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Adopting feral rabbits?

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Adopting feral rabbits?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby LunarFantom » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:18 am


Alright so, I saw an old friend recently, mentioned I had rabbits, and she told me her grandmother (a farmer) had gotten some rabbits recently and released them as a way to keep predators from attacking her other animals. (the idea I guess was predator satiation, the predators hopefully go for the easy unguarded rabbits and leave her chickens alone).

Predictably this has resulted in a crazy amount of breeding rabbits on her property. Obviously I can't adopt them all but as I am wishing to expand my fluffle, I am somewhat interested in a few of them.

Here's the tricky part, I know feral rabbits can catch diseases indoor rabbits won't. I don't want to risk the health of my own rabbits. Do you guys think it would be way too crazy expensive to try to diagnose/cure all their potential ailments? Or is this a feasible option?

(Note: I know this isn't a long term solution to her grandma's mistake. That would be capturing and spaying/neutering every last one of them, which I will suggest to them. I'm just mulling over this particular adoption option :geek: ).

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Re: Adopting feral rabbits?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:52 am


coccidiosis is a concern easily dealt with , EC is a concern not easily dealt with-- so look for symptoms of EC in the feral population, -I assume you are going to quarantine regardless of any test results.
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Re: Adopting feral rabbits?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun Sep 23, 2018 4:57 pm


This may sound harsh, but the best solution to Grandma's problem would involve a hunter and .22 rifle. Rabbit meat is very fine eating. It would not be feasible to catch and neuter the rabbits -- the expense would be huge and you could never be sure you got them all.
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Re: Adopting feral rabbits?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby LunarFantom » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:51 pm


MaggieJ wrote:This may sound harsh, but the best solution to Grandma's problem would involve a hunter and .22 rifle. Rabbit meat is very fine eating. It would not be feasible to catch and neuter the rabbits -- the expense would be huge and you could never be sure you got them all.


Eh heh, that may be my actual long term plan but I didn't want to be insensitive outside the meat-rabbit section of the forums. ;)

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Re: Adopting feral rabbits?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:27 pm


Oops! :oops:

I didn't think of that. I guess I should send myself a stern warning! :nono:
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Re: Adopting feral rabbits?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Nymphadora » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:00 am


MaggieJ wrote:Oops! :oops:

I didn't think of that. I guess I should send myself a stern warning! :nono:

:rotfl:

Shall I get the chair? :twisted:

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Re: Adopting feral rabbits?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby akane » Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:20 pm


In the US there are very few serious contagious illnesses that are an extra risk beyond what you find with any domestic rabbit. Wild and domestic do not share illnesses much easier than any other animal would with a rabbit. The really serious things like pastuerella (snuffles) can come from even typically caged rabbits. Zoonotic illness (effect multiple species) are usually fairly easy to sum up and often treatable. Parasites are commonly picked up but most are easily eliminated with a dewormer. Cocci can occur but I found it's far more of an issue containing rabbits in pens with wet ground and I never had it transfer to my caged rabbits. Drying things out solved the problem better than medicating the rabbits including the already exposed ones. Everyone quickly recovered after that with no further intervention and making sure the pen floors did not get damp again never saw it again. With a large area to roam it probably would not be concentrated enough to cause health issues and my only concern would be keeping those rabbits isolated and off the ground for awhile so they don't contaminate a smaller area to the point it overwhelms them before their immune system takes care of any lower level exposure they've had. EC is a potentially deadly parasite issue but I found it struck rather randomly in my herd and even rabbits sharing the same pen did not consistently get sick while again my caged rabbits around them including a block along the back wall of the pens never did get sick. Just having it potentially exist on the property while quarantining would not be much of a concern to me. It's likely wildlife coming in the barn spread it to my pen anyway. There are a few other domestic rabbit specific diseases you can't be certain they did not already have but most serious and not treatable things have probably been eliminated by now.

That mostly leaves the same risk as any time you bring in new domestic rabbits. Particularly with unknown or poor past care. Sometimes one group of rabbits can be immune to a strain of respiratory infection that another group is not and end up being deadly to the existing herd despite minimal or lack of symptoms. That is a risk that always exists though. Some wouldn't even risk that and most would just quarantine well. All I'd really add for ones that had been running around a yard/field is some dewormer, extra clean conditions off the ground for awhile, and more careful diet transition while quarantining and watching for something like EC as well as the typical contagious illnesses of domestic rabbits.

You know more prey just brings in more predators to eat them and fuels a population rather than distracting it.... Guinea fowl that kept refusing to roost safely in the coop were the reason we got surrounded by a flock of great horned owls, multiplied the neighboring foxes until some started denning on the property near the consistent food source, and eventually found ourselves facing a near impossible to trap or kill fishercat that could surpass practically any barrier to slaughter the poultry. The coons and feral cats willing to kill small livestock also became more numerous when I acquired quail and they initially were managing to kill some through the pen bars. I had less predators when everything stayed contained in pens and buildings that they could not eat.
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Re: Adopting feral rabbits?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:16 pm


Nymphadora wrote:
MaggieJ wrote:Oops! :oops:

I didn't think of that. I guess I should send myself a stern warning! :nono:

:rotfl:

Shall I get the chair? :twisted:


I certainly deserve it, setting such a bad example. Here . . . :chair: Have at it!
Sojourning in 1894 . . .

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Re: Adopting feral rabbits?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Tue Sep 25, 2018 5:24 am


I have caught , caged, and bred- some feral domestic rabbits-- they adjusted quite well in a very short time-- I had no surprise disease issues..
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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