneys Buddies series of films "I hope you havn't herd of them". 

Im not realizing I need allot less space than i originally thought because, I wont have to segregate males to grow them out, one mom or another will be breeding in cycles so there really is only giving the two of them enough room to raise their litters happily, and dad well he gets what space is leftover.  I 've just measured my workshop and I've got 6 feet by 12 feet to operate with and If I add some vertical sillyness my square footage goes up. I only have 1 wall to build and one divider.
And now I can build myself a real workshop, and give them that space.  I'm really glad I came across the forum, i was so worried about having to grow rabbit's out and all the cell's/playspace for each male was going to break the bank.  And even better, the workshop never get's wet cuzz it's attached to the house, so I can use watever flooring I choose, and shopvac it all up for the worms. 

Now today's sitting around on the net is actually paying off big-time, I'm pumped up all I have to do is build another workshop without falling off the roof and breaking my hand again. 


Ok now comes the craiglist game of fate. Allot of people mix breed out the wazoo and I fear I wont really get a giant breed, which is the key to harvest at ween magicdavonomics.  I take it because weening and puberty is an 8-12 weeks game, the best way to tell if i'm going to get that yield factor desired at weening, I should be asking or weighing offspring if they have them. I've seen add's like flemish giant kits, dads a giant moms a children are 6 months old. that sort of thing, so I would have to do some math to figure out if at 8-12 will they be at 5-6 pounds correct? or as long as the buck and doe are over 12 pounds i can consider myself to have true giants.  Because people hang up the phone on anyone breeding for meat in my area, I have a feeling I might not get true adult's to start with and might have to grow out some children to begin the process which sounds like a really bad idea. I'm just going over the craigslist history and I only see two flemish add's in 2 months anywhere withing an hour's drive. But I know if I built it they will post, so I'm not too worried just itching now to get started. 

Any comment's on holding out of a different breed of giants? im only going off of what I see available in my region, but I know whatever I hold in my tend's to manifest, so if your breed has a leg up on the flemish I'm game to wish for that. I just didn't know if it made a difference on that "eat at ween factor"
 
Dave Bennett
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Have you considered putting your rabbits over the worm bed.  The poop will automatically feed your worms because the floor screening must have holes large enough for the feces to drop through it.  Incidentally I forgot to mention that housing your rabbits on the ground increases the possibility of coccidiosis especially in the Kits.  http://www.rabbit-information.co.uk/coccidiosis.php

I highly recommend that you consider cages.  Rabbit colonies are cool and everything but if your rabbits get infected in a colony situation it is extremely difficult to control the spread of the disease.  If you are raising rabbits for survival then you should consider cages.  I raise them for food and keeping them healthy it extremely important.  If they catch the disease they must not be kept even if they recover because they will likely be carriers.  You can eat them because cooking kills the protozoa but it can wipe out your entire "herd."  I had thought it would be nice to use a colony system until I researched it thoroughly.  I am sure that there are many who have successfully had colonies without problem but you are moving to a humid area and are more likely yo have problems with that disease if you house them on the ground.
 
Dave Bennett
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Flemish Giants are really sweet rabbits but they will not provide you with meat.  If you are raising rabbits for meat and want a giant breed for meat chinchillas are the best.  German Giants are even bigger and I would love to have a couple and I am definitely planning of getting some Angora Giants when I find a place to live with more space.  None will ever get to spend much time on the ground though.  Giant Chinchillas are VERY CALM rabbits.  That is what makes them my personal choice as the best breed for homesteading.  That is just my opinion.  I raised New Zealand and Californian rabbits for meat and they are pretty nervous compared to my giants. 
 
Dave Bennett
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Tomorrow I am harvesting several hundred culms of bamboo.  I will have lots and lots of greenery for my rabbits to eat and lots of bamboo poles to make "stuff" like "teepees" for my vertical gardening.  I have been watching a "grove" of bamboo slowly taking over the backyard of someone that lives down the street so this afternoon while I was on my way to the local craft brewery to do some maintenance on the equipment I stopped and asked them if they would mind if I cleaned up the bamboo that is outside the fence and they asked me how much will it cost.  When I said for free they said sure.  I got to the brewery and was telling the owner about my potential bamboo haul and he said I have a backyard full of that "stuff" and you can have all of it you want so........ It makes great biochar because it is full of silica.  Silica makes greens much more nutritious.  I used to make my cooking charcoal out of bamboo.  It is a pain because it makes such small pieces but it burns really well.
 
