Breeding in a Colony

micah wotring

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You don't need to keep them apart for that long. My rabbit that bloodied the other rabbits neck was rebonded with the rabbit she attacked within a few days. The trick is correction and negative reinforcement. Spray the aggresive rabbit in the head with a squirt bottle of water. After a few days, the rabbits will lay down by each other and groom each other. When this happens, watch the rabbits for a little while to make sure they dont fight again. You should only need to bond your original does. Dams and kits will probably not have any big problems. Soon, you will have so many rabbits that fights may arise, but that is a part if colony raising. Have fun:weee!!
Awesome thanks! Oh, I will. XD
 

Bunnylady

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Newborn kits can easily fit through 1" x 2" wire; that's why 'baby saver' cage wire has 1/2" spacing on the bottom few inches. If a doe has her litter in a nest box, that is less of an issue, but if the babies get pulled out or are kindled outside of something that can keep them corralled, they will crawl surprising distances.

When I have put colonies together, I have found that putting them all together at once, in a space that is unfamiliar to all of them, works best for me. The buck's advances usually keep the does distracted enough that they don't get nasty with each other, and multiple does can keep the buck from hassling one doe to the point that she loses her temper with him. Sometimes I have one doe that still gets nasty and picks at the other does, and if that's how it is, she gets removed. As we all know, a lot of does can become real touch-me-nots when they are pregnant, so even if things seem peaceful at the beginning, I continue to monitor for moody moms-to-be and settle anyone who is too hostile in a space of her own.

They say that 'good fences make good neighbors;' that isn't necessarily true with rabbits. If you have the wrong mix of personalities, just keeping them from killing each other while they get acquainted won't get them to "bond." The one time I actually saw a doe spraying was when she was being threatened by the doe in the cage next door; those two had a war going on the entire time they lived next to each other. I have seen noses bloodied, toes and tails bitten off; a show prospect never made it to a show because, as a 5-week-old, he lost a large chunk of his ear to the doe that lived in the cage next door.

Siblings and other related rabbits may or may not live together well. If a doe thinks it's time for her daughters to move to their own part of the world, believe her, it's time! A doe can be just as nasty to a rabbit she gave birth to as she may be to any other; rabbits don't recognize blood ties.

On the other hand, I have had numerous "colonies" of animals that had lived past their reproductive usefulness, that I put together to live out their lives in a sort of retirement (yes, I let sentiment get in the way all the time; probably why my rabbits have always been a hobby rather than a business). Several may get along quite happily in relatively close quarters, some just never do. They are all different, and until you get to know them, you really can't be sure what they'll do.
 
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