Keeping rabbits in garage

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Toughiemama

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I’ve been pondering moving my rabbits into my garage. Is that a good idea? Any drawbacks or concerns that I’m not considering?
 

MnCanary

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My rabbits are in a garage, or at least it was a garage quite a few years ago. It has a concrete floor. Besides some cages, I've built some pens where the rabbits live on the floor (usually does with kits, one doe per pen).

I've had the best results on the floors with a modified deep litter system. I add shavings or straw a few inches thick. Then, each day, sprinkle shavings or straw on the wet spots. If necessary I sprinkle some PDZ on the wet spots before adding the shavings / straw. I do a full cleaning every month or two.

This building has several windows, and I keep a fan blowing fresh are INTO the building in almost all weather. I don't often smell ammonia.
 

Skai

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I’ve been pondering moving my rabbits into my garage. Is that a good idea? Any drawbacks or concerns that I’m not considering?
I saw a video yesterday in which a farmer said it is getting so expensive to raise beef that the price by next year could be $50/pound for hamburger. I am gathering what I will need to move my rabbits to the garage if food gets to be as expensive as is predicted. Most people can't afford $50 a pound for hamburger and so if that happens I'll want my rabbits protected in as safe a structure as possible, otherwise they might be stolen.
 

Estrella

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I saw a video yesterday in which a farmer said it is getting so expensive to raise beef that the price by next year could be $50/pound for hamburger. I am gathering what I will need to move my rabbits to the garage if food gets to be as expensive as is predicted. Most people can't afford $50 a pound for hamburger and so if that happens I'll want my rabbits protected in as safe a structure as possible, otherwise they might be stolen.
I’ve been also worried about the safety of my buns with the way things are going economically.
We are getting a shed/barn style 10x12 delivered next week so can bring mine into there. It has a window, and two vents on the barn ceiling- also it’s a double door so I’ll be able to open the whole front end when I’m home and weather permits.
Knock on wood I haven’t had any pest problems but we are in the country in WI so do get the raccoons, possums, foxes, coyotes and bobcats! Again have been super blessed not having any run ins with my rabbits with any of those BUT I feel so much better knowing I’ll have them in their own little bunny barn soon!
 

tambayo

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Mine are inside a stone shed as well. Cooler in summer, less frost (i.e. less frozen waterbottles) in winter, more comfortable to care for them (so you do more and observe more). I have solid floor cages due to rental, concrete floor and so on. Got plastic sheet flooring tarp stuff (or whatever the name is) to protect the concrete floor, because that was easier to keep clean and cheaper than using sealants and paint. Daylight LED on timer handles the light part (12 on 12 off). Safety is part of the reason for it, cheaper building materials was another.
The cleaner things are around your hutches (spilled feed and so on) the less pests are attracted. Food, warmth, shelter from predators, water source are all on their checklist for good housing. So keep floors swept, move feed barrels around to sweep everything and keep your compostheap farther away with open ground in between. No hidey places for rats/mice and no food prevents a lot. Although if you have neighbours that leave things or water nearby (creek, drainage ditch, channel, sewers with problems or some such) you are likely to have them no matter how clean you keep your place. Check with your county/city council, some places have pest control on their job list due to public health.
 

Skai

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Mine are inside a stone shed as well. Cooler in summer, less frost (i.e. less frozen waterbottles) in winter, more comfortable to care for them (so you do more and observe more). I have solid floor cages due to rental, concrete floor and so on. Got plastic sheet flooring tarp stuff (or whatever the name is) to protect the concrete floor, because that was easier to keep clean and cheaper than using sealants and paint. Daylight LED on timer handles the light part (12 on 12 off). Safety is part of the reason for it, cheaper building materials was another.
The cleaner things are around your hutches (spilled feed and so on) the less pests are attracted. Food, warmth, shelter from predators, water source are all on their checklist for good housing. So keep floors swept, move feed barrels around to sweep everything and keep your compostheap farther away with open ground in between. No hidey places for rats/mice and no food prevents a lot. Although if you have neighbours that leave things or water nearby (creek, drainage ditch, channel, sewers with problems or some such) you are likely to have them no matter how clean you keep your place. Check with your county/city council, some places have pest control on their job list due to public health.
I agree with you. Our buns are in a shed next to our house. The cages are elevated and we have heavy plastic mortar mixing tubs we got at HD sitting under the cages. Tarps attached to the sides and back of the cages direct everything into the tubs which get emptied and cleaned out every couple of days. Works great in our situation. Although we are on three acres, we have restrictions in our subdivision that don't allow livestock, so we have to keep the rabbits hidden and their area stink free.
 

