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Pairing buns in the same cage, do or don't?

Alternative housing for rabbits in groups.
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Pairing buns in the same cage, do or don't?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby AmberRae » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:51 am


All my buns have their own 30x36 cage. I have always felt bad that they might be lonely. With my experience I know it is safer for them to have their own space though. Lately I have been doing things a little different and would like your opinions. Usually when I mate my buns I put the female in the males cage and once he is done I put her back in her cage. I have noticed though they seem to really like to be together. I have witnessed them grooming each other and always laying closely together. I have been letting the females stay in the males together until she is about 25 days pregnant. Then I remove the male and put him in an empty cage. Then I give the female her nest box and materials. Thus far it has worked out great but do you guys foresee any problems?

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Re: Pairing buns in the same cage, do or don't?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:50 pm


This kind of arrangement may work quite well -- most of the time. The only problem I can see is that a buck may pester the doe with unwanted attempts to mate, in which case the doe may turn on him with disastrous results. Severe injury, castration and even death of the buck can result.

It doesn't happen often, but I remember a case on another forum where a person left the doe with the buck because unexpected company dropped in. They were only together for an hour or so, IIRC, but doe castrated the buck and he died.

In light of this, I think you need to know your rabbits' personalities really well. Some bucks are unrelenting. Some does are less than receptive. Others will work it out without bloodshed and in those cases the individual rabbits may really enjoy being together.

Some members may wonder how this plays out in a colony where the buck is resident. When I established my colony, I put the buck in ahead of the does, so they felt they were on his turf. There was sufficient space that he could not easily corner them and sufficient "furniture" that there were places they could get out of sight. In most cases even the most annoyed doe will respond with flight rather than fight, provided there is opportunity for escape.
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Re: Pairing buns in the same cage, do or don't?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:15 pm


I leave my does a few days with my bucks but no more.

My friend however tends to do what you did leaving the doe with him a long time, but I've once had to clean up a miscarage one of them had at 2 weeks cause she was too stressed cause of the buck.

Like MaggieJ said. If you feel they are fine, you can keep doing it, but make sure the doe doesnt get too stressed is all.

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Re: Pairing buns in the same cage, do or don't?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby AmberRae » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:14 pm


Thanks Maggie, I did think about the bucks pestering the does. I am actually surprised they don't as much as I would have thought. They do the first couple of days and it stops. I will keep an eye out for it for sure. At the very least I wouldn't want the does to feel pestered.
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I have only one time had a doe deliver early and there was no male in her cage. She is actually a very nervous bun so I don't known if that played a part. I have given her an enclosed hutch so she has more privacy and it hasn't happened again. I will defintley moniter everyone closely. Hopefully it I can keep them together. They seem so happy.

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Re: Pairing buns in the same cage, do or don't?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Preitler » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:59 am


Sometimes I keep a doe with the buck for some days, he's always sweet to them, although they get a pronounced yellow tint. Well, at least when he was younger, didn't do that for a while, but he doesn't spray anymore.

All my does live in pairs, and I think the positives far outweight the drawbacks - most of the time. I think some does would be as happy alone, with a litter now and then.
I plan to get one doe neutered and put her with my buck, she would be a free range house bunnie too. Now, she's too bossy, everytime she's hormonell she does stress her room mate out, poor girl.
I try to design the hutches so that they can escape each other, and hide out of view when necessery, but actually it's just this single old doe making problems.

They are mother/daughter pairs, never seperated. Now I try to sell one, neuter the other, and reduce to 2 pairs, still too many, but, well, you know :roll:

One of my older does has runny eyes, tried some things to no avail, as long as she was alone - now the other doe cleans her, and although the eyes are still damp there are no infection or fur loss anymore.
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Re: Pairing buns in the same cage, do or don't?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby a7736100 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:04 pm


I've been trying cage groups. Some all males, some all females and some mixed. Some get along well, others don't and have to be regrouped. One result is no litters even with proven breeders. Another is younger rabbits get starved to the bone. Don't know if the older one eat faster and leave the younger ones wanting. Recently I did get 2 litters out of 7 pairs. One of the does had been in a cage by herself before being place with the buck. So I don't know if being in a group makes them less fertile.

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Re: Pairing buns in the same cage, do or don't?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby akane » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:21 pm


I have found even if it doesn't end in disaster a single doe with a buck nearly always ends up with a highly irritated doe that starts to lash out at everything in minor ways from the buck bothering her. I have only done a few very relaxed, undemanding buck with single does of small breeds in 3x6' or equivalent cages but really 2 or 3 does minimum to a buck is a better idea if you have the appropriate space. Generally rabbits do prefer the ability to take breaks from everyone so when you confine them without the space to ever get away it has a tendency to eventually go wrong. They are social but not 100% of the time and like to define their own space periodically.
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