How much grass per rabbit and some cage pictures.

O.K…recently I have been asked a lot about feeding grass. So, though I may not answer all your questions here are some answers to commonly asked questions.

First, here is my significant other scything that grass up for me.  As I have mentioned more than once it does not take long, is not difficult to learn to do, and is really not tedious. It’s also quiet…no obnoxious gas engine roaring while you work.  The scythes do seem pricey…but once you get one, use it, and get the hang of it you will find it was more than worth the cost.

Here is the grass filling my cart. Actually we cut twice today. The above picture is actually a large clover patch now drying for hay. Below was a mix of grass/clover/weeds out of our pasture.  I will feed everyone generously then the rest will go to the pigs. They will eat almost all that we give them (both the rabbits and the pigs).

This fine doe is Twix. You can see what greens she has left over from yesterday. Mostly plantain I noticed (maybe that’s not her favorite like it is for some of the others). I will scrape that up and throw it under the cage to mix with the rabbit urine and droppings. We have a nice compost pile going on under the rabbits.

Here is Twix again with her pile of fresh grasses. I do actually give all my rabbits some pellets everyday. Not as many as in the winter since they are getting grass everyday. Very frequently they will not have eaten all, or any, of the pellets I give them. They always prefer grass. Only the babies will go for the pellets as readily as the greens.  About 2 or 3 times a week I will skip giving the males pellets and make them eat only grasses IF they have been finishing their pellets. Most of the time, they like the does, will just eat a bit of them or not eat them at all. Bucks do not need the same level of protein as breeding does or growing kits. So far my bucks breed well, are well fatted —not too much but not to little (feel your backbones for guidance) and are very active. So, I am happy.

Below is an un-named 4 month old doe. She is behind a super pile of grass. Notice she has a shelf in her pen. I LOVE the shelves. However this one is very high. It was my first one and I thought rabbits should have plenty of head space above and below. It could have been lower. Much lower. The rabbits jumping from that height have put wear and tear on the cage bottom wire. It will need replacing soon. Not a problem since I want to exchange the wood backing and sides for metal  (roofing that we get scrapped from a roof supplier) anyway. I’ll do it all at the same time.

BTW….I like the metal for sides/back better since it is easier to clean and holds up better to the weather. I have not noticed a difference in hot/cold but we do have our rabbits well sited.

This picture below is of Fourteen (I know..odd name). She has decided today was the day to start nest building for next weeks event. Notice how she has dragged most of her greens through the door and into the back nesting area.

This is a picture of my favorite cage. Well built, nice shelves, easy to keep clean. I like it except for the board we put right below where the doors end. I can’t just rake out the old grasses/hay. I actually have to gather them. Kind of annoying especially when a litter of kits has pooped and pee’d in the leftovers.  Ahhh. the things we learn by doing.

And here is a rabbit pasture pen. This is a group of cull Silver Foxes we are growing out.

That nice young (but too small to sell as a breeder) blue buck races right up to greet me every time….which is why he is in the front of the picture.

This is my favorite pasture pen except for size. I think next time I want it more in the range of 3 x 5 or 4 x 4…..this one is 4 x 8 making it a tad long to handle by myself. However it is light weight enough…made out of electric conduit welded together (you could bolt it if you don’t know how to weld) and with a removable roof to facilitate easy catching of lots of bunnies. It does not blow around in storms so far and we’ve had a number already this year.

Bunnies, like chickens, quickly learn that moving the cage supplies them with fresh grasses. They soon learn to move along with you as long as you don’t go to fast.

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2 Responses to How much grass per rabbit and some cage pictures.

  1. It looks like you have an open bottom on your grass cage. Do you have trouble with the rabbits trying to dig out?
    ~Hannah~

    • Monica says:

      Yes, they are open bottom. We have had some digging with mothers that were nest building and occasionally by young kits. The American Chinchillas seem more inclined to dig than do the Silver Fox. So far we have not had any Silver Fox dig at all but we no longer run our pregnant does in them either. This is because we just don’t have the room. It is easier to have multiple litters of kits share a pen than it is the older girls about to give birth. American Chinchilla adults co habitat better than Silver Fox seem to.
      With the digging…we have a buffer zone around the inside edge so that they don’t dig right at the outside. We also move the pens at least every day and sometimes twice so we have only occasionally had one get out even if they have been busily digging. Digging is most likely to occur when it is hot or a doe is about to give birth and is nest building. Escapes have happened a few times when we accidentally planted the cage over the top of a dip that was hidden by tall grass. We now give a quick feel around the edge in super tall grass to double check the pen is actually on the ground. Beyond that rabbits that are not wild…don’t know where to go at first so they stick close to the cage and their dam/litter mates. Young kits in particular will stay close and will come over to be picked up when the food bowl has some pellets noisily rattled into them. Because they are in the cage and you walk around the outside of them the buns seem to get very used to having people and pets walk around them so they are easy enough to handle if you say….leave the door open and they hop out (have had that happen too)

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