Meat rabbit - newbie - colony housing?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Sabz, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2013
    Quebec, Canada
    Hi all!

    I just got 5 rabbits to start breeding them for meat. I am really happy because I was super tired of eating poultry all the time..

    So, a friend of mine was processing his rabbits this weekend and sold me 5. I wasn't 100% ready yet, so I kind of kick started raising rabbits, a little before I as ready.

    Anyhow.. I read on internet that it was sometimes possible to keep rabbits in a colony. I decided I would try, since moving the rabbits was already a stress, I thought they would probably adapt easier to a colony NOW rather then later, if I'd house them in separate cages and then tried to put them together.

    There was no fights yet - but they are together since yesterday morning only.

    I kept the buck separate (he is in a cage :( ) since the guy that sold them to me said he could kill a female. From my readings, it should be doable.. what do you think? Do some of you raise them in a group like that?

    FIY, here is my setup (it's estimates, I should get real measurements this week).

    The rabbit area is shaped in a "L". In fact it was a square room but I kept an "entry area" for me, tools, feed, etc. So it leaves the "L" for the rabbits ;)

    It's about like this:

    [​IMG]

    So if I am correct, 21 square foots.
    I have 4 females and the buck.

    For now it's only one floor, but I will add a second story to the room, so they'll have a bit more space.

    They are medium size rabbits, around 4-5 pounds each.

    With that in mind, could I put the buck with the females? I think it's a bit too small for now, but would be ok with the 2nd floor.

    Is there any other (good) forums for raising rabbits, or on backyardchicken I will get all the info I need?

    Thanks!

    EDIT: I forgot to mention, this is a temporary setup until spring. Then I will build a super cool enclosure with a pen to play outside and tunnels and a bunch of nice things.. but for winter, this was the only "warm" place I had.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  2. redchickenguy

    redchickenguy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2013
    I personally don't like colony housing, but if you are going to do it, one thing I would not recommend is to keep the buck in with the does. He will constantly breed the does and they will often have babies before the last kits are weened [​IMG]. A great article about colony rabbit is here: http://www.countryfarm-lifestyles.com/breeding-rabbits.html#.VkDQr7_gyHh
     
  3. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2013
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    OK I will read it for sure.

    In the meantime, can you tell me what you don't like about it? Maybe it will help me decide on my future "rabbit house".

    Thanks.
     
  4. redchickenguy

    redchickenguy Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 28, 2013
    Well, first off, they eat more food because they run around. (If in an indoor colony without access to grass) Second, they really aren't as friendly. When you let rabbits run around with less contact with humans they will become more aggressive and afraid of people. Third, some does are VERY territorial. some get along just fine but some will fight other does to the death. The article i shared is a perfect example of it done right. I think its just a lot easier to raise rabbits in cages, and that's how I do it. I don't think rabbits should be kept in cages always. I let my rabbits out to run around almost every day. Wire cages are easier to maintain and are just how I do it. just like there are many ways to raise a child, there are many ways to raise rabbits. Its all personal preference. If you have the time and want to do it i say go ahead and have a rabbit colony. Its just easier to keep them in wire cages.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  5. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2013
    Quebec, Canada
    Ok thanks for your input. Those are mainly reasons WHY I want to do it, so that helps me to direct my decision for my next pen / enclosure :)
     

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