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Author Topic: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?  (Read 1966 times)

Orinlooper

  • Joined Aug 2015
Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« on: December 31, 2020, 08:28:47 pm »
Instead of keeping rabbits in hutches Iím wondering about starting a colony in the wild and just leave them get on with it.

What are the chances they will thrive in the wild so I can just occasionally catch one or two for meat?

I donít have any crops that I would be unhappy about them having, we do have some fruit and nut trees and lots of blackberries but they would be welcome to them.

Apparently there used to be rabbits all over these parts according to an old nieghbour who lived here for decades.

I wonder why they are so few and far between these days?

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2020, 08:36:25 pm »


I wonder why they are so few and far between these days?

1.  Myxomatosis
2.  Ban on fox hunting, so more foxes eating more rabbits
3.  (maybe) other rabbit control measures - shooting, ferreting, etc
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2021, 12:22:12 am »
The big ones are:
1) VHD/VHD2 and
2) More raptors such as buzzards, eagles and kites that pick them off.

Not sure how humane it would be to buy domesticated rabbits and 'abandon' them to the wild, but there's no reason you couldn't fence a relatively extensive area, provide some shelter along with the routine husbandry within it and manage them that way.  I think that's how some of the farm parks operate based on what I've seen.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Orinlooper

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2021, 08:34:06 am »
The big ones are:
1) VHD/VHD2 and
2) More raptors such as buzzards, eagles and kites that pick them off.

Not sure how humane it would be to buy domesticated rabbits and 'abandon' them to the wild, but there's no reason you couldn't fence a relatively extensive area, provide some shelter along with the routine husbandry within it and manage them that way.  I think that's how some of the farm parks operate based on what I've seen.


There are rabbits wild close to my land

Iím thinking about catching a few and trying to start a colony on my land

Not really fencing them in just encouraging them to thrive in numbers

I have found what I thought to be rabbit holes on my land but never seen any actual rabbits

Maybe itís badgers or something else?

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2021, 12:13:33 pm »
------
------

"There are rabbits wild close to my land

Iím thinking about catching a few and trying to start a colony on my land

Not really fencing them in just encouraging them to thrive in numbers

I have found what I thought to be rabbit holes on my land but never seen any actual rabbits

Maybe itís badgers or something else?"
           -----------
           -----------



As a landowner whose land is constantly undermined with rabbit burrows, the thought of a neighbour "Not really fencing them in just encouraging them to thrive in numbers". fills me with horror.


In my experience, rabbits don't need encouraging to thrive, and appear to be second only to rats (in the mammal world)  in their success at thriving.
If you really fancy some free rabbit meat then put an ad on facebook or somewhere locally - advertising your free services in rabbit eradication. I have several people who come on my land with ferrets or shooting. (They always message me when they are coming so I know who's about)


But if you really fancy producing your own rabbits for your own consumption then for heavens sake fence them in securely on your own land. To do otherwise would seem to be somewhat antisocial and not in any way improve your standing with your neighbours.   

« Last Edit: January 01, 2021, 12:45:16 pm by landroverroy »
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Orinlooper

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2021, 08:09:42 am »
------
------

"There are rabbits wild close to my land

Iím thinking about catching a few and trying to start a colony on my land

Not really fencing them in just encouraging them to thrive in numbers

I have found what I thought to be rabbit holes on my land but never seen any actual rabbits

Maybe itís badgers or something else?"
           -----------
           -----------



As a landowner whose land is constantly undermined with rabbit burrows, the thought of a neighbour "Not really fencing them in just encouraging them to thrive in numbers". fills me with horror.


In my experience, rabbits don't need encouraging to thrive, and appear to be second only to rats (in the mammal world)  in their success at thriving.
If you really fancy some free rabbit meat then put an ad on facebook or somewhere locally - advertising your free services in rabbit eradication. I have several people who come on my land with ferrets or shooting. (They always message me when they are coming so I know who's about)


But if you really fancy producing your own rabbits for your own consumption then for heavens sake fence them in securely on your own land. To do otherwise would seem to be somewhat antisocial and not in any way improve your standing with your neighbours.   



I know some say they are like rats and hard to eradicate

But others say they used to see rabbits everywhere but now they are decreasing in numbers but to predators etc

Iím wondering about making a very large netted area for protection from predators and starting a rabbit colony that will look after themselves and eventually tunnels will spread out beyond the netted encampment

I just want to catch the odd one here and there for broths etc but never too much that the numbers reduced significantly

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2021, 10:07:16 am »

Iím wondering about making a very large netted area for protection from predators and starting a rabbit colony that will look after themselves and eventually tunnels will spread out beyond the netted encampment



You are not listening, @Orinlooper.  Letting rabbits spread onto your neighbours' land is antisocial. 

