Quick rabbit question or two

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Captain Carrot, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. Captain Carrot

    Captain Carrot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm getting some meat rabbits tomorrow. My plan was to start out with at least three, two does and a buck.

    the does would be housed together in a large hutch and the buck on its own in a smaller hutch. I'm being given a pair from a friend tomorrow, she doesn't want anything in return for them, so I said I'd take them.

    Here is my question, would it be possible to add another doe at a later date? I've read that does are territorial and can attack other does and bucks that are placed in their hutch/cage.

    So would it be possible to add another? and if so how?

    Or would it be better to breed the two I've got, then keep a female offspring or two and breed them to another buck?

    thanks
     
  2. NewHopePoultry

    NewHopePoultry Overrun With Chickens

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    I wouldnt try adding another doe in the cage with them.
    Its risky housing adult rabbits together.
    Have the does already been housed together?

    Make sure you put the doe into the bucks cage to breed.
     
  3. Captain Carrot

    Captain Carrot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I'm now getting one doe, one buck.

    can i keep an offspring with the adult doe, would that work?
     
  4. DuckLover179

    DuckLover179 Waddles & Puddles

    Nov 28, 2010
    California
    I got a rabbit (Doe) about 2 years ago, she was always raised by herself. Last year I rescued a male dutch rabbit, planning to house them together. I have researched introductions, and studied it, before puting them together. First we placed the male in a playpen (Also, I forgot to add, Male is neutered, female is spayed. He isn't territorial.), and the female in her cage right next to the playpen. She was surprised to see another rabbit, and they sniffed each other. That session lasted a full day. After he got settled in, we neutered him, and let him heal. After healing we tried introducing him. We started in an unknown location to both of them. Introductions go best in a place neither of the rabbit have gone before, and it sounds weird, but they do best when they are stressed out, like car rides. So we put them in a large bathroom, and gave them some places to hide (Boxes, etc.). The doe is so bossy, so she of course was puting him in his place. He was very interested in her, but when he came close, she would nip him. Nothing wrong with that of course, because that is how rabbits learn. A few more sessions of that, and we are where we are today. They are still in seperate cages, but are growing on each other (The other day I had them in a divided playpen, and the doe was dying to get in with the buck.), I'm planning on doing another introduction this week, so I'll keep you updated. Basically, yes, you can introduce them, it will just take longer than expected.

    As for breeding, I unfortunately can't help you, because I discourage it (Making people mad at me [​IMG]), so I don't want to make you mad in any way. Hopefully you can get more help on it. Honestly, I don't discourage it IF you are keeping the whole litter... Otherwise, Sorry, but I can't help. [​IMG]

    ETA: Yes, you can keep the litter with the doe. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  5. xchairity_casex

    xchairity_casex Chillin' With My Peeps

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    introducing rabbits can be very tricky even if they are not as pets and are for food they can end up killing eachother. rabbits are like people some personalities just mesh well and they get along great while others take one look at eachother and no matter what will always try killing eachother. it would probbaly just be easier to just get another cage. but if youd like to take them time and energy of introducing rabbits heres the best way

    first off you will need another cage to house the new female in to keep them seperated untill(if) they become freinds.

    for about a week keep the cages as close as possable together without actually allowing the rabbits to nip or grab eachother thru the bars.

    once they seem comfortable with being so close to eachohter without showing aggression thru the bars you can get all females out together in neutral territory like a room in your house or a fenced in area DONOT PUT ThEM IN THE SAME CAGES THEY HAVE BEEN LIVING!!!! it will have one of the rabbits scents and will cuase that rabbit to react aggressivly towards anyother rabbits.
    have a towel and a squirt bottle handy to break up any fights also a really good idea is to take somthing like vanilla extract to rub on the backs of all the rabbits so they will all smell alike toward eachother.

    if they show aggression taowrd eachother put them all back in there cages and do it again the next day try to keep them out a little longer together each time.
    if you notice mounting behavior dont worry about it females mount eachother to show domanence and will need to be done there has to be a pecking order so the rabbits should be allowed to work this out forthemselves.

    once the start getting along and are tolerating eachother you can try putting them in the same cage together but first take the cage you intend to use scrub it out really well bleach it make sure tis like a brand new cage no smell from the other rabbits whatsoever do this with everything including water bottles,food dishs everything.

    if your able to take the cage and set it on the ground for them all to go in it freely do this otherwise after having them out together put them all back in the cage intended for them to use stand close and be ready if theres any fighting youll have to remove the new rabbit right away

    i wish you luck as this process can take months and sometimes after all the work they still donot ever get along. i wish you the very best of luck like i said sometimes they can get on very wwell and very quickly ive heard of several people who have just had the new rabbits meet only to have them fall in love
     
  6. NewHopePoultry

    NewHopePoultry Overrun With Chickens

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    Once the litter is old enough to wean, I would take them all from the mom.
    Housing rabbits together can be hard to do and since you are using them for meat rabbits, I think it would be easier for them to have their own cages.
     
  7. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    2 breeding does will require a very large space. The smallest I've used is an 8x8 building for 2 , 10lb does or a 4x6 pen for 2 mini rex does (these were introduced when one was just weaned or were actually mother and daughter). They'll still have scuffles. Given enough space my colony rabbits have never caused each other serious injury though. The does will pull some fur and flip each other to the ground but they haven't caused any blood loss so I leave them. My colony now is divided in half in two 12x12 horse stalls with a pair of champagnes on one side that I will add a doe to and a creme d'argent with some 3 month olds and her 2 month old litter growing out for butchering. I plan to keep the biggest buck and doe to add to that side. Even in large colony spaces sometimes unrelated does will kill each other's kits. I would not attempt to keep 2 unrelated does introduced as adults in a cage especially when breeding. About a week after getting bred they get very territorial and will lay in to each other. Without space and objects to break up their line of sight they will not stop and may injure each other. Like I said they may also kill each other's litters.

    If you want to increase your meat rabbit production in the future and really want to try the mini colony type setup what I would do is separate each doe and keep the best doe kit from each rabbit's litter. Then keep that doe with it's mother in a very large hutch or pen. They are far more likely to get along introduced before maturity (right at 6-8weeks) or an offspring kept with it's mother. Otherwise I would suggest caging each doe separately. It will save a lot of headaches, some missing fur, and possibly a torn ear or worse. Keeping intact does together safely is a lot of work and requires a bit of research and thought in to the pen setup.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  8. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    I have managed to put mature does and bucks together into colonies, but have had to keep my eyes open and remove the troublemaker at the first sign of trouble. Not doing so can result in horrible injuries, even death. Having enough space and compatible personalities are critical. I have had sibling does or mother/daughter pairs that had to be separated because they suddenly no longer got along. For most rabbit breeders, "one rabbit, one cage" is a necessity, not just a convenience.
     
  9. Captain Carrot

    Captain Carrot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks for the replies, fantastic advice. I ended up getting a pair, 1 doe and 1 buck. It's enough to get me started, if I do expand then it will be one rabbit to one cage.

    Thanks again.
     

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