Michael Cox wrote:Why bother with cage rearing them if you have an abundant supply in the wild? I'd just hunt/trap them as needed.
Video of setting up box traps and culling rabbits - quick humane dispatch by cervical dislocation - not for the squeemish
Box trap seem to be the most effective and efficient way of controlling rabbits that are damaging crops, and give good rabbits for the pot.
McLeod Jeff wrote:
Julia Weeks-Bentley wrote:I was raised in NH but am living in Indiana... I see so many wild rabbits and have been tempted to catch them and just breed them for meat rabbits LOL
I do have cages after all....figured in captivity it would not taste too gamey.
Not sure that I'd be tempted to try and keep em in captivity - but that's just me The only concern that I would have is not knowing what their food source is - whatever they eat ultimately you eat. Rabbits can also carry a fever which can be passed on if you don't handle and cook them correctly.
McLeod Jeff wrote:Yes - Not sure where you are in the world. We used to eat lots of wild rabbits back in the UK when times were tough. Different taste of course to domesticated meat rabbits. But still good meat.
Isabelle Gendron wrote:Julia, we have a 35 hectars (4 millions square foot) of land...half of it in wood. Pastures had not been used for the last 15 years. ACtually the chickens can free ranges on a big area but I would say that they cover approx. around 2000 square foot maybe more sometimes. But they use a lot the wood beside the barn. They have access to a little stream (don't no if I can call this a stream...a little little frlow of water), but I give them fresh water everyday. I'm in the deep litter method wich I like a lot..I put kitchen scrap in the coop almost everyday and there is a poop compost beside the barn that they scratch all the time. On the field next to the barn there is a lot of reseeding grains ( I think it is something like, wheat, grass) a lot of wild flowers...shrubbs etc...They ¨look¨ very healthy...nice colours (legs and crest and feathers)...no problems at all....hens are laying even a new one today. it is just this thing when I put the feeding at night...they are waiting for this. But since almost all the breed are ow use to this kind of food, and I started with that, I guess the transition is not that simple...
I have 17 chicken in that coop almost only Chantecler....In the small coop, I have Silkies...they forage a lot and don't jump at the grains when I give it to them. The big difference with them it's in the coop. I use the deep litter also but they seems to scratch less....I'm still looking at that.
But still confident that I will be able to have them eat forages only...still the winter season to figure out though,,,,here it can go down to -35 in the coldest days so forget the forages...need to find a way to harvest and keep the grains in the barn...the old way I gues )))
Isabelle Gendron wrote:Good day everyone,
Here I left my hens free range all summer up until now, but I notice that even if they scratch outside, spent time in the wood (a lot), when I put grains at night in their feeders they eat like hell....Looks like they don't eat enough...maybe they are still in transitions? But like Paul said, I am working on having poultries that will eat only fourrages...the cost of the grains is quite expensive here. Since we have a lot of land for them, I'm sure they will have everything they need to be healthy. working on that.
Marsha Richardson wrote:In the United States, try to find some American Pit Game chickens, the kind that they fight in cock fights. We get to our property weekly, sometimes every two weeks. The game chickens are wild and free. They fly very well and roost 75 feet up in oak or pine trees and forage for their feed. We do throw scratch grains out for them whenever we are there and they appreciate it. That being said, everything eats chickens - raccoons, opposums, skunks, hawks, owls, feral cats, neighborhood dogs, bears (we have had a problem this year). The game hens hatch out their own broods in the spring and often again in the summer. We keep trapping out coons, possums, etc. but not a lot can be done about owls and hawks. Once they find the birds they will keep coming back until they have caught them all. We also have chickens in fortified brood pens with automatic feeders and waterers. When they hatch a brood, some of them venture into the wild and have a grand time. You must also be aware that chickens will devastate a garden, eating new plants emerging, scratching up young plants, will eat ALL the ripe red tomatoes, berries, cabbages and squash. If they can fly well enough to escape predators, they can fly over your garden fence. In the winter, the young roosters will mature and if you don't eat them (you will have to shoot them since you will not be able to get near them), will begin fighting until there are none left. Old English Bantam chickens are also very self sufficient and not nearly so destructive. Dark colored ones seems to avoid predators better. They also fly like eagles. I keep chickens though because I love them and enjoy watching them - they can be very destructive though.
It is very easy to encourage native wild birds to hang about and eat insects. If they have nesting places they will harvest many insects for their young. We have perches on tall poles in several places in our garden and the birds use them to launch attacks on insects in the garden. Brush piles provide habitat for predatory wasps and wasps are encouraged to help with cabbage loopers and such. They really hunt among the cole veggies for the caterpillars for their nests.
Adam Klaus wrote:I left my chickens unattended for seven weeks last fall. The door to their house was wide open. They foraged for feed in the garden, after everything was harvested for us. They drank water from the creek.
I didnt know how it would go. Many of my friends expressed their doubts. I came home mid-November and all my hens were perfectly fine. No problems at all.
I knew the cows would be fine, but the success with the chickens was a real confidence boost.
Of course, a lot could have gone wrong. But it didnt. This was just one experiment, but I was pretty pleased. Vacation is a joy.