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woah! That experiment went poorly!

Alternative housing for rabbits in groups.
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woah! That experiment went poorly!

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Anntann » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:17 pm


Mama-san and her 2 kits (4 weeks?) live in a double wide (goodness...makes them sound like trailer trash :eek: ) next to Mama-sans daughter from the last litter. Peter is on the other side of Mama. They've lived next to each other for a couple of weeks, sharing hay through the wire, etc. Kits nose the young doe...everything looks just fine.

My colony idea for out at the farm is mama and 2 other does with Peter :) Sounds nice. So this morning I decided to try taking down the panel between the cages. It started out nicely enough. Kits hopped over to check out the new area, YD (young doe) hopped over to see what mama had in her dishes. I'm thinking life is going to go well! <cue the music from Jaws>

YD chased one of the kits a bit..just around out of the way when it tried to sneak under her. No problem, right? Okay...Mama is watching. Kit is fine. Everyone goes on sniffing the new areas. Hay was eaten. Water was drunk. Things are going to be okay. .... maybe.

I go about the business of feeding the chickies (same room) and giving Peter his morning treat when I noticed YD moving over toward Peter's cage. Mama is in the back, watching. <cue the music again...louder this time> YD gets to side of the cage, Peter goes over to say "hi ya ", Mama puts her ears back but stays put. Then a kit hops over to see what's up...YD gives a little growl at the kit..and POW! Like a bit fat black whale , er, shark, Mama strikes from the back of the cage. WHOOOSH!!

Boy howdy! the fur was flying fast and furious there for a few moments. Being HIGHLY intelligent I did not put my hand in there to stop it...Just dumped a little water over them and yelled. They separated and went to opposite corners. I put the wall up again quickly. (so quickly that one of the kits was on the wrong side :rolleyes: )

Needless to say, I'll be rethinking how I go about the Colony thing. Might just start the colony with a couple of new does and let Mama-san have a nice BIG area to herself. :shock:

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Re: woah! That experiment went poorly!

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:18 pm


Mama-san could likely share space with her current kits even when they grow up, provided they are never separated. They've already got the pecking order settled. The problem is that YD is now viewed at a territorial threat... hence the attack.

If you do decide to try them in one colony pen, put YD in first to give her the territorial edge. Then Mama-san will be less likely to see her as an interloper. You'll still have to be careful, of course, but with lots of space and places to hide they will likely work it out.
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Re: woah! That experiment went poorly!

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Brody » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:59 pm


I think one reason my does sorted themselve out so relatively quickly and peacefully was that the babies bounced back and forth between all the moms and aunties with no repect for the boundary lines

I put them together by taking one fence down at a time

Daisy (the oldest doe) is the boss for sure - she lays back her ears and the girl take off

I'm going to set up the summer colony with diviible space I think - I did that lat year and wa pleaed with the flexibility it gave me
“The crafty rabbit has three different entrances to its lair”
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