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Colony Raising Rabbits: How To Get Started

Colony raising rabbits isn’t hard, but there are a few considerations that can make setting up a rabbit colony go more smoothly.

When I brought home our American Chinchilla breeding trio, I had researched raising meat rabbits extensively.  I knew I wanted to raise my rabbits in a colony.

I found good information on the Colony Raising Rabbits Yahoo group, and the Facebook groups Colony Raising Rabbits, and Rabbits in Colonies.

What I found most useful was examples of how other people set up their rabbit colonies.  I decided to share some pictures of what has been working for us, in hopes that it may help someone else.

Colony Raising Rabbits: The Basics

I’ll put the some of the most valuable bits I’ve learned into a list, because I like lists.  Then I’ll show some pictures of our set up, and talk a little bit more in depth about what’s been working for us.

  • Provide at least 10 square feet per adult.  More is better
  • Provide multiple levels for jumping
  • Protect your rabbits from weather and predators
  • Use baby saver wire on the bottom
  • Keep things clean with litter boxes and deep litter
  • Provide several locations for feeding to reduce competition
  • Provide lots of nesting places and materials for the does
  • Include bucks who are used to a colony for higher quality of life, but you may have unpredictable timing of litters
  • Have your grow out cage ready, because 12 weeks isn’t as long as you think it will be
  • Colony raising rabbits is fun!

Space and Safety

This is a house rabbit cage that our neighbors gave to us.  It is made up of Neat Idea Cubes and zip ties, with PVC tubes for stability.

If you don’t see the cubes in your local store, you can get them on Amazon.  I really like some aspects of the NIC cage, but it does have a few downfalls.

It has to be used for indoor bunnies.  The one inch squares mean rodents will walk right in, and raccoons will have no problem reaching in for a snack.

Our colony is in the garage and we thought they were safe and snug, until we realized there was a hole behind the furnace where rodents were getting in.

If you’re planning on raising backyard rabbits, please, please, please make sure they have weather appropriate housing.

The previous owner of this cage was trying to breed bunnies in the rain with only a tarp and a heat lamp for shelter.  Major fire hazard and NOT fun for the wet baby bunnies!

If you plan to do any rabbit breeding in a NIC cage make sure you add baby saver wire.  If you don’t, the baby rabbits will be able to walk right out of the cage.

Make sure it goes at least 6 inches up, or the babies will reach an stage where they are big enough to hop over and squeeze out.

How Much Space Do They Need?

Most sources on raising rabbits for meat say that 6 feet of space is adequate for a doe and her litter.  The NIC cage by itself is 18 square feet.

I was unable to find any size guidelines for colony raising rabbits when I first started researching, so I started with all three rabbits in it.  If it was too small I could move the buck out into a separate hutch.

I started to notice the rabbits fighting after we had our first litter.  The biggest indicator was tufts of fur about the cage.

I didn’t want to move the buck out though, because they were still engaging in social grooming, cuddling, and he would let the baby bunnies sit on his back.

It just felt wrong to isolate him.  Instead I added a metal baby yard with chicken wire and hardware cloth around the bottom. (Update, he is currently housed separately.)

I’ve since learned that the minimum amount of space for a rabbit colony would be more like 10 feet per rabbit, which is the amount of space we have currently.

It’s also very important to have multiple levels for the rabbits to jump off and down on.  Our current set up provides a lot of jumping opportunities, which is one thing it has going for it.

Since adding the attached yard we haven’t had any more indications of fighting.  After we process the first litter if I want to keep raising rabbits for food, I definitely want to expand the colony quite a bit.

A more humane rule of thumb would be 5 times the size of the rabbit.  My rabbits are 8 pound adults, so I’m looking at potentially 120 square feet as a minimum size for my current herd.

Keep it Clean

Of course an important part of rabbit care is cleaning up.  This current set up does take more effort than hanging hutches might.

My adult rabbits are all litter box trained.  In the summer I dump the box once a day and wipe down anything the babies have soiled.

Rabbits are generally cold tolerant, but when it is colder, I use do use deep litter.

