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Rabbit Pen Question

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Rabbit Pen Question

Postby chris kennedy » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:17 pm

Is there any such a thing as a rabbit pn being too big? I have about 75 acres of prime rabbit real estate that I was thinking of fencing in. It runs along the river, so there is swamp land and sand ridges with tons of brush piles and thick briars. I have rabbit hunted here in the past and had some good days so I know the rabbits will survive here. I was thinking of having some trials but I hear of trails being in smaller pens sometimes so I wondered would this be too big. I have never been to a trial so I dont know how they work or what pen size works the best for what format of trialing. Should I make it one big pen or several small pens? What is yalls opinion on this?
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Rabbit Pen Question

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Re: Rabbit Pen Question

Postby lock-4 vp » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:30 pm

Man, it must be nice to have the money to even consider fencing 75 acres. :shock: My question would be why would you want to? Most people have 1-2 acre starter pens and 5-12 acre running pens. It's your land and your money, but to me i don't see the advantage to fencing that much property. Thats a lot of fencing to maintain.
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Re: Rabbit Pen Question

Postby cburchett77 » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:06 pm

I am with lock-4 vp. It is not hard at all to keep beagles on 75 acres. The only reason that I can come up with to fencing that much in, is to turn dogs loose in it for a day or two to run. You wouldn't have to worry about them getting away from you.
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Re: Rabbit Pen Question

Postby chris kennedy » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:09 pm

Thats what I am asking, would you just make some small pens or one big one? What is the normal size for a rabbit pen to hold trials in? Like I said I have never been to one so I don't know what will work best.
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Re: Rabbit Pen Question

Postby lock-4 vp » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:32 pm

I've never understood why you have to have a trial in a pen. Whats wrong with wild rabbits in the wild? Ncrabbitman has a 12 acre pen i think that he holds some trials in. I would think this would be plenty big, and then a 1-2 acre starter pen for pups.
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Re: Rabbit Pen Question

Postby Buckeye Blues » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:55 pm

lock-4 vp wrote:I've never understood why you have to have a trial in a pen. Whats wrong with wild rabbits in the wild? Ncrabbitman has a 12 acre pen i think that he holds some trials in. I would think this would be plenty big, and then a 1-2 acre starter pen for pups.


2 Reasons:

For one, if its electrified, it helps keep SOME predators out.

And two, it helps keep rabbits in year around. Beagle clubs spend alot of money maintaining their rabbit populations for all their trials.

There's nothing more frustrating than being at a trial where you cant find any rabbits.

The down side to the enclosures is the rabbits dont run like normal rabbits. Oh, its still wild as wild can be, but its also smarter than the rabbits on the "outside." These rabbits learn to do funny things after being chased by untold number of dogs day in and day out.
The most annoying thing is these rabbits become "path runners". They will bust out of a strip of cover and run the path for 50-70 yards before hopping into the next strip of cover. Or they'll run the fence. It teaches some dogs the bad habbit of hunting on the paths. Which is no good when its time to go gunning.

As with anything else there are pros and cons.

I've seen clubs with 60 acres enclosed. Our club has a 11 acre front enclosure, and 14 acre back enclosure. Once the farmers take the crops off alot of the gun dog members run in the strip of land between the enclosures.
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Re: Rabbit Pen Question

Postby BriarHound » Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:51 pm

Before you fence it in go look at a few pens.......run a few dogs and see what you think. I would like to have my own 12 to 15 acre pen, but that really isn't that much land.In my opinion that size pen is good for starting and soloing primarily, 5 or 6 medium speed dogs can move a rabbit from one side to the other pretty quick. :pawprint: :cottontail:

It's nice during deer season if you don't have a lot of places to run to help keep the dogs in shape. :2cents:
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Re: Rabbit Pen Question

Postby KGSC68 » Wed Sep 16, 2009 5:14 pm

I agree with Buckeye. Path runners! To me the bigger the better. It may eliminate the pathrunners. I dont have a great deal of experience with pens but the ones that I have run have beatin down paths. :2cents:
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Re: Rabbit Pen Question

Postby mhall » Wed Sep 16, 2009 6:24 pm

If you are wanting to fence for use as a trial spot, you should probably go to a bunch of trials to see what suits you first. No need in spending that much money and effort if you may not even like it. If the reason is for personal running or renting a pen out, probably multiple pens at 10-15 acres would be the way to go, but that's all personal preference. SPO trials would be the only onles to use an enclosure, ukc and arha hunt in the wild so if you prefer these formats fencing it in would be unnecessary.
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Re: Rabbit Pen Question

Postby Double Barrel » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:34 pm

Chris,
It depends on what you want and what kind of trial you want. There are a couple of pens close to you. There is one outside Pink Hill on 241 thats about 65 acres. Theres one in Grifton thats 40 acres. Then there is NC RabbitMan who has pens of all sizes. If you need contact info to go visit let me know.

