I raised rabbits for about 12 years on a 1/3 acre in Eugene. They are
wonderful, sensitive, quiet and major manure producing critters who
take minimal but constant care. I have a basic information hand-out
I'd be glad to send you and anyone else on the list.
Some key points to consider:
1. Have the proper hutch: Protect from predators
2. They need a constant supply of clean water and food- (hand-out
describes which foods are best.) I fed our rabbits about 2/3's from the
3. Watch for diarrhea..they have fragile intestinal tracts
4. Choose a breed that fits your circumstances: what are the main
functions of the rabbit for you?
5. Keep them cool in summer, place cage on north side of house or
outbuilding-- When the temperature got to the upper eighties and
above, I'd put frozen gallon jugs in their cages--
Regarding Rabbit tractors: I used to let the rabbits run free- I'd keep
a female in the rabbit tractor, a 3'x3' cage on the ground, which I
moved throughout the day.. and let the males roam free in the yard
(which was not fully fenced). I trained them when they were very young
to be comfortable with humans-- and give them treats so they would not
run-- though the taste of freedom is a stronger desire than even the
best tasting carrot. So I would let them run free only when I was
close by ... I'd switch out the female and let her run around and put
the male in the tractor. I know people who let their rabbits roam in a
well fenced yard- but as you know they are quite the diggers and can
burrow under a fence in no time flat. As time went on-- I decided it
was easier just to have a few small cages on the ground and let them
hang-out in them. Be sure to put them back in their hutch before you
leave the yard, if it is not fenced. I had the most unfortunate
experience with 2 neighborhood dogs that killed several of my rabbits--
once-- when they tore into a small 'tractor' when I was not there and
another time when they tore down an 80 pound hutch and pulled off the
roof-- Predators follow prey with all their strength. It is very sad
when you come home to a bunny pelt.
One of my favorite books on animals is Barnyard in Your Backyard A
Beginner's Guide to Raising Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Rabbits, Goats,
Sheep, and Cows: Gail Damerow: 2002
I can go on about the care of critters- but this ought to do for now.
Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:46 pm (PST)
I was wondering if anyone had incorporated rabbits into their
permaculture design? I am looking into rabbit tractors and am
fascinated by their quietude, productivity, and gentle nature.