Each day I add dry straw on top of any soiled spots in the cage and litter box and dump the litter box when it is full.  When it warms up, muck it out and give everything a good scrub.

The babies can be very messy, so I’ve found it works well to place a small litter box under the hay feeders.

Rabbits poop when they eat, so the bunnies get used to using the litter box, and it’s easier for me to keep up with the output.   They tend to use it as a nest box, but the falling hay keeps it dry enough for them.

You can use any waterproof container as a litter box.  For small rabbits you could even use the bottom of a five gallon bucket or other found items.

Cat litter boxes work quite well, as do plastic tubs.  If the walls are too high, you can cut a door into them with an exacto knife.

You can use any absorbent material that’s save for rabbits to eat such as wood chips, straw, hay, or paper pellets in their litter boxes or as deep litter.

Food And Water In The Rabbit Colony

Rabbits are very territorial so it’s important to have several food bowls, hay racks, and water bottles.

When our second doe kindled she decided that the entire bottom was her territory.  She chased all the other rabbits up to the top!

I made sure to space out feeding stations so that everyone got their fair share until I move the first litter into the grow out pen.

The basic feeding and watering rabbits is the same regardless of their housing.

The delivery method isn’t important as long as it’s clean.  The kind of feeders that mount onto the sides tend to get spilled less, but you don’t have to start out with expensive equipment.

Our first food dishes I found on an abandoned lot (bleach is my friend).  Our first hay racks were made out of ice cream buckets.

My favorite water bottle spouts are the kind that fit onto reused 2 liter bottles.  It’s not hard to provide lots of feeding stations when you get creative.

Ikea bag holders also make nice hay racks, as long as you have plenty of more attractive things for them to chew.

Breeding and Kindling

When you’re colony raising rabbits with the buck included in the colony, the breeding takes care of itself.

I know this is not true for all rabbits, but my rabbits didn’t start breeding until they were their adult size, and have so far spaced out their litters further than the 4 weeks that is biologically possible.

Keeping the buck in the colony means that you’re never quite sure when babies are coming.

I’ve handled this by making sure there are always empty nest boxes available, and plenty of nesting materials like hay and straw.

My does build very nice nests even though they are first time mamas.  One benefit of using a deep litter method is even if they don’t build a nest, the babies will still be born on the straw.

If the kits do get cold, you may still be able to save them if you find it early enough.

Should You Separate The Weaned Rabbits?

Rabbits breeds and herds can vary as to when they reach their grow out size.   You may want to consider splitting your colony once they reach sexual maturity at 12 weeks.

I often keep mine for four to six months before sending them off to freezer camp. It’s a good idea to sex them and separate when they are around 8 weeks old.

If you keep your colony all together, it is liable to grow very quickly.  If you are growing for market, that could be a very good thing.

If you are like us and only eat a rabbit every week or so and want to select for certain traits it may be better to keep them separated.

We do not have room for several colonies, so we refurbished an old chicken coop into a grow out hutch.

If you must keep your rabbits in a hutch make sure they are rodent proof.  There should be no spaces larger than 1/4 inch, and use wood and screws to take down any wire.

You can still use a deep litter method, even over the top of a wire floor.  Just make sure there’s enough head space to accommodate the higher floor.

Go For It!

There is a lot of information available on how to raise rabbits for meat.  Not as many people are trying colony rabbit raising or sharing about it.

I hope this post answers some basic questions for those who are considering it for their own meat rabbits.

Want more rabbit related resources? Check out our homesteading resource page!

Also, here is a collection of links regarding colony raising rabbits that were included in the yahoo group up until that group was discontinued.

Harvest Moon Rabbitry
Naturally raising rabbits



Yankee Acres Blog
includes info on colony raising and pasture raising rabbits

more links on colony rabbits
links created for e-seminar on raising rabbits in colonies

Leslie’s blog on rabbits
record of a rabbit colony since JUNE 01, 2006

Homesteading Today Colony Set up
photos of another guy’s setup from 2002

Colony in Arizona
raising meat rabbits w/chickens in a pen

Toxic plants for rabbits
Following is a partial list of plants that rabbits should not eat. This list is a compilation of lists from various sources.

