Hutch division/sharing questions

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CanineWild

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Not entirely sure this is the right forum, but I'll go ahead anyways-

I'm making a bunch of hutches as I want to get rabbits, probably in the spring. Was supposed to this year but those plans fell through. I have one long wooden one, about 8 feet long and 30" deep, that I can divide into half (or thirds, though I want to keep the cages pretty nice and big at this point as I'll be largely sticking to three breeders and I'd like to give them as much as I can). A smaller hutch is seperate for a buck. The style is similar to what hotzcatz has posted here before if you need an image (though mine are built from scraps so not so pretty! XD)

So I was basically wondering, would a pair of females, if they got along of course, typically be ok sharing a nice long hutch and raising litters (one at a time mostly) together without a divider? I think it would be nice to let them have full access to the whole thing together, which I'd imagine to be plenty of room for two does and a single litter, I just don't know how the rabbits would feel about it!

Also, not sure if I should have a seperate hutch to seperate the growouts or at least the young males, or periodically just give them a third of the 8' hutch with a divider. Would that size be reasonable? Around 30x36 would be that third, leaving the two adults, plus or minus young females 30x72 to share. (The reason I'd consider keeping the young males apart is that, as I intend to feed as much forage as possible, I expect a longer growout time and don't need any secret breedings!)

Let me know if I didn't explain anything clearly enough. I'd love a little advice!
 

Cosima

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I would definitely separate the young bucks. 30 by 36 inches is definitely a enough for growout bucks and 30 by 72 is ginormous. everything with your hutch seems good to me.
 

RabbitsOfTheCreek

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It seems dangerous to put two Does with no dividers, they could attack each other and the kits, and if the Kits look similar but are from different moms you could easily get them confused
 

CanineWild

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I'm not too concerned about mixing up kits, as I'd very rarely have more than one litter at a time going, or at least, they'd be very staggered. The meats just for me and the occasional gift- illegal to sell it here unfortunately. My idea was to only do this if the does were already well known to eachother and got along, similar to a lot of multi-rabbit homes I see around. Of course, large hutch or not, it's a lot smaller than a house. Would motherhood and/or smaller spaces make does more likely to fight, or if they are friends, will they likely stay friends?

Thanks both!
 

Preitler

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I keep my does in 2 pairs, because they are social animals and I only see benefits.

My pairs are mother-daughter pairs, for that I keep the doelings up to 5-6 months with the doe, and select one that gets along well with mum and has a nice character. This reduces the chances of trying to bond incompatible characters - like two prime Alphas like my Fury and late Magda.
Also, my now retired older buck has one of his spayed daughters as cuddlebun (They are my free raom house rabbits)

I try to breed both does simultaniously, give 2 nestboxes and divide the hutch when the second doe is about to kindle, for 1-2 days, so she uses the right nestbox. They still get garden time together.
When having kits they have other things on their minds than disputes, and when not they enjoy the company. It's not always sunshine, but nothing serious. When just one doe has a litter the second becomes a great stepmom, taking some stress from the mother. I'm pretty sure one even started to lactate.
Sometimes more attention and measures are needed, like when the litters are weeks apart I need to put in barriers the kits can't cross so they don't trample the other nest and raid the milk buffet there, I enjoy working with the animals, their quirks and moods.

My setup is so that I connect 2 hutches with a tunnel, so I can easily divide it, and if they feel like it they can get out of each others sight. As mentioned, mine also get some hours garden time, but even when this is not possible I never had a problem with my pairs. Trio didn't work out because the 3rd doe was too submissive and got bullied.
I get a lot of the satisfaction raising rabbits brings from just watching them interact.
 

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CanineWild

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I keep my does in 2 pairs, because they are social animals and I only see benefits.

My pairs are mother-daughter pairs, for that I keep the doelings up to 5-6 months with the doe, and select one that gets along well with mum and has a nice character. This reduces the chances of trying to bond incompatible characters - like two prime Alphas like my Fury and late Magda.
Also, my now retired older buck has one of his spayed daughters as cuddlebun (They are my free raom house rabbits)

I try to breed both does simultaniously, give 2 nestboxes and divide the hutch when the second doe is about to kindle, for 1-2 days, so she uses the right nestbox. They still get garden time together.
When having kits they have other things on their minds than disputes, and when not they enjoy the company. It's not always sunshine, but nothing serious. When just one doe has a litter the second becomes a great stepmom, taking some stress from the mother. I'm pretty sure one even started to lactate.
Sometimes more attention and measures are needed, like when the litters are weeks apart I need to put in barriers the kits can't cross so they don't trample the other nest and raid the milk buffet there, I enjoy working with the animals, their quirks and moods.

My setup is so that I connect 2 hutches with a tunnel, so I can easily divide it, and if they feel like it they can get out of each others sight. As mentioned, mine also get some hours garden time, but even when this is not possible I never had a problem with my pairs. Trio didn't work out because the 3rd doe was too submissive and got bullied.
I get a lot of the satisfaction raising rabbits brings from just watching them interact.
Oh perfect, that's the exact sort of thing I was hoping was possible!! I see how much buns seem to often bond in pet homes and that, that I really wanted to find a way to get those social benefits.

I think then I'll probably try something similar to you- get two does that are already a pair like that, or possibly even one, and wait till I get a nice daughter friend that I like for her. We'll see what looks reasonable when I go to purchase breeders.

