"free ranging" Rabbits with goats ?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by legacy lane, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. legacy lane

    legacy lane New Egg

    Dec 28, 2013
    Hi all I am new here, I will run over to the introduce yourself thread after I post this to introduce my self :)
    I found the site while searching for rabbit colony ideas, but don't worry i have chickens too!

    While thinking of different pen styles I came up with this, and am wondering what others think :)

    I have meat mutts.

    I will have (3) 1/4+ acre pens for my goats, fenced with 5ft woven wire. A light went off in my head, put the rabbits in with the goats! So here is my "first draft idea" I literally just came up with this 1 hour ago.

    -12 inches of chicken wire along the bottom
    -5ft tall woven wire main fence
    -an area where the rabbits are fed and watered, but the goats can't get into -(a corner fenced with woven wire that has chicken wire all around it but in one hole so the rabbits could come in and out but could easily be locked in).
    -hidey boxes/dens in several places over the field that the goats could climb on and the rabbits could hide under to escape from predators or the goats

    I would shut the hole in the feed pen while they were eating if I want to catch some.
    if any were to become "uncatchable" they would be left if not causing issues -(making others hard to catch)
    or I could turn my basset hound in the pen to run it (he hasn't been trained just has good instinct to run, normally doesn't kill) hopefully into a hidey box or the corner feed pen, if that didn't work I could shoot it while it is in the pen.

    This pen would be for adults or future breeders 6 weeks +

    when a doe is to be bred she is captured in the feeding pen and put in the buck cage (a large cage, like a small colony with only 1 animal)
    we would have to find a way to mark them some how (tattoo ??) so we would know to move them to the "kitting colony" at 26 days.

    Kitting Colony .
    -chain link floors
    -chicken wire 12in
    -netting roof
    -nesting boxes.
    - not for sure on size I would probably want to be able to have 3-6 does in the pen at a time
    they would be held their until weaning at 6 weeks, where some would go into grow out colony's (doe/buck) and any keepers would go into the goat/rabbit pen

    Grow out Colony's
    hold kits from 6 weeks until 12 weeks- butcher age
    does in one bucks in the other (side by side)
    10x10? 10x15?
    chain link floor
    netting roof

    So what do you think ? With 1/4+ acres I don't think the rabbits would have to much of a chance of getting hurt. Thanks for any replies :)!
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Just a couple of thoughts:

    Rabbits dig. Does seem to do it more than bucks, but any rabbit may dig, some do it to the point of obsession. You will need to reinforce your perimeter by burying wire, or your rabbits may dig out. Chicken wire is not adequate to keep rabbits in because it is too fragile, too easily breached by both rabbits and the predators that will be attracted to them. Burying chicken wire will result in it rusting out within a few months of installation, so you would be constantly having to replace it.

    Chicken wire will be totally ineffective at keeping goats out, too. If a goat wants in/out badly enough, it can be amazingly persistent. Would you believe a medium sized goat (think Alpine) could squeeze through a 6" x 6" gap in a fence that was created to let hens pass through? I didn't believe it either, particularly since I reinforced the hole with pipes sunk into the ground on either side of it.
  3. legacy lane

    legacy lane New Egg

    Dec 28, 2013
    I understand that rabbits dig, but with a pen that is 1/4 acre I don't think them digging them selves out would be a problem ? Plus our dirt is clay, rock solid clay, it will take them a while to get under the fence so I would be able to repair any hole before they where able to escape. I have had a lot of success with chicken wire, as long as it is pulled tight and up against a stronger fence (the woven wire), the chicken wire is to keep them from running through the large holes in the woven wire. I have never had a predator breech my woven wire fencing, it may help that my parents have large outside dogs.

    The wire will not be used to keep the goats out, the rabbits will have the run of the entire 1/4+ pen. I have raised goats for most of my life, and have learnt the hard way how hard it is to keep in goats but woven wire hasn't failed us yet. The corner trap/feed area will be made the same way as the outer fence, with woven wire and chicken wire ran along the bottom to block the holes. For the hidey boxes and trap/feed area I am thinking of using draining pipe as the entrance so no goat can get in.
  4. abbymckinn

    abbymckinn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2013
    San Antonio, TX
    I think it sounds like a great idea! But if any of your goat have horns be careful, a breeder I got my baby goat from said that one of her goats picked up a rabbit with its horns and threw the poor thing like 6ft into the air! It was fine, but wants allowed into the goat pen any more :(
  5. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles

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