Rabbits vs chickens

Cindlady2

Lovin' The Homestead
Joined
Mar 2, 2011
Messages
267
Reaction score
3
Points
82
Location
S. E. WI
Yep, if you can manage to do both I would. It gives you a better variaty of meat and you can always use the eggs!
 

Denim Deb

More Precious than Rubies
Joined
Oct 21, 2010
Messages
14,993
Reaction score
615
Points
417
Of course, if you could find the Cadbury bunny, then you'd have your eggs from your bunnies! :D :bun
 

Marianne

Super Self-Sufficient
Joined
Feb 6, 2011
Messages
3,269
Reaction score
355
Points
287
Location
rural Abilene, KS, 67410 USA
:yuckyuck

I agree, do a few of both if you can.

I'll vote for the chickens if you can only do one. Do a paddock system or chicken tractor if you can't let them free range. Eggs, free fertilizer, free bug control, chicken soup later. With a rooster, you'll have free chickens, too. Probably more chicken soup.

You can sprout scratch grains to feed to critters. There is a huge vitamin spike at that point, so it's really good for critters plus you'll use a lot less grain overall. I read that sprouting will save you 1/3 to 2/3 of your feed bill. There's always conflicting reports, huh! LOL

Cutting grass and weeds, letting it dry to use for bedding or winter chow is another cost saver.
 

Dawn419

Almost Self-Reliant
Joined
Jan 7, 2009
Messages
1,642
Reaction score
4
Points
114
Location
Evening Shade, AR
If you can't tell, we're enablers here! :lol:

Seriously though, have both chickens and rabbits and I'd be hard pressed to give either one of them up. If I had to give one or the other up, it would be the dumb guineas...but that's just how I do math here on my place! :lol:
 

DebFred

Power Conserver
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Points
27
Oh I love this group!!! Imagine all the replies I got! We have pretty much decided on both. The neighbors that have chickens don't take good care of them. The hens lay good enough. I feel sorry for their rooster. He has a minimal pen, and hardly any room to roam. He is a beauty, not sure what kind. But my neighbor next to them said they would probably sell them to me. I would do that just to give them a better home.

I love chickens. We raised some one year. And the night before I took them to be butchered, the neighbor's dogs killed over half of them. Hubby would skin the chickens, rather than dipping hot water and plucking. When we raise them this time, I won't take them to be butcher. We'll do it ourselves.

I have been doing a lot of research on the rabbits. One thing I can't figure out is where to put the bunnies. We have a shed, but it is metal and will be too hot in the summers. Rabbits can withstand cold better than heat. We live in Ohio, but the summers are hot, especially last summer. And we only have 1/2 an acre that isn't enclosed, so free range is out. When we had them before, we lived out on 11 acres in the country, so that wasn't an issue. Any input on coop building and bunny housing is greatly appreciated!
 

DebFred

Power Conserver
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Points
27
"You can sprout scratch grains to feed to critters. There is a huge vitamin spike at that point, so it's really good for critters plus you'll use a lot less grain overall. I read that sprouting will save you 1/3 to 2/3 of your feed bill."

Could you explain this better please? No idea what you mean. Sorry.
 

BarredBuff

El Presidente de Pollo
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
9,308
Reaction score
1,018
Points
397
Location
Kentucky
For your rabbits, you need to do a cage system. Unless you have A LOT of land for colony setup.

For the grain sprouting, you can take scratch which has grain/legume seeds and sprout them. This maximizes protein out of the same feed, so that you don't have to buy laying mash. It also provides greens which is great for their health anyway.
 

DebFred

Power Conserver
Joined
Nov 15, 2012
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Points
27
I really don't mean to sound dense. But....I still don't get the sprouting. By scratch, is that the feed you give them? Or something totally different. I can't believe how little I know, considering I lived in Kentucky when I was small. We fed our chickens scraps and I think dried corn. And fed the hogs slop. I can't remember if we fed them anything else.... And when you sprout the scratch, do you just put it in water till they sprout roots like a potato will? We will use cages for the bunnies. I want a coop for the chickens with an area for them to get outside in the sun and peck and scratch. They will go to the coop when it gets dark to roost for the night, correct? I know I have to keep it secure from critters of the night. Also, we will use the chickens primarily for eggs, but I will still need a rooster to kinda look after the hens, correct? And when should I start this? In the spring or could we do it now? I know if we do the chickens now we will have to buy grown hens. I also know they don't lay much in the winter. Unless you put a light in the coop, and I don't want to do that all the time so they get enough rest.
 

BarredBuff

El Presidente de Pollo
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
9,308
Reaction score
1,018
Points
397
Location
Kentucky
DebFred said:
I really don't mean to sound dense. But....I still don't get the sprouting. By scratch, is that the feed you give them? Or something totally different. I can't believe how little I know, considering I lived in Kentucky when I was small. We fed our chickens scraps and I think dried corn. And fed the hogs slop. I can't remember if we fed them anything else.... And when you sprout the scratch, do you just put it in water till they sprout roots like a potato will? We will use cages for the bunnies. I want a coop for the chickens with an area for them to get outside in the sun and peck and scratch. They will go to the coop when it gets dark to roost for the night, correct? I know I have to keep it secure from critters of the night. Also, we will use the chickens primarily for eggs, but I will still need a rooster to kinda look after the hens, correct? And when should I start this? In the spring or could we do it now? I know if we do the chickens now we will have to buy grown hens. I also know they don't lay much in the winter. Unless you put a light in the coop, and I don't want to do that all the time so they get enough rest.
You are not dense, just learning. :) Scratch is a mix of grains (corn, oats, wheat, sorghum, and usually another type), this can be sprouted in water and this allows proteins to form and maximize the nutrition of the same feed. Scratch as a dry grain mix is poor protein (8 to 10 percent, usually) and this allows the girls to get more protein from the same food for the same cost. Chickens, and most other poultry will generally go back to their home at night usually after a few days of being locked in it. They will do it for sure if they are penned up and if not can be herded into the building. You don't have to have a rooster, totally optional. I like one to have because they usually keep the girls together, help them find natural foods, and make fertlilized eggs which can be incubated by broody mothers or incubators (fertilized eggs are fine to eat, nothing wrong with them). If I were you, I would do my research and get started this spring. Get a GREAT place fixed up and ready, then buy baby chicks to grow out. That way you know how they were raised, if they were raised the right way and you don't inherit somebody's mess. They also get to know you better and used to your feeding/husbandry practices. I also advise a light in the coop we put one up Saturday because of poor production (2/26 a day), since then we went to 4/26 yesterday, 7/26 today, and I a msure as they get more used to the lighting and it helps there system they will lay more and more. Then I will have to fix up heated waterers so they keep production steady. As for not enough rest, it is the same amount they wouyld get in Summertime. You just lengthen the day to a 14 hour summer day, which they would be up then as well. Hope this helps!
 
Top