Therese

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You mention The Rat Problem.... We just discovered a rat "problem" here in early fall. In conversing with some of our farming friends, we found out that apparently everyone has a problem with rats this year--even farmers who never had a problem before.

Norway rats (that's what these are) can get up to 10" plus the tail (yes, we saw it with our own eyes)😨, so most cats will only go after the really young ones. We have plenty of excellent mousers on the job, but these things aren't mice! 🙀 So, they multiply and do damage even with cats around (although, after you have them under control, the scent and activity of cats can help deter rats).🐈

I quickly did research as soon as I discovered our problem and tried a number of products (snap traps, sticky traps, bucket traps). I have made a personal resolution to avoid dangerous poisons because of my other livestock animals and pets, and because of secondary poisoning dangers to raptors, etc. who are on our side in this battle. 🦉

Everything worked--a little. In a week's time, I caught about 4 rats.

Not bad....but not too good, considering we were seeing them near other sheds too, and a single pair can multiply to 1,200+ rats in a year. 😵 My great motivator to get rid of them quickly was their proximity to our house.😬

In my research, I found that a lot of homesteaders use one of two non-toxic "poisons" that are very effective: baking soda; or plaster of paris. Either of these is mixed with an equal amount of flour/cornmeal/cornmeal muffin mix/ground-up-favorite-food (animal feed, dog food, etc.--whatever they are getting into). Grind it up so they can't just pick the food pieces out of the powder. Put it where they are used to eating (a few cups) and check your pile regularly to see the activity (and add more). After a day or two, you should see the activity go down, and you may see a slow rat...or a dead one.

Location: Don't put it out in such a way that your animals eat a quantity of it. Even though my research shows there is little to no danger for my animals, I didn't do an experiment to see how much would make them sick.

Keep up the program vigilantly, because colonies of rats send out scouts and will happily take over an area that has ample food, water and shelter when it is abandoned. Our experience: we had "waves" of new colonies come through for a few weeks. Activity would cease and there would be evidence of mortality. A couple days went by and then......Each time a colony arrived, it looked like a group of new kids on a playground that evening (yes, they do play)---about 30-50 in each group from what I could quickly count. In the end, I estimate we got rid of about 150-200 rats. 😳 The evidence now is that there aren't many left (thanks be to God) but I will continue to be vigilant lest the happy couple that's probably left become---a lot of rats.🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁 Up to 22 babies in a litter...each month...becoming mature to breed at 6 weeks....

Just look up plaster of paris or baking soda for rats online. You will get a lot of information. You'll probably also find some fun things on rat dogs, mink and air rifles [I can see how this problem could turn into a sport--like fox or coon hunting!]

Tip: try to keep everything "the same" for the rats until you have a handle on the situation, because they are very suspicious by nature and--really smart. If you change things before you can be effective, they will change their habits--and then it won't be so easy to fool them.

We saved our rat-spoiled bags of goat feed to use as the bait in the mixture. We actually left it in a big plastic garbage bin with a ramp up to it right where they were used to getting it, and a few inches of poison powder on top. That way, they could keep to their routine to find food while they were meeting their demise. 😼

Hope this information helps some folks out there! God bless you! And, Saint Martin de Porres, pray for us!🙏

If you're squeamish about killing rats, let me assure you: These aren't pet rats. They will destroy your buildings and spread disease to your animals and family if you don't take care of them in a timely fashion.
 
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Hope this information helps some folks out there! God bless you! And, Saint Martin de Porres, pray for us!🙏
And St. Francis, too! With rats, you need all the help you can get! :)

We "only" have a mouse and vole problem, so I am counting even more of my blessings right now. But it's interesting, this is an unbelievably high year for mice, too.
 

