Is anyone raising rabbits in a colony?

Hummingbird Hollow

Songster
8 Years
Jul 1, 2011
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Colorado mountains
I've recently been given a whole bunch of meat rabbits and I've been building a colony-style pen for them, housing them in wire cages and an unused meat-chicken coop while I build.

I'd love to show some photos of my set-up to someone with experience, particularly my nest boxes .

I'd love some feedback before I transfer the rabbits into their new home.
 

Hummingbird Hollow

Songster
8 Years
Jul 1, 2011
1,499
152
211
Colorado mountains
I would like to see those pictures.
I'll try to shoot some photos this afternoon. During the past months I was actually given close to 50 rabbits in batches of 8-12.
Most I butchered within a few days but I've saved out 6 mature females, 2 young females, 2 mature males and 3 young males for breeding purposes. I've promised my husband
that I'll reduce this number before winter, hoping to keep no more than 6 females and 2 males.
My plan is to house the 6 females in the colony, allowing one of the males in with them for a week or two and then removing him to a separate cage in the colony enclosure so I can control breeding. I'll have a separate growout pen for bunnies from weaning until butchering.
I'd value your feedback
 

eggbert420

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Feb 15, 2017
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Texas
Its best to move the female that you want to breed to the males cage.

Watch to make sure you get 3 fall offs
.
You don't want the male entering the females territory to breed for a week, he will over breed the female causing complications in her pregnancy. It could also cause the female to fight the male, sometimes to the death. Breeding should only take a few minutes.
 

bernie131

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Apr 26, 2016
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Kansas City, Kansas
I've recently been given a whole bunch of meat rabbits and I've been building a colony-style pen for them, housing them in wire cages and an unused meat-chicken coop while I build.

I'd love to show some photos of my set-up to someone with experience, particularly my nest boxes .

I'd love some feedback before I transfer the rabbits into their new home.

I raised 22 rabbits but not for food,.they were house rabbits that use the litterbox,..went through a lot with them for 9yrs,...but couldn't imagine eating one of my little guys,..
 

Hummingbird Hollow

Songster
8 Years
Jul 1, 2011
1,499
152
211
Colorado mountains
I raised 22 rabbits but not for food,.they were house rabbits that use the litterbox,..went through a lot with them for 9yrs,...but couldn't imagine eating one of my little guys,..
I understand. I started raising egg chickens about 7 years ago and it changed the way I
feel about meat animals in general. I decided I needed to either learn to raise my own
meat, so that I'd know where it came from, how it had been treated and fed, and that it had been butchered with compassion OR I had to do what my daughter has done, which is to give up animal products entirely. Since that time I've gradually increased my little
homestead to include meat chickens, turkeys and ducks for the family table as well as
extras which I've traded to a local ranching friend for beef and pork that she raised.
I was reluctant to try rabbits because I don't want to eat something that spent its entire
life in a little wire cage. However, if I can figure out a more holistic way of raising them
I'm going to give it a try.

I actually got all the rabbits from someone who started raising them for meat and then
couldn't bring themselves to eat them, giving me close to 50.

I understand that my choices are not for everyone.
 

eggbert420

Songster
Feb 15, 2017
2,152
407
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Texas
20170428_085653-1-1189x944.jpg
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I feel the same way. Rabbits are for meat. I would not feed them if I couldn't eat them. I raise them on the ground colony style. And rabbit tractors for pregnant moms.
 

Hummingbird Hollow

Songster
8 Years
Jul 1, 2011
1,499
152
211
Colorado mountains
View attachment 555456 View attachment 555460 View attachment 555467 I feel the same way. Rabbits are for meat. I would not feed them if I couldn't eat them. I raise them on the ground colony style. And rabbit tractors for pregnant moms.
I didn't get any photos taken of my rabbit colony run today
but here is a photo of the rabbit tractor I finished a few weeks ago.
I started with a kitchen cabinet I purchased used from ReStore (more recycled caginets
in my colony run) and currently houses two juvenile males.
I move it to fresh grass every day. The roofing material is leftover from other projects.
The hay rack is an old VHS tape rack.

IMG_0978.JPG
 

DancingWthDucks

Songster
Feb 21, 2016
1,073
207
197
Cumbria, UK
Although I don't raise my rabbits for meat, I think it's great that you've chosen to raise them outdoors. I was shocked to see that so many people keep rabbits in tiny wire cages- in the UK they recommend a 6 foot x 2 foot hutch, with a 6 foot x 8 foot run (minimum).

Good luck :).
 

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