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Standout breed(s) for ease of keeping a colony?

Alternative housing for rabbits in groups.
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Standout breed(s) for ease of keeping a colony?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Fuzzbuns » Fri Jan 01, 2021 2:57 pm


Thanks to all the contributors here. I've been reading through the colony-related archives and it's been a great help.

I have a couple questions but I'll start with just one in hopes of keeping it simple:

Is there a breed of rabbit that is more likely to successfully get along in a colony setup? I know there are lots of other factors involved that will contribute to success or failure, but I'm just wondering if there is a particularly non aggressive breed that is much easier to keep together? Any size rabbit with reasonable feed conversion and dressout percentage would be considered. I've been looking at silver foxes and American chinchilla on the larger side of the spectrum and Dutch and harlequin on the smaller end (can't seem to find any Florida white sources anywhere near me).

I don't have much space, so I'd probably be looking at housing just two does together....

Thanks all!

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Re: Standout breed(s) for ease of keeping a colony?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Zass » Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:07 am


Instead of breed, it would almost be easier to look for a breeder with a pair of whatever-is-available-locally that already get along pretty well.

I've heard mother/daughter pairs often do OK.

I've kept both breeds, and I can share my experiences, but they won't be the same as others.
Most of my harlis have been pretty good with each other, enough that I don't even hesitate to put most does in with a buck for a few weeks, but I had fur flying when I tried to put a couple does together for my big move across state. (I ran out of small individual pens that would fit in the car, and had to sort them into groups that could get along well enough together to make the 4 hour drive.)

There's a particular firebrand who's on my "first to cull" list cause I live by the quote: "Breed only what you want more of."

In comparison, the silverfoxes I had were NOT my favorite rabbits. Does were never left in with bucks.
They weren't all one line, or even from the same state, but they all kinda acted the same. The bucks were sweet marshmallows, and the does were strait up neurotic.

However, one of my other favorite quote is "the breeder matters more than the breed," and I think that holds true to temperament more than anything. I would ask your local breeders which rabbits they would choose for pairing up in a colony, as they know their lines and individual buns better than anyone. ;)

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Re: Standout breed(s) for ease of keeping a colony?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby caroline » Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:15 am


I totally agree with everything Zass said.
I find that when I leave doe kits in with mom for longer than usual, all seem to get along.
I have even (inadvertently) had a group of them kindle together (one of the "does" turned out to be a buck :( :shock: )
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Re: Standout breed(s) for ease of keeping a colony?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Ghost » Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:16 pm


I would say that in a colony situation temperament is even more of a priority than when rabbits are raised in single-pins. If you are able to get a hold of a founding stalk that came from a colony situation that would make things a bit easier. It can be more of a challenge to raise rabbits that were breed for single-pin life and then breed towards colony life.

I'm not sure what your resources are for colony style rabbits in your area. You might see if the local Tractor Supply (or other retailer) or post office has a board for posting. I've not been to a rabbit show. I know show rabbits don't come from colonies but, you might find someone who raises show and colony rabbits or there maybe a person who knows of someone raising colony rabbits.
You have to do the most good for the most. You must remember that a few won't make it. Don't be ashamed to shed a tear for the ones lost along the way, we will not hold it against you. Just remember "the herd goes on".

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Re: Standout breed(s) for ease of keeping a colony?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Fuzzbuns » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:48 pm


Thank you all for the thoughtful responses.

I happened to come across a breeder raising champagne d Argent does in a colony setting, so perhaps I will go in that direction.

She is breeding primarily for show but tracks her grow out growth rates, so I should be able to tell if the rabbits are gaining well...

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