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  • Rabbits

    Anyone keept rabbits in addition to horses? I have a house rabbit but would be interested in hearing about your barn or house rabbits. Cages, feed, breed, care, etc.

  • #2
    I have two. A mini-lop and a netherland dwarf. They live in a hutch in one of my spare stables. Feed them on a locally produced rabbit food, hay and veggie scraps. The dogs don't bother them, and the horses seem to find them interesting.
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


    • #3
      DH breeds and keeps meat rabbits. He's got two junior does and a senior doe plus two bucks all NZ's, and then a Florida doe. All pedigreed and the Florida has three out of four legs for her Ch.from her former owner.
      Counting the babies we have a LOT of rabbits. All the water dishes are freezing every night so it is a big PITA, as we don't yet have a heated pipe system (he has the parts, we'll have it up next year).

      The old run-in is the rabbitry, with a second hoop house for the fryers. The horses have to go next to the hoop house to get to the pasture and the rabbits in there thump the cage bottoms when they see the horses, which causes some interesting action from the old guy - he's pretty spry when he wants to be.

      The babies are beyond cute, thank god by the time they get to fryer size they are harder to tell apart and sort of big and white.

      PM me if you like, but right now I have to go refill water dishes and feed!
      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
      Incredible Invisible


      • #4
        I thought about keeping meat rabbits, but I think my hubby and/or mother would kill me.
        Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


        • #5
          I have a barn rabbit. He is a mini-rex I picked up at the feed store that had been left. He's really tame and friendly, which is why he came home with me, NOT that I wanted or needed a rabbit. My husband built him a big 30" wide by 6' long cage. I put in on an existing shelf that is right across the isle from my horses stall. It is wood and wire and I put it on a piece of countertop remnant in case he misses his litter box. I had him neutered so now he's using the litter box almost 100% of the time. If he wasn't litter trained I'd want a wire bottom with pull out drawer because this little critter eats and drink and poos and pees a lot! He eats the same orchard grass hay as my horse, I bed his litter box with bent grass hay, he eats them both. He eats a small amount of rabbit pellets, and every night I make him a salad out of spinach, parsley, oregano, barley & wheat grass, baby spring greens (whatever is in the fridge), and every morning he gets an apple slice, a broccoli sprig and a baby carrot. When the pony is out with the horse I put the rabbit in the pony stall for exercise. He goes nuts running and playing! Here is a video.....


          Next month I am goint to take Jigs the rabbit to a local rabbit rescue. If he falls in love I will bring it home for him as a companion. Two barn rabbits will be double the fun!


          • #6
            I have had house rabbits for several years; all rescues. Horse hay, timothy pellets from Oxbow, and salads suitable for human consumption are their staples. I've always had large ones - the smallest was about 9 lbs, and the largest, a Flemish Giant doe, was 15 lbs at her peak.

            They enjoy a small bedroom of their own; cages just seemed wrong for such big buns. I am down to a single doe currently. They are very sweet pets - but like horses (and most other animals) they each have a personality! My girls have been much more opinionated than the boys.

            Perhaps my favorite moment was when my cats "met" the big bunny - and she chased them down the hallway! She set the ground rules pretty quickly.


            • #7
              I have two barn bunnies...Henry & Hazel.
              A white male (I had him neutered) with cute lop ears and a beautiful brown female. I resuced them from another farm about 18 months ago.
              They live in one of my 10 x 10 stalls. Shavings on the floor.
              Easy to care for, as they poo/pee all in one corner.
              When I first got them, I did keep them in a large wire dog crate over night...worried that racoons or some other varmin would get them.
              But nothing has ever bothered them and I started having a hard time convincing them to go in there, so they're just loose in the stall.
              I feed them pellets, my grass mix hay, carrots and whatever greens I have. They have a couple of cat toys and old phonebooks that they love to rip apart.
              One of my barns cats loves these rabbits! He's always in there with them.


              • #8
                Rabbits do well with horses, because they eat the same things. They even colic like horses! If you feed alfalfa pellets for your horses, just give some to the bunnies. It's the same thing, just more expensive if sold for rabbits. They love snacks like carrots and apples, and your leftover salads need not go to waste. They should be neutered though - it's no joke about fast reproduction. Unspayed females who aren't bred will usually die of uterine cancer within a few years.