Therese

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And St. Francis, too! With rats, you need all the help you can get! :)

We "only" have a mouse and vole problem, so I am counting even more of my blessings right now. But it's interesting, this is an unbelievably high year for mice, too.
Of course, we can't forget Saint Francis! ;-)
The baking soda and plaster work for the mice, too.
 
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You mention The Rat Problem.... We just discovered a rat "problem" here in early fall. In conversing with some of our farming friends, we found out that apparently everyone has a problem with rats this year--even farmers who never had a problem before.

Norway rats (that's what these are) can get up to 10" plus the tail (yes, we saw it with our own eyes)😨, so most cats will only go after the really young ones. We have plenty of excellent mousers on the job, but these things aren't mice! 🙀 So, they multiply and do damage even with cats around (although, after you have them under control, the scent and activity of cats can help deter rats).🐈

I quickly did research as soon as I discovered our problem and tried a number of products (snap traps, sticky traps, bucket traps). I have made a personal resolution to avoid dangerous poisons because of my other livestock animals and pets, and because of secondary poisoning dangers to raptors, etc. who are on our side in this battle. 🦉

Everything worked--a little. In a week's time, I caught about 4 rats.

Not bad....but not too good, considering we were seeing them near other sheds too, and a single pair can multiply to 1,200+ rats in a year. 😵 My great motivator to get rid of them quickly was their proximity to our house.😬

In my research, I found that a lot of homesteaders use one of two non-toxic "poisons" that are very effective: baking soda; or plaster of paris. Either of these is mixed with an equal amount of flour/cornmeal/cornmeal muffin mix/ground-up-favorite-food (animal feed, dog food, etc.--whatever they are getting into). Grind it up so they can't just pick the food pieces out of the powder. Put it where they are used to eating (a few cups) and check your pile regularly to see the activity (and add more). After a day or two, you should see the activity go down, and you may see a slow rat...or a dead one.

Location: Don't put it out in such a way that your animals eat a quantity of it. Even though my research shows there is little to no danger for my animals, I didn't do an experiment to see how much would make them sick.

Keep up the program vigilantly, because colonies of rats send out scouts and will happily take over an area that has ample food, water and shelter when it is abandoned. Our experience: we had "waves" of new colonies come through for a few weeks. Activity would cease and there would be evidence of mortality. A couple days went by and then......Each time a colony arrived, it looked like a group of new kids on a playground that evening (yes, they do play)---about 30-50 in each group from what I could quickly count. In the end, I estimate we got rid of about 150-200 rats. 😳 The evidence now is that there aren't many left (thanks be to God) but I will continue to be vigilant lest the happy couple that's probably left become---a lot of rats.🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁🐀🐁 Up to 22 babies in a litter...each month...becoming mature to breed at 6 weeks....

Just look up plaster of paris or baking soda for rats online. You will get a lot of information. You'll probably also find some fun things on rat dogs, mink and air rifles [I can see how this problem could turn into a sport--like fox or coon hunting!]

Tip: try to keep everything "the same" for the rats until you have a handle on the situation, because they are very suspicious by nature and--really smart. If you change things before you can be effective, they will change their habits--and then it won't be so easy to fool them.

We saved our rat-spoiled bags of goat feed to use as the bait in the mixture. We actually left it in a big plastic garbage bin with a ramp up to it right where they were used to getting it, and a few inches of poison powder on top. That way, they could keep to their routine to find food while they were meeting their demise. 😼

Hope this information helps some folks out there! God bless you! And, Saint Martin de Porres, pray for us!🙏

If you're squeamish about killing rats, let me assure you: These aren't pet rats. They will destroy your buildings and spread disease to your animals and family if you don't take care of them in a timely fashion.
I’m going to try this! Thank you for sharing.
 

BuffBrahmaBantam

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We don’t have rats but do have other awful critters that are terribly destructive. We got live traps 20 years ago and keep them open 24-7-365. We use Sherman traps for mice and voles, and tomahawks for pack rats and ground squirrels. I absolutely could not live without these traps, but the key is having them open all the time. By the time you have an infestation you are already behind the curve and playing catch-up in an extremely bad situation. I hope this helps.

I agree that the current poisons on the market are too risky for broad scale use. I lost a few cats to secondary rodenticide poisoning and you are right that they kill raptors too.
 

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