Mixing Different Litters

mysunwolf

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I can't find the answer to this anywhere, so thought I'd ask...

I have a rabbit tractor that I'm using to grow out my litters. It's 2'x8' and 2' high. Right now, there's a litter of 7 in there at 8 weeks old. I have another litter of 8 that is 4 weeks old that I would love to add to the same tractor, instead of building a different one for them.

Has anyone ever tried to integrate different litters for grow out purposes?

What were your experiences?

This would be 15 bunnies in 16 sq ft of space, and two litters who don't know each other, so my instinct is that I'm asking for trouble, but I wanted to be sure I wasn't missing some magical bunny behavior here.
 

SA Farm

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Usually babies get along just fine together as they're usually too young for territorial issues and dominant behavior at those ages. I will often integrate different litters together temporarily, but I separate the genders.
If you're not comfortable risking it, then don't.
 

mysunwolf

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Thank you for the reply, that's good to know! This is pretty magical when you consider what happens when you mix young chickens together... by 8 weeks they seem to have already worked out how to be massive pecking machines.

I'm definitely comfortable risking it, if only for the sake of science ;) Maybe I'll sit and watch for a few hours to see what they do. The next litters are timed to coincide so that I don't have this age-difference problem.
 

RockyMountainFarms

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We mixed a litter of Flemish Giants and Californian babies while they were at 6 weeks and 4 weeks old and they are still together.
 

Hens and Roos

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What about putting up a temporary divider where the 2 groups can see and sniff each other for a few days and then remove the divider and let them together?
 

mysunwolf

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Hens and Roos, that would have been an excellent idea ;) Rocky Mountain, I'm a big fan of your kind of PETA. Since others have had good experiences, I tried it.

The seven older buns were 10.5 weeks, the eight younger were 6 weeks. They were almost the same size because the younger kits' mother is much larger and they were on her milk for an extra week.

Yesterday afternoon I plopped the younger ones in there and closed the door. There was some growling, thumping, and chasing very briefly. But after about ten minutes everyone settled down and was polite. The older ones had to establish that they got to the feed first. This morning, they're all good friends, even cuddling together.

So the disclaimer is that they knew each other for a brief week when they were with their mothers, before the older litter was weaned. Regardless, I think this worked out really well. This was an experiment for science that turned out for the better :D
 

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