New member, New to rabbits

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New member, New to rabbits

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Malestrom » Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:42 am

Hi everyone,
Im new here and to bunnies.
Im raising them as part of the tired of eating hormonal antibiotic treated meat from the market movement, I also use them to feed my snakes. I spend on average 135.00 a month on feeder rats and mice, I calculated it to be cheaper to raise rabbits, eat 2 or 3 a month and use the babies and kits to feed my snakes, in meat savings alone ive cut my bill by 50% minimum.
I'd like to feed them properly but had no idea there was a weight to weight ratio, I was just making sure they had paellets, seeds and alfalfa and timothy hay as well as water, I had raised mice and they eat each other when they run low on food and that becomes troublesome as cannibalism amongst them becomes habitual after it starts, I dont want my buns doing that. I started with a huge order of female 'feeder' rabbitts om the pet store, I was able to pick a few so i have a lionshead and 3 nzs 1 white and 2 orange/red, the rest seem to be mixes and as far as pets go they handle fine and all get along except the lionshead, it fights with every male i have (2) trying to castrate them and its nasty, im gl;ad they have long ears to beak up those fights, I did get bit pretty good once but cant figure why shs doing this maybe shes pregnant already from being in that giant cage of feeders? Id like to get a reasonably cheap but not at the expense of health food mix down be it pelleted mixed with scraps from our kitchen or all grasses and hays ets. right now they get pelleted with seed, alfalfa blocks and i give them oats and timothy hay $4.- for a 2x2 block, carrots, potato skins, celery cuts, broccoli and whatever the wife is going to toss, better to feed than throw it out, ill be using comfrey when it comes up oregano chives and other herbs i grow, Ialso have bamboo if they eat that.
Anyway Hello everyone from the noob guy on the forum and I look forward to learning from your experience ;)
Michael day 3 15 rabbits 4 cages, going to pick up a 6 rabbit stainless steel unit and 2 vinyl coated wire cages for 2 buns each. after that ill see if i need more cages, probly will. These will eventually all be outside against my house and wall on 2 sides protected from the wind and the poo will be recycled into my garden i grow lots of flowers and veggies. loooongwinded yah....

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Re: New member, New to rabbits

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Miss M » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:25 am

Welcome, Malestrom! :welcomewagon:

Hope you don't mind me moving your post! This is where introductory posts usually go, and you will get more feedback for the questions in it, since not all of them have to do with natural feeding, here.

Sounds like you are doing well with your feeder rabbit program! Cutting your feed bill in half is nice!

Rabbits can kill each other, but they will not eat each other like mice. Each buck needs his own cage. Each doe needs her own cage, unless you have a nice big colony. This does present the chance of fights, though, and sometimes a doe will kill another doe's kits. So it's easiest, especially just starting out, to have each in its own cage.

Your lionhead may be pregnant. Calculate 30 - 31 days from the day you bought her, and that would be her furthest due date. She could be due anytime before that, so you may want to just keep a nestbox of hay in there with her. Once it's been 36 or so days since you bought her, if she still has no babies, you can conclude she is just mean, and she can go in the stewpot. There are plenty of nice rabbits out there... no reason to keep one that tries to sever fingers from your hands. :)

I do believe rabbits can eat bamboo, as it is just a very tall grass, but I haven't looked it up.

By the way -- if you could, please break your posts up into smaller chunks of text. It's just difficult to read when you have more than 5 - 7 lines together, probably because of forum format. :D

Welcome to RabbitTalk! I'm sure you will hear from plenty of other members here!
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Re: New member, New to rabbits

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Marinea » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:41 am

Welcome! You found the right place to learn. Based on what you're doing, I recomend the natural feeding and meat rabbit sub-forums.

It sounds like you're doing well with the feeding, but I second Miss M, you really need to house your buns separately. Especially with the nasty Sex Change Fairy out there- rabbits have a tendency to not end up the sex they seem to start out as. There are pictures to help you verify their sexes. You might want to take a look at those.

Oh, by the way, we love pics of rabbits here :)
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Re: New member, New to rabbits

Post Number:#4  Unread postby AnnClaire » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:52 am

:welcomewagon: Hi Malestrom!

Yeah, what MissM said ... unless you have a ground pen large enough for each rabbit to have about 2sqft of space (more is better), you will want seperate cages for each rabbit. As you have limited cage space at this time, you should concentrate on seperating the bucks into individual cages, and you can probably pair the does up for a little while ... except for maybe the Lionhead (LH) :P

For all the does, you should consider all of them as bred at this time. So, having several nest boxes available and in the cages until at least 36 days past when you acquired them will save you stress and possibly the lives of any kits. A nest box can be as simple as a shoe box stuffed with hay. Timothy would be too expensive, so any cheap hay at the feed store will work, and if it is a good, horse quality grass hay, the buns may like it better than the timothy, so in the square bale, would be cheaper in the long run :P

As long as you are feeding a rabbit pellet, you don't need to supplement with any other alfalfa as that is what the base of the pellets are. There are also additional minerals and salts added to the pellets, and protein boosters, but additional minerals and salts are desired by the rabbits and I buy the "goat mineral" block at the feed store and knock chunks off for my buns.

This mineral supplement is especially important if you are providing a portion of the rabbit's feed as fresh forage. If you check the Natural Feeding section and the Rabbit Care section, you will find various lists of safe rabbit plants for various areas of the country (will need to hunt some out, but it is all interesting and informative reading :D ). For example, in my area, Johnson Grass is a perfectly acceptable rabbit forage, but it can be deadly if it has been frozen or heavily frost bitten.

There are also several topics about building rabbitry setups and some seriously AWESOME photos! I am in the middle of getting mine finished, so I still only have frames with no tops or sides, and we just had that blizzard hit Monday/Tuesday, so with 18" of snow, I just draped my cages with 6mil plastic ... one of my absolute MUST-HAVES in my building supply 'toolkit' :P It can be used to drape the front of an open shed to keep rain/snow off of the rabbits, etc.


If you look past the chain link fence, you can see the plastic drapes on my cages :P
cheers - AnnClaire

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Re: New member, New to rabbits

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Kyle@theWintertime » Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:21 pm

Welcome! :)
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