Breeding sister and mother daughter pairs?

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Mini Lop Mama

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I have a large colony of doe rabbits of different breeds. There is always a "queen Bee" and occasionally they will tuffle for that title but they always settle down. Now I'm not saying they would do well together in a smaller cage but in a large enough space they do fine. They have their pecking order just like chickens but once that order is established there are no problems. One day there may be problems but as of now just an occasional tuft of fur is all I ever see. I do check them constantly as I am very hands on but the little ones never bother the big ones and vice versa. I keep all bucks that are of age separated but will house them together up to 4 months old
How many does have you kept together at once?
 

Preitler

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Has anyone ever successfully kept a sister pair of rabbits or mother daughter pair together? If so, give us some more information on your experience! Or if you have not, but have an opinion, let us know!
That's the way I do it. Now I'm down to one breeding pair, and my retired pair (10 and 8). They are mother/daughter pairs. My buck (free roam house bunny) got one of his daughters spayed as cuddlebun, well, by now it's a different buck.

I keep doelings up to 5 months with the does, and I can see then how their characters turn out and who gets along with mom best, if the need to keep a new breeding doe arises it's an easy pick.

My breeding does, Chantal and Ruth, are 3 and 4 right now, so there should be some more productive years ( litters get smaller, but that's ok)., but I think I'm going to keep one doeling when one of my seniors dies, not sure if a make 2 pairs again or if I try to merge them into a quartet.

Pairs work fine for me, but my setup evolved around that way of keeping rabbits, they are out in the garden during daytime and when there are any kits each pair has at least 2 hutches, connected with tunnels. 3 hutches if there are 2 or more litters with significant age differences of more than 2 weeks.

The reason behind all that is that most of my satisfaction from breeding rabbits comes from seeing them interact, and interacting with them, the meat is a bonus. Also, for me it's easier, less work, less feeders to fill up and I only need three fenced garden plots to keep the groups apart (bucklings get outside during the night, I don't risk having them out at the same time as the does anymore, Buck and his girl are in the front yard which is sufficiently well seperated)
 

Mini Lop Mama

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That's the way I do it. Now I'm down to one breeding pair, and my retired pair (10 and 8). They are mother/daughter pairs. My buck (free roam house bunny) got one of his daughters spayed as cuddlebun, well, by now it's a different buck.

I keep doelings up to 5 months with the does, and I can see then how their characters turn out and who gets along with mom best, if the need to keep a new breeding doe arises it's an easy pick.

My breeding does, Chantal and Ruth, are 3 and 4 right now, so there should be some more productive years ( litters get smaller, but that's ok)., but I think I'm going to keep one doeling when one of my seniors dies, not sure if a make 2 pairs again or if I try to merge them into a quartet.

Pairs work fine for me, but my setup evolved around that way of keeping rabbits, they are out in the garden during daytime and when there are any kits each pair has at least 2 hutches, connected with tunnels. 3 hutches if there are 2 or more litters with significant age differences of more than 2 weeks.

The reason behind all that is that most of my satisfaction from breeding rabbits comes from seeing them interact, and interacting with them, the meat is a bonus. Also, for me it's easier, less work, less feeders to fill up and I only need three fenced garden plots to keep the groups apart (bucklings get outside during the night, I don't risk having them out at the same time as the does anymore, Buck and his girl are in the front yard which is sufficiently well seperated)
Awesome to hear this! Thank you!
 

northernnevadahollandlops

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I have a bonded sister pair that lived together with their neutered brother for a year with no problems. They are currently separated. One now bonded with her daughter (she has since had and weaned a litter with her daughter in the pen. I also attempted to put two of her adult nieces who came back to me due to an allergy and the mother daughter pair accepted the new pair well. I can put all four in a big pen together, but not in their smaller cage...the new ones get frantic. Planning to breed the daughter and keep her with her mom to help raise the babies 🤞🏼. My other adult doe is weaning a litter and I'm planning to keep one of the girls to bond with her. The neutered male will go back with her after the babies leave (he's a jerk and picks on everyone but his sisters).
 

