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Colonies - Outside access?

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Colonies - Outside access?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby MegMTL » Mon May 30, 2016 8:04 am


Hello, I am interested in letting my rabbits live in a colony where they would have access to a fenced paddock? My question is if they will instinctively come 'home' like our chickens do at the end of the day?

I currently have Giant Flemish (likely mixes, but they are only apron. 5months) and will be getting some American Chinchilla kits this weekend.

They will have an area that I close up at night to keep them safe. (I live in the country in QC, Canada not sure if that helps)

Thank you!

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Re: Colonies - Outside access?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Preitler » Mon May 30, 2016 3:07 pm


Hi,

I let my rabbits roam the garden, about 300m² on two levels, a small creek and a more or less symbolic fence as border, they always know where their home is. That doesn't mean that they always want to go there when I think it's time to return to the hutches :wr_noseinair: , but most times they return by themself (or with just a little shooing) in the evening , go in and out all day. Treats (pellets) work wonder - when stirring pellets in the plastic bucket they come running.

If you let them out all the time or unsupervised they will start to dig their own tunnels, some does will kindle there (mine did :roll: ) if you let them.
Imho they don't tunnel ander the fence on purpose, I had that happen some times obviously accidentially, just dont scare the escaped rabbit, consequent nagging works better to make them return where they came from.

For me a big part of the satisfaction of having rabbits comes from them hopping around everywhere, they will even hop through the house from time to time (or start a tunnel in my basement...)

One thing to consider is the possibility of coccidioses, since my approach is to start worrying when it ever should pop up you might read about that from better sources than me.
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Re: Colonies - Outside access?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby a7736100 » Mon May 30, 2016 4:46 pm


I have a fenced in back yard. Some will come back to their cages. Others have escaped and never to be seen again. Also some when grown will be driven away by the alpha rabbits. Rabbits from the same litter don't all behave the same. One may want to be close to me when ever I'm around. Others will always keep their distance.

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Re: Colonies - Outside access?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MegMTL » Mon May 30, 2016 7:19 pm


Thank you both! Is there a certain age or size I should wait until/ for before letting them out? Can they be with my Chickens?

Again! Thank you all so much!

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Re: Colonies - Outside access?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Preitler » Tue May 31, 2016 4:55 pm


Age/size: That may depend on your fence, it's amazing where small rabbits fit through. I start to let them out under supervision with about 8 weeks, starting with a small area around the hutches. I always make that noise with the pellets bucket before feeding, so they are already somewhat trained on that.

Getting them back in isn't always a piece of cake, more often than not one will test out your determination and patience. :twisted:
Also something to consider are predators, you have some critters over there I don't have to worry about (but I had quite a fox problem, lost my buck last summer in broad daylight, and 4 growouts around christmas)

Can't tell for sure about chickens, don't know of first hand experience on that, but they can turn a rather big plot into a poop infested ammonia wasteland pretty fast. When it's big enough that they don't make everything yucky and have not much impact on the vegetation it may be possible (well, some people obviously do it).
After seeing my chicken kill mice I wouldn't let them near small kits, and their habbit to poop everywhere is just gross. :runhills:
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Re: Colonies - Outside access?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby MegMTL » Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:28 pm


Hahaha I take it you don't like chickens :lol:

They have a lot of space and lots of grass. The chickens have never affected the grass?...inside their coop is another story, lol.

My husband is very concerned about the predators and them escaping. We have lots, coyotes, eagles, hawks, ravens, foxes, fishers (the worst!)

I will try a supervised outing this weekend :)

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