Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Easiest animals to keep?  (Read 18019 times)

Orinlooper

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Easiest animals to keep?
« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2021, 01:24:26 pm »
Guinea pigs pregnancy lasts for 3 months. Rabbit's is 1 month.
Guinea pigs have usually only 2-3 babies.
Rabbits csn have anything upto 12.

Guinea pigs grow slow and there's little meat on them (although I read somewhere that they are breeding much larger more meaty variety somewhere, probably Peru or Bolivia).

Rabbits grow fast and at 2-3 months old can be slaughter ready. You will get quite some meat from them, even at this young age.

I have bred rabbits for meat in the past. You make me miss them  :innocent:

There is nothing better for a family pet than a Guinea pigs though! They cry out for you when you come back home! Rabbits are better kept outside - indoor rabbits would have to be cleaned up every day.

Yes it depends on the breed

Some guinea pigs have more meat on them than some rabbits so it depends on the breed

What I like about guinea pigs over rabbits is that you don't skin them you just drop it in boiling water and the fur comes off.

Can you do that with rabbits or do you have to skin them?

Also guinea pigs can live off the grass alone, rabbits do need money spending on them

I guess a god solution is keep both rabbits and guinea pigs

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Easiest animals to keep?
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2021, 01:58:53 pm »
I'm sure you could do that with rabbits, I supposed they would have more hair on them though. It's probably quicker and easier to skin them.

I have fattened and bred rabbits by feeding them BRAMBLES ONLY (as a test). It worked very well.
You can feed them just hay, some veg leftovers (carrots, cabbage, carrot greens, broccoli leaves and stalks, etc). They could manage without the concentrates, but they obviously grow faster when fed some.
They really don't need a lot.

Let me know how you are getting on with the guinea pigs  ;)

Good thing about rabbits is you can keep quite a lot in a small backgarden and no one would even know - as long as you clean them regularly of course.
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Orinlooper

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Easiest animals to keep?
« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2021, 03:37:20 pm »
I'm sure you could do that with rabbits, I supposed they would have more hair on them though. It's probably quicker and easier to skin them.

I have fattened and bred rabbits by feeding them BRAMBLES ONLY (as a test). It worked very well.
You can feed them just hay, some veg leftovers (carrots, cabbage, carrot greens, broccoli leaves and stalks, etc). They could manage without the concentrates, but they obviously grow faster when fed some.
They really don't need a lot.

Let me know how you are getting on with the guinea pigs  ;)

Good thing about rabbits is you can keep quite a lot in a small backgarden and no one would even know - as long as you clean them regularly of course.

I have lots of wild rabbits on my land already and rats for that matter considering that other post talking about rats

I don't want to have to clean them regularly or feed them at all, I want to let live natural and wild

I'm wondering if guinea pigs would all die off and get eaten by predators or if it's possible to create an environment for them to live free range and care for themselves just like the rabbits and rates do?

Guinea pigs needs lots of insulation in their shelters as they don't dig burrows like rabbits and rats, although they have been know to use borrows already there from other creatures


I wonder about creating a large netted run for guinea pigs where they could get in and out so free range and a warm place for them to sleep and breed and water sources

And occasionally feed extra carrots etc while they get the herd upto some serious numbers ie in the hundreds

Then I wonder if they could survive the uk wilderness on their own?

I'm sure a certain percentage would be lost to predators but as long as they breed faster than they die off just like my rabbits

Orinlooper

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Easiest animals to keep?
« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2021, 03:42:33 pm »
Guinea pigs really like pipes as natural shelter, I suppose it seems similar to a rabbit or mole hole

Lots of these in blackberry bushes near water sources for them, I wonder if they could have a thriving colony with a little help to just get them started on my could of hectares ?

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Easiest animals to keep?
« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2021, 04:29:25 pm »
I would imagine guinea pigs would get killed by predators, eg foxes, cats etc if left feral to fend for themselves; as they do not breed as fast as rabbits, and nor can they run as fast.


