Meat rabbit housing and some other questions

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Rabbit19

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So I'm thinking about getting a pair of meat rabbits sometime, most likely not for a while though.
I have heard about keeping them in cages, and in a colony. I don't really like the idea of cages, but a colony is not practical either.
I have a 15 by 11 feet walk in encloser with a roof and netting sides that are buried about 20cm deep.
The floor is (very) hard earth. If I divided in to three sections, would that be big enough for two grown rabbits, and one litter of youngest's to grow out?
Any thoughts on using it?
I thought one could do deep litter.

The only problem is that in the moment, five G-pigs live in it. Which would mean I would have to wait a good couple of years.
Is there any other way of housing them, which is easy? I'm thinking I will just have to wait, but I'm not very good at that!
Thank you for your time and thoughts!
 

MnCanary

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Keeping rabbits in a pen is, in my opinion, the best of both worlds. Sort of a cage, and sort of a colony. My suggestion would be to provide more nest boxes than you have does--so they can choose and not squabble. And to keep the buck in a separate pen or cage so you can control the breeding.

I have some pens with concrete floors. I initially put bedding over the concrete. Then each day I sprinkle PDZ over the wet spot and add a handful of bedding. It is a modified deep litter system. Once in a while I scoop out the wet area and start over. Once in a great while I scoop out everything down to the concrete.

(PDZ is just zeolite, a mineral that absorbs nitrogen. i.e. ammonia. People with horses use it in their stalls. It just takes a sprinkle. It is organic and safe for rabbits and for your garden if that's where the bedding ends up.)
 
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Keeping rabbits in a pen is, in my opinion, the best of both worlds. Sort of a cage, and sort of a colony. My suggestion would be to provide more nest boxes than you have does--so they can choose and not squabble. And to keep the buck in a separate pen or cage so you can control the breeding.

I have some pens with concrete floors. I initially put bedding over the concrete. Then each day I sprinkle PDZ over the wet spot and add a handful of bedding. It is a modified deep litter system. Once in a while I scoop out the wet area and start over. Once in a great while I scoop out everything down to the concrete.

(PDZ is just zeolite, a mineral that absorbs nitrogen. i.e. ammonia. People with horses use it in their stalls. It just takes a sprinkle. It is organic and safe for rabbits and for your garden if that's where the bedding ends up.)
The PDZ sounds like a great idea. What kind of bedding did you use on the concrete? Any thoughts on shavings?
 

ladysown

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that space I could see you doing two does and one buck. I don't know that I'd want to divide that into three cages UNLESS you kept the buck separate and used him with the does... and have the does in just their own personal area. Is that what you are meaning? Deep bedding method works well with both guinea pigs and rabbits...though do note... both can and will dig tunnels! So lay down some solid wire to keep them in.
 

Rabbit19

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Have you considered using a tractor? (movable cage)
If you have grass in the yard the rabbits will cut and fertilize it for you
I have a bit, and I don't think it would really work.
We are a bit lacking in grass, and also in the feral rabbits around here there are diseases, and while now they are not near the house, I am a bit wary of letting domestic rabbits go on the exposed ground.
 

Rabbit19

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Keeping rabbits in a pen is, in my opinion, the best of both worlds. Sort of a cage, and sort of a colony. My suggestion would be to provide more nest boxes than you have does--so they can choose and not squabble. And to keep the buck in a separate pen or cage so you can control the breeding.

I have some pens with concrete floors. I initially put bedding over the concrete. Then each day I sprinkle PDZ over the wet spot and add a handful of bedding. It is a modified deep litter system. Once in a while I scoop out the wet area and start over. Once in a great while I scoop out everything down to the concrete.

(PDZ is just zeolite, a mineral that absorbs nitrogen. i.e. ammonia. People with horses use it in their stalls. It just takes a sprinkle. It is organic and safe for rabbits and for your garden if that's where the bedding ends up.)
So can you keep more than one doe together, even when they have babies? And I would definitely keep the buck separate.
I'll look into whether one can get PDZ here, I have never heard of it before. Would it matter to much if I can't?
Thank you!
 

Rabbit19

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that space I could see you doing two does and one buck. I don't know that I'd want to divide that into three cages UNLESS you kept the buck separate and used him with the does... and have the does in just their own personal area. Is that what you are meaning? Deep bedding method works well with both guinea pigs and rabbits...though do note... both can and will dig tunnels! So lay down some solid wire to keep them in.
I was thinking of just having one doe and one buck to start with.
I thought I could possibly divide it so both buck and doe are separate, and another section for growing out the kits.
I have no idea whether there is enough room for that though. I it would help, I could get some photos of it.
My Guinea pigs have never really dug, but I imagen that rabbits would!
Thank you!
 

eco2pia

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The buck will rebreed the does fairly fast, so you may end up with way too many rabbits in the space if you cannot separate them.

Imagine, a pregnant doe, nursing 6 3week kits, while 6 7week kits are still running around waiting to be big enough to butcher. That is 14 rabbits in the space you meant for 2. And I have had litters of 11...My spacing may be off a little, but not by far.

I know some people do well with colony rabbits, but I like to space my litters more for my climate and convenience, and according to the amount of space in my pens and freezer. A hutch within the space might allow the buck to have an occasional time out?
 

MnCanary

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The PDZ sounds like a great idea. What kind of bedding did you use on the concrete? Any thoughts on shavings?
Mostly wood shavings. There is a local company here that produces poplar shavings, so they are inexpensive. If I have straw for bedding, then I use wood shavings daily to cover the wet areas.
 

MnCanary

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So can you keep more than one doe together, even when they have babies? And I would definitely keep the buck separate.
I'll look into whether one can get PDZ here, I have never heard of it before. Would it matter to much if I can't?
Thank you!
I don't keep does together, they each get their own pen. I read that some people keep does together but that it takes a large space--they say 50 square feet per doe.
 

kusanar314

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I'll look into whether one can get PDZ here, I have never heard of it before. Would it matter to much if I can't?
I would suggest going to a farm supply place that sells horse feed and such, tell them that you are looking for a stall dry type product to keep the pee smell down. If you have a similar product down there they should know what you are talking about and point you to the right thing.
 
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Mostly wood shavings. There is a local company here that produces poplar shavings, so they are inexpensive. If I have straw for bedding, then I use wood shavings daily to cover the wet areas.
So do you predominantly use the straw for bedding rather than all shavings for cost reasons or for some other benefit? Is it wheat straw? Or does it matter?
 

MnCanary

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So do you predominantly use the straw for bedding rather than all shavings for cost reasons or for some other benefit? Is it wheat straw? Or does it matter?
I sometimes have straw, but not always. My first choice is the wood shavings, mostly because it works and also it is easier to use in the garden.
 

Rabbit19

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The buck will rebreed the does fairly fast, so you may end up with way too many rabbits in the space if you cannot separate them.

Imagine, a pregnant doe, nursing 6 3week kits, while 6 7week kits are still running around waiting to be big enough to butcher. That is 14 rabbits in the space you meant for 2. And I have had litters of 11...My spacing may be off a little, but not by far.

I know some people do well with colony rabbits, but I like to space my litters more for my climate and convenience, and according to the amount of space in my pens and freezer. A hutch within the space might allow the buck to have an occasional time out?
Thank you for your thoughts!
I definitely would be keeping the buck separate most of the time.

"I was thinking of just having one doe and one buck to start with.
I thought I could possibly divide it so both buck and doe are separate, and another section for growing out the kits.
I have no idea whether there is enough room for that though."
 

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