Free-range and Free-Roaming: Raising Rabbits Without Cages


Free-range and Free-Roaming_ Raising rabbits Without Cages

Raising Rabbits without Cages:

Rabbits are a popular choice for home-produced meat because they can take up so little space. Meat rabbits are typically raised in cages two feet by three feet, or perhaps four square feet for the largest breeds. This isn’t much! Especially when rabbits owners have come up with so many clever space-saving ways to suspend the cages or even stack them while still being able to keep them clean and tidy.

Three square feet isn’t much space! Many of us don’t like chicken to be confined in small spaces, so why should we cage rabbits this way?

Humans free-range chickens we go “cage-free” for chicken meat or eggs can’t we do this with meat rabbits, too?

Possible Tips for Raising Free-Range Rabbits:

There are following tips for raising free-range rabbits:

  • Offer the rabbits lots of places where they will have some protection from predators such as little huts, sheds, a garage, access to your barn, or even a few nice piles of wood and tree branches.
  • Leave the areas around the stacks and piles of old wood to grow tall grass for the whole season. This provided some protection for the baby and juvenile rabbits that were susceptible to being eaten by birds of prey.
  • Established a “home base” for the rabbits by every day, offering them tempting food items they cannot find on their own, like garden vegetables or yummy fruits.
  • Set out water bowls or tie up water bottles for them when the weather is very hot and dry, as they may not be able to find water readily on their own.
  • When you see them, move towards and around them carefully and without making too much noise this way, the bunnies get used to having you around, and you can enjoy them more. You will also be more likely to be able to intervene if a rabbit becomes sick or injured.
  • Try to give them a de-wormer( use the safe-guard goat formula, it is safe for rabbits). Give this by dousing rabbit pellets in the medication and putting it out for them in the “home base” area where they were used to getting food.

Rabbit Meat Profitability Table

RabbitsRabbits BornLbs Meat / YearAverage Price / LBTotal Revenue Possible
184252$ 8.00$ 2016
2168504$ 8.00$ 4032
54201260$ 8.00$ 10,080
108402520$ 8.00$ 20,162
2016805040$ 8.00$ 40,320
3025207560$ 8.00$ 60,480
40336010,080$ 8.00$ 80,640
50420012,600$ 8.00$ 100,800
100840025,200$ 8.00$ 201.600
20016,80050,400$ 8.00$ 403,200
Rabbits Have Average 7 Kits (Babies) /Month - Some have had up to 14

Be Careful While Giving Dewormer:

Before deworming your rabbits, check with a veterinary for off label use of products not specifically manufactured for rabbits. Ask a qualified veterinary medical specialist for proper dosing instructions.

  • Handle the kits (Babies) when you find the nests, as this seemed to help at least some of them become more accustomed to me.

Must Considerations: Before Keeping Rabbits in a Free-Range Environment:

Do you have children in the house?

Having children and rabbits in the same house can be dangerous for the rabbits because children in the house may try to play with your bunnies. They may pick up rabbits, or try to pet your rabbits.

However, if that is not done sincerely, children may cause harm to the rabbits. Rabbits can be injured by your children even without any ill intention.

So bunnies require full supervision near children.

Do you have other pets?

The same problem comes into my understanding as having other pets in the house.

If you have other pets in your house like dogs and cats, I would suggest not allowing your rabbits close to these animals at least not unsupervised. Rabbits are tender animals and can easily be injured.

Dogs and cats are large animals compared to a rabbit. A free rabbit in your house might want to play with your dogs, and your dogs might as well enjoy the rabbits’ companion.

Even if the dog is only trying to play with your rabbits, it may harm your rabbit or can result in a broken bone.

Bunny-Proofing the House is Vital:

Rabbits’ chewing problem is the guardian’s nightmare if the rabbits have access to every corner of the house.

Rabbit teeth grow throughout their whole life. They will chew on things they like, and whatever they find unprotected from them.

Want to know the worst part?

Rabbits love chewing on the wire, paper, clothes, woods and what not?

So, when you have a bunny freely roaming around in the house, you have to be aware of where she goes and what she eats.

If it is difficult for you to supervise your rabbits 24/7, then you must consider bunny proofing your house.

