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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The wife and I are wanting to get more self sufficient.

We are going to keep rabbits (new zealand white) in the garage. Going to start with 2 female and 1 male. After we get the hang of it we are planning on doubling that. We will use the rabbits for extra food and the hides will be tanned.

Building a 8 feet long, 2 feet high and 2 feet deep cage. This cage will be for females. Another cage will be 3 feel long, 2 feet high and 2 feet deep for the male. Cages will have 1/2" square wire on bottom and 1" square wire on sides and top. Also going to put a tray so the rabbits can get off the wire to save their feet.

Under the cages going to put some trays to catch the poop. Going to use the poop for our garden. (talked about garden on a diff thread)


My questions are

If I divide the large cage down to three would it be too small? 24"x32" if so how about I drop the size to 6 feet long so they would be 24"x36"

Planning on getting some compost tubs with red worms. Can I put the rabbit poop in with them or should I just put it right on the garden?


Anything you would change on this set up?
 

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"This is my Boomstick!"
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All I have to do is throw a few carrots around on my property and bam!
Hundreds of rabbits everywhere. My problem is keeping them out of my future garden.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I looked out the window a few months ago and saw a rabbit that is almost as big as my Austrian Shepperd (30lbs). Turns out it was a pet from two houses down.

Other then that not many rabbits in the city. Have seen a possum but think a car got him over the summer.
 

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I think you need separate cages for your females. I don't know if a communal female cage would work. I had separate cages for my females and then could put a male in with each one to breed,then remove the male. I think the females need their own cage when they have their litters.
 

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retired ninja
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I found out the hard way that rabbits can get scared to death. Let a big dog get close to the pen and some may just keel over. So weird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry forgot say but I will be putting a divider in the large cage to keep the females apart.

Talking to my father tonight. I think I want to do a smaller cage. 6 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 16" high. Then divide it half with wire so two cages 36"x24"x16"

That way I can stack two cages high just need to put trays on the upper one for droppings.

Also my father said the baby rabbits might be able to get out of the 1" square wire so might do 1/2" square all the way around.



Keeping them in the garage should keep anything from scaring them. Planning on introducing our dog slowly so and don't letting her alone with them for sure.
 

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For New Zealands the 24 x 36 cage will be more appropriately sized. They are a bit of a large rabbit and will need the extra room to be comfortable. This is one of the reasons I went with Florida Whites. They produce about the same weight in fleshed out meat as the New Zealands but they are a consioderably smaller rabbit with a smaller and lighter bone structure and as such need less cage space and less feed for the same production.
 

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You might find individual cages easier for cleaning and breeding. The rabbet pellets can go straight in the garden. You really need protection from their urine. It gets everywhere. You might check out Storey's guide to rabbits...good book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I thought about the florida whites but I was able to find a source for the New Zealand here in town and from what I read they like the cold a bit better. I'm in northern Indiana so it gets kinda cold.

I will look for the Storeys guide to rabbits. I assumed the urine would drop into the trays also but maybe I need to take some other precautions, I'll check into that
 

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You ALWAYS put the female into the bucks' cage to mate, NOT the other way around.

Females are territorial about their space, separate them. It's also a good idea to hutch them with a male on each side of the doe, that way they're almost always ready to mate.

I doubt a bunlet can wriggle thru a 1" hole, but I always use 1/2" hardware cloth - just in case.

PLEASE...research more before acquiring your buns, Storeys is OK, although I find him to be a tad more conservative than is needed.

Buns LIKE cold - HATE hot so either FW or the NZ's should be fine, however I've found CaliWhites to be the perfect meat rabbit.

As for pets...geesh, I'm so happy with my Flemish Giant, a more personable, loving rabbit I've yet to find (and a FG / CaliWhite cross makes a fine meat rabbit).

Best of luck!
 

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For New Zealands the 24 x 36 cage will be more appropriately sized. They are a bit of a large rabbit and will need the extra room to be comfortable. This is one of the reasons I went with Florida Whites. They produce about the same weight in fleshed out meat as the New Zealands but they are a consioderably smaller rabbit with a smaller and lighter bone structure and as such need less cage space and less feed for the same production.
After some research I think I'm ready to get started with Florida Whites.

They aren't easy to locate. Wanna sell me some? How did you locate yours?

Is 24 x 24 about the right size cage? I read the USDA recommends 3/4 sqft/lb. The FWs are 4-6 lb adult weight so that seems about right. Can I go smaller? I can make dropping trays that are 14 x 24 and 13 x 18 for free. I can see cages that are 30 x 24 or 24 x 18. If I could get away with 24 x 18 or even 24 x 14 I could save a lot of money on the whole project.

Any guidance is appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
[email protected] I am trying to research alot and talk to diff people.

As for cage size 36"x24" is about the smallest the big ones will be comfortable in.