Herbal Rabbit group
Natural/herbal alternatives for health care

Want To Grow Fruit In The City?

You can save money at the grocery store without a time intensive garden or committing to raising livestock. Sign up for the Backyard Orchards email course today!

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72 thoughts on “Colony Raising Rabbits: How To Get Started”

  1. Oh, my gosh! This is quite a setup you have here! I have New Zealands and just house them in individual hutches in the backyard with pull out troughs so I can harvest their poop. I did build one of the hutches larger for whichever doe is kindling at that time. I think, and I know you’ll agree, the one thing people have to do when keeping rabbits is keep the hutches clean!! All the time! Those little pellets build up faster than anyone thinks…
    This is a cool set up!
    Oh, and my New Zealands never reach butcher weight until about 12 weeks, so you’re not doing anything wrong, your breed is just a little smaller and they take longer! (They are so pretty, though).

    • Thanks! Yup, the feeding and the clean up are a never ending cycle. : ) It’s good to hear mine aren’t taking abnormally long to make weight.

      • American Chinchillas are a good meat rabbit, they just take a little longer to reach a good weight. I don’t have personal experience with the Flemish Giant, however I know some people do raise those for meat. I have also heard that they don’t dress out with as much meat as other breeds because of their large bone size.

        Generally mixed breeds will give better results than very inbred ones, so you may have good luck. I would say give it a try and keep records so you can look back and see how they’re producing.

    • What do you use the rabbit poop for? Iโ€™m looking into being self-reliant within the next five years. I want to raise meat chickens and rabbits.

  2. Stopping by from Homestead Barn Hop. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with colony raising rabbits. I feel that livestock rabbits have been neglected in terms of humane concerns. So many, many people say that rabbits are perfectly happy in little cages, and that colony raising can’t work because they fight too much. But you have shown that the aggression might relate to insufficient space. That makes abundant sense, since their wild relatives are very social animals, but live within large territories. I have never raised them for meat, but had two pet rabbits that got along famously in our shed, which led into a large predator proof outdoor enclosure. In addition, I let them free range in our fenced in 1/3 acre backyard, with the chickens in the afternoons. They are active and curious, and seemed to very much enjoy hopping around, foraging for wild grasses and weeds. Best of luck with this endeavor, and please keep us posted!

    • That’s so cool. Some good friends of ours had a pet rabbit that lived happily in their backyard and house for years. I really enjoy ours be able to interact with their environment instead of just sitting and staring at the world and the food bowl all day.

  3. What an amazingly thorough post! We have been thinking about getting rabbits for a while now but haven’t made the leap! All this info will be so helpful for us when we finally decide keeping rabbits is for us (notice I said when, not if ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

    Also, I’m a fellow HBNer and city farmer (we have 1/8 acre)…So happy to have found you!

  4. Absolutely LOVED this post. I tried my hand at raising meat rabbits, and threw in the towel because the normal hutch setup just didn’t fit my idea of humanely/naturally raised animals. All of our other animals are raised as naturally as possible…free range chickens, pastured pigs, rotated sheep, etc…so why are the rabbits stuck in cages.

    This post was definitely part of the puzzle for me, now I just have to figure out a good pastured method! Always something new to learn.

  5. We do live in Florida and don’t have to battle the cold- but we do have the intense heat and humidity. We have always kept our rabbits outside in an enclosure in our fenced-in yard. They spend hot days in burrows that we have created underground-like rabbits do in nature. We used to cage them at night but found it wasn’t necessary. All we have to do is clean up the droppings once in a while. Our guinea pigs also spend their days outside. There must be a way for all animals to live closer to their natural suroundings.

  6. Just wanting to clarify something. Do you leave your buck with your does all the time? I bought my first meat rabbits yesterday; 3 does and a buck. They are all together in a colony, a converted old ice shack. I figured at some point once I felt the girls were bred I’d have to remove the buck. Not looking forward to him being alone, even if he’s right with them separated by wire You haven’t bothered??