Bunny Proofing Tips

There are following the simple idea of bunny proofing your house:

  • You can simply go wireless or use plastic wraps to cover your wires.
  • You have to cover up the wooden places in your house. Because rabbit love chewing on woods.
  • Buy chew toys and keep them get used to playing with their toys and don’t destroy your house.
  • Do not keep clothes where your bunnies can easily access them, because they will not think twice before making holes in your new pair of jeans.
Pinterest Rabbit Hutch Ideas
Pinterest Rabbit Hutch Ideas

Having carpets can be deadly:

Having a carpet is not a problem but having a bunny near a carpet is the problem.

As it’s said that rabbits love chewing. And chewing carpets can be really disastrous for your rabbits.

Biting on carpets will make a mess in your house and if ingested by your rabbits, it can be severe for their digestive system.

Rabbit digestive system is very complicated and unlike other animals, their digestive system can easily break.

But in this case, ingesting carpet furs can create a fur ball inside the rabbits’ stomach, as a result, it can become fatal for your rabbits.

Finally Letting your Rabbits Roam the House:

Now that you have taken all the above-mentioned factors into consideration, letting your rabbits roam the house freely is not an issue anymore.

But still, they require guidance. You can’t simply allow a bunny free in your apartment or house from day 1 you bring them home.

They require training and it depends on your rabbit how long they will take to learn.

Rabbits can be stubborn sometimes and your patience is important for such stubborn rabbits.

They require training because an untrained rabbit will be overwhelmed by having a large area as her territory and will not consider using the litter box.

Not knowing how to use a litter box will result in a rabbit using the full house as a large litter box. There are be poops everywhere and your house will stink of urine. Means more cleaning on your part.

While training them to use the litter box, you will have to slowly increase their territory and they will not be overwhelmed with the free-roaming space in your house.

A spayed/neutered rabbit is less likely to make your house dirty because there are less likely to put territorial marks. So maybe consideration to spay/neuter your rabbit before allowing them to freely roam in your house is a good idea.

As your rabbits know where to go to use the potty, you must spread some rabbit toys in their free-roam territory. Some toys which they can use for jumping and climb up and down.

Learning about your rabbit’s sleeping behavior will help you to give them a dedicated location for the sleeping time. This dedicated spot will represent their burrow, in the wild.

As well as spread fresh vegetables and have in different locations so that your bunnies can have a feel of being in the wild.

They will think that they have to work to find their own food.

Indoor Rabbit Pen to Train your Rabbits:

An indoor rabbit pen is essential in the beginning to train your rabbits. To train your rabbits about the free-range movement you have to slowly comprehend them it is safe to run around in this territory.

To do so, you will require a playpen to limit your rabbit’s running space in the beginning. These work great to expand gradually their range in your House.

Are you Planning to Give them Access to the Full House from the Beginning?

That is going to be a very bad decision. What happened when you let your rabbit run loose in the house is it found the free large territory overwhelming. Soon your bunny will start to mark her territory by dropping her loads.

Eventually, she builds up this bad habit of dropping her load anywhere she found fine.

To keep your rabbits away from building up bad habits you must only slowly increase her running space and not at once.

Slowly increasing your rabbit’s running space will discipline her a lot about where to go for food and where to drop poops and where to sleep.

So, to limit your rabbit’s running space and slowly increase her free-range territory, this playpen was the only thing you have to buy to start with.

Letting Rabbits Lose in a Garden:

Now that we have discussed keeping rabbits cage-free indoors, let’s take your rabbit to a cage-free outdoor trip.

There are precautions and techniques you may apply to keep your bunnies safe outdoors even when they are not in a cage or hutch.

Not everyone likes to keep their rabbits indoors. So for them keeping rabbits indoors and cage-free is out of the question.

So, bunnies that are kept in a hutch outside in your backyard, need to exercise every once in a while to remain in good shape.

How Do you give them that Chance?

Rabbits are naturally active animals and wild rabbits love to hop around likewise the domestic rabbits do.

Giving your rabbits to play in your full backyard is a good exercise.

But there are so many dangers outside of a domestic pet rabbit. Rabbits are of a domestic pet rabbit. Rabbits are prey animals. So their first danger is from their predators.