Saybian Morgan
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The reason I was open to a female and kit's colony is because from my point I'm only looking at two does, the male will be separate except for breeding. When i say floor after today's discussion I'm looking at dry lenolium cover with straw or another suitable bedding if my research gives me other options. The ground will always be dry and the 12 by 6 space is the largest area I could come by thanks to being talked down to reality about the amount of active rabbit's to operate with. With growing out removed which is what pushed me into cages, as I'm not interested in that degree of randomness or cell blocks. I felt I gave a great deal more space than I expected to have, which really helped the ethic's that where holding me back. I wanted to elevate them off the floor regardless but putting mesh a few inches off the ground on pallet's but unless vermin became an issue I can't grasp the logic other than the benefit's of never contacting urine between cleanings and poop of course.  Currently I can't get them high enough to make collection any better, but by the next post maybe I can. I really want to maximize space and a 4 foot deep cage is something id have to climb into in order to do anything. But I'm most likely visualizing it wrong because there's nothing to go in there for.

I didn't want flemish giant's but I can't find any other giant's in my region. I've been trying to find your chinchillas to no avail "YET" but I can't find any adult flemish's yet and I really do want to respect the 9 month old breeding age despite what a breeder who was getting rid of his rabbit's suggested of 5 months.

Since I can't find any rabbit's I have faith your chinchilla breed will reveal itself when I've made myself ready. I'm building a new workshop tomorow which will have wet floor's the rabbit's get my current dry workshop, i'll deal with the brunt of wet sawdust on my end.  As for jamaica I wouldn't be bring the rabbit's with me, I've got enough trouble figuring out if I have the stomach to try bribing my dog's into the country, and possibly bring my duck's via submarine. I was really working out a boat trip from cancun to the jamaican shore when i realized how would i get my ducks to cancun. So i'm going to probably try to set up my permaculture institute structure prior and see about appearing as more of a heavyweight doing research on south american birds that have made it to russia being viable for jamaica blah blah bag full of rhetoric.

Alright I'm going to eat my dinner, and work out how i could do cages when I dont have enough heavy duty cage to build, and I'm not putting 100 pounds of wire on my shoulder again grinding my colar bone to bit's to get some basic farming wire in my region. I still don't understand why I had to go to a industrial supplier, maybe google will be a nice lady and give me a new source tonight.  I think i'm going to have to pay big bucks if I do find a chinchilla in my area, cuzz itle be from a fancier no doubt. All that pedigree documentation will meet the mulch pit i call my car floor, I just don't have the mental muscle for the paperwork.

I'll either achieve chinchilla status or cage status by the end of the night but I can't promise both. I'm probably over confidant on the health issue's because I dont get sick and neither do any of my animals and if they do it's not for long. The hardest one was with the muscovies and anemia, we just couldn't figure out why the grey ones where collapsing and taking 3 weeks indoor's to recover just to colapse again in a few days. Don't ask me why I even tried this but a qube of ground beef solved it, and I never fed them beef again, now if their carunkling looks weak I toss a few more slug's into their mouth case closed.

I'm going to go over that disease you spoke of, either something was missing that is the source of it, or floor's are just plain bad even if the floor is 10 feet off of the earth inside a greenhouse. No worries tell the band I'm on it.
 
Saybian Morgan
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Oh I cheated I forgot to mention I also make up geoff lawton recommended dewormer recipe copper sulfate, flowers of sulfur, animal dolomite, egg shell flower, mineral rock dust, molasses recipe. I also add dried nettles and kale flakes, cuzz I dunno my instinct's have guided me there. No dead ducks just modify the recipe from a cow to a duck so it's way less. I don't know how they stick their bills in so much muck and don't end up ill, but then again that's why muscovies arn't really ducks and at the same time the greatest ducks ever. 
 
