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Author Topic: Pet rabbits and quail?  (Read 9078 times)

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Pet rabbits and quail?
« on: March 03, 2014, 10:17:34 pm »
We're going to get a couple of mini lops for my son for his birthday (some years ago I said they could have their own pets when they turned seven - in retrospect a foolish promise since first son's lizards are proving hard work for me!). I want to get them a decent sized outside run so he can get in with them and play with them whilst making sure they don't escape to fall prey to our rabbit eating cats. So they'll be in a big hutch inside a 4mx4m run (one of the big poultry cages advertised in various smallholding mags).

Then I got to wondering about whether I could have a few quails in there with their own smaller hutch. Would that work or is it a crazy idea?

Oh, and any other top tips for rabbit keeping - for the long term rather than for eating? We'll get them while they're still quite little (9 weeks or so) so the breeder has advised they have limited access to grass for a few weeks whilst their digestive systems mature but eventually they'll have free access to the run. Should we put them away at night as I do with the poultry? Can rabbit be trained to go in easily in the evening?

MAK

  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Middle ish of France
    • Cadeaux de La forge
Re: Pet rabbits and quail?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 10:36:32 pm »
We keep our meat rabbits in runs . Essentially we have built 4 feet high runs that are 4 feet wide because we used diamond chain link wire fencing that came in that width. The floor of the run has the same fence to stop them digging an escape tunnel and we have added a roof of wire fencing as one climbed up on the hinged open door of their hutch and jumped out. We scatter straw in the run and scrape out their dun area every few days. We have a gate into the run but it is a pain to crawl in to clean out their hutch. Inside the runs there are shelters ( one old sideboard and one home made hutch) that shelter from the rain and sun ( make sure that they have outside shade too).
Rabbits are nocturnal and I am not sure that I have ever seen our adults take a long sleep period (day or night) - maybe I wake them up if I have insomnia and walk outside.
All our fowl and our dog visit the rabbits run and will sit next to them but our main problem is the wild rabbits that come every night ! Our rabbit that used to escape got pregnant by a wild buck and had a litter of 12. All locked up now but the wild dad rabbit still visits ( he is outside now!!).

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HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Pet rabbits and quail?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 10:45:06 pm »
It's this run:

http://www.gardenlife.biz/

 so you can walk into it - while son would be OK at 4ft (although even he would have to stoop) - there's no way I'm crawling in to clean them out. And I'm reasonably sure I will have to help to begin with at least. They're also pretty small bunnies so that should be ample space for them and in theory we can move the run between two adults (it's 80kg so it'd be inch by inch). I'm hoping if we give them enough distractions they might not dig. We'll soon see!

MAK

  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Middle ish of France
    • Cadeaux de La forge
Re: Pet rabbits and quail?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 10:54:11 pm »
They will dig their way out or a wild rabbit or fox will dig their way in.
Our buck has a smaller run with chain wire floor and hinged lid. It is not so tall and we can lift his hutch out then carry the run to a different part of the garden - straw is a must in his dung area or his waste will kill the grass for ever. He still manages to fight any wild buck that gets near his run.
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Gifts and crafts made by us.

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Pet rabbits and quail?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 11:01:13 pm »
we kept our quails both in hutches and aviary.
just beware when they are loose that your son/quails don't get frightened as quails can take off in panic and will hit the roof (potentially cutting their heads unless the roof has a softer net ceiling)
they are much easier for a little kid to handle when they are in a hutch.
I cant see any reason why they cant share a run with rabbits though, except feeds should be breed specific.
feeding and routine would help with catching the rabbits.

we had a rabbit that shared a fully fenced orchard with hens but he used to dig his way out.

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Pet rabbits and quail?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2014, 11:27:52 pm »
Thanks both! I don't think the fox will try and get in. The run has an outward skirt to try and prevent them, the run will be kept relatively close to the house and I've not (yet) had a problem with foxes trying to dig into the poultry runs. But at least if they're shut in at night, they should be marginally safer (and out of temptation). Good plan to train them back in with food.

I had pet rabbits (Netherland Dwarfs) as a child and don't remember them ever trying to dig out but we did move their run daily. We'll just have to deal with their digging by moving their run more often and if they do dig seriously, I could put the run on top of chicken wire but would rather not.

I hadn't thought of the specific foods - hmm, good point. I'll have to ponder that one. Son won't try and catch the quail - he'll be rabbit focused. But I imagine they still scare easily. Maybe if I get lots of cover for them? They're really hard to shut up at night, aren't they?

Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: Pet rabbits and quail?
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2014, 07:18:39 am »
To be honest, while I think that the quail and rabbits would probably be ok living together as long as they each had plenty of room, the mess the quail will make in the run would make it extremely unpleasant for your son to go in with the his rabbits.

Quail can also be quite vicious and may peck at the rabbits. They poo indiscriminately. We kept ours in an eglu over the summer and the ground was covered in poo and the run had to be moved at least once a week, leaving behind a big patch of poo! We now keep ours in a large rabbit hutch and it is so much easier to keep them clean.

We also keep meat rabbits and we rotate them through our large outdoor run and I have yet to have a rabbit who didn't dig at some point. Sometimes they wouldn't do it for days but the urge always came upon them and they would dig a hole! We got around this partially by place slabs along the our edges of the run

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Pet rabbits and quail?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2014, 10:32:18 am »
I have in the past kept chickens and rabbits together. Chickens had a converted shed as their coop and the rabbits had a two storey hutch. They shared a central run and if I was at home, both chickens and rabbits had access to the well fenced garden in the day. I didn't lock the rabbits in the hutch at night but the run was very secure. Small squared wire that was buried to a good depth. They did dig a lot and would have burrowed out very quickly ... seemed to do most digging at night or early hours.

Rabbits can be aggressive towards other species. We have a house rabbit now and if my daughter brings one of her chickens into the kitchen for a while our rabbit will chase and pull feathers out. Never had a problem with the other rabbits that lived all the time with hens but you would have to be aware of possibility.

Quail freak easily. They can be calm 90% of time if you are cleaning them out for example and sometimes for no obvious reason they can have a hissy fit and fly everywhere. Also escape easily even if you are really careful ... double door on an aviary is best.

Neighbour built a lovely aviary for her quail but gave up keeping them as they were really difficult to keep clean. Seem to produce lots of poo for such small critters and it stinks!!!!! May not be nice to sit in there.

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Pet rabbits and quail?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2014, 11:16:36 am »
oh yes - our first batch of aviary quail ALL escaped in the end even though we were really careful with the 4ft door. I did enjoy them much more when kept inside the garage in hutches.
what type of quail are you considering? I had japanese courtinex but im thinking the different type are less likely to fly up. are the quail pets or for meat or eggs?
my aviary quail had a 2mx4m outdoor run with a deep soil/sandy base. we did encourage plants to grow, and I very rarely needed to do more than rake the soil. they also had a 6ftx4ft shed attached with sawdust and that was mucked out regularly. we left them loose 24/7.
I don't remember them being smelly but maybe I was comparing them to turkeys - who truly truly stink  :roflanim: :roflanim:

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Pet rabbits and quail?
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2014, 01:37:44 pm »
OK, you've all convinced me that the combination is not a good one! Quails can stay on hold for now - I don't need more smell around the place (although will be getting Xmas turkeys so they sound bad!)

H

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Pet rabbits and quail?
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2014, 12:12:25 am »
Quail aka suicidal idiots of the bird world.
If there is a sharp edge or a nail poking though in their cage or shed you can bet your bottom dollar that several will kill themselves on it .   :roflanim:

stock at one male to five females .. ???
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

mojocafa

  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Angus
Re: Pet rabbits and quail?
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2014, 01:57:54 am »
Hester
The link you put on re run, there is a previous post discussing this make and model. Will try and find it .a couple of us, me included have bought this and we all experienced it collapsing in first snow, so beware.
pygmy goats, gsd, border collie, scots dumpys, cochins, araucanas, shetland ducks and geese,  marrans, and pea fowl in a pear tree.

mojocafa

  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Angus
pygmy goats, gsd, border collie, scots dumpys, cochins, araucanas, shetland ducks and geese,  marrans, and pea fowl in a pear tree.

HesterF

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Kent
  • HesterF
Re: Pet rabbits and quail?
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2014, 12:21:33 pm »
Blimey! Thanks for the warning Mojocafe. Hmmm. This one would be smaller than those two and claims to be very sturdy (there are a few different ones out there). I'm not sure what else I can do. I know our cats can scale our poultry run (7ft high, overhanging with barbed wire) so I have to have something with a top and I imagine they'll all have this as a problem. I think I'll just have to go for it and be aware that when the snow comes - hopefully another year away - we'll have to keep it clear. I did look at fruit cage type arrangements because all the stuff I've got from Harrod Horticultural has been really sturdy but most of the things they do at this size are just net to keep birds off - nothing to keep a hunting cat off (who is already into double figures of wild baby bunnies this spring).

H

 

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