    • I had my buck in the colony for about eight months. I pulled him out a month ago because I didn’t like not knowing when to expect babies. Some people say they will have a new litter each month, but ours spaced them out more, and I was never sure what to expect. He is right next to his ladies in a separate pen but I’m not sure yet if we’ll keep it this way, or if I will open up the wall between the two pens again.

    • We love our colony. I have a regular hutch that I use when things get crowded in the colony, and I always feel so bad for the rabbits that end up all by themselves!

  7. I am beginning to breed Silver Fox rabbits and am intrigued by your colony approach. Would you recommend keeping them in a colony if someone is not raising them for meat (though we could – silver foxes are a dual purpose rabbit – stacking functions permaculture style:)?
    Have you had any problems with the buck having babies with his babies?
    As a permaculturist myself, I think the colony approach better replicates nature. This makes me want to give this a try.
    Your blog is wonderful!

    • I think how you would set up a colony would be affected by your purposes. If you are raising for pets or shows you’d want to make sure you could easily access all your rabbits and babies for handling. Our first set up was more of a blend of a cage and a colony and I could easily handle all the rabbits. Because I don’t want more rabbits than I had room for I only keep the litters in the main pen until 12 weeks and then I move them out. But yes, the buck would breed his own daughters. In my situation raising for meat that would not be a problem but if I was trying to have a selective breeding program it wouldn’t be ideal! My buck did not eat any of the babies, nor did they breed back immediately but he was constantly trying to breed the does even when they were not interested so he is currently not in the colony until I can get more space and hidey holes set up.

    • The colony method tends to make for happier and healthier rabbits, and my gals are happier all around. The only problem is that if you raise show rabbits, you will not get as nice a coat in a colony environment.

      • Yes, it’s not ideal for show rabbits. Some people keep them in pens the majority of the time, and then move to cages to prepare for upcoming shows.

  8. Other problems I have read about …
    The bucks eating the kits, aggressive behavior, over-working the doe, double litters.
    Have you seen any of these problems?

    • Not much Kevin, but I’ve heard from others that have had problems with particular animals that don’t do well in a colony setting. My buck is such a sweetie he even lets the babies sit on his back. The does seem to have a litter every three months even with the buck in full time.

  9. Yeah to me that isn’t really colony raising rabbits. More like raising more than one rabbit per cage. That is a lot more work than necessary too. Litter changing, multiple feeders, multiple water, multiple levels, multiple boxes, multiple problems in a smaller area. To me colony raising rabbits is digging a three foot rectangle the size of a large (not huge) greenhouse, lining the sides with a wire box, filling it all back in with earth, planting grass and clover on new patch, throwing up a strong tall fence around it with a wire skirt so nothing can dig in, topping half with a roof, half with wire, and putting a super tough wood/wire door in the end. Breed/hide boxes go under the roofed area along with long low food trough, water goes out in the wired part in a long low trough with a heater in it for winter. The rabbits use the boxes or dig their own warren. I sort out babies in the spring (eat most, leaving breeders, 4H-ers, and those to sell/swap). Take out buck and buy/swap for new one every so often so I can retire parents and start with offspring next year.
    One can also put the wire on top of the grass and let it grow up through it instead of digging so that there are no burrows but then you need an area with loads of little “horse stall” style breed boxes with a heat lamp high above them for winter breeding. No Litter No Cages No hassle Toss in a flake of alfalfa hay and some pellets in winter and let them forage in summer with garden veg and pellets as a treat. Shoot and eat as needed… between ears, be humane.

    • MJ that sounds fabulous. I guess I think of colony raising as keeping multiple rabbits together. That set up sounds like it reduces a lot of the work.

    • I’ll bet they will be happy bunnies. I keep my colony on concrete so they can’t tunnel out, but I’ve seen some nice colonies with buried fencing and grass planted over the top.

