Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Warrening?  (Read 1225 times)


  • Joined Nov 2019
Re: Warrening?
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2021, 01:24:13 am »
When you think about it first it seems like a good idea, esp as it has been done in the past, but there are several reasons why it really should not be tried now.

1) To keep them in your fence MUST be dug down at least 4 feet and more is better. Rabbits dig.  They dig all the time and never stop, going deeper and farther, and did I mention they never, ever, stop digging?

2) When confined on the same earth pathogens build up faster than resistance breeds into your stock.

3) Most does and none of your bucks will know how to dig a burrow and getting underground is the first step to keeping safe from above-ground predators and the weather.  The does will, if they survive the elements, start to dig but you will lose many of them to cold and wet.  Does dig, bucks do not. 

4) RATS!!!  Sad to say, even in cages, kits are often carried away by rats to be eaten later.  Rat proofing a colony situation can be done but it is costly and very, VERY hard to do!  Rats are the single largest reason colonies fail.

5) Even the very best buck will not be able to catch the interest of wild does, he is not the right stuff for them.  The other way round might work but remember, rabbits breed for the conditions and what you will wind up within a very few years is a huge expense and lots of effort for what look like wild rabbits.  Working with wild stock, a 50/50 mix, or purebred, you will end up with little brown rabbits.

6) Handling and dispatching a rabbit that is tame is an easy (and stress-free for the rabbit) job but trying to catch or shoot in the kind of setup you have described will be neither easy nor stress-free, for anyone, you included.

7) Breeding in a controlled environment is enough of a challenge for any new rabbit keeper so adding in mud, disease, rats, and preditors is a one-way road to heartache.

8) And last but not least, rabbits are bottomless pits so even 2 or more acres of good grass will soon be gone and you will be feeding huge numbers (if they actually do well) with very little return.  The market for meat and hides is small.  How many rabbits do you actually want to eat?

If caged rabbits do not appeal to you then you can try a colony setting or a modified colony set up or go with properly huge cages and the breed of your choice.  All rabbits are made of meat, after all.

Anything you could ever wish to know about colony raising of rabbits - pros and cons - can be found here as well as just about anything else rabbit related you could ever need.  Members range from hundreds plus meat breeders to a single pet bunny so realistic and reliable advice can be obtained without activating the "OMG how could you EAT a FLUFFY BUNNY!!!" crowd.

Rabbits are endlessly fascinating and fun to raise but really, don't set yourself up to fail.  It isn't fair to the bunnies.



  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Warrening?
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2021, 09:13:15 am »
Hi @GBov , thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed response - it's much appreciated, and the information has been noted.

IME, the best response to "OMG how could you EAT a cute {sheep / lamb / duck / rabbit}" is "is this a rhetorical question, or are you looking for recipe ideas?"  ;)
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Warrening?
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2021, 11:11:06 am »

IME, the best response to "OMG how could you EAT a cute {sheep / lamb / duck / rabbit}" is "is this a rhetorical question, or are you looking for recipe ideas?"  ;)

 :roflanim: :roflanim:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


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