How to raise Rabbits when the lights go out

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Zass

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Pumpkin and squash can be fed, vines, leaves, fruits, seeds and all.

The biggest problem is preserving it. The whole fruit will keep in the root cellar for most of the winter, but I think, it would be more convenient if I dried it in serving sized slices.
My climate is TERRIBLE for drying anything. So I was looking into fashioning a solar oven..

The seeds dry out easily inside the house and are a favorite food that also has some value as a wormer.
 

Rainey

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bikegurl":3l8cx58h said:
We successfully stored beets and cabbage all last winter in out basement. The beets we buried in wet sand and the cabbage we pulled from the garden, then buried the roots in wet sand. We still have a couple cabbages, and they are still firm! The beets we finished. Both the beets and cabbage were storage varieties, so that would have had an impact on how well they stored. Carrots are supposed to store well in sand also, but we didn't try that yet. Potatoes we store in burlap bags in the basement.
Different root crops have different humidity and temperature needs in order to keep well, so it is good to have a variety of conditions available (moist cool basement, wet sand, cool dry pantry, etc)
I didn't know you could feed Jerusalem Artichoke...I guess I should start growing them! And sugar beets...

We used damp sawdust to pack the carrots and parsnips and they kept for several months in the well house. We just used the sawdust because we have piles of it from our sawmill, but I should try sand this year--maybe the roots would be less prone to mold. And whatever we do, once it warms up I can't picture how to keep roots in good condition. Buried in the ground here I think they'd rot--it's so wet when the snow is melting down. So much of this is very specific to location/climate and has to be figured out for where you are.
 
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MaggieJ":2ucqhgw5 said:
Sorry I don't have time to review the whole thread in detail right now, but I remember my dad storing root crops in a barrel of sand or vermiculite in the fruit cellar. They kept well that way.

Planting a patch of alfalfa, timothy and red clover will really pay off in the long run. We had done that a year or two before we started with rabbits and it provided an abundance of rabbit feed for the next eight years or so. Eventually it will need replanting, but it is a cheap, labour-saving measure. The chickens will eat some of it too.
That is a wonderful idea, thanks- that could be a multi year feed program,
-I harvest alfalfa from the hay field fence lines, and other places the swather can't get to very well -- for my rabbits.

I hope we don't need to do any of this-- but we can do some of it ,to save money-
--- I can't help but wonder why all of our military equipment is moving inland away from our coasts-[especially the east coast]- I hope is just an exercise ,and not something they know but are not sharing with us...... but it is probably just me being paranoid .--
 

Rainey

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I have a question about the root crops. In the first post of this thread, there are times of year given for feeding various roots. We fed a lot of roots winter through early spring but then not so much as there were so many fresh greens and not so many roots. For a while I've been giving the rabbits the greens when I'm cleaning radishes and they really like them--even though they are getting lots of other greens. And I've given them some of the roots--if the radish was getting tough and they like those. The turnips have sized up and we'll soon be taking some potatoes and carrots. Is there any reason not to start feeding some of those to the grow-outs as they come available? (We've been taking some of the outer leaves from the turnip tops and they are also a favorite)
Thanks for this thread!
 

skysthelimit

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So far, I pull off all of the branches and leaves from the maple and mulberry trees.

Weeds are not abundant because the dogs destroy most of the open ground, so the gardens have to provide for me and them.

I have a list of things I plant that are rabbit friendly, and the collards come up every year.

I make sure that every rabbit eats a fair share of fresh forage for as long as the growing season lasts, as money is tight, and sometimes I go for a while before I can afford pellets.

Now I would just have to cull my woolers, I don't think they could survive on this kind of diet, or more to the point, caring for just them would be a lot of forage work.
 

Big Mac

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How do you keep the root crops stored for so long? Your advice really helped us this winter with how to feed our rabbits. We stored carrots, parsnips, and potatoes in our well house which we use as a root cellar. But in spring the carrots start to mold, the parsnips to get soft, the potatoes to sprout.
If it ever really warms up we'll have plenty of green feed, but we're eating and feeding the last of the potatoes now and then won't have roots again until this year's plantings are ready to harvest. We're feeding wheat and oats and BOSS to the nursing does and will offer the first two to the kits while growing--the buck gets just a taste along with his hay and green stuff or he puts on too much weight now that winter's over.