  10. My buns are in outdoor cages when not running our backyard during good weather — have to watch for them tunneling under our fences, though! With our latest kindling, I’ve been putting the kits into our empty 30′ doughboy pool. It’s been terrific! The older ones found how to escape last year, so it’s been empty (and the weather has been too cold the last 3 years if not 4 to set up the pool! I’m thinking of planting it a bit in addition to the weeds/rabbit food that volunteered last year. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m seriously considering converting it permanently to a colony setting and perhaps keeping chickens in there, too. We’ll see. Thanks for the post. I attempted to listen to your podcast on The Survival Mom Radio Network, but it is no longer available.

    • Sounds like a good good system. ๐Ÿ™‚ Bummer about the podcast not being up anymore. I don’t have a copy of it.

  11. Thanks for sharing this info. My partner & I are just getting ready to start with rabbits. Finding info. about colony raising is a bit of a challenge…still researching, but likely we will build a large shed to start out with.

  12. Thank you so much for writing this article. I’m thinking of getting some meat rabbits and have been researching housing, etc… Prior to your article, I stumbled across a YouTube video showing someone’s rabbit colony. So I decided to Google rabbit colony and found your great article. This is definitely the way I’d like to try and raise a few meat rabbits. I think I’d like to keep the buck separate for a more predictable breeding time. Thanks again for your article.

    • Good luck! There are a lot more variables to colony raising than in hutches, but it can be a really nice method if you plan it out well!

  13. I loved reading this! I recently bought a male/female pair of Lion heads (from separate breeders), a pregnant Lop (she had nine kits-now 5 weeks old) and a now 4-month old mini Lop. They are all outside in very large cages but I’m looking at making them a community area where they can mingle and have more room to run around. I have momma and the kits in a separate cage right now.

    • Sounds like fun! Another option to a full time colony is to have an exercise area where they take turns.

      • Picked up my first New Zealand doe from the Humane Society yesterday, I already have an English Spot doe, and a buck I found to keep her company, so now they are bonded. Everyone is spayed or neutered. Could take ten years for them to reach market weight, because my bunnies live in a huge indoor pen with shelves to jump on and toys to play with. They are all very much loved and lucky for them, chose a Vegetarian household. I share my salads with them, and they help keep me on track eating a healthy diet. So, sad that rabbits are seen by many as nothing more than meat, fur or something to experiment on. They are intelligent animals who feel pain just as humans do. For me, just watching them interact, snuggling and grooming each other, or doing binkies in the air, is more than enough reward for the tiny expense of keeping them. I am training them to hop over an agility course for their fun and mine. To me they are the perfect pets and their manure helps the garden grow. The idea of eating them is nothing less than totally disgusting! I don’t eat my friends, besides, they also make great subjects for my photography classes.

        • Sounds like you have some very happy rabbits, Shirley. I personally think it’s very important that all animals have a good quality of life even if they are fulfilling a purpose other than companionship.

        • I’m not there yet. Still learning so when I can have animals l do it right. But I would like Shirly to understand that these animals are not just fur and meat. They are a celebration of life and all that means. Including death. Everything eats. It might interest you science has learned trees care for offspring by shuttling water and nutrients through their extensive root systems. Plants will use chemical signals to call for help when under stress…the web of life is so much more then we can imagine. Today’s factory farms have left most out of touch. Raising gardens and animals even in a backyard allows us to reconnect and honor life. Prey animals,like rabbits, breed and produce prolifically. Take the eaters out and it creates problems. I hope to help save a vanishing breed by raising them in a happy, healthy way. Then honor who they are by eating them! I find it more than sad that someone would castrate and cage these animals simply for their amusement!

  14. Thank you so much for this informative post! Partially because of it I decided to combine my separated doe and buck into more of a colony set up. The only problem is that now I’ve had them combined for about 40 days and still haven’t had a litter. About a week ago my doe was digging burrows and preparing the nest box I had placed in the hutch, but now it seems like those behaviors have stopped. I re-filled the nestbox with additional wood shavings for the cold weather and she hasn’t touched it since. Any ideas on what’s going on? Thank you!

