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Encouraging Rabbits
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Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 05 8:20 pm    Post subject: Encouraging Rabbits  Reply with quote    

Yes, this may seem a little strange to farmers but I remember reading that people used to build a warren for rabbits in a new location. A few breeding rabbits were then introduced into the wired off area to encourage them to establish a breeding colony.

This interests me as rabbits are not abundant in all places. Yes you can farm your own rabbits but they are confined and fed some bought in food. Yes you can buy rabbits culled from farmers fields but I have often wondered if they can absorb any of the weedkillers and pesticides used buy the farmer as I don't think there are any controls on when they can be shot.

For my new way of life this would seem an ideal thing to do if we get somewhere lacking in burrowing dinner ingredients. Has anyone heard of this practice?

nettie



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 5886
Location: Suffolk
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 05 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Get horses. Then you won't stop the little buggers from making hoof-sized holes all over the place

Lloyd



Joined: 24 Jan 2005
Posts: 2699

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 05 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You'll have bloody great half tonners making hoof sized holes all over the place!

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 05 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

LLoyd, the problem is: horses hurt themselves if they put their hooves down a rabbit hole. (I think Nettie was being ironic/cynical... I'd have said "Plant lettuce".)
But the moral is - horses and rabbits don't mix well.

T - I somewhat doubt that deliberately introducing more wild rabbits into the countryside would be popular. I think there must be some reason that any particular locality might be a bit short. Rabbits are quite good at finding suitable habitats for themselves...
And if you don't dig that wire in *really* deep, all round your warren + grazing (kinda pricey), then more truly wild rabbits is what you're going to get!

Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 05 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The whole idea is that the rabbits establish themselves and then dig out to form a large warren. This was a practice that was done many years ago when rabbits were encouraged for the pot. Wild rabbits are used and it would fit in with an idea of living rom the land.

I don't see much difference compared to putting down birds to shoot. If anything this seems more ethical.

I appreciate the comments about horses and it wouldn't be a populate thing to do. If I lived near horses then I'm sure I'd reach and agreement to help move on or solve the rabbit problem.

Lloyd



Joined: 24 Jan 2005
Posts: 2699

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 05 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I know mate; had horses all my life!

Lloyd



Joined: 24 Jan 2005
Posts: 2699

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 05 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think it would end up with you being shipped to the colonies!...The rate they breed at being so much faster than the rate they are shot at, a new rabbit colony possibly not having natural predators in the area, (like the raptors I have here), they might well spiral out of control and become a problem for miles around within a short time. That said, (whispers)..I have thought of doing the same!...Don't tell anyone!

Last edited by Lloyd on Wed Feb 02, 05 10:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
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Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 05 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm not thinking of importing them to a new country, but I did know of a few places where people cliam to never had rabbits.

I thinkj the easiers way would be to plant a field of very young trees, unless the deer get 'em first.

Lloyd



Joined: 24 Jan 2005
Posts: 2699

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 05 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have virtually none here, maybe due to the *VERY* high number of raptors. I rue this, and have considered importing bunnies from other farms for my table. Keeping on top of it would be the problem though. They reproduce exponentially.

Lloyd



Joined: 24 Jan 2005
Posts: 2699

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 05 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have a mate in France who keeps a hutch of wild rabbits in the back garden for culinary purposes. Have you teh space to do the same?..He has them at all ages and stages, and culls when they are suitable for eating. Ditto breeding.

Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 05 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If I have the room I like the idea of encouraging and harvesting as much wild food as possible. From Deer to partridge and giant puffballs to nettles. We'll probably keep some animals but that'll come later.

Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 05 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Madman wrote:
I have a mate in France who keeps a hutch of wild rabbits in the back garden for culinary purposes. Have you teh space to do the same?..He has them at all ages and stages, and culls when they are suitable for eating. Ditto breeding.


We visited a friends friends farm in the South West of france and they had several hutches full of table rabbits. Seems a common thing to do but it would be better to harvest a sustainable wild supply.

dougal



Joined: 15 Jan 2005
Posts: 7184
Location: South Kent
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 05 10:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Encouraging Rabbits Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
.. I remember reading that people used to build a warren for rabbits in a new location. A few breeding rabbits were then introduced into the wired off area to encourage them to establish a breeding colony.

I think the practice of having free-range rabbit farming was introduced by the Normans (or the Romans - furr'ners anyway). It is a truly ancient practice.
But
- I doubt it would be popular today with any neighbour
- you're not going to keep 'em behind wire easily
- they don't need ANY encouragement!

leebu



Joined: 23 Nov 2004
Posts: 418
Location: east yorkshire
PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 05 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bloody Normans-what did they ever fo for us?

I haven't seen a rabbit since before december-do they hibernate or are they just more nocturnal in winter?

Lloyd



Joined: 24 Jan 2005
Posts: 2699

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 05 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I get out with the gun more in Winter

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