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Can colony rabbits still get along if caged for months

Alternative housing for rabbits in groups.
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Re: Can colony rabbits still get along if caged for months

Post Number:#16  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:32 pm


Rabbits mature at different rates, same as any other mammal. At 12 weeks you should still be safe. If the bucks testicles have dropped, he's able to breed. If he starts humping the girls, he's likely close. Lots of does get bred young and depending on the individual it often doesn't harm them. But I feel it's better if better that they have a little extra time to grow.

My rabbits matured more slowly on an all-natural diet. They grew more slowly too. But my cost per pound was a lot less than on pellets and the greens were here for the gathering and I could get good mainly alfalfa hay for $3 a square bale. So I was pretty fortunate. I had to give up the rabbits awhile back. I have arthritis in my knees and hips and it makes getting around outside too difficult unless I have two canes. Try gathering with two canes. We still have one Pilgrim goose -- a real sweetheart -- and half a dozen hens. They free range and so they don't make much work.

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Re: Can colony rabbits still get along if caged for months

Post Number:#17  Unread postby maywinter » Sat Aug 06, 2016 6:44 am


Awww Maggie I'm sad you cant do that anymore :( but very thankful you are helping us newbies! Its so great having a forum like this to get opinions and tips from people with experience.

I think you at the very least saved my bunnies from a predator attack. It might not have happened for years and I would think I was safe but one day they would be attacked by something and without the proper fencing I would lose them all.
I would be devastated. Already I have become attached to these 3 sweet fluffy creatures. Each evening my son and I sit on the grass in a little fence enclosure while the rabbits run around us and get treats from us. We can pet them now but not pick them up yet. I use a dog carrier that they seem to love going into on there own to transport them. Hoping we can continue petting and touching until they are ok being picked up.

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Re: Can colony rabbits still get along if caged for months

Post Number:#18  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:31 pm


I haven't forgotten you, maywinter, but it's been a hot and busy weekend. I'll review this thread entirely as soon as I can and see if we've missed any points that I think should be covered.

I miss raising the rabbits, but not as much as one might think. I'm one of the lucky people who has more interests than I can possibley exhaust in one lifetime. My ruling passion is writing novels and I am working on an historical set near Madoc, Ontario in the late 19th century.

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Re: Can colony rabbits still get along if caged for months

Post Number:#19  Unread postby Truckinguy » Sun Aug 07, 2016 9:21 pm


maywinter wrote:Truckinguy - what king of housing/shelter do you use?
I like the idea f concrete slabs to help stay cool.

Is your outdoor colony in the shade?
The area I have for a colony is in full sun with a roof over part of it for shade but monitoring the temperature this week has shown it to be extremely hot. There is a good breeze usually but I'm worried about the heat.


There are a couple of threads in the colony section of the forum with pictures of my colony. It's really a giant cage with solid back, a roof and three walls with the front wall covered in 1x1 wire and doors in it. Sorry, just got on here tonight and it's a bit late but I'll try and explain it in more detail tomorrow if I can. I'm sending some turkeys to Freezer Camp tomorrow but I'll try to get on here if I can. There is a thread I started on page two of the colony section called Colony Addition FINALLY Complete that has pictures of my colony. There have been some alterations since those pictures were taken and more planned including a possible complete rebuild at some point to hopefully incorporate things I have learned since it was first built.

My colony is not in the shade but having three solid walls and a roof gives the buns plenty of coverage. From about 8am to Noon the sun shines on the open front of the colony so they are more or less in full sun for that time except for a couple of shady spots from nestboxes and a large clay pipe I put in there for their entertainment. After that the roof and sides keep them in full shade for the rest of the day. As Maggie says, plenty of "furniture" will break up the area and give them places to play under/on/inside and give them a place to hide if they're scared. It took a couple of times for them to get used to the lawnmower and they're still not real happy about it but the older buns will just lay around calmly while I run the (gas) lawnmower along the front of the colony.

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Re: Can colony rabbits still get along if caged for months

Post Number:#20  Unread postby maywinter » Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:16 pm


Thanks guys!
Great seeing your photos truckinguy :)

So now after advice and lots more thinking this is my plan...

-12'x8' roofed area
-North and south walls wood
-North wall is shared with the chicken coop
-Roof slopes down toward south wall
-East and west walls 1x1" wire mesh with panels for blowing snow protection/shade fabric summer
-floor is already dirt with 2"x4" wire under

I think this will create constant shade and still let a good breeze through in summer.

I did a drawing in sketchup and maybe i can post it here if i can figure it out

Image
https://1drv.ms/i/s!AhE1zzZKW-HegnU2ER4wWZA50J1n

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Re: Can colony rabbits still get along if caged for months

Post Number:#21  Unread postby Truckinguy » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:34 am


Pretty good drawing, maywinter. I also have panels that I screw onto the wire sides in the winter to protect from snow. I didn't use them last winter as we had very little snow (comparatively) but there are a couple of pictures on here somewhere that show my colony drifted in with the panels on. I learned that the hard way three or four year ago before I had the panels made up. The snow drifted right into the colony and I had to dig the interior out and put in fresh bedding although truth be told the rabbits didn't seem too put out with the snow drift, in fact, they love snow and eat it up like ice cream when I put some in with them in the winter.

Keep an eye on the wire mesh in the dirt as I might deteriorate over time. I've found the patio slabs very effective against digging out and it gives them something cool to lay on in the hot summer months. They also support the wooden walls and keep them from contact with the dirt so hopefully they will last a little longer.

You might want to partially or completely cover either the East or West walls with wood to give more wind protection. Depending on the lay of your land you might get quite a wind going through there. My colony with the three solid walls still gives them excellent ventilation while giving them protection from the wind.

Just my two cents... :)

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Re: Can colony rabbits still get along if caged for months

Post Number:#22  Unread postby maywinter » Wed Aug 10, 2016 2:01 pm


Thanks truckinguy, I really like the idea of patio stone slabs for the floor. Will also have some sort of solid wall for the west as we do get strong winds from that direction

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Re: Can colony rabbits still get along if caged for months

Post Number:#23  Unread postby GBov » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:45 am


It sounds like you will have a wonderful colony, shall watch this space to see how it goes. :popcorn:

I love colony rabbits!

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