(My four week old chicks show very little interest in their grain--seem to much prefer the compost pile although I'm not sure what they are finding to fill up on in there. I thought they would really need/want the grains.)
Your chicks prefer fresh meat, that is what they find in the compost pile, bugs, worms, fresh vegetables, greens.
remember your chickens are omnivores.
 

Skai

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How do you keep the root crops stored for so long? Your advice really helped us this winter with how to feed our rabbits. We stored carrots, parsnips, and potatoes in our well house which we use as a root cellar. But in spring the carrots start to mold, the parsnips to get soft, the potatoes to sprout.
If it ever really warms up we'll have plenty of green feed, but we're eating and feeding the last of the potatoes now and then won't have roots again until this year's plantings are ready to harvest. We're feeding wheat and oats and BOSS to the nursing does and will offer the first two to the kits while growing--the buck gets just a taste along with his hay and green stuff or he puts on too much weight now that winter's over.

(My four week old chicks show very little interest in their grain--seem to much prefer the compost pile although I'm not sure what they are finding to fill up on in there. I thought they would really need/want the grains.)
I grow an Italian vining squash called Rampicante. I've grown it in the desert and in more humid areas. It is resistant to squash vine borers. It grows like the name, rampantly! It will grow along the ground and root where the nodes touch it. You can grow it up a trellis but it will grow up and over the tallest trellis you can plant it on. It will grow 25 feet or more along the ground, up and over fences, trees and anything else in it's path. Don't stand still too long in the garden ;>) The squash will grow 3-4 feet long and 4-5 inches wide. You can eat them when small like zucchini, up to about 15 inches, or you can let them mature like any winter squash and they will keep in a corner in your kitchen until next years crop comes in. You can lop off a chunk, cover the cut end with plastic wrap and a rubber band and put it back in the corner. It will keep like that for a couple of weeks or until you're ready for another section. It only has seeds in the bulb end and they are really easy to save and germinate like crazy. The huge flowers make it easy to manually pollinate if there is a shortage of bees. I consider this major survival food.
 

HTAcres

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I grow an Italian vining squash called Rampicante. I've grown it in the desert and in more humid areas. It is resistant to squash vine borers. It grows like the name, rampantly! It will grow along the ground and root where the nodes touch it. You can grow it up a trellis but it will grow up and over the tallest trellis you can plant it on. It will grow 25 feet or more along the ground, up and over fences, trees and anything else in it's path. Don't stand still too long in the garden ;>) The squash will grow 3-4 feet long and 4-5 inches wide. You can eat them when small like zucchini, up to about 15 inches, or you can let them mature like any winter squash and they will keep in a corner in your kitchen until next years crop comes in. You can lop off a chunk, cover the cut end with plastic wrap and a rubber band and put it back in the corner. It will keep like that for a couple of weeks or until you're ready for another section. It only has seeds in the bulb end and they are really easy to save and germinate like crazy. The huge flowers make it easy to manually pollinate if there is a shortage of bees. I consider this major survival food.
I gotta look for that. We don't have many pests in this harsh environment but dang squash bugs are one of them.
 

Skai

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I gotta look for that. We don't have many pests in this harsh environment but dang squash bugs are one of them.
Rampicante is very resistant to squash vine borers because the vines are really tough but squash bugs do get after them. However, if you cover the young vines to keep the bugs off until they are healthy and read to romp, they will grow so fast and put down roots everywhere that the squash bugs can't hurt them. I also read recently that a liberal sprinkle of worm castings and bone meal around the base of the plant does a good job of repelling squash bugs and aphids as well. I'm going to try that this year.
 

Big Mac

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Spray your plants with neem oil it is safe listed as organic pesticide. To one gallon of water I add 1 table spoon of neem oil and 1/2 teasp of dawn or any other dishwashing soap, shake it up and apply to back side of leaves, and base of plant.
in volumes you would use it is safe for humans and rabbits. It has an oder rabbits don’t like and it is safe for bees.
 