I was once given about half a dozen adult ones by a friend who was going abroad. They were used to living outside so I put them in a large hen run. They lived there quite happily, but it seemed a shame to enclose them, once they had got used to their new surroundings. So as I have a large garden, I let them out. All went well for a while and they seemed happy and contented and returned to the run for food and shelter. Then they gradually disappeared. I rather suspect the fox got them but never actually found out.   
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Orinlooper

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Easiest animals to keep?
« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2021, 05:33:55 pm »
I would imagine guinea pigs would get killed by predators, eg foxes, cats etc if left feral to fend for themselves; as they do not breed as fast as rabbits, and nor can they run as fast.


I was once given about half a dozen adult ones by a friend who was going abroad. They were used to living outside so I put them in a large hen run. They lived there quite happily, but it seemed a shame to enclose them, once they had got used to their new surroundings. So as I have a large garden, I let them out. All went well for a while and they seemed happy and contented and returned to the run for food and shelter. Then they gradually disappeared. I rather suspect the fox got them but never actually found out.   

Thanks that's useful

I suspected as much

I think what would be needed is lots of 5 inch pipes meter long under black Berry bushes

And lots of them for places to hide

Also lots of good food and water to encourage them


Orinlooper

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Easiest animals to keep?
« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2021, 06:12:25 pm »
From what people say once your herd of guinea pigs is in the hundreds the numbers multiply exponentially as long as their is enough food


https://youtu.be/ZvAjGHbJ7TI

My plan would be to get the herd a few hundred by feeding them myself and providing protection then slowly let them feed in the wild with plenty of protection

I hope they would breed and survive more than they would be take by predators

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Easiest animals to keep?
« Reply #37 on: March 01, 2021, 08:30:47 pm »
That video is great! I've wondered about a little herd to mow the lawn. Bunny Guinness said one of her college lecturers kept a herd of them to mow his lawn for him. They don't dig and tended to just graze the grass rather than eating everything else. He set out little hutches and tubes for them to hide in. My friend told me it was important to breed the females young if you're going to. Not sure what age but older females would struggle and likely need a c-section.
To be honest I think you?d need a very well fenced enclosure. Stoats and mink if you have them would be the right size and I think would get the lot once they worked out what they are.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: where 2nd-home owners rule !
Re: Easiest animals to keep?
« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2021, 09:07:33 pm »
Equally loved the big herd video. 
I've had many pet GPs (mine and then the children's) and they are definitely more endearing than any other readily available captive rodent.  (I am a bit of a GP fan actually although I do not keep them presently.)
There was a small escaped community of GPs in my town neighbourhood for a while, but they did not last very long at all !!
Also, I seem to think GPs fare better in a drier environment than we have in the UK.
Further, there will be UK reg's about introducing non-native species into the wild:  although wild UK GPs might not survive very long, their release might actually be against the law !  (I haven't checked, but it is very likely.)


 
« Last Edit: March 01, 2021, 09:38:15 pm by arobwk »

Orinlooper

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Easiest animals to keep?
« Reply #39 on: March 02, 2021, 07:09:04 am »
That video is great! I've wondered about a little herd to mow the lawn. Bunny Guinness said one of her college lecturers kept a herd of them to mow his lawn for him. They don't dig and tended to just graze the grass rather than eating everything else. He set out little hutches and tubes for them to hide in. My friend told me it was important to breed the females young if you're going to. Not sure what age but older females would struggle and likely need a c-section.
To be honest I think you?d need a very well fenced enclosure. Stoats and mink if you have them would be the right size and I think would get the lot once they worked out what they are.

Yes that exactly what I was thinking lots of hutches and tubes for them to hide in but keep them free range

One male can keep impregnating many females so I would mainly eat the males and keep lots of new young females in the herd.

Once the herd is in the hundreds my hope is it would keep expanding to account for losses from predators birds of prey etc

I have good fox traps on my land to try to keep the numbers down that way

What other predators are there for guinea pigs?

