OK, so you are on board for raising and eating rabbits, but you want more for your furry food source than just living in small cages, or perhaps you don’t want to duties of having to clean up said cages. There is another option, free range rabbits. Of course there are pros and cons to this. Doing a quick read online, I have found sites where people are saying, been there-done that and don’t try it, others say it’s the best thing they have ever done… you will have to decide. The nice thing is you can start out slow, keeping rabbits in hutches or cages and allowing a few to roam free to see how it works out for you. The rabbits clearly prefer being free, but they can be destructive, and many of them (mostly the bucks) can be escape artist, the last thing you want is your flock getting free, bothering the neighbors (especially their unprotected gardens), being easy targets for local dogs or other predators.

The number one thing I am reading is you MUST have a secure place for them to roam, they dig and dig well, they will burrow under a fence faster than you realize, and apparently some of them are climbers. Rabbits chew, their teeth constantly grow and they need to chew to wear their teeth down, that means you must provide them with safe things to chew and be aware that they might chew through wooden fencing and escape.

Here are some videos on free range rabbits.
This guy needs to bury his fencing to keep the rabbits from burrowing out and depending on where he lives, he might need to put a net over the top to keep out flying predators…

You can learn more about free range rabbits here
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=rabbit+colony&oq=rabbit+colony

http://rhythmofthehome.com/2011/01/keeping-free-range-rabbits-nature/

http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/livestock-forums/rabbits/268171-free-range-rabbits.html

Here are the first 3 parts of the rabbits for meat series

Rabbits for meat pt 1

Rabbits pt 2

Rabbits for meat pt 3




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One Response to “Rabbits for meat pt 4”

  1. Corey

    The colony approach to rabbit raising is not terribly difficult but you really need to set things up properly the first time. Climbing only tend to be an issue with the young bunnies and fruit tree branches/twigs are the best thing to give them for their teeth. There’s some good write ups out there on the colony approach but I’ve yet to see one which covered everything. Perhaps I should write one if I can find the time. Sorry I haven’t written anything for you all in a while I’ve just been so swamped.

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