A bonded trio. Will it work?

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Cosima

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I have a litter of three does and I’m wondering if I can keep them together. two of the reasons i‘m asking is because they seem quite bonded almost always licking and cuddling (more then the siblings from my other litters) also I might want to keep all three. Could a trio work or only a pair?
 

eco2pia

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If they are under 3-4 months they aren't showing true personalities yet.

For some does, adulthood brings violent territorial tendencies. Do not underestimate this. The number of rabbits you can keep together is best determined by the amount of space they have and whether they stay calm and happy. If they become aggressive it can go from zero to flying fur and blood in minutes if there is no where to go for the loser.

That doesn't always happen but if it does, it's fast, sudden, and it isn't their fault. Hormones are rough. But then you are left with an emergency to deal with. I would plan to separate them and then watch them very closely to see when I had to do it.

If the day never comes, you got lucky. If it does it's almost always your favorite that gets totally beat up.
 

Cosima

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Their 5 or 6 weeks old. If I would keep them together then I would probably have them in a two meter by 50-60 centimeters with two pieces of wood or wire that I can use to separate them at the first sign of fighting. Would that size of cage work?
 

eco2pia

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For the imperialists among us (feet and inches folks) Cosima is describing a pen 3 feet by 6 feet. A nice big hutch/pen to be sure.

This MIGHT be big enough for 2 adults if they liked each other very much, and they did not breed. But this is about the size of one pen for my 8-9lb breeding does. When she has a litter of 8, even this size pen can be crowded.

For something tiny like a holland lop it might also be ok for 3 really lovey bunnies. But if they do not get along, where does the loser GO? They can't get AWAY. So you have Bossy saying "get outta my sight, or I will kill you!" and there is no place out of sight to go.

@Cosima , if you wanted to keep 3 together, ideally they would have a ridiculous amount of space--like 3m x 3m--and it would have lots of tunnels and hidey holes and places to get out of sight even then. Once they have been together a long time, like a year, with no fights, you could probably put them in a smaller space. But it would be still up to the rabbits. They have distinct personalities--just like dogs. I could put 6 dogs in a room with no problems, and then put 2 in a 1 acre yard and have them kill each other.

I am not saying it is impossible, I am saying NO ONE here wants to say "oh sure, no problem" because it absolutely can be a problem. You are not gone at work 8-9 hours a day, so you actually have a better chance of trying this out successfully than some of us! I can't watch mine every minute and I would not want to worry constantly or come home to a rabbit with its ears in ribbons--and I HAVE once, so it is a real thing that can happen. I just want you to be successful, and this idea has a significant possibility of failure. You just need to be smart about this and be prepared for that outcome.

@hotzcatz has rabbits in semi communal housing like you are describing, and their rabbits are smaller than mine. You may want to follow them and check out their posts for ideas on how to manage that.

Editing to add: ok, 3m x3m can hold a lot more than 3 rabbits. But the point is that then if someone gets grumpy there is somewhere to run, becasue that is how a rabbit deals with conflict. Ideally they don't need to run--so the only way this works is fi you can really watch them pretty closely and watch for aggression signs before things escalate to the point of injury. I had 2 does in a 3m x 3m pen for 10 minutes and had to rescue one before it was kicked to death. I have even had them go after each other in a 10m x 20m back yard. Maybe my rabbits are antisocial or something...
 
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Cosima

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I am not saying it is impossible, I am saying NO ONE here wants to say "oh sure, no problem" because it absolutely can be a problem. You are not gone at work 8-9 hours a day, so you actually have a better chance of trying this out successfully than some of us! I can't watch mine every minute and I would not want to worry constantly or come home to a rabbit with its ears in ribbons--and I HAVE once, so it is a real thing that can happen. I just want you to be successful, and this idea has a significant possibility of failure. You just need to be smart about this and be prepared for that outcome.
I have every intention to be prepared and the moment I see pulled fur (unless their making a nest) they will be separat.
one for the reasons I think it might work is because I have kept a doe and a buck together and it work (the doe was the three kits mother).

For something tiny like a holland lop it might also be ok for 3 really lovey bunnies. But if they do not get along, where does the loser GO? They can't get AWAY. So you have Bossy saying "get outta my sight, or I will kill you!" and there is no place out of sight to go.
They would at lest be some elevated platforms for the rabbits to hide.
 

hotzcatz

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There's an assorted pile of does here who share space. Anywhere from six to sixteen at any particular time and they're in a 1 meter by 3.1 meter space. They do have boxes and ledges to hide in and jump up on. Their hutch is also about 1 meter high so they have headroom to jump and be up on boxes. It may be because there's so many of them that not any particular bunny gets picked on. Sometimes a doe will decide to be head bunny and then there will be some chasing around, but there's places to hide so nothing serious ever happens. We've been keeping them like this for about ten years. About the only problem we've had was one really shy doe who didn't keep weight on her since she wouldn't get to the food dish until it was empty. She did much better in her own space but in general, they do fine in groups. Well, at least, ours do, but they're English angora and pretty mellow. We also shift them around to different spaces about every other month or so, perhaps that lets everyone think they're all sharing the space? Bunnies are pretty scent oriented.
 

Cosima

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I think I’m only going to keep 2 (only if their really good together) or 1 rabbit\rabbits together other wise they will take to much space (other than 3- month old kits) and some of my rabbits seem like they will be friendly to other rabbits of the same gender but I’m not sure and would prefer not to have two rabbits fighting. I have almost managed to not have any problems with my rabbits and I really don’t need probably one of my favorite rabbits injured.
 
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