Hey Seasoned Rabbit-ers!!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by TroyerGal, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. TroyerGal

    TroyerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hey Seasoned Rabbit-ers! I'm very new to the whole rabbit thing... i currently have 2 purebred Flemish Giants and i love them!!
    So, i was wondering if some of you ol' pros can give us newbies some tips? feeding, care, breeding, etc...
    first topic: PASTURED RABBITS!! GO!!
  2. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2014
    Free ranging rabbits.....not for me. We have way too many predators and my rabbits are stubborn. They would never come home. I say that, but occasionally they have gotten loose & they always come back. We have meat rabbits by the way:D
  3. TroyerGal

    TroyerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    What do you think of this- http://homesteadlifestyle.com/diy-pvc-rabbit-tractor/

    what breed do you do btw? i'm thinking of trying a few different breeds... and raising Flemishes for fun :D
    aaaand, how do you kill them? i don't really like the "broomstick method"

  4. TroyerGal

    TroyerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    And also... do you have a couple secrets of the rabbit trade you can share with us? maybe a "10 things i wish i'd known" or some such thing?
  5. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2013
    Cleveland OH
    Hi. Been breeding big ol meat bunnies (purebreds) 4 years, working in rabbits for 10 with pets and rescue before that. :) Rabbit tractors work great for rabbits that are acclimated to eating greens. I love them as TEMPORARY (not permanent or overnight) day play pens... But you gotta be careful that they are acclimated to eating the species of plants that are OK for them before tractoring them, or else they might cow down on things that are not so good or get a tummy upset from eating a lot of fresh greens at once.

    Hmm, ten things I wish I'd known.... Problem is, I think I knew most of the newbie things when I went into breeding. I'd owned rabbits for years before breeding and other animals for years before getting into rabbits... And rabbits aren't much different than other mammals. Since breeding rabbits I think these were my top ten things I didn't know...

    I wish I'd known that rabbit vets tend to be useless unless you want spayed/neutered pets. In fact, even if you have pet bunnies they can be pretty useless. Vets don't know much about rabbits, frankly, and I've yet to meet a rabbit vet who cares more about the rabbits then the money they get for treating an "exotic" animal... But hey maybe they exist.

    Buying rabbit toys is a waste of money. Make your own. They like the cardboard boxes you get your DVDs shipped in WAY more than the plastic houses you buy. I made 5 hanging chew toys in an hour yesterday. Get out your drill, scissors, a branch cutter and some twine. You can make dozens of toys daily with a little know how.

    Dwarfism genes are something you need to look into if you wanna keep small rabbits. They do funky things to their hips and breedability.

    There's no good options for having wire floors that have spaces smaller than 1"x1/2".

    Not all hay is created equal, and 2nd cutting timothy or orchard grass is ideal. Pet store hay is EXTREMELY over priced. Have your hay shipped in in bulk from a local farm. I spend $75-$100 on delivery and $4-$8 per 50lb bale of hay. If I had only two bales delivered at a time I would spend $1/lb on hay. Kaytee Timothy Hay is $14 for 6lbs on SALE. That's more than twice the price. I have 20 bales delivered at a time (a years supply) and store them in my garage. That's around $0.20/lb. I could not imagine feeding rabbits on pet store hay, or even hay from somewhere like TSC where it's $15/40lbs.

    Wal-mart is a terrible company, but if you run out of rabbit food, their house brand pellets are cheap and have decent nutrient values.

    J clips are amazing and you should learn what they are and how to use them if you wanna make your own cages. Trust me.

    Rabbits don't spook and die as easy as people say they do. My rabbits don't care if I use power tools next to their cages, or if my dogs go heckin borking their heads off. They acclimated to my daily sounds very fast and now don't care.

    County fairs are usually a bad place to look for rabbits. People tend to bring some low quality rabbits there.

    Pedigrees mean nothing, and they do not mean a rabbit is purebred or registered. A pedigree in rabbits is a scrap of fancy looking paper that a breeder put together on their computer. There's no overarcing registry like there is with the AKC for dogs, save for the ARBA registry of rabbits who are grand champion show rabbits which very few rabbits are. The pedigree system for rabbits is almost completely an honor system. If a rabbit "looks" like a breed and it's offspring look like the same breed, and it's parents look like that breed, they are considered that breed. People can lie on their pedigrees, or fill out pedigrees for mutt rabbits, or do whatever, with no reprecussions except for a poor reputation (if anyone ever even finds out). So tread carefully in that department. I had no idea that pedigrees were just filled out by the breeders and there was no registry for purebred rabbits like there is for dogs.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016
  6. Lengerich Farms

    Lengerich Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2016
    Indianapolis, IN
    Figured this may be the best thread for some help, needed ASAP!

    Have a doe, seemed fine the last few days, now she's dropped a BUNCH of weight, and won't eat or drink. She's lost hair in her hind legs. I tried a Kayro/ salt water mix for energy, hasn't done much. She's one of my breeders, and a real sweetheart, so I want to save her. Vet is out of the question due to cash flow. I want to know if there's anything I can do besides what I've tried to get her to bounce back. [​IMG]

    Gave her a bath with Mane and Tail, and the sugar/electrolyte mix. I want to either A) make her comfortable while she bounces back, or B) put her out of her misery. If I have to put her down I will, but I'd like to avoid that at all cost. Any and all advice welcome please!!
  7. Lengerich Farms

    Lengerich Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2016
    Indianapolis, IN
    Follow up to my last post:

    She's up and eating. Apparently the Kayro/ salt mix perked her up enough to eat.

    I thought I was giving them a treat the last couple days by feeding them greens and lettuce. I've read that they aren't high enough in calories to be the sole source of food, so that was my mistake. She has pellets and a clover/alfalfa/ orchard grass/ Timothy hay mix. She's been going back and forth between the two, but hasn't been observed drinking yet. Hopefully she'll make a complete recovery. Any additional advice would still be appreciated.
  8. TroyerGal

    TroyerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    If she's doing better I personally would not put her down yet, where theres life, there's hope... right? I am a firm believer in Apple cider vinegar and garlic as a natural healing tincture :D you can try that :)
  9. TroyerGal

    TroyerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wow!! Thanks so much for all that info! What you said about Wal-Mart made me smirk a little ;) what breed of rabbit do you raise?
  10. Lengerich Farms

    Lengerich Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2016
    Indianapolis, IN

    Putting her down is a very, very last resort.
    What would be the dosage/ measurements for apple cider vinegar and garlic? Would minced garlic work, or should I use the juices from the jar? What's the best way to administer? Oral syringe? I'm relatively new to buns, and want to give them the best quality of life I can while they do their jobs for me.

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