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brittanyf

Fruitful Abundance
Joined
Mar 26, 2024
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Several life changes here starting with homeschooling a year ago. Gardening this year and after hearing a church friend talking about meat rabbits this is is going to be my next step.

I'm in a lala land of daydreaming, researching, and planning. Driving my husband crazy. We are planning the hutches now to start gathering materials. He would like to get California rabbits if we can find them nearby.

I'm a little more anxious now since finding this forum and reading about rats and litters of dead kits. After rabbits, our next goal will be chickens.

Right now, we don't have any rats or snakes except dead mice left as presents for our cats. I think her and the 3 large dogs deter snakes although they are all inside at night.
 
Welcome! Californias are a good breed. You will find almost any answer you could imagine on Rabbit Talk. Rabbits are fun and entertaining. What do you want to breed for? (Fur, meat, show, etc.)Because some breeds are better for certain purposes. Do you or your husband have farming/rabbit experience? If you have any questions feel free to ask and we will do our best to answer.
 
Welcome! Californias are a good breed. You will find almost any answer you could imagine on Rabbit Talk. Rabbits are fun and entertaining. What do you want to breed for? (Fur, meat, show, etc.)Because some breeds are better for certain purposes. Do you or your husband have farming/rabbit experience? If you have any questions feel free to ask and we will do our best to answer.
We are planning to breed for meat. No experience other than gardening.
 
You only see posts like that because people are seeking advice. In my newness of all this, (It will be 1 year on June 15th.) We have had 8 litters. Very few problems. None actually that weren't created by me.
Thank you!! I was trying to reassure myself it's not a common issue.
 
Thank you!! I was trying to reassure myself it's not a common issue.
Actually...it is more that it is a preventable issue, so we want you to know. I have been breeding and raising rabbits for almost 20 years. I have had rat problems for the first time this year. And honestly it is because I outsmarted myself and rather than using standard cage wire I used more open found materials. They are honestly better than cage wire at many things, but not better at keeping out rats. I live in a city known for its rat population now, and I previously did not, so I have had to adapt my thinking. I have had hundreds of successful litters over the years, and recently had one big failure.

The other predators I have encountered are dogs and raccoons. Raccoons never managed to do more than upset the rabbits, because their cages were too sturdy, and the first year I kept rabbits I learned the hard way that a (wild, feral, stray) dog will work very hard to bite rabbit feet thru the cage wire from underneath. This is prevented either by having a dog proof yard or by having normal fencing wire smaller than a dogs nose as a second floor a few inches below the real floor.

Predators are common, but they are also easily preventable. Just don't get complacent like I did. I saw evidence of rats getting into the cages and thought "huh, that's new" instead of thinking "emergency!"
 
Actually...it is more that it is a preventable issue, so we want you to know. I have been breeding and raising rabbits for almost 20 years. I have had rat problems for the first time this year. And honestly it is because I outsmarted myself and rather than using standard cage wire I used more open found materials. They are honestly better than cage wire at many things, but not better at keeping out rats. I live in a city known for its rat population now, and I previously did not, so I have had to adapt my thinking. I have had hundreds of successful litters over the years, and recently had one big failure.

The other predators I have encountered are dogs and raccoons. Raccoons never managed to do more than upset the rabbits, because their cages were too sturdy, and the first year I kept rabbits I learned the hard way that a (wild, feral, stray) dog will work very hard to bite rabbit feet thru the cage wire from underneath. This is prevented either by having a dog proof yard or by having normal fencing wire smaller than a dogs nose as a second floor a few inches below the real floor.

Predators are common, but they are also easily preventable. Just don't get complacent like I did. I saw evidence of rats getting into the cages and thought "huh, that's new" instead of thinking "emergency!"
Thank you. This makes a lot of sense. I didnt think of the neighborhood. I do think think we have rats or raccoons I've seen or heard of in our area. I'll talk to my husband about it.

