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Recapturing escapees

Discussion in 'Behavior and Handling Techniques - Rabbits' started by DustyBoot, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Feb 12, 2018
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Loving the herd life

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    One of our goats has discovered the joy of pulling J-feeders off of rabbit cages so that he can eat the rabbit food. We're resolving this issue, but before we discovered it, two of our six-week old bunnies escaped through the open slot in the cage. I was ready to write them off as a loss, but we've spotted both alive and well hiding under a pile of wood in the pole barn (think telephone poles -- serious stuff here). We're going to try to recapture them. Any tips or hints? They're somewhat tame (we try to handle them a lot), but not come-when-called tame. The whole litter is still living with mom, planning on weaning at 8 weeks, so I considered putting her in a cage at ground level to see if they'd come to her. We can probably shift the pile to get to them if we have to, but I'm afraid either a) we'll accidentally crush them or b) when we get close, they'll run and we'll never catch them. Any and all suggestions welcome. I can live with the loss if we have to, but I hate to think of them starving to death or getting eaten. Eaten by something other than me, that is.

    IMG_20180202_150654235.jpg
    Picture just because who doesn't want pictures? Although the one on the top is one of the two that's missing. The other is a chocolate otter.
     
  2. Feb 12, 2018
    promiseacres

    promiseacres Herd Master

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    A livetrap might work with fresh feed.
     
  3. Feb 12, 2018
    Shorty

    Shorty Loving the herd life

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    I once had a similar thing happen feeder came off bunnies all over the yard I think five got out of the hole. I caught them all by hand, I had to corner them against the fence to catch them. A live trap might work with some of their pellets in it or a tasty treat that they know. Good luck!
     
  4. Feb 12, 2018
    Tale of Tails Rabbitry

    Tale of Tails Rabbitry Loving the herd life

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    My husband and I approached one escapee with a large quilt to a corner of the fencing but he then just hopped over to me and I picked him up. Of course, after his paws were off the ground as I picked him up, he was not as happy.

    Once I just sat for awhile and they curiously come right up to me in the pen area or they get distracted by all the yummy herbs in my garden, if they are small enough to squeeze out of the pen area. I think we only have had three or four out of the pen escapees.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
    promiseacres likes this.
  5. Feb 12, 2018
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    This is your chance to work on your acting skills. Your best chance is to corner them against a wall or fence, but if you act like a predator and make it clear you are 'after' them, they will probably run from you. Act like you couldn't care less about them, and you may be able to walk right up to them - or at least keep them calm while you gently push them into a spot where they can be captured easily.
     
  6. Feb 12, 2018
    DustyBoot

    DustyBoot Loving the herd life

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    Happy to report we were able to carefully disassemble the wood pile using the grapple attachment on the Bobcat and recapture one bunny. On re-interviewing the kids, we ascertained that all three had seen the bunny we caught, and no one had actually laid eyes on the second like we thought. We'll be keeping an eye out, but not sure if there's much hope for recovering that one. I do feel better rescuing one, at least (the broken chocolate in the picture; the chocolate otter is the one still at large).
     
  7. Feb 12, 2018
    Bossroo

    Bossroo True BYH Addict

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    A fish net with a 4- 6 + foot handle works wonders.