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New To Rabbits- help

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Welshies, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    I am so, so, so excited to pick up my buck Fredrick this weekend along with some hens. I already raise chickens, quail, guinea fowl, and ducks- but am adding a bunny to that list. A beautiful little Hotot bunny, actually.
    However- I have some questions. My plan is to settle him in (he is free and comes with a wire hutch). Once he is settled, I want to introduce a girly-friend for him, a doe, and begin raising a selling crosses that are multipurpose- pets or meat.
    I believe he is a bantam(whoops- bird talk!), sorry, mini or small Hotot, as he is quite light and when stretched out is about the length of my torso. He is the size of a snowshoe hare, I'd say.
    I understand wire cages are so-called "better" and "cleaner" but how do i keep him warm in our cold Albertan winters?
    Can he run free in the same pen as my chickens when i'm there for supervision?
    Since I want rabbits for meat, I understand smaller ones will work, but I am curious-
    can i crossbreed a bigger breed with him? Is a Rex doe too big- I want the babies to gain weight but will sell them as Hotot crosses for both pets and meat.... Possibly, in the future, introducing a Rex buck too for purebreeds.
     
  2. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2017
    Central PA
    "I understand wire cages are so-called "better" and "cleaner" but how do i keep him warm in our cold Albertan winters?"

    Wire cages are nice for inside a shed. They're not so good outside of one unless the weather's nice. You could try putting a hole in the wire wall and attaching the cage to a smaller, wooden, insulated box.

    Most bunnies mess in the same section of their cage every time, except for a few random pellets and for the night poop they intend to eat again. Rabbits are very tidy. If you give him a small wooden box to sleep in, and stuff it with hay, he'll be well insulated, and also not have enough space that he'll want to poop in the box. He'll take his mess to the wire run and get rid of it there.


    "Can he run free in the same pen as my chickens when i'm there for supervision?"

    Unless your chickens are extreme bullies and huge, they'll probably ignore the rabbit. Ours ignore anything larger than a mouse--we pasture the bunnies with them in the summer, sometimes. Depending on how secure your pen is, you might be fine to leave him out there even without supervision.

    "Since I want rabbits for meat, I understand smaller ones will work, but I am curious-
    can i crossbreed a bigger breed with him? Is a Rex doe too big- I want the babies to gain weight but will sell them as Hotot crosses for both pets and meat.... Possibly, in the future, introducing a Rex buck too for purebreeds."

    Your theoretical Rex buck will have a Hotot for breakfast if you keep them together. Bucks get along well if there are no does in the vicinity. If there are does--well, I used to catch loose bucks by releasing my old buck and having him chase down and beat up the smaller rabbit. I would grab them both before they'd done more than scratch each other--but my rabbits weren't tame and they let me get that close to them just so that they could fight.

    On a similar note, make sure you get a fairly gentle larger doe, and move her to his territory for breeding. Otherwise, she'll defend her cage by beating him up, and no breeding will be done. That holds true for ours even if we keep them next to each other for years.
     
  3. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    Thank you very much. I'm nt too worried about raising the weight of the kits a lot, as snowshoe hares in this area are the same weight as hotots and we eat them
     
  4. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

    867
    74
    116
    May 8, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    Thank you very much. I'm nt too worried about raising the weight of the kits a lot, as snowshoe hares in this area are the same weight as hotots and we eat them
     
  5. Welshies

    Welshies Chillin' With My Peeps

    867
    74
    116
    May 8, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    Thank you very much. I'm nt too worried about raising the weight of the kits a lot, as snowshoe hares in this area are the same weight as hotots and we eat them
     

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