I think I spook myself out imagining that predators are going to come out of the woodworks looking for my animals. We do have hawks but that's why the chicken run will be fully covered.

Today, I was researching chicken coops and them getting infested by rats. Then I came here and started doubting I could do this lol. I thinknim more worried about chickens attracting things than I am the rabbits. I'm just worried about things that are way out there.
 
Several life changes here starting with homeschooling a year ago. Gardening this year and after hearing a church friend talking about meat rabbits this is is going to be my next step.

I'm in a lala land of daydreaming, researching, and planning. Driving my husband crazy. We are planning the hutches now to start gathering materials. He would like to get California rabbits if we can find them nearby.

I'm a little more anxious now since finding this forum and reading about rats and litters of dead kits. After rabbits, our next goal will be chickens.

Right now, we don't have any rats or snakes except dead mice left as presents for our cats. I think her and the 3 large dogs deter snakes although they are all inside at night.
We started with chickens first and did tons of research and watched tons of videos. I found some info on chickens taking care of the rabbit poo so.....we built our set up with the rabbit cages hanging over the chicken run. The chickens absolutely love scratrching the rabbit poo and the bottoms of the rabbit cages are secure from predators because the chicken run is as bullet proof as we could make it. 20230904_174000.jpg
 
Welcome. We homeschooled all the way through with 3 kids, (all grown up now). The kids had a blast with chickens , incorporating farm chores with school. We had very few issues, so long as our coup was secure and we learned basic chicken diseases and dealt with them proactively.
We just started meat rabbits, Californians about 2 years ago, completely clueless about rabbits. I was even scared to hold them.
We were blessed to find someone on Craig's list getting out of rabbits and bought the entire rabbitry for 600 dollars, including 2 does and two bucks all under 2 years old.
We had no major problems whatsoever until just recently with a parasite we are still working on, but that hasn't deterred us. I'm the main gal and my hubby steps in when I have grunt work to do and he does the hopper popper and the beheading. We work together with the processing and enjoy our time together! The hardest part for me is when theres a stillborn or one that just didnt make it on day 2. I've not experienced any death past that with any kits yet in 2 years but I'm sure I'm experience it and learn something. The greatest joy is providing for our family and learning new skills. I wont say it easy but its rewarding.
 
We started with chickens first and did tons of research and watched tons of videos. I found some info on chickens taking care of the rabbit poo so.....we built our set up with the rabbit cages hanging over the chicken run. The chickens absolutely love scratrching the rabbit poo and the bottoms of the rabbit cages are secure from predators because the chicken run is as bullet proof as we could make it. View attachment 40689
This is such a good idea!
 
Thank you!
But, I got the idea from someone else and I can't remember where I found it. This particular design was my own though. 😁
how do you clean out from underneath? Do the sides come off?

I have my hutches inside my chicken run about chest high. it makes it a little easier to get a rake under them, but I like that your set up is only one cage deep, so it is a skinny space. My cages open from both sides making a shorter back to back row, and reaching the far side to rake out is a bit of a pain.
 
how do you clean out from underneath? Do the sides come off?

I have my hutches inside my chicken run about chest high. it makes it a little easier to get a rake under them, but I like that your set up is only one cage deep, so it is a skinny space. My cages open from both sides making a shorter back to back row, and reaching the far side to rake out is a bit of a pain.
Behind the wood at the bottom is lined with hardware cloth and is one wall to the chicken run. We go into the chicken run and have access to the back and underneath. The chickens take care of most of the mess and they're really good at dodging pee streams. We also have the water nipples attached at the back and the tank inside the run. I wanted to be able to access the rabbits without walking in chicken poo, so, I can go out barefoot if the mood strikes me. That's why the cages face outside. :ROFLMAO:
My cages are 30X36. I did this on purpose so I am limited in what I can keep. My 4 does and 2 bucks are enough to provide food for us and some of the neighbors if everything goes sideways.
 
