Category Archives: rabbiting dogs

Rabbits and a yarn

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Time for a good yarn up since I haven’t posted for a bit… The rabbits have been busy! Even though the people around Otago haven’t noticed due to the massive amount of grass around they are there, now the grass is dying off all is being revealed which is a lot of rabbits. HAha, they fooled the people again.
If I’d had an offsider to take a photo the day I got this pic it would have been four fat bastards in a row! The art work just keeps coming,some very cool and some has me scratching my head.

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The rabbits above were caught in a drop trap, very effective method if you have good fencing. The photo below is one days catch from two drop traps. 35 rabbits in that pic.

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Had a young fella coming out a bit lately, he’s getting right into the swing of this rabbiting thing. Meet Angus.

And to wind this up a photo of Jo relaxing after yet another hard day at the office.

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Bit of a sad week

Three rabbiting dogs retired and away to new homes and another that hasn’t worked out as he keeps nailing ferrets, which is no use to us.

So Coffee, the best dog I’ve ever had for rabbits, Bolt who is another cracker and Pip. A solid workhorse who at five years old is really struggling phyiscally with the job now are all away to new homes along with Boy. A real shame I can’t get the ferret habit out of him as otherwise he was shaping into a real wee workhorse.

So now its time for the young dogs to step up to the plate and shine.

Rabbits, kids, dogs and ferrets

Man has there been a lot going on in the last few months!  Killed a lot of rabbits somewhere in there as well. But that’s what we do in Otago, rabbit capital of New Zealand right here.
So time for some random things that have happened at Kill That Rabbit in the last few months in no particular order….

While all of you were;
A: Getting pissed
B: Being introverted
C: Spending quality time with your significant others
D: I don’t want to know…..
We were out setting a new record for us, new years 2017 we, Shaun and I, shot 823 rabbits AND knocked off early. Then think, we shot that huge number on just 11.5 Hectares. One shooter, I was loading, counting and driving and let me tell you, I was flat out.
We also went back a week later and shot another 380+ odd plus ferreted it etc. That one block has had way over 1500 rabbits killed on it, which brings up a funny story…
I was talking to a woman that ended up holidaying right beside that particular block just after we had a killing spree there. They couldn’t work out why random dead rabbits turned up and what the bad smell was.
Not every rabbit dies on the spot, and there was waaaay over a tonne of meat and guts rooting on the hill. The hottest summer on record, tonne of meat and guts on the hill, it was a thing to behold…
Oh, and we shot out that rifle that night, is seems having a loader and continuously shooting can be hard on barrels. Opps.

Courtney had pups!

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Lots of pups and Jack is the father. Today Google informed me this is a five year old photo of Jack (with a black nut sack) which I’m shook about, I thought he was four at most so how wrong was I? Someone stole the dog he is sleeping on. Not literally cause I let them. 🙄

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Young Evalynn fell in luf in shit so just had to move to Invercargill, cause, well that’s where Michelle is and we can’t keep a young lady away from her man… I’m waiting for the baby call.

As I mentioned in the last post, the new virus is about to be released. For some reason it’s all secret squirrel stuff when it comes to the Otago Regional Council telling people what’s going on. I’m sure there’s a good reason…

My son that’s left school now works for Kill That Rabbit, he’s a machine with the rifle and is going very well working with the ferrets. He is also going very well with the air rifle having an extremely good hit rate with that piece of equipment, a grand bit of gear it is to around built up areas. Next for it will be a thermal scope.

One of the dogs killed a ferret, a fine ferret he was as well. Pepper had been with us for a couple of years and killed many a rabbit. I have no understanding why Jack decided Pepper should die but I can tell you I was decidedly unimpressed.
We had words, strong words.

I’ll bugger off and leave you to it. Bastards. LifeOfARabbiter

Early breeding rabbits and pups

It seems we are into a bumper season for the rabbits as they have started very early, here we are at the start of July and we are already digging nests up and seeing young rabbits. A litter of eight was found two weeks ago and everything is heavily pregnant or has already dropped.

These were got last week, very well developed rabbits for this time of year.

 

We also have a litter of puppies on the ground and ready to go!  Knowing the parentage these should be great rabbiters.   They’ve just come home after being rared by a young lass,  it makes for such better dogs when kids are around as they handle them so much, where as adults are always a bit busy….

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A hunt

The team hard at work on Andrew Farms in Hyde, Otago. We’ve put a lot of work into this place and it looks very different now to when the rabbits were there in big numbers. Now it’s a case of a quick going over every so often just to keep it right.   They got the rabbit out and it didn’t take long. Hard country on the dogs but they love it and this one got nailed.

I just checked the dog diary today to see some ages, looks like there will be one retired mid 2015 as he is getting to the age of seven. For a working rabbit dog this is a good life span, one in particular is starting to slow down. Old Rua (Ru for a working name) but the old bugger is sneaky and still catches more than his fair share.  Bit of a grumpy bastard with the young pups, but still has a play with a few of the other dogs when he is in the mood which isn’t often.

The older retiring dogs I put on Trade Me, a local auction site. Always for free, but I like them to have a few cruzie years once they’ve finished rabbiting.   A lot of people prefer an older dog so it works out well for everyone.

All of the dogs in this photo apart from the white English Pointer on the right are two years old or younger.

Hard at work.

Hard at work.

Feeding the pack

This is by far the biggest job, namely keeping good food up to them that they will eat. Sounds simple, but it’s not. Story below…

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The GWP – German Wirehaired Pointer whose main job is deer and pig control

The main problem I have is getting food that is high enough in energy levels to keep weight on them but doesn’t cost silly money.
The variety in dog size throughout the pack is where it gets tricky, dogs from 5KG through to just over 25KG means one size doesn’t really fit all. If you buy any working dog food it’s normally targeting large dogs, as that is what most farm dogs are being that those dogs are heading dogs (Strong eyed collies) and Huntaways. They tend to start at around 30KG and go up from there.
This lot can’t just survive on fat and trim from the butcher, although they do enjoy it a few times a week. But they become bored with it quick if that is all they get and go backwards on that too. They LOVE a feed of rabbit, but I try to keep that to a maximum of once a week. Rabbit is such a lean meat that the dogs lose weight and very fast if that is all they get, and it only takes 3-4 days if they are working before you start to see this happen.

I was using Eukanuba and had reasonable results, but they choose to rip me off. I bought 36 bags of it at over $4000 dollars, a lot of money in one lump, but that was meant to give me the best discount possible. Then a mate went in at the same time to a different supplier and bought 6 bags for a lot less. I hate getting ripped off!!
So they can get bent.

Just three days ago I got onto a New Zealand made dog food manufacturer/retailer, MightyMix I’m trying out the MightyMix Nourish but after a couple of feeds some of the dogs don’t seem to keen on it. However I will be trying their MightyMix Frozen Concentrate as apparently this is the bees knees (Really good!!) I also much prefer to support local business whenever possible.