Dave Bennett
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The only member of the Giant Chinchilla Breeders Association in Canada is Robert van den Hoef
P. O. Box 21132
150 First St, RPO Orangeville Mall
Ontario, Canada
L9W-4S7
519-940-0065
monocliffsdeerfarm@hotmail.com
You might try contacting him and see if you can find any giants closer.  There may be some that aren't members.  I am not a member because that cost money I can better use elsewhere. 
I understand your "ethics" thing regarding the colony approach but trust me when I tell you if you are going to go that route you are in for challenges that aren't encountered by using cages.  Incidentally never make a cage any bigger than you can easily reach all of the corners to clean.  I might add that rabbits will "arrange" their space a certain way.  Do not rearrange their "house keeping" because they are sensitive.  I am hopeful that I can convince you that rabbits in cages is not cruel or inhumane.  If you are raising them as pets then surely allow them all of the freedom of a colony but if you are raising them for food you really should adjust your philosophy to something more pragmatic.  I love my rabbits and treat them very good and they reward me with sustenance.  If they had a longer life span I would have one sleeping at my feet right now.  They are very affectionate and love having their tummies stroked but they are also livestock.  All meat rabbit are actually domesticated European Hares.  They usually die in the wild because they have been domesticated for so long survival instincts have been bred out of all commercial breeds.
12 x 6 feet?  WOW!  If you had a market for rabbits you could make a living with that much space.  You must have another area for storing their feed.  I keep mine in a 8 x 10 storage building.  By the way I forgot to mention that my rabbits live outdoors.  My "rabbit barn" is 9 feet wide x 6 feet high with a sloping roof.  I bought some 50mm fiberglass insulation board that I glued to 6mm plywood so I can enclose the hutch in winter.  There is a shelf under it where I can put a small ceramic disc heater to keep them warm.  When it is excessively hot it is important to have a fan to blow through the cages to keep them cool. 
Another issue about keeping them as a colony is keeping their food and water clean. 
I highly recommend the book "Raising Rabbits To Survive." I do not agree with some of the breed information but learning about what is required to maintain healthy rabbits can be found in that book.
You can buy it here: http://www.raisingrabbitsebook.com/
 
Saybian Morgan
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jeez I felt bad when I could only build them a 20 by 10, I thought 12x6 was a meat locker, and cages well were working on that. I gotta find a way to get fall through pooping, that's all this is really about. I gave 7 muscovies 2  5x10 ponds, 2 garden bed/mulch runs, and a 10x14 canopy with a calf hutch inside for Lebensraum.

Don't say it, i'm not pragmatic am I? how i work so bloody hard i have black lines permanently around my shin's from rubber boots. I don't like idealism how did I end up in a hippy boat. I dont want meat for profit, just for subsistence. I can't kill for money that's worse that adding blood to movies for money, I worked till ulcer's to get from that to talking dogs. I worked on talking dog's till hallucinating from exhaustion while driving so I could give the few rabbit's I need to live enough space that from their point there equal to my ducks.  I'm using the word colony but really it's just 1 doe in addition to the breeding doe and her kits. To me that satisfies my colony urge, cuzz I'm sticking with you on the eat at ween practice. 

I.... I'm a little broken up about being call un-pragmatic, and then I told my wife and she laughed at me. Ughhhh why can't I ever fit in....... I was eating woody out of season cattails 3 days ago I was so getting down to the cold hard fact's of being unemployed, but then I went in my car to get them so "tear" I'm not pragmatic at all am I. 

Well look I'm going to need 15 minutes to recover and seach for anything with the word chinchilla and British Columbia in it. Ontario is on the other side of the country and after talking to a couple of higher end breeder's they all told me they got their cages in the time of old, and their ordered them from the states or ontario.  I gotta hankering for one of these if I was to go cage http://clover.forest.net/kwcages/index.html
I dunno how to subvert that with DIY isserism from those drawings, it took me 2 months to build my first automatic compost sifter, you just gotta hit it every few minutes to keep it going.

gosh I'm still feeling that impractical burrrrnnnn, that's borderlining on a great compliment I hope at the end of my life. Right now I fear it's a reality check.
 