Here is a picture of the other side. There is a coop on the left for the big girls and a coop on the right for the Silkies and Polish. Inside the run is split in 2, a space for each kind. The sides roll up for sun exposure and down for wind and rain. Everything is double wired with hardware cloth for rats and snakes.20230904_173918.jpg
 
Welcome. We homeschooled all the way through with 3 kids, (all grown up now). The kids had a blast with chickens , incorporating farm chores with school. We had very few issues, so long as our coup was secure and we learned basic chicken diseases and dealt with them proactively.
We just started meat rabbits, Californians about 2 years ago, completely clueless about rabbits. I was even scared to hold them.
We were blessed to find someone on Craig's list getting out of rabbits and bought the entire rabbitry for 600 dollars, including 2 does and two bucks all under 2 years old.
We had no major problems whatsoever until just recently with a parasite we are still working on, but that hasn't deterred us. I'm the main gal and my hubby steps in when I have grunt work to do and he does the hopper popper and the beheading. We work together with the processing and enjoy our time together! The hardest part for me is when theres a stillborn or one that just didnt make it on day 2. I've not experienced any death past that with any kits yet in 2 years but I'm sure I'm experience it and learn something. The greatest joy is providing for our family and learning new skills. I wont say it easy but its rewarding.
Oh wow! Thank you for your encouragement! Not having losses after day 2 is amazing. I am nervous about the stillborns but I figure I'll get used to it. I was a little discouraged when the family I met told me they've only had 20 grow to size but my husband said it's because they're kids mess with them too much.

How often do you replace your breeders? I just saw an article where someone said they replace theirs every 12-18 months. That seems to be wasting breeders?
 
Behind the wood at the bottom is lined with hardware cloth and is one wall to the chicken run. We go into the chicken run and have access to the back and underneath. The chickens take care of most of the mess and they're really good at dodging pee streams. We also have the water nipples attached at the back and the tank inside the run. I wanted to be able to access the rabbits without walking in chicken poo, so, I can go out barefoot if the mood strikes me. That's why the cages face outside. :ROFLMAO:
My cages are 30X36. I did this on purpose so I am limited in what I can keep. My 4 does and 2 bucks are enough to provide food for us and some of the neighbors if everything goes sideways.
I've been looking at gravity automatic feeders and have been toen between nipples and metal bowls. Have you always stuck to nipples?
 
I've been looking at gravity automatic feeders and have been toen between nipples and metal bowls. Have you always stuck to nipples?
We started with bowls and it was a very short period of time that I was over it. Seems like I was always scrubbing bowls. If they didn't poop in it then it felt slimy so, washing bowls 2x a day. I have one doe who will grab her water bowl and flip it. I decided to go with nipples but I have a pump in the barrel. When it gets hot here I need to be able to cool the water down with frozen water bottles but if it wasn't moving the stuff in the tubing would still be hot.

I went with cheap nipples off Amazon and we have had to change out a few here and there. My next step is to get better nipples and a filter so nothing gets in to clog the nipples.
 
We are planning to breed for meat. No experience other than gardening.
Yeah, that's what we said... After 8 months decided to get another buck (we raise Silver Fox). While at the sellers house we found out he was the VP of one of the regional Silver Fox Rabbit Breeders Clubs. He invited us to a show in GA coming up in 3 weeks. At that time we'd raised 3 litters, putting most in the freezer. We had a couple of buns that we thought might compete (just based on us looking at videos, etc) but really just wanted to get them registered with ARBA. So, three weeks later we were at the show, we got them registered, and by the end of the 7 events they were judged in, got a leg for our buck and 2 legs for our doe towards grand champion (you need 3). Well, that got us hooked. Went 2 weeks later to another show and finished our doe. So, now we are dual-purpose breeders. Love the show aspect much more than I though we would. Great group of people, lots of learning, super opportunities to network. Oh yes, welcome to the forum btw. Lots of great people here with years of experience. There are no stupid questions here, we all learn from each other.
 

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