    • If she made a nest and didn’t kindle it’s possible that it was a false pregnancy. That can happen sometimes for various reasons such as a temporarily sterile buck in extreme weather, inadequate nutrition, or too much stress. The other thing to watch out for is perhaps a predator is getting to the nest before you realize she has a litter. We had rats carry the babies away, but it took a few times before I realized it was happening.

  15. I have a colony of rabbits we got babies this spring, I love the way my rabbits have roon to move around be in the shade or sun at will.
    I have 2 mamas that stell other babies . I new dogs would do this but not rabbits. I also grow kale, cilantro, and other greens for them. we use the dropings in the garden and compoast

  16. Nice site, good comments. I have a colony setup with two coops (multi-level) inside the barn on opposite sides and doggie doors to outside runs that they can use free choice. I have 7 does in one and three bucks in the other. I control the breeding by putting the buck and doe in a special breeding cage. I usually do two does at a time and then they go into a large ‘kindling hutch’. I match up certain does that get along really well and they often kindle together and share mom duties. After the kits are weaned they remain in the hutch for grow out and the moms go back into the colony. I have never had any issues with either the does or bucks fighting. They seem very happy with this arrangement as am I.

  17. Should the wiring go under dirt or just right on top of it. Is it OK to put females together even if having babies?

    • The wiring should go under about six inches so that the rabbits don’t dig under and escape. Whether or not the females fight really depends on their personalities and if they were colony raised as well. Some people have found that their first does fought, but does that were raised together didn’t.

  18. I have a rather large space that is almost ready for my colony. But the two does I had chosen for always fight. They sniff each other and start fighting. They are both around two. Do you think I should start with my twelve week olds does instead? I am planning to introduce them within the next couple days.

    • You may have much better luck with the younger does, if the older two aren’t settling down. Make sure everyone has plenty of places that they can claim as their own territory, and plenty of food dishes.

      IF you are really committed to the 2 year old does, try having them separated by a wire fence, and give them short times together before separating them again and slowly work up the amount of time that they are together.

      • I really need help. I’m just getting going.
        I have a bunny enclosure/pen with 50% roof. Wire under dirt floor and on the open air side. 7m x5m very big space. I have 7 rabbits. The origional boy raise from 8 weeks and his companion adopted as an adult, thought to be a senior. Then i got 5 baby ‘girls’ found to be 4 girls one boy. They were all put in together with multiple feeding spots. They got on well for first month, then I removed the male before any babies showed up (they didnt yet) under advice. Then PROBLEMS…i got a new rabbit she was just adult 7 months old, put her in with the gang after she spend a day with the boy, there was a fight and she was killed! I took the suspected offending rabbit put her in solitary, and next day 2nd rabbit killed! This was a girl who killed her sister (at this point the orgional boy was with a girl, the young boy was put in his own house and had a gf with him. So only two girls alone together at the time of death. I am thinking that this killer rabbit maybe killed both, and the otheronewas falsely accused(in solitary). Raising mini lops for pets, trying to. Need advice.

  19. I have 2 female (mom and daughter) and one fixed male (dad) Lionheads who all live together in a hutch/pen. For a FFA assignment, my daughter is attempting to breed the daughter, Teddy Bear, with a male Holland Lop. The Holland Lop, Smokey Bear, is not too fond of the fixed male, so he has to stay in his own cage. We may be at about day 20. Should she be removed from the others? And if so, at what day. Will 2 males ever bond enough to become cage mates? I hate having a bunny all alone in a cage, which is why I am afraid to take Teddy out of the group (she loves her mom and dad) and it makes me sad that Smokey is all alone. Please advise.

    • If the bred female doesn’t have enough space in the hutch to guard a private kindling spot, you may need to move her out of it, which you can do now. Cages and hutches generally do not have enough space for groups of rabbits. They really need a minimum of 10 square feet each. I’m not sure if the males will bond well. Your best bet is supervised visits in a colony with lots of hidey holes for the un-neutered male and be willing to separate them quickly if they start fighting.

  20. I am new to colony raising of rabbits and have had the young eaten by others in the colony. Is it the buck or other does? They were in with chickens at the time has anyone co raised rabbits and chickens?