I hadn't thought of the possibility of older kits on the rampage either, so I'll definitely keep that in mind for the future!
 

northernnevadahollandlops

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I agree with prieitler. I keep two does together and all their babies and it's a beautiful thing. both are very attentive mamas until the kits are hopping around and even then, one doe will let any kit feed from her at times. It is helpful to breed at the same time in case one doe needs to foster or one litter is a lot bigger than the other then you can redistribute the kits to even it up. We haven't had any serious fights, just some chasing of the older juniors before they sell.
 

CanineWild

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I agree with prieitler. I keep two does together and all their babies and it's a beautiful thing. both are very attentive mamas until the kits are hopping around and even then, one doe will let any kit feed from her at times. It is helpful to breed at the same time in case one doe needs to foster or one litter is a lot bigger than the other then you can redistribute the kits to even it up. We haven't had any serious fights, just some chasing of the older juniors before they sell.
Oh ya, that's a good point about the sharing of kits and that. I hadn't considered it. Thanks, I'll definitely consider that- I mean it's not as if I can't put extra meat away in the freezer or anything ;)
 

RabbitsOfTheCreek

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I keep my does in 2 pairs, because they are social animals and I only see benefits.

My pairs are mother-daughter pairs, for that I keep the doelings up to 5-6 months with the doe, and select one that gets along well with mum and has a nice character. This reduces the chances of trying to bond incompatible characters - like two prime Alphas like my Fury and late Magda.
Also, my now retired older buck has one of his spayed daughters as cuddlebun (They are my free raom house rabbits)

I try to breed both does simultaniously, give 2 nestboxes and divide the hutch when the second doe is about to kindle, for 1-2 days, so she uses the right nestbox. They still get garden time together.
When having kits they have other things on their minds than disputes, and when not they enjoy the company. It's not always sunshine, but nothing serious. When just one doe has a litter the second becomes a great stepmom, taking some stress from the mother. I'm pretty sure one even started to lactate.
Sometimes more attention and measures are needed, like when the litters are weeks apart I need to put in barriers the kits can't cross so they don't trample the other nest and raid the milk buffet there, I enjoy working with the animals, their quirks and moods.

My setup is so that I connect 2 hutches with a tunnel, so I can easily divide it, and if they feel like it they can get out of each others sight. As mentioned, mine also get some hours garden time, but even when this is not possible I never had a problem with my pairs. Trio didn't work out because the 3rd doe was too submissive and got bullied.
I get a lot of the satisfaction raising rabbits brings from just watching them interact.
*sob* I have small rabbits and they don't get along with others when they grow up
 

MnCanary

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I've got a doe that tries to roust any other doe that I try to cage with her. And another doe that is fine with roommates. You won't know ahead of time if two rabbits will get along or if they will fight.
 
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I have two does, sisters that I'm going to separate because the one is obviously hogging all the food and not letting the other get an equal share. 14 weeks. It is reflecting in the second doe's weight.
 

eco2pia

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The mother daughter or sister pairs are the best. They typically wont hurt kits regardless, in my experience, but territorial does will definitely go for another adult doe if she rubs her the wrong way. Hence the younger the better for setting them up.

You will definitely want growouts though, My cages are 10 square feet, and a mom and 5 youngsters is plenty crowded, they need to be split up by 8 weeks. I probably wont butcher until at least 12-16 weeks, so that is another month or so that I would need to house at least the boys. My rabbitry is set up for exactly that, with one extra 10 square foot cage. In summer I can ramp up and have outdoor tractors also if I like.
 

Preitler

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Yes, I too have mother-daughter pairs. I keep doelings with the dams for 5-6 months, and watch them closly who gets along best with the others. Troublemakers get an invitation for dinner.

Mine spend a lot of the day outside, so they are quite tired out, and my hutches are rather big and well structured, about 5mx0.8m, 2-3 levels, dividers and hidey houses.

Since I mostly just feed forage it takes 5-6 months to get to a good weight. I get nervous with the boys then, so they go first.

(edit: just noticed I'm reapeating myself in this thread :D)
 
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hotzcatz

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The herd here is currently 25 rabbits, eight of whom are males, they mostly live by themselves although for some reason there's always a buck who wants to live with Phineas Phogge. I have no idea why, but if he's by himself some other buck (it's been two different ones) will manage to figure out a way to get into his space and hang out with him. They - for some completely unknown reason - don't fight. There's also a pair of young bucks who are now eight months old who are cohabitating peacefully. They are not the norm, however, so shouldn't be planned for. Generally each buck has his own space from the time he's about five months old.

Now, the doe herd is an entirely different matter. There's sixteen of them and they can pretty much be mixed and matched - especially if they are all put into somewhere new. The herd gets sorted different ways and usually before changing the buns around, they will all be out in their exercise corral. Then the hutch is cleaned and then everybun is put back and not necessarily all in the same space they were in before. Possibly because there's generally about six of them per level, they're used to sharing in groups and even if one wants to be a diva, there's enough others to let the diva be a diva without bothering any one other rabbit excessively.

When keeping them in groups, make sure everybun is getting enough feed. Sometimes a shy one won't get as much as they should. Also watch for a diva who picks on a specific other bunny. Then those particular ones should live in separate spaces.

Baby buns can be shifted from one nest to another, AFAIK, mum buns can't count very well. The babies can be marked with a Sharpie marker if you want to keep them organized as to who's is who's. Generally, several does will be bred at the same time so they will all kindle within days of each other. If one doe has a huge litter, some can be sorted out to the other does who don't have as many. Although, the buns here are English angora, they don't usually have a particularly large litter.
 
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