Colony Raising / Multiple Does in One Pen

by Hannah

Hi! So I have read about how some rabbits are able to be colony raised! I have loved this idea because of how this would allow the bunnies so much more room and interaction between each other. I have two does that I am starting my new breeding line with, and one buck. My does are about a month in age apart, and I bought one of the does at about seven weeks to let the girls grow up together (both girls are now approximately two and half months).

I was hoping that by getting them together while young, this will help increase the chances of the does being able to constantly be around each other, and maybe even have kits in the same pen possibly. Both my does are pretty mellow, one in particular is very calm and collected.

I have two X-Pens that I use with my rabbits. One is very large and stays outside, which is where the bunnies normally go during the day to graze and hang out with one another. At night, the two young does currently come back inside into the slightly smaller X-pen (which is the "nursery" whenever we have had kits in the past). They sleep together and seem to enjoy each other's company so far.

I just wonder if I should try to take a stab at breeding the girls and letting them stay in the same pens. I wouldn't want to try it and lose all my babies, however. Has anyone had any success with trying this method?

The large pen is pictured, and the smaller pen is the same, minus three panels. I hope that by allowing all this room for the does (especially during the day to graze and run around and just be happy bunnies!) it will help keep them from getting angry and territorial with each other.

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Jun 11, 2015
Outdoor Colonies
by: GreenerGoodLife

My question was the same as above, but has now changed!

For those of you that keep rabbits in outdoor pens, like that pictured above:

Don't they dig out the bottom? I've been under the impression that they will instinctively dig out if the floor is not barred with some sort of hardware cloth...

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

Does are far more prone to tunneling, and we've heard some very impressive stories to that effect. Certainly some animals can be better trusted to stay home than others.

Like you, I'd love to get the thoughts of those who are actually managing rabbit colonies: Are you lining the ground with wire mesh or hardware cloth of some sort? On top, or buried a foot or two, or not at all? How is it working for you?

Mar 03, 2014
2 colonies with kits
by: Anonymous

I have 3 does in with one buck, and now have 6 kits that will be a month old on Friday, they live in a 6x12 pen with lots of boxes to hide in, they all get along and are great with the kits. i have another doe in a larger area with another doe and buck and I found a dead kit on the floor, didn't think any of those gals were preggers, that buck is sterile and I removed them from the other pen a few days before the other doe kindled, so, surprise! she's now in a pen of her own with the nest I found, we'll see how it goes. After shes done I'll open the door and she'll rejoin the colony. :)

May 03, 2013
Two sisters
by: Anonymous

I currently have a doe who had given birth two weeks ago, and her sister. We got them both at 8 weeks and they are now over one. They are still together, and are so loving towards each other. They both check the kits and are just as protective. My does love each other and hate to be apart.

May 01, 2013
My does have successfully raised a litter in their hutch
by: Anonymous

I have two sisters. they live in a huge combined hutch measuring about 5 metres by 1 metre by 1 1.5 metres. One successfully raised kits till they started to be able to walk - i then moved mum and kits to a separate cage as the big run wasn't really kit proof.

One of the does had two babies on a cold floor (despite building a lovely nest in the sleeping quarters) and they died. I'm not sure what happened but she was a 1st time mum so she either got quite confused or the other bunny may of scared her.

As a whole they lived very happily together in the one hutch with babies in the nest. I also have an unrelated bunny who spent time with them all during the day and she too was fine with the babies - they all seemed to manage not to do any poo or wee in the area the nest was (and this is an area they would normally poo in so that's great instinct).

I'm guessing your biggest challenge will be if the doe/s deliver in the day or night - if you move cages at night, that could be a little confusing.

I would suggest that from day 28 you keep them mostly in the inside cage.
Good luck

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