Can two pregnant does birth and raise kits in their shared hutch?

by Joanne
(Wellington, New Zealand)

I have two giant Flemish girls (sisters) who I mated on the same day (with a lovely little white buck). They live in a big hutch (metres long, with an equally big sleeping hutch). They also share the hutch with a smaller mixed breed girl (unrelated). They all get along well. Do I put two next boxes in their hutch, or do I have to put them in individual hutches until the kits are old enough? If I can leave them together in their home, is it ok to leave the unrelated doe with them still (she's a lovely girl, toilet trained and comes in the house several hours each evening). I've owned bunnies all my life, but this is the 1st time I've bred them. Jo

***** Karen Sez *****

Not being able to see your set-up, it does sound like you've got an arrangement where you might be able to leave all the animals in their huge hutch. The rabbits have formed their own 'colony,' They're getting along well. They apparently have the pecking order all worked out.

Sufficient space is the key to success - were it me, I'd give it a try!

Watch closely however to ensure that no one's hormones make them cranky enough to start getting combative with their cage-mates.

It might turn out great, but if necessary, you can pull out a grouchy doe and give her her own space until you've weaned her kits.

Let us know how it goes!

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May 20, 2016
I believe it's better for them if they get along
by: Anonymous

I have had great success with my two does who are also sisters living together. I always breed them at the same time so that they both have a litter and if need be I can foster babies to the other. Which I have had to do.

I kept them both in the nursery with the kits and once they were up and jumping around I noticed both moms fed all kits. I have never had a problem with any aggression. Maybe I'm lucky.

I also noticed if I separated the does especially while they had young kits, they got depressed. Acted different and didn't eat as much.

***** Karen Sez *****
Anon, THANK YOU for your comments. Sure helps to hear from someone who can share hands-on experience. You are right to qualify your remarks with: "...if they get along." And your does certainly do. The story between two excessively dominant does might not read as amicably.

Lastly, when in doubt, provide lots of room when housing two does together. More space helps to reduce conflict.

Thanks again.

Nov 01, 2012
Update on my bunnies
by: Jo - original poster

1st matings produced nothng. 2nd mating 1.5 months later = Only one sister had babies. 5 beautiful bunnies. The three girls are still living happily together and the mum is feeding the babies well. So happy families for now.

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