Orinlooper

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Easiest animals to keep?
« Reply #40 on: March 02, 2021, 07:14:06 am »
Equally loved the big herd video. 
I've had many pet GPs (mine and then the children's) and they are definitely more endearing than any other readily available captive rodent.  (I am a bit of a GP fan actually although I do not keep them presently.)
There was a small escaped community of GPs in my town neighbourhood for a while, but they did not last very long at all !!
Also, I seem to think GPs fare better in a drier environment than we have in the UK.
Further, there will be UK reg's about introducing non-native species into the wild:  although wild UK GPs might not survive very long, their release might actually be against the law !  (I haven't checked, but it is very likely.)


 


I wouldn't be releasing them, they would be enclosed in about a hectare

I know there will be losses to predators but I will do everything I can to encourage them to thrive

Yes it's a bit wet sometimes so they will need comfortable hutches and pipes lots of natural insulation to stay dry and warm but at least you can set up rain water harvesting systems for them to drink

Orinlooper

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Easiest animals to keep?
« Reply #41 on: March 02, 2021, 07:47:27 am »
I知 thinking to start with making a few very very large runs which I will move every few days until the herd is a few hundred and then let the excuses guinea pigs out to them free range and see how they get on

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Easiest animals to keep?
« Reply #42 on: March 02, 2021, 08:21:54 pm »
Letting them "free range" would not be a good idea, i think. Most likely they will get eating by something very quickly.

Why don't you make a "guinea pig tractor"?

I cage with wire bottom so nothing can dig but they csn still eat Grass. You move it to freshxspot every day.

I kept rabbits like that and they were very happy. Rabbits can be kept like that all year round but for guinea pigs it might be a bit too cold/wet?

Obviously my rabbit cage was dry and sheltered from sunshine, wind and rain.


Actually now that I think of it, my dad used to keep guinea pigs like that during the summer.
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Orinlooper

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Easiest animals to keep?
« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2021, 06:22:19 am »
Letting them "free range" would not be a good idea, i think. Most likely they will get eating by something very quickly.

Why don't you make a "guinea pig tractor"?

I cage with wire bottom so nothing can dig but they csn still eat Grass. You move it to freshxspot every day.

I kept rabbits like that and they were very happy. Rabbits can be kept like that all year round but for guinea pigs it might be a bit too cold/wet?

Obviously my rabbit cage was dry and sheltered from sunshine, wind and rain.


Actually now that I think of it, my dad used to keep guinea pigs like that during the summer.

Yes this is probably the best idea all round thanks


I知 thinking a very large rabbit and guinea pig tractor combined. I read you can even include chickens all three get on well with each other as long as you don稚 have a cockerel in with them.

I知 thinking of quite an ambitious project of making a rather large 60x30 foot run with good hutches and walk in accommodation one end. It would house meat rabbits, guinea pigs and laying chickens.

It would only just be movable due to the size but only need moving every week or so. I知 hoping to move by a very low geared winch.

Looking for rainwater harvesting and a float valve and have a few watering systems for redundancy so they always have plenty to drink.

I知 looking for some ideas how it could cope with a little uneven ground maybe chains and loose netting and hope to drag it over lots of blackberry bushes

Even considering have a goat pen and a goat chained to the outside of it to clear a lot of the blackberry brambles before I drag the tractor over it and constantly move it to new areas

Is it really difficult to stop foxes digging under and getting in? What are the best anti fox measures?

I also wondered about having fox traps all around it even included on the outside of the run using my rabbits and guinea pigs as bait👍

cans

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Easiest animals to keep?
« Reply #44 on: March 03, 2021, 07:57:09 am »
Chaining a goat to anything is NOT a good idea.

For someone who is looking for easiest animals to keep, you seem to have some grand ideas which involve a LOT of work. 

You cannot keep animals and hope that they will look after themselves.  It doesn稚 work like that. 

Foxes will get in/under/over and through anything to get a food source.

You say you want to clear brambles and keep grass short......

Buy a tractor, mower and a very heavy duty brush cutter and clear it your self.

 

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