I'm interested in getting rabbits ---- Edit: Just caught a dumped Bunny!!!

Weeg

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About a month ago, I thought a rabbit was the laziest pet ever. I imagined a rabbit sitting inside the house, in a hutch, eating, pooping, sleeping, repeating.
I then read a thread on outdoor rabbits, and my vision of them changed completely.
I'm now actually interested in having pastured rabbits. They would be outdoor in a mobile tractor so we could move them around to eat the dandelions/weeds, and use the manure in the litter box for the garden. Then, I would love to get valuable breeds so I could breed them, and sell them to people who show them. We have lots of people who show there rabbits in the fair near me, so selling them probably wouldn't be to hard.
So what do I need to know. My mom is pretty convinced, my dad on the other hand, will probably turn it down instantly. I'll have to work on wording it correctly.
My questions are-
  • For winter, could I put them in with the chickens so they could sleep in the warm coop? I would have to warm them up to each other of course, but could it work?
  • What does the pen need to be like? What are the requirements for a safe outdoor hutch? Is it kinda like the same setup as a chicken run/coop?
  • I've heard that feed consists of hay, pellets, and one more thing, though I can't remember exactly what is was. Alfalfa is a big part of the diet right?
  • What can they not eat? I know that carrots, vegetables, fruit, aren't good, but any weeds I should be aware of?
Everything else I need to know! Haha! I know they need lots of toys to shave down their teeth, and enrichment, but beyond that I don't know very much. :D
Thanks guys for any advice, ideas on how to convince my dad are welcome to! :lol:
 
Last edited:

Aquira

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Depending on things, you could also look in to meat rabbits. Show rabbits don't tend to do as well outdoors/on the ground unless they're raised that way. Meat rabbits can be sold for people food, reptile food, or dog food.
Rabbit poop is a lovely thing for gardens.
You could also consider if you want your breeding stock in a colony setting or not. You'll need to do extra to prevent them from digging out and keeping predators away. And then you could consider raising the young in tractors once they reach a certain age.
I'm not sure how well breeding does would tolerate being in a tractor that moves often. They might not feel safe enough to rear their young.
 

Weeg

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I guess I should add to the questions, can I even keep them with the chickens in the winter? I did just read its not a good idea because of the spread of Coccidia, I did just read it off of a random Google article though. Is that true?
Otherwise, if I can't keep them with the chickens in the winter, what requirements to I have to have for a winter hutch?
 

Aquira

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I guess I should add to the questions, can I even keep them with the chickens in the winter? I did just read its not a good idea because of the spread of Coccidia, I did just read it off of a random Google article though. Is that true?
Otherwise, if I can't keep them with the chickens in the winter, what requirements to I have to have for a winter hutch?
I don't have rabbits, so I can only help some. I've looked in to getting some meat rabbits for food so I only have some knowledge that I've come across. :)
Breeding does might have an issue with chickens and their activities. The chickens could also potentially try to eat any young the rabbits have if they're small. I'm sure some people have success with it, but I personally wouldn't.
 

Weeg

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I'm not sure how well breeding does would tolerate being in a tractor that moves often. They might not feel safe enough to rear their young.
This makes sense. Breeding is really less important to me, its really just a selling point for getting them, but I don't think that'll be to important to my parents either.
I'm mostly interested in using them for weeding gained beds before we plant seeds, and manure for fertilizer. :)
So if I have to choose between mobile tractor, and breeding, I'll probably choose mobile tractor. ;)
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
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Jul 1, 2020
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I don't have rabbits, so I can only help some. I've looked in to getting some meat rabbits for food so I only have some knowledge that I've come across. :)
Breeding does might have an issue with chickens and their activities. The chickens could also potentially try to eat any young the rabbits have if they're small. I'm sure some people have success with it, but I personally wouldn't.
This makes sense. If I did end up breeding them, I definilty wouldn't put momma and babies in with the chickens, that sounds risky.
If I did breed, I wouldn't do that right away either. I would figure out the setup, and the best way to raise them before worrying about breeding.
 