Eric Thompson
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Location: Bothell, WA - USA
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duck food preservation solar trees
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Just as a reply to the original post...

Our best sellers grown and foraged for the rabbits are:
Cilantro, dill, willow branches (leaves + small twigs), pea tips, and dandelion

Backups would be carrots, spinach, chard, chickweed, and apple branches (leaves + chew wood)

 
Dave Bennett
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I only raise rabbits for food.  I mentioned that just because you have plenty of room to feed your family using rabbits.  I think you might consider these hutches too: http://eweporium.webs.com/rabbitcagessupplies.htm

I just decided that you should think of them as Rabbit Hutches ad stop calling them cages and there is nothing wrong with pragmatism but I suppose that if I had used the word practical it would have had less of a negative effect.  Please accept my apology.  I am just an "Old Hippie" farmer.  I love getting dirt under my fingernails.  I love the smell of really healthy soil.  I love it that my compost smells good enough to eat.  I think it important that I tell you that my "rabbit ranch" is a lot that is 100 feet long and 40 feet wide with a 14ft. x 56ft. mobile home and a 10ft. x 10ft. storage building where I store my "hay."  It took me a number of years to develop a growing system to minimize my purchases at a grocery store.  I did it out of necessity because if I have to pay for my food it must be certified organic.  I can no longer afford to buy it so I grow it.  I am a container gardener because I can maximize my yields using vertical techniques.  Only my Sweet Potatoes are actually in the ground.  If I didn't raise rabbits I would quickly run out of a growing medium and go to bed hungry.  I grow lots of sweet potatoes for both a root crop and for greens.  I have several planters full of them so I always have a ready supply of shoots to throw in a pot to steam.
PS: Muscovies can get by with just enough water to dunk their head to keep their nostril clean.  They are actually "tree ducks." 
 
Dave Bennett
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I would suggest that you use the photo of the hutches on the link I gave you.  They are designed for the Giant Breeds.
http://eweporium.webs.com/rabbitcagessupplies.htm

I used this as a model for building my rabbit hutches.
 
Saybian Morgan
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Yep I slept on it, I'm hesitating like all hell.

I'm not anti what you or anyone else is doing, I'm just not eligible to do it myself.  Your description of your space sounds like the most efficient thing you could do given what you have. I can't do it, I've got my pathway in life and it's allotted me certain provision's I'm quite thankfull for. Sure you could raise muscovies with a bucket of water, sure you can keep a human in a closet it's hole life, sure I can bust open a bee hive once a week to satisfy human curiosity and yes I can keep rabbit's healthy in hutches. 

But I'd rather eat oatmeal the rest of my life and become a vegan bag of bones, before I take life without giving live to the fullest extent im eligible to do it. I'm not an animal sanctuary man, and dammit those ducks are going to stay locked up in their luxurious pad so i can get something to eat out of my garden. I'm an animal grace man, and I know all life moves in cycles of serving higher life in order to become higher life. And that takes many shapes people would not prefer to see occur in this world. I'm not pro lab rabbits, but it's obvious they saved allot of human's from torture, and not human's save them from torture. That's grace that I support even though it may look like a 200 year span of time. 

I'm just not living up to the standards of collective consensus I take it, and high reason/rationality as generaly agreed upon. I'll probably learn the hard way and be subject to disease in my rabbit's due to my ignorance, but I'll also never fail to learn and grow from any lesson presented to me. For all I know rabbit's are in cages for sterility and their protection because human's have bread them into genetic obsolescence and now the only way to prop up a would be extinct species is by carefull management. I know my shitzu and chihuahua don't exist but survival of the fittest, they existence is guaranteed by their capacity to love. 

