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triphop wrote:We're going to keep them on pasture in tractors.
Do you mean they will be living full time in the tractors or that during the day you'll put them out in the tractors and then during the evening you'll return them to a cage/colony/barn? Are you talking about some sort of giant moveable colony or smaller cages with individual rabbits in each.
The main concerns you should have are 1) whether the rabbits can handle being around the dog, some are quite spooked and you may end up in a situation where you need to worry more about your rabbit's fear of the dog rather than potential predators 2) the rabbits will eat the grass to the ground quickly so be prepared to move your tractor often 3) there are concerns with cleanliness and disease with keeping them on the ground.
Nothing too big, but some things to consider.
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If you supply some more details on your plans, I am sure that folks here can advise you.
Oh, and welcome to RT!
Organic heirloom farming on a small scale
The rabbits will be in the tractors full time. There's a hutch portion, about 2' x4', on them as well as a run that's about 4' x 4'. The hutch is elevated of the ground a bit and there are wheels to make it easier to move. I was planning on moving them once or twice a day, depending upon how fast they eat the grass. I'll probably put up some pictures in the housing forum some time later, because my husband did a bag-up job with them
Each rabbit will get their own tractor. We have two built at the moment and we are picking up 2 does this weekend. Once we have had them for awhile, we'll decide if we want to expand into meat production and at that point build another tractor and get a buck.
I thought I had read on here that the main concern with them being on the ground was coccidiosis and that the risk could be controlled for by making sure that they didn't graze on the same area for about 60 days. Is that accurate?
I had read that some rabbits have a lot of fear of dogs and that was why I was asking if anyone had gone down this path before. Our dog has experience guarding small fowl like chickens and ducks, so I'm hoping that rabbits won't seem too foreign to her. I was wondering if anyone had any tips for keeping the rabbits calm while they're getting used to each other.
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Welcome to RabbitTalk!
triphop wrote:The rabbits will be in the tractors full time. There's a hutch portion, about 2' x4', on them as well as a run that's about 4' x 4'. The hutch is elevated of the ground a bit and there are wheels to make it easier to move.
My mother-in-law raises her rabbits that way. While she and I don't generally see eye-to-eye on most rabbit raising issues, I will admit that this method has worked very well for her for almost six years and she hasn't had any real problems from housing them this way. Moving the tractors also helps prevent rabbits digging their way out.
We've had two very different experiences regarding dogs and rabbits:
First, we had an Anatolian Shepherd mix for years and she was very protective of our smaller pets. She was very laid back and gentle with other animals. She even adopted a litter of feral kittens! Our animals were always comfortable and at ease around her, it's like they knew she wouldn't hurt them.
Unfortunately, she passed away last year and our new dog is a young purebred Australian Shepherd. He's a herding dog instead of a LGD so that is probably part of the problem, but I can't leave him alone with our rabbits or cats. He loves chasing them, wrestling with them, and generally terrorizing them.
triphop wrote:I had read that some rabbits have a lot of fear of dogs and that was why I was asking if anyone had gone down this path before. Our dog has experience guarding small fowl like chickens and ducks, so I'm hoping that rabbits won't seem too foreign to her. I was wondering if anyone had any tips for keeping the rabbits calm while they're getting used to each other.
There are a lot of feral dogs where we live and they often come by to sniff around our rabbit hutches. The rabbits don't seem to mind too much, though, because they have a closed off box section in their hutches where they can hide from potential predators if they get nervous. The only one of our bunnies that freaks out around the dogs is our one buck who is currently living in an all-wire cage (we're still building his new hutch at the moment) and I have a feeling he'll calm down as well once he's moved to a more secure hutch. I think the main thing is making sure the rabbits feel safe so they don't get scared as easily.
Not sure if any of this is helpful, but I wish you the best of luck with your rabbit raising adventure. Bunnies are the best!
First, we had an Anatolian Shepherd mix for years and she was very protective of our smaller pets.
This is great to hear because our dog is Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd/ Maremma sheepdog. She definitely seems gentle and careful around small things, including our 1.5 year old baby.
The rabbits don't seem to mind too much, though, because they have a closed off box section in their hutches where they can hide from potential predators if they get nervous.
I forgot to mention that the hutch portions are made of plywood, so that should help their peace of mind.
Your post made me feel much better. Thank you!
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They are primarily here for the sheep but are often in the barn with the rabbits
I raw feed & they eat a lot of rabbit but they do NOT bother my live rabbits
and the rabbits do NOT have anywhere to hide when the dogs are under their cages
They are used to the dogs and seem unfazed by their presence & I never worry
about coyotes, wild dogs, racoon, etc. bothering my rabbits
Rancho Madonna Rex Rabbits ~ Love that brown gene!
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