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Is this a colony and what should I do with it?

Alternative housing for rabbits in groups.
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Is this a colony and what should I do with it?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby bigbrologan » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:52 pm


Would you consider this a colony? A 10' by 20' pen that has one buck, one doe, and 5 babies at the moment in it. Oh, the rabbits have also dug a tunnel that is longer than 10 feet long I am positive about that, I think it might actually be longer, the floor is dirt and there is a hutch in there at the moment, I do not know whether to separate the doe and buck or the litter, I don't know what to do about mostly everything! Help me!

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Logan

__________ Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:52 pm __________

I'm looking to sell them for pets or meat, I might consider fur because they are half mini rex.

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Re: Is this a colony and what should I do with it?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:33 pm


If everyone is happy, why do anything? This is a perfectly acceptable way of raising rabbits. Besides making for easy care (one pen to feed, water and clean instead of several cages), it is a nice lifestyle for the rabbits.

Does housed with a buck often breed back the same day they kindle. You may find that it reaches a point where there are litters of three ages in the pen: about 8-10 weeks, about 4-5 weeks and newborns in the nest box. If there are tensions due to overcrowding at this point you may want to remove the oldest litter and finish them in cages or another pen. Pay particular attention as the young bucks begin to mature sexually... there could be fighting among themselves or with the buck.

Is this a colony? It will become one quickly if you do not remove all the young does. Right now I'd call it a family pen, but the terminology is up to you.
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Re: Is this a colony and what should I do with it?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby bigbrologan » Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:38 pm


My popples are half mini rex and another breed I cannot identify, so what do you think I should do with them? Meat or pets or fur?

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Re: Is this a colony and what should I do with it?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:10 pm


They are very cute... so if they are tame and friendly, you could try selling some as pets. If they don't sell, then send them to freezer camp. You can also save the fur... meat and fur kind of go together. If you want the fur, you may want to raise them up to about 18 - 20 weeks. The fur of very young rabbits is not the best and the skins are very thin.

I posted on your topic at HT, but there was an error and I don't think it went through. Your kits are half mini-rex but it will be almost impossible to tell what the other half is, especially if the buck is a mix himself. Just ay they are half mini-rex and be done with it.

If you are serious about raising for meat, you may want to get a larger doe, something like a New Zealand or Californian... or even just a good meat mutt.
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Re: Is this a colony and what should I do with it?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby bigbrologan » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:14 pm


Great thanks, do you think I am doing okay for being a beginner and 12 yrs old

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Re: Is this a colony and what should I do with it?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun Jan 10, 2010 3:57 pm


You're only 12? I never even guessed! I'd say you're doing just fine. I'm sure you still have a lot to learn about caring for rabbits, but you're off to a good start and you're not afraid to ask questions. You communicate very well. :goodjob:


BTW, I liked the way you stood up to the rude person on the other forum! :croc:
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Re: Is this a colony and what should I do with it?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Marian » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:42 am


Well, I'd call it a colony. Untill you know exactly what you are breeding for, you might want to remove the buck. Otherwise you may end up with lots and lots of bunnies and no real plan. Whether you breed for meat, pets or fur (or any combination of the three), it really depends on you and what you want to achieve with your rabbits.

You sound like a very interested and caring rabbit person and that is a good start! I can offer a few ideas. I wouldn't be surprised if you probably have done them all, but I'll mention them just in case something might be helpful.

Pets - Check around and see if there's actually a market. If you have a shelter nearby go see what their rabbit situation is and why the rabbits end up there. That way you can take measures to make sure your sold rabbits don't end up there. I don't sell pet rabbits because the shelter here offers a vet checked, temperment-tested spayed/neutered bunny for $30.00. I can't beat that deal! Do you have a pet breeder anywhere around that you can talk to and get some tips? There's the whole issue of responsible breeders and pet millers, exploring that will help you decide whether the pet market is for you or not.

Meat/Fur. Have you eaten rabbit, has your family? Are you going to do your own butchering and dressing or are there other family members helping you with your rabbit project? Do you know people who would be interested in buying rabbit from you? Do you know the rules and regs for selling rabbit meat in your area or are you planning to sell "farmgate' style? Do you know a meat breeder near you who could offer advice and tips. Perhaps they could help you with your first butcherings and dressings if you've never done it before.

These are just a few things that may help you decide what your goals are for your rabbits. You say you are a beginner but it's not really clear from your post how rabbit-experienced you are or how much research you have done. (I would imagine you've done a great deal) A good book for beginners, IMHO, is Bob Bennet's book on raising meat rabbits, I'd suggest it. It's a good guide to get started. I don't follow all his suggestions, especially about medicating, but the book was indispensible when I started rabbits.

Good Luck and let us know how it is going.

Marian

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Re: Is this a colony and what should I do with it?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby bigbrologan » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:38 pm


Thank you all for your information. And thank you MaggieJ on complimenting me on standing up for myself. I generally do not like it when people are rude to me, so I tend to stand up for what I believe in.

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