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raising meat rabbits colonies or cages?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by itsasmallfarm, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. itsasmallfarm

    itsasmallfarm Songster

    Oct 27, 2016
    hello not sure if anyone out here raises rabbits, but me and my family are looking at raising a few and now where not sure about how to raise them. we know that there are cage raising them and then having them in a colony. just wondering which one you rabbit owners prefer and which one is better. thank you.

  2. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    I have always used cages. Rabbits in a group often fight and may even injure each other. Contrary to what many people seem to think, rabbits are not by nature social animals. By having them in cages I know when they are bred, to whom, and when to expect babies. Disease control and predators are other issues. If you are concerned about rabbits in cages being bored, you can always give them toys. It seems to me raising rabbits in colonies is just asking for trouble on many levels. Some people raise rabbits in colonies and they will no doubt chime in with their experiences.
  3. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Songster

    I don't do either - I raise mine in tractors, on pasture. No cleaning trays, reduced feed costs, and they mow and fertilize. My pastures are healthier and the rabbits thrive on the greens. They grow a bit more slowly on pasture than if they were only caged and fed pellets, but they've had no health issues and clearly enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. It's a win-win, IMO.
  4. DutchBunny03

    DutchBunny03 Chirping

    Sep 22, 2016
    Northern NY
    Cages are more economical, as you can track breeding dates, kindling dates, number of kits, feeding schedule, and environment of the rabbits. As @cassie said, rabbits are not very social animals(mine got in a fight last year, and almost killed each other). For rabbits to live together, they must be carefully introduced.
    In colonies, the rabbits are VERY succetible to disease and predators, and you have no way of tracking what the rabbit eats, when it eats, when it breeds, where it kindles, and how many of the kits survived. Some argue that colony raising is the "fun" side of rabbit raising, and that could be true, if you carefully construct and organize the colony. But a poorly organized and constructed colony leads to TERRIBLE mishaps.
  5. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Songster

    Oct 18, 2014
    I prefer colony raising, mostly because I hate to see any animal in a cage. After you the colony set up, I find that it is much easier, especially in the winter. Due to the fact I can have just two water bowls rather than filling up 20 separate water bottles. It is true, it take more work to set up, and more planning. I also recommend getting your rabbits younger, since they tend to be less territorial and should get along better. I also keep a few cages along the back wall of my barn for Separating males, sick rabbits or the random overly aggressive female. I usually let the rabbits take care of breeding on their own, but every now and then I will separate a female and breed her with a specific male to get babies of certain parents. I do this when I want to sell the offspring. I guess it boils down to personal preference. A few downsides to this method, is it is hard to tell when a rabbit goes off food or something, and you don't have much control over breeding. You could keep your male(s) separate and let them in with the females when you want to get babies.
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