Skai

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Spray your plants with neem oil it is safe listed as organic pesticide. To one gallon of water I add 1 table spoon of neem oil and 1/2 teasp of dawn or any other dishwashing soap, shake it up and apply to back side of leaves, and base of plant.
in volumes you would use it is safe for humans and rabbits. It has an oder rabbits don’t like and it is safe for bees.
Unfortunately, neem hasn't worked for me for squash bugs. Knocks them down initially but I find they come within a few days.
 

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Hmm, I've been looking for something to cover a pavilion, maybe those squash would be the thing? I'd planned on rose bushes (which rabbits can also eat) however it's gonna take awhile for the roses to get that tall so the squash may be a good starter plant. I still have to build the tea pavilion, though.

Mulberry trees, pretty much any fruit trees as well as many berry bushes are all rabbit edible. Guess they could eat twigs during the winter? We don't have winter here so feeding bunnies is easy. They adore ti leaves and there's lots of ti planted by the bunny hutches. It shades the roof to keep them cool and provides food. The nearby mulberry is great bunny food. They love coconuts, too, and can gnaw on the shell after they eat the meat inside. They also like the leaves, too. One coconut leaf will feed several bunnies for several days. The hard part is fitting it into their hutch.
 

Cindy in SD

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I tried Neem for flea beetles. So far as I could tell, it did nothing. Pyrethrum wasn't much better. I covered my cabbages & asst other crucifers against cabbage moths. The mice thought that was mighty neighborly of me. (sigh) I trapped mice by the dozens, but not before they managed to destroy my pea plants, bean vines, carrots... This was a banner year for rodents, apparently.

I'm done trying to grow brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli. I don't even like them and our season is too unreliable (and short even in a normal year). I fed what was left of them to the rabbits, though. They liked them. Now they're enjoying the cabbage we didn't eat because we actually don't like that either. 😂 Spring came (sort of) in late June and in mid September it froze HARD. Killed everything in the (unheated) greenhouse but the sage and oregano I'd planted between the tomatoes, and some flowers I put in there for pollinators.

Next year I'm only planting things I actually like. And sunflowers. I love sunflowers and they adore our long, long days in summer. Beans, potatoes, peas, tomatoes, cukes, peppers, carrots, beets, onions, salad greens (the kinds that don't spawn flea beetles), squashes, herbs, flowers... I think that may be about it. Oh, and cabbages. The cabbages (the quick & the purple ones that either outrun the worms or trick the moths somehow). I don't care about them, but the bunnies do and they're nutritious and good in stews. I do really enjoy gardening; I just wish the promised global warming would get a move on. I was told there would be warming. I am still waiting...
 

Cindy in SD

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Do the guineas eat the fruits? I let the chickens in there, because they do kill (and presumably eat?) mice, but they were way too hard on the fruits.

Can't have a cat. DH hates them but considers them to be pets and won't have outside "pets", not even an LGD (and what's the point of an inside LGD? Or an inside cat?🤷‍♀️)

As for planting more, I need to redo my fence next year because the deer figured out it was just a ruse to make them think they couldn't walk right right in, literally through it. I'll probably take the opportunity to make the garden bigger, if I can find affordable TALL fencing by then. The mice really didn't eat much. They just nibbled through the stems and killed the plants, so I'm pretty sure they could have done for twice or thrice the seedlings I planted. I wasn't really complaining; just laughing at the situation.

Next year there'll be more coyotes on account of the mice, but they don't seem interested in jumping our 4' boundary fence... so far. I watched some take down a deer and eat it as a pack just like wolves, though historically (in my experience) they're loners and prefer small game. Maybe they're learning. 😳 At any rate, I keep all my animals inside at night and we're outside a lot during the day.
 

Big Mac

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For insects , clean up in the fall by burning the residue, do not put plants left in the garden in your compost pile the reason being you give the bugs a place to winter , you want to burn the dead vines and bushes , anything that could carry eggs larvae or bugs
 

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