                • #9
                  I have meat rabbits and from that we've kept 3 for pets -- a red mini satin doe, a red NZ buck (runt) and a broken black 'charlie' NZ doe (runt). I've had to pare down my breeding stock to get ready to move and am down to 3 bucks and 5 does. Right now they're in all wire cages inside the kennel but after we move we're going to be building them runs and tractors so they can live a more "normal" life - eating pasture in addition to pellets, running more and even digging a little. I'm looking forward to it even if it takes just a little longer for them to meet a good weight.
                  "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

                  "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike


                  • #10
                    Question, tle - DH says that keeping them on pasture leads to "unavoidable" parasites. I think he read that somewhere because he has always kept his meat rabbits in cages and it suited him to think that. Any resources you can recommend to get him to think kindly of the idea of letting them free-range? (in a tractor - we have coyotes, dogs and raptors)
                    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                    Incredible Invisible


                    • #11
                      I have 2 pet bunnies that have lived at various times in my house and barn. I have a lovely new enclosure for them in my current barn but haven't moved them in yet. I thought I'd wait till spring.

                      (My unspayed female rabbit lived to be 10. I didn't get her spayed because no vet near me would do it for less than $600. I'm not kidding.)

                      I currently have a brown rex female and a tan feral-born male of no specific breed. I think my male is 9 or 10 now; the female is 2. My cats and dogs get along quite well with them. My chihuahua-papillon mix used to play with my old female, she was a very rowdy rabbit.

                      And for those of you who have meat rabbits -- I wish I lived closer because I love to eat rabbit. I never understood why it never got more popular in the US.


                      • #12
                        I have a lionhead bunny (neutered male) who is quite possibly the most angry little fluffy animal I have ever encountered. He lives in a three story bunny condo which he likes arranged in a certain way.

                        His pvc pipe must be on the top floor and impede access to his ramp so he can barely squeeze by. If I move it to a more convenient location he spends his day putting it back.

                        His water bowl is on the second floor. That is also where he grooms himself.

                        The bottom floor is where his hay, food, and litter box go. He also has a stick to chew on which he keeps near his litter box for the most part. Occasionally he gets really angry at it and kicks its a@# out of his condo.

                        Seriously, he has some rage issues. He isn't scared of people in the least. If I rearrange stuff in his condo he is obviously irate and GRUNTS at his stuff as he moves it back where it belongs. He also grunts at me and "attacks" me and his chew stick and random inanimate objects by boxing with his front paws. It is really adorable. He is a surprisingly interesting pet.


                        • #13
                          I have a small black bunny named Eve. She is all black except for a white nose and white front paw - no idea what breed she is. She's a spayed female, almost six years old. She lives in my dining room with a baby gate across the opening. She enjoys sitting in the middle of the dining room table, and burrowing underneath the tablecloth, which is very amusing. Her favorite foods are whole corn on the cob (with the husks), green beans, and dandelion greens. I buy locally-grown, bagged timothy hay at an independent pet store. I tried bringing hay home from the barn, but she got horrible ear mites from it, so now I stick with the bagged stuff.

                          I love my bunny!
                          I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                          • #14
                            i have a mini-rex female house bunny who is such a noisy thing, i've considered bringing her out to the barn on several occasions. she lives in my son's room at the opposite end of the house from my room, and some nights makes so much noise 'rearranging' her house and kicking the walls of her cage (probably at the cats, wondering what the heck she's up to in there) that she'll wake me up on and off all night long...
                            Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by lolalola View Post
                              Unspayed females who aren't bred will usually die of uterine cancer within a few years.
                              This is what happened to my two female guinea pigs. It was awful. If I ever get another female piggie, I will have her spayed immediately. The rabbit rescue Eve came from spays/neuters all their buns, so Evie came that way.
                              I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by ReSomething View Post
                                Question, tle - DH says that keeping them on pasture leads to "unavoidable" parasites. I think he read that somewhere because he has always kept his meat rabbits in cages and it suited him to think that. Any resources you can recommend to get him to think kindly of the idea of letting them free-range? (in a tractor - we have coyotes, dogs and raptors)
                                I've actually just started looking into it but we will be trying. Yes, there is talk of "parasites" if you keep them on grass. I also have talked to folks who haven't had any issues. Some keep their show stock in cages (because shows look for things that free range would take out of them) but their meat fryers grow up in tractors and they've not had any problems. There are plenty of sites online between pastured livestock sites and colony raised rabbit sites. I can't think of anything specific right now other than that, but I'll definitely pass on anything if my brain kicks out somethign helpful. I'm looking forward to our experiment.
                                "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

                                "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike