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!

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

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 02, 2022
Pregnant Doe Housed with Daughter
by: Hi!

Hi, I have an average hutch, the 1m long, 1m high, two story. I have two bunnies currently sharing this hutch. Mother and daughter bunny. Daughter is currently 3 months old. Mother is 11 months old.

She'll be second time mother. She is pregnant. We have only another hutch, this is where our male lives. We tried putting the mother in with him, but after breeding, she bites him, so we don't want to keep them together. Can she give birth and raise the kits successfully with her daughter living by her side, or is it more likely that her daughter who is not pregnant will eat or purposefully hurt the kits?

The Mother rabbit is a very good mother as she raised and kindled her very first litter on her own. I mean, we gave her the food, cleaned, but didn't need to feed or heat the kits as she did it on her own. She even let them suckle until they were well over 8-9 weeks of age.

So, should we remove her daughter with whom she has never had a fight, or is it OK if she is still there in their hutch, having access to the kits?

The Mother is due to give birth around the start of August.

***** Karen Sez *****
I don't recall ever hearing of a little doeling purposefully harming a small litter of her mother's.

If there's no way to obtain a third cage, it is far better to house the two does together, than to risk putting the momma in with a buck (who will impregnate her for a third time).

I can't promise the kits won't be injured, but it's not something I'd strongly expect.

More info here:
Rabbit Raising Problem Solver
Rabbit Reproduction.

Enjoy your bunnies!

Sep 16, 2021
Bonded sisters with kits
by: Laura

Hi, I wondered if anyone can help. I am about to breed my Continental giant. I have two sisters that live together, I am only going to breed from one. Will they all still get along? Will the auntie be okay with the kits?

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.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Comments.

Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Check Software

Double-Value Guarantee

Our policy is to always OVER-deliver on value,
which is why your purchase is fully covered by our
Double-Value Guarantee.

Go ahead - take any of our e-books for a test drive. Peruse our detailed informational and educational e-books. Examine our plans for building rabbit cages, runs, or metal or PVC hutch frames. Check out the Rabbit Husbandry info e-books.

If you aren't completely satisfied that your e-book purchase is worth at least double, triple or even quadruple the price you paid, just drop us a note within 45 days, and we'll refund you the entire cost. That's our Double-Value Guarantee.

Note: When you purchase your e-books, they will be in PDF format, so you can download them to any device that supports PDF format. We advise making a back-up copy to a drive or cloud account. If the books are lost, you can also purchase another copy from Raising-Rabbits.