If I can't love these rabbit's as pet's, I in my own personal evolution in consciousness can't take their life, where someone else could because of where their at in their growth. We all evolved up from ignorance in varying degree, I spent most of yesterday watching rabbit's get their knecks broken and head's chopped off just to make sure i'm not just talking loftily but I'll be there with no tear's when my time of harvest comes. The rabbit's that come to my house get a slice of heaven before i take a slice out of them. And they will help me grow in my knowledge of being able to take care of them naturally, and take a slice out of me everytime i dont grow fast enough.  One of my duck's gave it's life to an eagle so the other 6 would get their first male, the only duckling that hatched gave it's life so all other mother's and ducks could have bigger nest so nobody get's crushed.  I expect one of these rabbit's is going to catch a disease so I can learn to feed mother more fenugreek to fortify her milk as an immune booster.  I can do a pen, I can segregate the males, but If I can't get in the pen and lay on the floor with the rabbit's and give them the opportunity for them to experience my loving energy directly, then i'm not being what I've evolved to. I'm following a line I was once a member of, I grew up sterile, no mud, no germs, the usual so I get it, prevention is protection.

I'm not pro colony rabbit's after reading a year's worth of forum post on yahoo, I still hope to find some way of taking that urine off immediately cuzz standing in piss isn't natural either. But if living in a metal box for my own good is the highest form of existence for a rabbit that doesn't exist in nature, I'm going to have to have a talk with God as I understand it.

Dave I don't think you know how much I appreciate what you've done for me, I wouldn't even know I felt this way until you made me go through the step's from theory to application. I kind of really feel like I owe it to you to raise these little blessing's successfully, and that will take time only something that breed's like rabbit's could serially handle.  Until my dog bit a hole in his ass, we knew nothing about natural medicine other than the usual bs that something is good for something, we did have the 500 bux for the vet, but life had sent me julliete levy's movie 3 days prior. I got the message we were supose to grow as a family 20 poultices later we grew to understand the power is within you to understand nature it's all a matter of love. We took the dog's diet's into our own hands and got off the kibble.... oatmeal stomach liner's before turkey bones, days of fasting all the extra steps it takes to take the hire road have to be done. I can't just dish out a scoop of food and call it rearing dogs, i have to walk the rd side picking weed's just so they can eat raw meat like real dogs.

I know I will make this work, if I can't I'm not eating anymore meat. I can't participate in putting the burden of killing meat for me on someone else like the rest of society, cuzz I don't want the burden of antibiotic's and the rest of the karma of that choice giving me ass death "prostate cancer" and the rest later in life.  I know we all get back what we put out, and it always comes in a way we can't see the connection to. 
I'm just not finding joy in the cage, I can't even sip my morning coffee and observe pseudo warren behavior and smile like when my ducks make that lip smacking sound from a sticky giant slug.

I've been broke before, hell i've live off 1 oatmeal cookie a day made of protein powder, I'm not gunna die and the universe will always support me. I'm doing this to feed my family, I'm doing this because I love life and giving life opportunities to join me, I'm eating meat out of love for animals not take.  Everyone is weither they know their serving a higher good or they don't.  I know what your fighting me for is the highest good knowable by you, and I hope that dedication will drive me to find a potentially higher good than that given space is something im blessed with. 

Lemon Balm, Tansy, Sweet Cicily, Mint, Chives, fenugreek and oregano. If I go to the effort to plant these all in the same place I house my rabbit's, flies, mice, wasp, bugs, ants, the hole lot that force rabbit's up into cages for their own protection from their weakness's may be assuage "MAY" right now this is my best idea to start outside of food. 

I can't advise anyone else to follow my lead even if it all works, cuzz everyone has a destiny in life. I can flip 3 cubic meter compost heaps and think it easy, another can barely make a rotting anerobic pile over the course of a year.

My concern now is breed availability, I can't find your chinchilla's, everyone says no to the flemish. I really don't want a new zealand, and I don't understand the french angora's. They want 100 bux a pop for them, but it's the only rabbit i can find that says 5 pounds at 12 weeks like you specify, and I'm not swaying from your no-grow-out system.  I can put it on my credit card and suck it up if F. Angora's are the closest thing I can get to your chinchilla's but honestly other than the day I went to get a rabbit when I was 8 and my sister's lips turned blue, I havn't seen a rabbit since. So I'm putting my trust in the energy of who you are and what you've done for me when we talk breeds.

