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Does living (and maybe kindling) together?

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Does living (and maybe kindling) together?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby MidwestMatthew » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:34 pm


I want to add more does but only have room for three cages at the moment. Our buck is in one, so the does will have to share.

Problem is, I introduced our does tonight and they had a fight. Although neither was hurt in the few seconds before I intervened, the one who "owned" the cage was viscous enough that I think she'd have killed the other doe if I'd left them together.

On the other hand, I know some people keep does together in the same cage, so there must be a way to do it. But how do you do it, especially if they're both used to having their own cages?

Also, what happens when one or more does, sharing a cage, is ready to kindle? Do they get removed elsewhere?

Thanks for any ideas!

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Re: Does living (and maybe kindling) together?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:15 pm


Two does in one cage is asking for trouble. Yes, occasionally it can work, but generally those are cases where a doe and her daughter or two sisters are kept together from the beginning. And even then it may go wrong for no apparent reason. Add kindling to the equation and it's a recipe for disaster.

I strongly urge you to give up the idea of keeping them together. You are right that the "owner" of the cage would likely have killed the newcomer. Does are extremely territorial, which is why we take the doe to the buck for mating, instead of bringing the buck to the doe.

Does sharing space can work in a colony, but in a cage it is extremely problematic even in the best of conditions.
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Re: Does living (and maybe kindling) together?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Zass » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:04 pm


Most of the time, I've noticed that people's sucess stories of two rabbits in a cage together usually go something like:

Person: "My does get along just fine."
Me: "Oh that's great, how old are they?"
Person: "4 months. "

Not saying it can't happen, but that it's rare in fully mature does.

As a general rule, two rabbits housed together need a LOT more space then two rabbits housed individually. Think something like 10x the space.

These two does are a good example. They are sisters, always kept together.
In one of my 8 sq foot cages (48x24x18 in) their fights were escalating to the point where I felt the situation was just plain unfair to the less dominant rabbit.

In a 90 sq foot space, they are doing quite well, but I still intend to separate them and have then in the wire cages for kindling. There is just too much that can go wrong when they are together, and I HATE losing kits.
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Re: Does living (and maybe kindling) together?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Rainey » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:05 pm


We've housed 2 does together when they were young and from the same litter and we were confident they were both female until they reached breeding age. Ones we decided not to breed went to freezer camp and any doe bred was given her own cage right after breeding. If you don't have space for each doe to have her own cage, what is your plan for the kits as they grow? If you haven't already bred the does, please don't until you have a plan and space for the resulting rabbits.

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Re: Does living (and maybe kindling) together?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Nika » Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:12 am


I had great luck with sister-sister or sister-mother living together. They were separated during kindling and nursing, but other than that they shared colony or outdoor pen. It went extremly well until they were always "on-sight" - a month of out-of-sight living in different places and they were just two does that don`t get along together at all.

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Re: Does living (and maybe kindling) together?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby MidwestMatthew » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:50 am


Obviously I need to figure out a way to fit more cages into our rabbitry. :(

With the one litter we've had so far, we just kept them all together until processing day. There were only 6 kits left out of a litter of 7 and it was getting pretty crowded by then.

Yep, I just need more room. Will have to put on my thinking-cap to figure out a way though, as space is very limited for us.

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Re: Does living (and maybe kindling) together?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Preitler » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:55 am


Hi,

I keep two does together, each had litters (alternating), it is a 5yo doe and her 2 1/2yo daughter.

They were 3, but the youngest doe got mobbed, had to put her in a seperate cage, but plan to socialise her with the daughter of another doe which is on the shortlist for culling, or, if this doesn't work out keep one of her daughters next year.

It can work, but it needs big cages (mine for these two and the female growouts is 9ft x 2,5ft x 3.5ft with 2 levels and 3 boxes, one big one and 2 nestboxes), big enough to evade each other when one is grumpy, and I think it helps that they have garden time now and then. I always have an eye on their moods, there wasn't a real fight in this group, the third one just got bullied, got depressed and stayed in one of the boxes most of the time, she's much better now (currently with 2 of her growout daughters, 16weeks)

None of this group ever got along with my 4th doe, about 4-5yrs (and has developed serious runny eyes, I'm gathering courage to cull her), I did never try to socialise them, but at accidential meetings all went into fight mode instantly.

Imho it works for me because it's a very small rabbitry, and I can keep an eye on each doe.

Litters were never any problem for the second doe, in the contrary, I have closed nestboxes with a single entrance that gets stuffed and guarded the first 2 weeks, when the kits come out everyone is friendly to them.
Except an older litter, they don't care, they will trample the nest and use it as litterbox, they don't care at all. My solution was to connect another hutch and keep the doe with the others during the day, and put her to her offspring from evening to morning until the younger were mobile enough.

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Re: Does living (and maybe kindling) together?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Nika » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:53 am


Preitler, did you check runnyeye doe teeth? That could be the problem and it might be fixable by a vet (ve know how much she means to you).

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Re: Does living (and maybe kindling) together?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby ButtonsPalace » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:04 pm


I kept my three does together, the oldest at the time was (Buttons, she has sadly passed since) 2 years old and her daughter (Butterball, now 2.5) was 1 year old along with her kid (Harlem, now 1.5) that was about 0 days until she was 6-10 months old, they for a while during the winter were stuck in a tiny 2"x3" cage. None of them got bred during this time, none of them fought, they all would actually cuddle and groom each other. Now that I have more rabbits I've left the youngest of the three (Harlem) is living with her two daughters Obsidian and Onyx (They actually aren't both hers, only one is the other I gave to her from Butterball so that Onyx wouldn't be alone, making them Aunt and Niece) The two little girls are currently 3-4 months old and will be getting their own cages soon because I plan to breed them once they are of age, however I might let them live together until they get a bit bigger... Me having those three does together and not fighting happened by miracle and I think it's because none of them have ever been territorial or at least not that I've noticed.
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