Lesson

PREDATORS AND DISEASES

Most literature will warn you about having cats or dogs around your rabbits. This is generally not an issue if the dog or cat is well fed and well trained.

Certain breeds may be more hazardous than others, and it’s best that these pets be introduced early to the rabbits and taught proper behaviors.

Once they understand that the rabbits are not foreign but part of the “family”, most pets will accept it.

Cats are a bit harder to train in this, so problematic cats may need to be removed from the home. Certain hunter breeds of dogs may also be problematic. However, most working, shepherding dogs adjust fine to the new additions and have been known to herd the rabbits if they escape.

Other predators such as foreign dogs, cats, rat, raccoons, or coyotes can be problematic depending on where you live. Even if you live in a town, you should plan for a possible rat/raccoon problem and for stray cats/dogs. Durable welded mesh in 1/2 “x 1” is the best choice as it is strong and won’t break easily, and has small enough holes for the rabbits not to fall through. It is also spaced wide enough apart to allow feces to fall through unencumbered.

Be sure your cages are sturdy and high enough to prevent these animals from breaking in. A guard dog and possibly an extra fence may help with this issue as well.

Sadly, there aren’t a whole lot of cures for rabbit diseases, and since rabbits tend to spread their germs rather easily, you should removed any sick rabbit from the area where your other rabbits are. If you want to try to cure them, you may, but it is advised instead to kill them.

Different experts disagree on how to go from there though. Some say that the carcass should be immediately buried or burned to prevent the spread of the disease. Others say that in most cases it’s fine to eat the animal as rabbit-to-human disease transmission is rare.

Course Discussion