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Colony question..

Alternative housing for rabbits in groups.
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Colony question..

Post Number:#1  Unread postby DevonW » Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:26 pm


This has always bugged me about colonies, I find the easiest way to tell that there is something wrong with the rabbit is it's not eating or drinking or pooping. And when that happens you know something is wrong and can fix it before it gets out of control. In a colony setting how can you tell who is eating and drinking what? Or who did what poops? How can you tell there is something wrong before it can't be fixed?

I've been contemplating the idea of a meat colony, but it's that one aspect that is preventing me from following through.
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Re: Colony question..

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:02 am


It's a good question. I think it is important to watch for anything that looks "off". A rabbit that does not come forward at feeding time. A batch of wet poops. You may not know which rabbit has a problem at first glance, but once you know something is amiss it will not be difficult to track it down. I've never maintained a breeding colony, but I have sometimes housed my does together in a colony pen over the winter. I did not find observing them to be any harder than when they were in individual cages. In a very large colony where the rabbits burrow, this would be more difficult.
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Re: Colony question..

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Brody » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:30 am


I know my rabbits very well before I ever group house them
i pick every rabbit up at least every other day and have a look at each, as an individual, every day
I know where my rabbits sit and hang out and if a waterer in that area is more full than usual I have been known to either watch for bunny under suspicion drinking or pull them over night to see what's happening (make sure there are droppings etc) I have a double starter cage set up right beside the group

It is the downside to colonies to my mind for sure but of a group of rabbits I got this fall one was quite ill when she arrived ... I was most worried about her in the group setting but she is totally thriving

I think vigilance can be a problem in any setting - I know a lady who surrendered her DyING rabbit to a shelter saying - the last week with him has been lovely I haven't had to clean the cage once - DOH!
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Re: Colony question..

Post Number:#4  Unread postby McIntosh Rabbitry » Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:33 pm


I had a colony last summer of 12 does. But I also had them in our pony stall. I never had a problem. But I was checking every rabbit every other day. I did find that it did coast me more to do this as I was putting more feed in there so that everyone got feed. I was using 3 large size ruber horse feed buckets. And putting 1 and 1/2 scoop of feed 2 times a day. Now that is a live stock feed scoop. and I had 4 of the same with water. I also was gioving them 2 flakes of hay a day. And just spred it out in piles. Then for breeding I only put open does in there to start then 2 weeks in I put a buck in for a week. I think 9 or 10 does had babies. the 2 that did not where not allowed by the other rabbits around the babies until they where a week old. then it was like mice or rats and they all looked after every ones babies. It was kind of neat to see. I think I will try this again but I need to find a defernt way for feed.

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