    • Chickens will absolutely eat young rabbits. I would suspect the chickens or another predator such as snakes or rats as more likely than the other rabbits. If you have rabbits eating their young that indicates serious nutritional deficiencies.

    • It would depend on how long your feeders and waterers last, and how predator proof it is. As long as your rabbits are safe, fed, and have clean water they should be fine.

  21. Loving this information. Was planning to build two rabbit tractors this weekend for rabbits we are buying next weekend. Looks like we are going to build one now!!! Just gotta find an idea out there of what it should look like! ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. I’m just getting started. We just built a coop/pen has iron/tin plannels. Chicken wire on floor with some dirt on top. Half the pen has tin roof. All enclosed with chicken wire. 7 rabbits, 6 girls, one boy. They are having lots of fun. I will work toward putting lots of dirt in for burrowing using buckets with lids as portals to the burrows. Now I’m wondering what to expect as far as breeding naturally and how frequently they will self regulate litters. Mini lops. Anyone here know what I expect? New hobbie.

    • Rabbits can have litters as often as every 30 days. My American Chincillas tended to go every 3 months. If you want to control how often the babies come, put the buck in his own space.

  23. Continuation of previous rabbit story:
    After some thought my idea on my killer rabbit situation is…. Under advisement I removed the boy(s) 2, out of concern for the boys lonelyness after giving each girl some xxxtime I left a gf in with boys for company but upon return girls to society (with the exception where somegirl killed a new girl introduced as an adult–who died) my theory is … from research I hear girls have a pecking order separate from boys… who simple try to be last man standing. Anyway, my theory is: after my idea of not wantng boys to be lonely I would leave a gf in with boy(s) 2 after last girl was “bread” for antiloneliness. I think in the one on one environment the girls became alfa-girls in thier own minds and then when re-introduced to the society they fought till the death. Other than this insident, the other, was with the new adult girl who didnt survive 24 hours. Which I wondered if was due to jealousy after having been with the boy–scent. But maybe it was to due with alpha stucture as I had left girl with boy for extended time 3.5weeks only to be removed in case of litter for boys sake.

    • Yes, they can develop a pecking order, and rabbits that are raised in a colony seem to cope better than those that are used to being alone.

    • Continuation of previous rabbit story:
      After some thought my idea on my killer rabbit situation is…. Under advisement I removed the boy(s) 2, out of concern for the boys lonelyness after giving each girl some xxxtime I left a gf in with boys for company but upon return girls to society (with the exception where somegirl killed a new girl introduced as an adult–who died) my theory is … from research I hear girls have a pecking order separate from boys… who simple try to be last man standing. Anyway, my theory is: after my idea of not wantng boys to be lonely I would leave a gf in with boy(s) 2 after last girl was “bread” for antiloneliness. I think in the one on one environment the girls became alfa-girls in thier own minds and then when re-introduced to the society they fought till the death. Other than this insident, the other, was with the new adult girl who didnt survive 24 hours. Which I wondered if was due to jealousy after having been with the boy–scent. But maybe it was to due with alpha stucture as I had left girl with boy for extended time 3.5weeks only to be removed in case of litter for boys sake.

      Added: also I dont believe it was another predator. It is a very secure space. These two rabbits were quite identical in appearance so I had little cat collars on them and thier collars had been picked… which I think is evidence of fight.

      • Yes, rabbits are very territorial. There will be one alpha doe who gets first dibs on the food and she may fight to the death. Did you introduce them slowly by letting them interact through a wire barrier?

  24. I live in BC Canada .Looking to start breeding Silver Fox Rabbits,,Can you tell me where I would find them in Canada.Thank you

  25. Please any suggestions on how I should do a dirt mound so lionhead and hedgehog can make burrows. They get along great they even sleep together. I have wire on the bottom, top and sides so nothing can get in or out. I am ok with cutting some of the wire so they can go deeper. Thanks for your help.

    • If you put something like a straw bale or box in the center of their pen, they will most likely tunnel around it. Or if you don’t want to go down into the ground, they will tunnel into straw bales.


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