Mini Lop Mama

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I have a bonded sister pair that lived together with their neutered brother for a year with no problems. They are currently separated. One now bonded with her daughter (she has since had and weaned a litter with her daughter in the pen. I also attempted to put two of her adult nieces who came back to me due to an allergy and the mother daughter pair accepted the new pair well. I can put all four in a big pen together, but not in their smaller cage...the new ones get frantic. Planning to breed the daughter and keep her with her mom to help raise the babies 🤞🏼. My other adult doe is weaning a litter and I'm planning to keep one of the girls to bond with her. The neutered male will go back with her after the babies leave (he's a jerk and picks on everyone but his sisters).
Great to hear this! So how many does are you keeping together?
 

northernnevadahollandlops

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Great to hear this! So how many does are you keeping together?
Two pairs (mother/daughter and 2 sisters from another dame, but they could go back and forth when they were babies, so they know my other doe) kept separately except for during lawn time. currently. But hoping be able to put all my does together in a large free roam enclosure at some point. When we started I had two does and a buck together and would breed the girls at the same time. That was my favorite, watching them interact. seems like a really happy life for them.
 

KelleyBee

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anytime you have two rabbits together things can go badly.

I've seen colony rabbits with torn ears, bites, and more.
They can be totally fine, and then totally not fine.

I have learned that sometimes things can go very good for a very long time and owners will rarely, if ever see a problem, and then things can go badly quickly.

But I've rescued tons of "pairs" over the years and 9 times out of 10 one of the pair will have scratch or bite marks that their people missed. I separate pairs fairly quickly, the dominant sulks, the beaten up breathes a sigh of relief. So I always tell people, watch them, as long as they are fine, let them be fine. But be hands on, watch for tufts of fur, and separate sooner than later.
I’ve found separation by 12 weeks to be best. By 8 weeks, ideal.
 

hotzcatz

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We've just downsized to only 16 buns at the moment. Previously there were about thirty eight or so of them. Six bucks and the rest were does. The does all lived together in a big two layer hutch. Ten feet by three feet (about 3.1 x 1 meters) Half on the top layer, half on the bottom layer. About every other month, they all get taken out of the big hutch for a cleaning and then they're put back in, but not necessarily in the same level and with the same hutchmates. A doe will have her own space if she's expecting a litter and once the little ones are about three or four months old, they're in with the doe herd. That is, if they're a doe. If they're a buck, they live in their own space. All bucks - except Phineas Phogge - live in their own space. Phin is gone now from old age, but the other bucks would figure out some way to get in with him just to hang out with him. I haven't a clue why.

These are all English angora, though. They're a pretty mellow breed so that may have something to do with it. The doe herd also has boxes to hide in and ledges to jump up on if some diva wants to romp around the hutch but there's so many other rabbits for them to interact with that nobody in particular seems to be picked on.

Now there's only sixteen rabbits with four of them being male. The boys will be in their own space and then there will only be six female rabbits per level instead of the previous sixteen per level. Much more room for them, it will be interesting to see if the dynamic changes.
 

Mini Lop Mama

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We've just downsized to only 16 buns at the moment. Previously there were about thirty eight or so of them. Six bucks and the rest were does. The does all lived together in a big two layer hutch. Ten feet by three feet (about 3.1 x 1 meters) Half on the top layer, half on the bottom layer. About every other month, they all get taken out of the big hutch for a cleaning and then they're put back in, but not necessarily in the same level and with the same hutchmates. A doe will have her own space if she's expecting a litter and once the little ones are about three or four months old, they're in with the doe herd. That is, if they're a doe. If they're a buck, they live in their own space. All bucks - except Phineas Phogge - live in their own space. Phin is gone now from old age, but the other bucks would figure out some way to get in with him just to hang out with him. I haven't a clue why.

These are all English angora, though. They're a pretty mellow breed so that may have something to do with it. The doe herd also has boxes to hide in and ledges to jump up on if some diva wants to romp around the hutch but there's so many other rabbits for them to interact with that nobody in particular seems to be picked on.

Now there's only sixteen rabbits with four of them being male. The boys will be in their own space and then there will only be six female rabbits per level instead of the previous sixteen per level. Much more room for them, it will be interesting to see if the dynamic changes.
How would you integrate the does? Just throw them in together and let them figure it out?
 

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