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growout colony setup?

 
dave arcade
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has anybody had experience with mixing 4-5 litters at 5-6 weeks, up to processing age, in a large outdoor penned area? It would be protected from predators and have shelters. Im wondering if the kits would have trouble with each other? …and what size it would have to be given 30 something growers for 6-7 weeks? Plus a lot of other things
 
Joe Camarena
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99% of the time they will fight. I've tried this twice and both times resulted in a bunny rumble royal. They are very vicious when mixed with another litter. The fur didn't stop flying until I separated the litters. Luckily, for me, one litter was pure NZW and one was Cali/NZW so I could tell them apart easily.

Joe
 
Craig Dobbelyu
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forest garden hugelkultur
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I have combined litters in grow out pens with no trouble so far. I cull once at eight weeks and then combine all the litters in one large grower cage. Often it's kits from three different litters. They stay there for another 2 weeks and then I cull again. Most of the time I just harvest all of them at 10 weeks but right now I'm looking to raise up another couple of does. I'll keep four does from this batch to watch until 4 months old. They get along just fine until it's time to breed.

I think the reason I don't have trouble is that my cages are positioned so that all of the litters are born within sight and smell of each other so they really don't care much once they all end up together. I also don't keep any doe that's aggressive. Biters and scratchers are immediately culled.

I say give it a try and have a back-up plan in case it doesn't go well.
 
dave arcade
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Thanks for the replies. I'd read that they usually won't start fighting until at least 12 weeks. Right now we have a 23 cage setup in a small barn. Room for 3 buck, 10 does, and 10 grow outs…but since getting into rabbits (about a year ago) I've wanted to get them into a more 'natural' setting. After reading about pasture, colonies, etc. I've grown hesitant…wondering if the wire cage is the most humane way to raise them. But still would like to try the large grow out setup, in turn allowing me to have more does eventually. We've got space to have several large settings so that the land could have rest time, and also let goats/sheep graze trough to diversify the land use. Also been looking more into the cages with borrow attachment method. Any and all information is appreciated.
 
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