But if you dig your fencing in deep enough that tunnels will not spread out beyond the netted enclosure, and you keep the fencing in good order, then it sounds great. 
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2021, 11:43:44 am »


           -------------------
           ------------------ 
 >>>> Orinlooper:  "I know some say they are like rats and hard to eradicate

But others say they used to see rabbits everywhere but now they are decreasing in numbers but to predators etc

Iím wondering about making a very large netted area for protection from predators and starting a rabbit colony that will look after themselves and eventually tunnels will spread out beyond the netted encampment

I just want to catch the odd one here and there for broths etc but never too much that the numbers reduced significantly"  end quote. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>


           ____________________
           ____________________



Orinlooper - presumably you are planning to keep the rabbits on this 2 acres or so of rough, bramble infested land that you own that is situated a while away from where you live?
Forgive me but this sounds like another of your beliefs that you can keep animals with minimum effort for your convenience as and when you care to visit them. :thinking:
I must point out the realities here, and why practically it won't work.
1. To clear the brambles to the extent that you can securely net the area - ie bury the ends of the net to stop the rabbits escaping would take far more time and effort that you would be willing to put into it. (I've read your previous posts and realise that sustained effort towards achieving a worthwhile and successful goal is not your thing! :innocent: ) Therefore the rabbits will escape or be eaten by the fox.
 2. You clearly have no idea how fast rabbits breed. One pair alone can have produced more than 100 offspring in a year. in the event that you exceeded my low expectations and managed to keep all these rabbits in, how long do you think your 2 acres of land would last to feed the ever growing population?
 3. I believe your intention of keeping low input animals is so you don't have to check on them every day? You cannot  just leave them to "look after themselves". What if some get trapped by the netting or the brambles, or their water has been drunk/tipped up and you're not visiting them for another few days/week? Did you know that a 5lb rabbit can drink as much water as a 24lb dog?  Animals need attention. They are living feeling beings and not there just for our convenience as and when we care to check them.
 4. I see the master plan is that "eventually the tunnels will spread out beyond the netted encampment". So you're still not listening. You're still planning to let this host of rabbits expand to your neighbours land. ??? ??? ???


And all this for the "odd ones for broth etc"
Come on Orinlooper - get real!!
I'm just so glad I'm not one of your neighbours  :relief: :relief:
« Last Edit: January 04, 2021, 11:52:33 am by landroverroy »
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2021, 12:21:08 pm »
@Orinlooper - We were thinking about something similar recently - did you see this thread on 'warrening'?


In the end, I've come to the conclusion that it would be better to have a more managed system for keeping rabbits, and we may still do that. One thought is that since we need to build a permanent poultry run for future bird flu outbreaks, we could combine that with a rabbit hutch and run system. Usually the birds would free range and the rabbits would have the run, but then if bird flu restrictions are announced, the rabbits would get confined to barracks, to allow the hens to have the run.


Overall though, I'm sure it would be more effort than just finding somewhere with a rabbit problem and getting shooting permission.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2021, 04:29:54 pm »
Orinlooper these is a code of practise for keeping rabbits too ... https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2017-11/rabbit-welfare-code-of-practice-summary.pdf

this applies to you if you fence in rabbits ....  you could be prosicuted if you are found not to be caring for them.

Please if you want 'one or two for broths'  .... why not just trap  a wild one when you need it? ... in legal ways obviously. 

This site is for smallholders who work VERY hard to keep their smallholdings going ... and really care for their animals, whatever they are.   Is this you?????
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
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arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some like to think it's in England.
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2021, 08:59:23 pm »
To add my 4 pennies' worth: 
Wild/free-range rabbits will not eradicate brambles (ref other thread):  like Brer Rabbit, they will simply use any bramble patches to help protect themselves from predators !  So, encouraging rabbits to set up home on oneís land in order to occasionally to take one or two for the pot is a potty idea:  so much better to get ones-self a ferret or two and some nets to take an occasional rabbit from someone elseís land (and, as suggested by others, potentially get paid for the privilege !?).
If Orinlooper wants to control his brambles with minimum routine input, then, the best solution would indeed be a mechanical one.

[Noting landroverroy's comment about rabbits' water consumption: I am wondering where the wild rabbits on my patch get their water from - they are not getting it from me !!]
« Last Edit: January 04, 2021, 09:15:23 pm by arobwk »

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2021, 10:39:16 pm »
Wild rabbits are much smaller than domestic (meat) rabbits and dont ever eat dry hay, therefore its enough for them to eat grass with dew in the early morning - thats when you see most of them.
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Orinlooper

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2021, 11:36:34 am »

Iím wondering about making a very large netted area for protection from predators and starting a rabbit colony that will look after themselves and eventually tunnels will spread out beyond the netted encampment



You are not listening, @Orinlooper.  Letting rabbits spread onto your neighbours' land is antisocial. 

But if you dig your fencing in deep enough that tunnels will not spread out beyond the netted enclosure, and you keep the fencing in good order, then it sounds great.

My land is surrounded by waste land that full of rabbits

We often see them early morning

Some colonies on our land but some outside

What we want to do is introduce some large breeds to assimilate with the wild ones already there

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
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Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2021, 07:46:24 am »

My land is surrounded by waste land that full of rabbits

We often see them early morning

Some colonies on our land but some outside

What we want to do is introduce some large breeds to assimilate with the wild ones already there

not sure how legal releasing domestic animals into the wild is.     
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2021, 10:47:32 am »

Iím wondering about making a very large netted area for protection from predators and starting a rabbit colony that will look after themselves and eventually tunnels will spread out beyond the netted encampment



You are not listening, @Orinlooper.  Letting rabbits spread onto your neighbours' land is antisocial. 

But if you dig your fencing in deep enough that tunnels will not spread out beyond the netted enclosure, and you keep the fencing in good order, then it sounds great.

My land is surrounded by waste land that full of rabbits

We often see them early morning

Some colonies on our land but some outside

What we want to do is introduce some large breeds to assimilate with the wild ones already there
They wouldn't survive in wild. Unless lmyou live on a tiny island with no foxes and plenty of food and water for them
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

 

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