HorsesRMe123

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Aug 1, 2020
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About a month ago, I thought a rabbit was the laziest pet ever. I imagined a rabbit sitting inside the house, in a hutch, eating, pooping, sleeping, repeating.
I then read a thread on outdoor rabbits, and my vision of them changed completely.
I'm now actually interested in having pastured rabbits. They would be outdoor in a mobile tractor so we could move them around to eat the dandelions/weeds, and use the manure in the litter box for the garden. Then, I would love to get valuable breeds so I could breed them, and sell them to people who show them. We have lots of people who show there rabbits in the fair near me, so selling them probably wouldn't be to hard.
So what do I need to know. My mom is pretty convinced, my dad on the other hand, will probably turn it down instantly. I'll have to work on wording it correctly.
My questions are-
  • For winter, could I put them in with the chickens so they could sleep in the warm coop? I would have to warm them up to each other of course, but could it work?
  • What does the pen need to be like? What are the requirements for a safe outdoor hutch? Is it kinda like the same setup as a chicken run/coop?
  • I've heard that feed consists of hay, pellets, and one more thing, though I can't remember exactly what is was. Alfalfa is a big part of the diet right?
  • What can they not eat? I know that carrots, vegetables, fruit, aren't good, but any weeds I should be aware of?
Everything else I need to know! Haha! I know they need lots of toys to shave down their teeth, and enrichment, but beyond that I don't know very much. :D
Thanks guys for any advice, ideas on how to convince my dad are welcome to! :lol:
Alfalfa shouldn’t be given at all really to adult rabbits. Only to baby bunnies who are growing to about the age of 6 months at most. Alfalfa is too high in protein and calcium for adult rabbits. I recommend Timothy or orchard grass hay or a mix of both. Carrots, vegetables and fruit are actually all fine to feed to your rabbit it just depends on what kind and how much. For example, banana is ok to feed to your rabbit but you can’t feed too much. Avocado is a big no no. And romaine lettuce is a great vegetable and you can throw a few leaves of it to them. There’s great educational websites that provide great information on what fruits and vegetables are ok and which are not. When I’m not sure of a food to feed, I always research first. Some food can cause stomach aches and cause the rabbit to go into GI stasis, and yes I’ve learned this the hard way unfortunately and my rabbit died from it and have become so much more careful of what I feed and how much to feed.

If you keep them in a mobile tractor, be sure to provide shelter such as a hut or hide house. Rabbits are prey animals and it gives them a sense of calm and comfort to have a shelter provided for them. In summer, make sure to give plenty of shade because rabbits are very very prone to heat stroke, especially older rabbits. And yes, again, I have learned the hard way. My older rabbit died of heat stroke years ago. Shade, fresh cold water, and frozen water bottles or tiles they can lay on are great to keep cool. You could also get a mister that gently mists fresh water and can do a great deal to cool them down.

I wouldn’t recommend housing your rabbits with the chickens because, yes, coccidia is a possibility when being housed with them. I don’t mind my rabbits running in the yard with my chickens but housing them isn’t a good idea. My chickens and rabbits do great together except my chickens do peck some of my rabbits if they get too close so I’d be worried about the chickens pecking at the rabbits in the coop. I would provide a different shelter for your rabbits. If you do provide a different shelter, make sure it’s not full wire bottom or if it is full wire, provide a place for them to get off the wire. They can get painful sore hocks which can get infected. And again, yes, I’ve learned the hard way (I’ve had 10 years experience with rabbits 😂) and my rabbits were uncomfortable as a result. Thankfully there were no infections but it definitely could have happened.

Make sure not to overfeed pellets because rabbits can become very very overweight as a result. The most important thing is to provide unlimited hay.

I’d say a good size is 24” x 36” per rabbit for the hutch. A good run size is 8’ x 4’ per rabbit.

If you do breed them, make sure to provide them with a nest box for their young. They will feel much safer raising their young in a secure place. It’s super easy to build or also very cheap to buy. And provide them with plenty of hay for them to build their nest with inside of the nest box.

For weeds, I’m not totally sure. You could research which weeds are ok and which are not. Personally, I’ve never had a problem with weeds and my rabbits but it could be an issue with some weeds.

Sorry for the information overload. 😂 Wishing you the best!
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
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Jul 1, 2020
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Small town in Western Washington
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Alfalfa shouldn’t be given at all really to adult rabbits. Only to baby bunnies who are growing to about the age of 6 months at most. Alfalfa is too high in protein and calcium for adult rabbits. I recommend Timothy or orchard grass hay or a mix of both.
Got it, so its the same as our horses then. Alfalfa isn't great for horses either, sounds like for the same reasons. I feel like someone said Alfalfa for adults, but thats why I asked here of course! :D
 

HorsesRMe123

Songster
Aug 1, 2020
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Washington, USA
Oh and for convincing your parents, just show them that you have a set plan in mind and have done your research. When you lay out the plan and tell them what you know, this helps greatly with convincing them. I suggest you also watch a YouTube video. Search up Lennon the Bunny and one of her most latest videos is about convincing your parents to let you get rabbits. She gives great advice!
 

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