Rabbit CAFO Goes Permaculture

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Rabbit CAFO Goes Permaculture

Postby mannytheseacow » Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:23 pm

I came home from work yesterday to find another doe had 5 more babies. This puts me up to 16.
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This prompted me to get off my duff and get to work on a rabbit tractor.
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I'm planning to get some hardware cloth on it after work tonight and put a little tin on one end for cover. After that all the young ones and recently bred does can go in there to move around the yard and mow my grass, while just the buck, and expecting and new mothers will go in the smaller cages. That's the plan anyway, until it snows that is.
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Re: Rabbit CAFO Goes Permaculture

Postby George Collins » Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:43 pm

Any idea how much a rabbit tractor reduces feed cost per rabbit?
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Re: Rabbit CAFO Goes Permaculture

Postby mannytheseacow » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:08 pm

I estimate it at about $3 per rabbit per month. Not a big deal, but start talking 20-30 rabbits and it could be significant. Hopefully, they'll taste better, too!

When production ramps up next spring I figure my 3 does can produce maybe 250 rabbits a year, depending on demand. Then we start talking about saving some money, and producing some good fertilizer. I'll need to make another tractor or 2 for that.
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Re: Rabbit CAFO Goes Permaculture

Postby GrahamB » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:20 pm

Congratulations Manny on the new additions, but can you cool it a little as you're making me look bad. ;) I do like the look of the tractor though. Am I correct in thinking your cage wire comes down the sides and underneath to the inner frame, leaving you with open grass?
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Re: Rabbit CAFO Goes Permaculture

Postby mannytheseacow » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:11 am

You're right, the wire comes down the sides, but just the sides. That inner frame on the bottom supposedly keeps them from digging under and burrowing out. I got that idea from a University of Something or Other design where they recommend it. We'll see how it works...
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Re: Rabbit CAFO Goes Permaculture

Postby GrahamB » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:35 am

Yeah, let us know how it works. I over built one this summer. Mine has one by two mesh across the bottom and half inch in the shelter at the end. Mine was made from two by four and recycled pallet boards. The only problem is it's real heavy to move.
If I ever build the herd up and need a second tractor, it may be along the same lines as yours.
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Re: Rabbit CAFO Goes Permaculture

Postby mannytheseacow » Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:50 pm

Feel like I've spent the better part of the week chasing rabbits. The adults love, love, love life being out of their little cages and being in big cages out on grass. The adolescents are feeling confined by the powers that be and testing my patience that they need to be 10-12 weeks old before being systematically executed. I was reading back through George's post on pigs and how he was ready to put them out of HIS misery. I'm feeling you fella.

Never underestimate a young rabbit's ability to fit through a space 1/10 the size of itself; and the youngest, smallest, runt, half retarded one that doesn't have the common sense to run but can hunker down in a space the size of a slice of chewing gum- oh yes yours will be the first neck to wring.

These tractors are great for the big ones, but unless you're on a manicured golf course that's been leveled by dozers and scrapers and rakes, the young ones will escape.
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Re: Rabbit CAFO Goes Permaculture

Postby matt walker » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:02 pm

Oh man, it just goes to show you, it doesn't matter how big or small the live stock, they are all jerks.

Kidding, but I totally empathize Manny.
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Re: Rabbit CAFO Goes Permaculture

Postby pa_friendly_guy » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:43 pm

Would putting screen on the bottom of the cage solve your problem? Just wondered if something as low tech as that might work?
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Re: Rabbit CAFO Goes Permaculture

Postby mannytheseacow » Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:08 pm

Yeah, I thought about that too, Guy. Two thoughts keeping me from doing that is 1. that I'm not sure how well the clovers and grasses would be able to come up through it, and 2. that I typically have to move the tractor around myself so I need to stand inside of it and pick it up from the center. Maybe I could just put wire on the bottom around the edges... we'll see. Hopefully they will keep growing quickly and soon be too big to squeeze out!
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