Over our talks, I've played the idiot, the naive, the ignorant, and now the certain and strong. I hope you can see that I will make good on my resolve of housing and probably will never be able to raise livestock profitably or pragmatical. Life will most likely find me a living in some other genre, like it did with talking dog's for a period of time when I no longer wanted to use my talent's to serve movie's like harry potter, and batman.  So who know's maybe i'll be mushroom king of jamaica and have superfine wild boar i'll never sell for meat. I dont know I'm just re learning in this life what was standard issue for most of human history.

This is also the greatest thread jacking in the history of threads.

What do you think about the F. angora any viability? I just don't want the lab rabbit if I can avoid it, but hell maybe in the end they've earnt their chance to live at my place because they've been the most abused rabbit of all time.
 
Dave Bennett
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Angoras are very cool rabbits.  They are sometimes difficult to find though.  Much like Giant Chinchillas.  Incidentally, one of the reasons I chose my breed of rabbits is because they are rare and I intend to be one that is preserving the breed.  We grew up differently.  I grew up hunting and fishing.  I have never considered either as a "sport" in fact the term "sport fishing" annoys me.  Even though many people fish as a catch and release activity I don't see the logic in adding extra stress to fish so someone can "enjoy" hooking them.  Even though they use barb less hooks it still injured the fish.  I have only ever hunted for food.  Even when I was a boy.  Bringing home 5-6 cottontail rabbits was dinner for the family.  We didn't need the food but I harvested it so it wasn't wasted. 
I have the impression that you think I kept my Muscovy ducks in a cage and nothing is further from the truth.  I mentioned that they do not need a pond because it takes up less space.  In the wild they rarely swim preferring to spend their time rooting for bugs.  They are one of the best mosquito controlling animals with the exception of bats.  I even have two bat houses mounted on the privacy fence at the back of my lot.  I encourage wildlife.  My whole point is that all breeds of domestic rabbits are not wild European hares and they do not need to "be free" to be happy.  We are just different.  I understand that killing animals is not easy to do for most people but I know how well my rabbits are treated and I dispatch them as humanely as possible.  I am an omnivore.  I do not want to get into a philosophical discussion about human physiology but suffice it to say that our digestive system did not evolve to be vegans or even vegetarians.  That is not to say that it cannot be accomplished but it is easier to balance dietary needs using animal products than an entirely vegetarian diet.  After you get to know me better you will discover that I am very well read in quite a number of areas.  I have been an insatiable reader since I was a youngster.  I love science/math/humanities....all of it.  I just read and read and read.  I learned my "blue collar" skills because I had the desire to learn the building trades/mechanics/hydraulics/pneumatics/electrical theory and practice, etc.  It is just my way of understanding what it takes to survive.  All along my path though I have always been a gardener/farmer.  Even when I was studying theater arts I was also studying electrical engineering.  I am a "nutcase" when it comes to education.  You can never stop because there is always more to learn.  Paul has opened me up to some new concepts that has stimulated my "gray matter" activity in a huge fashion.  I just walked away from a wonderful opportunity offered by a woman that is trying to start up an organic farm.  I could have lived the rest of my life there rent free for sharing my knowledge but I would have been incredibly unhappy watching her fighting against nature instead of working with it.  My most serious personality flaw is not accepting illogical concepts.  As an example I was trying to help her understand that deep plowing all of her land was a bad idea and all she kept literally shouting about was how else could she get rid of the weeds.  It was at that point that I said goodbye and hung up the phone.  In a few weeks I will drive out to her farm and collect my property and we will part ways.  I am feeding myself using all of the space I can get away with living in a mobile home park on a tiny lot.  I no longer spend $300 a month to buy organic foods, I grow most of what I need right here.
I was making suggestions to help you maximize you ability to feed your family but I see that raising animals to eat isn't something you are able to do.  That's OK not everyone can do it.  I still wish I had enough space to have 2 Kinder goats so I can make cheese and have milk for my coffee.  By the way my two coffee plants are doing quite well.  I am hopeful I can get them through the winter indoors using lights.  I cannot have a greenhouse here.  I think they will do OK since my older sister has been growing her coffee plants in upstate NY for 10 years or more.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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