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Author Topic: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?  (Read 1929 times)

GBov

  • Joined Nov 2019
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2021, 07:11:14 pm »
If you already have wild rabbits living locally and want them to move into your land why not just plant a few rows of forage plants to encourage them to set up housekeeping on your land?

As they are already local but not on your land then your land is lacking in what they want.  Even if you caught and moved them in they would just bugger off as soon as possible.

Turning loose domestic rabbits - despite their wild origins - is a viciously cruel thing to do.  They have no resistance to any parasite or disease, and have no idea what is, and is not, dangerous to them.

Any that survive the learning curve will simply breed right back to their origins so encouraging the wild ones onto your land will save much misery.

Or go to your local butchers in the Autumn and buy some and pop them into the freezer.  Easy peasy and very cheap.

Terry T

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Norfolk
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2021, 12:12:35 pm »
I believe there is a legal requirement to manage wild rabbits on your land because of the damage they can cause to neighbouring land. Might be worth looking into?

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2021, 02:37:22 pm »
Maybe it's just me being uncharitable, :thinking: but I can't help thinking we're all being taken for a ride here. :innocent:
First of all Orinlooper says rabbits are few and far between. Then he says there's plenty roundabout. He asks about keeping animals that require least effort, to keep on a bit of land that's a bit away from his house and that he wouldn't need to check each day. (That went down well. ;D )
Next bright idea  :idea:  is to fence in the whole of his land and let them breed. Just to get one or 2 for the pot! This post does not have even the sllghtest hint of realism to me. Can you honestly see the person who wants to keep animals that require no attention actually being bothered to catch the rabbits, let alone kill them, skin them and finally "make broth" out of them? It would seem that even opening a tin of rabbit soup would require an extreme effort. 


I just get the impression we have here a benevolent troll who is just seeing how far he can string us all along. :excited:
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2021, 06:58:15 pm »
Not read all the posts, but I did mention crossing our wild rabbits with a big meat breed buck and he about had a fit. I was joking, I think.
I used to walk through some fields on the edge of Stirling. They had clearly had pet rabbit genetics mixed in. I know you always get the odd black one in the wild but these were all different colours and shapes and pattens mixed in with wild types.  There were all the typical natural predators but bunnies seemed to do alright for a couple of years. Then mixi flared up and just wild type present in more recent years.

I don’t think there’s much point in changing the genetics, just do what you can to conserve the wildlife you like/want. Some people like song birds and go to lengths to feed them, plant fruit bushes, hedges and put up nest boxes, shoot crows and magpies, etc. If you want more bunnies have a read or watch your land. Work out what you have (camera trap, trap, track,) find out what the constraints are and consider making scarecrows to put off foxes, maybe provide winter hay, etc. Maybe think about growing crops like brassicas and only give them access in the winter when they’d otherwise be short of food, etc.  They say to hit them hardest in winter, out of breeding season to control numbers, so to get more you probably want to provide them safety and food in the cold months. If you build it they will likely multiply! (Until mixi or one of the other unspellable diseases kills the lot!). You said you dont have any neighbours who’ll mind which is good, this would be completely unacceptable for the majority of country folk!

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some like to think it's in England.
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2021, 09:41:00 pm »
I once found a pretty, small, dead, but otherwise (!) healthy-looking rabbit on my land: very attractive solid caramel colour with white underside and blackish points.  (I would buy one if I was looking for a pet rabbit.)  I probably disturbed it's predator and I left it where found: it was gone the next day.  I've not seen another like it (or slightly like it), dead or alive:  the live rabbits I do see fairly frequently are all of the very standard "wild" colour. 

(Not sure what that adds to the thread, but perhaps it supports the idea that domestic and/or wild crosses do not fair that well in a free-range situation !?)
« Last Edit: January 15, 2021, 10:00:46 pm by arobwk »

GBov

  • Joined Nov 2019
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2021, 06:27:28 pm »
All domestic rabbits come from the wild European rabbit.  The genetics are the same, natural selection drives color and size in the wild, people do it in the domestic rabbit.

landroverroy I think you may be right about trolling but any excuse to talk about rabbits, eh? :innocent:

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2021, 09:25:14 pm »
All domestic rabbits come from the wild European rabbit.  The genetics are the same, natural selection drives color and size in the wild, people do it in the domestic rabbit.

landroverroy I think you may be right about trolling but any excuse to talk about rabbits, eh? :innocent:


Why not? :excited: :sunshine:
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

GBov

  • Joined Nov 2019
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2021, 01:47:14 am »
All domestic rabbits come from the wild European rabbit.  The genetics are the same, natural selection drives color and size in the wild, people do it in the domestic rabbit.

landroverroy I think you may be right about trolling but any excuse to talk about rabbits, eh? :innocent:


Why not? :excited: :sunshine:

Mum wants to get me a mug that says WARNING!!! This Person Talks About RABBITS!

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2021, 10:27:18 pm »
All domestic rabbits come from the wild European rabbit.  The genetics are the same, natural selection drives color and size in the wild, people do it in the domestic rabbit.

landroverroy I think you may be right about trolling but any excuse to talk about rabbits, eh? :innocent:

The ancestors are the same, the genetics are not. Natural or human driven selection has driven the changes in genetics of the different populations/breeds. They are the same species but cannot be said to have the same genetics. :coat: sorry

GBov

  • Joined Nov 2019
Re: Want to start wild rabbit on my smallholding ?
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2021, 04:29:35 pm »
All domestic rabbits come from the wild European rabbit.  The genetics are the same, natural selection drives color and size in the wild, people do it in the domestic rabbit.

landroverroy I think you may be right about trolling but any excuse to talk about rabbits, eh? :innocent:

The ancestors are the same, the genetics are not. Natural or human driven selection has driven the changes in genetics of the different populations/breeds. They are the same species but cannot be said to have the same genetics. :coat: sorry

And yet they breed together and make viable offspring, yes?

Like turkeys, many colors, will breed to the wild population, and yet people go mental when it happens because of the different genetics.  Genetics that started with the parent population.

Human selection favors mutations.

I won't argue that domestic rabbits have different genetics than their wild ancestors because people have worked hard at that but in a situation that mixes both domestic and wild rabbits all of them will eventually, and not take very long, LOOK like wild rabbits.  If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck!

In a different situation where domestic rabbits are allowed to be feral, all the different colors will still be seen but chestnut/brown will slowly gain over time.  Chestnut will gain faster if there is an active predator population and no one is adding new ex-pet rabbits to the mix.

I know several people who know lots about genetics (like, melt my brain trying to follow them) but I know just enough to, mostly, get the color/temperment I am breeding for.  And when I fail, all rabbits are made of meat! lol

 

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