Can Rabbits Live without a Cage

Yes, they can as they do in Nature. So it takes creativity to overcome challenges to this piorneer type of Rabbit Farming

What is a Bucket Burrow

How to Build Bucket Burrow
  • 1 – 2 1/2 Gallon Plastic Buckets
  • 2 – Gallon Buckets
  • 5.16″ drill Bit
  • 5″ pattern to cut holes
  • Jig saw / Drill
  • Marking Pencil

Rabbit Colonies – Type of Free Range

Types of Colonies

Free Range Rabbits Tips

  • Colony Raising Rabbits – raised in open aera, usually concrete floor but open living – doesnt allow rabbits to dig out – also inside colony
  • Primeter Fences – keep Rabbits contained – But also to keep land Predators out. – Bury in Ground 12″ deep to keep predators from digging under
  • Rabbit Friendly Dogs / to keep predatory Birds from snatching Rabbits
  • Need some type of Rabbit Hutch / can let them Burrow
  • Free Range they may lose some of their Domestication
  • Bucket Burrows
  • Heated Water Bowls – Chicken Fountains
  • Rabbits seem to pick one area to poop
  • Chewing Materials – keep teeth proper length.
Raising Free Range Rabbits

Predators such as:

  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Hawks
  • Owls
  • Raccoon
  • Fox
  • Bobcats
  • Coyote

Rabbit Giant Angora Fur Profitability Table

RabbitsRabbits Born / Yr0z wool / Year
40 OZ / Rabitt
Average Price / oz
$10.00
Feed Cost / Yr
$ .30 per day / $ 110 per Year

Total Revenue Possible
1843,360$ 33,600$ 9,240$ 24,360
21686,720$ 67,200$ 18,480$ 48,720
542016,800$ 168,000$ 46,200$ 121,800
1084033,600$ 33,6000$ 92,400$ 243,600
20168067,200$ 672,000$ 184,800$ 487,200
302520100,800$ 1,008,000$ 57,200$ 950,800
403360134,400$ 1,344,000$ 369,600$ 974,400
504200168,000$ 1,680,000$ 462,000$ 1,218,000
1008400336,000$ 3,360,000$ 924,000$ 2,436,000
20016,800672,000$ 6,720,000$ 1,848,000$ 4,872,000
Rabbits Have Average 7 Kits (Babies) /Month - Some have had up to 14
Average Giant Angora Weight 10lb
40 Oz shaved Fur per Rabbit per Year
Feed $ .30 per day for 10lb Rabbit

All are predatory towards bunnies. The last thing you want for your cute Rabbits to be taken away by predators.

That’s why a rabbit hutch is important in this kind of scenario for rabbits’ safety.

Understand this you must not keep your rabbits out in the free-range environment 24/7. They will Dissapear / most likely be eaten.

Only during the day you allow your rabbits outside of their hutch/cage and give them access to the full backyard or garden. At night you must put them back in their cage.

This is the same method that free range chicken farmers use. They train the Chickens to come back to the Roost at night. Then they close the doors, that protects their chicken from Night Predators. They encourage this by feed at night and then training the stragglers.

Free-Range Chicken Training: For Tips

Training Free-range Chickens / Techniques are good for Rabbits too.

However, during the day when your rabbit is out in the open every once in a while, you must go check on them whether they are safe or not.

One more very Important Thing to have is Fences.

A fence that will prevent your rabbits from going out of the backyard. The outside world for a pet rabbit is very dangerous.

Because:

  • They may get lost
  • They may be taken away by wild predators,
  • Any vehicle can run over them.

So you have to have fences all around your garden to disallow the bunnies going out of this free-range territory.

Pet rabbits are not at all prepared for the outside world.

The fence must be well constructed and from deep in the ground, or else your rabbit can dig a hole in the ground below the fence line and pass across the fence. rabbits are diggers by Nature.

Measuring Success with Free-Range Rabbits:

When you say free-range, you mean it in extreme. No fencing, no pens, no obstacles to impede their movements whatsoever, and we can provide very little in the way of essential food or water.

The rabbits foraged all their own food and were very self-sufficient, but also gave them waste out of your garden. You can throw weeds and pruned portions of your vegetables over the garden fence for the rabbits to eat.

You can choose a “home base” location, which is just a scorch mark in your land from an old fire pit where you can regularly drop off various herbs and cuttings from tomatoes and Brussels sprouts for them. The bunnies and you will develop something of a symbiotic relationship during this time. You want to give them extra treats to keep them around so that you will see them out your bedroom window, but also just because you like them. It will really special to wake up in the morning and look out your window to see a couple of colorful rabbits eating the castings from under the bird feeders.

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