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Re: Rabbit Pen Question

Postby cspot » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:49 pm

Buckeye Blues wrote:
lock-4 vp wrote:I've never understood why you have to have a trial in a pen. Whats wrong with wild rabbits in the wild? Ncrabbitman has a 12 acre pen i think that he holds some trials in. I would think this would be plenty big, and then a 1-2 acre starter pen for pups.


2 Reasons:

For one, if its electrified, it helps keep SOME predators out.

And two, it helps keep rabbits in year around. Beagle clubs spend alot of money maintaining their rabbit populations for all their trials.

There's nothing more frustrating than being at a trial where you cant find any rabbits.

The down side to the enclosures is the rabbits dont run like normal rabbits. Oh, its still wild as wild can be, but its also smarter than the rabbits on the "outside." These rabbits learn to do funny things after being chased by untold number of dogs day in and day out.
The most annoying thing is these rabbits become "path runners". They will bust out of a strip of cover and run the path for 50-70 yards before hopping into the next strip of cover. Or they'll run the fence. It teaches some dogs the bad habbit of hunting on the paths. Which is no good when its time to go gunning.

As with anything else there are pros and cons.

I've seen clubs with 60 acres enclosed. Our club has a 11 acre front enclosure, and 14 acre back enclosure. Once the farmers take the crops off alot of the gun dog members run in the strip of land between the enclosures.


Buckeye pretty well hit the major pros and cons. Our club has 200 acres fenced in one pen. Our club has about 70 members and we have trouble maintaining that much fence and ground. It is alot of work and money. I would recommend instead of fencing it in that you put the money into making food plots, brush piles, and improving the habitat. This will increase the number of rabbits and make for better running. You would have to do this anyway if you fence it in. You might want to consider also joining a club. You might meet some pretty good guys and would be cheaper in the long run to run in an enclosure. The beagle club I belong to is $60 per year if you do some work or $150 per year if you don't do any work.
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Re: Rabbit Pen Question

Postby sand ridge beagles » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:33 am

Chris, I have one that is 7 ac. You're welcome to come and see it....Jaron :thumbs:
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Re: Rabbit Pen Question

Postby SouthernBeagles » Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:15 am

I don't like pens for running grown dogs (rabbits get pen smart and teaches dogs bad habbits) although a small pen is fine for training pups. Once the pup can circle a rabbit, its out to the wild they go!
With that being said........If I were going to build a pen for running and conditioning grown dogs......I would go as big as I could and keep it as wild like as possible.

You are going to have problems with pens that you may not have in the wild. I was just reading on another board where they have bobcats in the pen killing the rabbits and they are trying to figure out how to trap them and get them out. Hawks and owls are always a big issue. Rabbits running the fence line and feed or walking lanes are not natural to wild conditions... teaching SOME dogs to run the lanes or fence and not in the brush to look for rabbits.
Sometimes folks put way too many rabbits in the pen, so you end up with a dog picking up his head and walking 10 feet to jump a completely different rabbit. Hurts their check work.
Again, this is just my :2cents: , don't make me right or wrong. Just food for thought.
Good luck to you!
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Re: Rabbit Pen Question

Postby madcatter » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:19 pm

cspot we have alot of holes by the back gate on the left side,looks like who ever cut the outer fenceline hit it several times.i had the dogs run 2 rabbits outta the bowl and threw a hole that i havent even found.we need the fence committe to get busy before i run all the bunnies outta the bowl-lol

as for trails,i beleive that ukc will run its winners pack in a pen but other than that its in the wild,arha is all in the wild,
penned rabbits can give a dog fits,i beleive if a dog is gonna learn bad habits it will do it whether in a pen or not.you run penned rabbits a while then hit the wild and the dogs flat out pound it,wild ones dont learn the pressure of being in a pen.
i would like to be able to cut them loose and pick them up hours later,but there is a chance they will get outta the pen anyways,just happened to me twice this week....both due to a hole
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