I am still working out details on how to build the cages. The price of wire is the biggest $$ out of pocket. Starting to think wood back and top as it is much cheaper but adds weight that means doing single cages.
 

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The Lord's Servant
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We have NZ's as well and all our cages are 3' x 3' x 30" As big as they get, they need the extra room.
 

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[email protected] I am trying to research alot and talk to diff people.

As for cage size 36"x24" is about the smallest the big ones will be comfortable in.


I am still working out details on how to build the cages. The price of wire is the biggest $$ out of pocket. Starting to think wood back and top as it is much cheaper but adds weight that means doing single cages.
IMO, wood top = OK, wood back = Not OK. My males urinate out and up, not down and if they choose the back of the hutch to urinate on, you're gonna have one god-awful smell in no time and wood isn't nearly as easy to sanitize as "wire". Also, remember, rabbits will chew the hell out of their wood hutches if not provided adequate chewing material for their teeth.

WIRE - not really expensive if you buy "hardware cloth", I get mine @ Lowes for about $15 for 25' roll.

As for where to get your FW's, check craigslist.org in the FREE or FARM AND EQUIPMENT section, alot of breeders use it to dispose of their stock. Can also get some really good deals mid-spring because breeders have extra stock that they haven't sold off for 4-H'ers. I've gotten a few of my stand-alone hutches from craigslist's "FREE" section - just make sure to bleach that sucker down really good before housing your buns (I'd use a 1:1 bleach/water mix, then put it in a garden-sprayer and soak that thing down, let dry for a few days).

Please remember to ask the "breeder" gently if you may see your potential purchase IN it's hutch/rabbitry - you want to make sure your new bun comes from a clean, healthy enviroment. If the rabbitry is dirty, stinky or the buns don't look "right", you need to move on and find one that's clean, well run and has healthy, happy, bright-eyed buns. You don't want to start your stock with sick buns.

You might want to check out some "Rabbit sites", there's a bunch easily found online and the best advice will come from folks who do this day-in and day-out.

Best of luck to you, and if you'd like to chat more on the subject, feel free to PM me, I'm always happy to talk bun.
 

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I think thats fine, I had my first ever rabbit litter today, in twelve weeks I will have good eatin
CONGRATS! Ugly littler buggers at first, jumpy too! When I started out I was afraid to hold the babies - too wiggly, but then they got so cute I HAD to hold them! My NZ's are market weight (5 lb) by 8 weeks, earlier if I wean them quick.

I sell mine for $15, dress them for free (for the squeamish or those unable or unwilling to do it themselves). According to other rabbit-raisers in my area, $15 is darn cheap.

Bunny burgers....yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
 

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After some research I think I'm ready to get started with Florida Whites.

They aren't easy to locate. Wanna sell me some? How did you locate yours?

Is 24 x 24 about the right size cage? I read the USDA recommends 3/4 sqft/lb. The FWs are 4-6 lb adult weight so that seems about right. Can I go smaller? I can make dropping trays that are 14 x 24 and 13 x 18 for free. I can see cages that are 30 x 24 or 24 x 18. If I could get away with 24 x 18 or even 24 x 14 I could save a lot of money on the whole project.

Any guidance is appreciated.

DROPPING TRAYS: I use those big oil-catching trays from the automotive section @ WallyWorld, $9.97 each, they're big enough to catch ALL the droppings and they're metal, so they're incredibly easy to clean/sanitize. I also use one EXCLUSIVELY for my butcher tray, easy to clean, rolled edges so no "spill" and it's only 1" thick, so it stores in my small rabbitorium easily.
 

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CONGRATS! Ugly littler buggers at first, jumpy too! When I started out I was afraid to hold the babies - too wiggly, but then they got so cute I HAD to hold them! My NZ's are market weight (5 lb) by 8 weeks, earlier if I wean them quick.

I sell mine for $15, dress them for free (for the squeamish or those unable or unwilling to do it themselves). According to other rabbit-raisers in my area, $15 is darn cheap.

Bunny burgers....yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
I already have people wanting to buy some from me, but they have all asked mr to do the skinning
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That is a good idea on the drop trays. I will have to check out wally world tomorrow.

Thanks for the tip on the wood for back of the cage I didn't think about that but it is a good point. Must me my area but the hardware cloth is $30 for 25 feet at lowes.
 

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DROPPING TRAYS: I use those big oil-catching trays from the automotive section @ WallyWorld, $9.97 each, they're big enough to catch ALL the droppings and they're metal, so they're incredibly easy to clean/sanitize. I also use one EXCLUSIVELY for my butcher tray, easy to clean, rolled edges so no "spill" and it's only 1" thick, so it stores in my small rabbitorium easily.
I stopped at Walmart today to check out those trays. Great hint. They are 2' x ~4'.

I don't know how long they will last in this heat and humidity, but the price is right.
 
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