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trouble with colony system need advice

 
joe craw
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We moved our hutch rabbits into an on the ground rabbit area. The breeding females are in the center pen which is 5 x 20 and has roofing tin buried vertically around the peremeter to a depth of 3 feet. The male area has a chain link floor with dirt on top. Since moving to this system one of the does has consistently eaten her young and the young of the other does. The babies have burrowed under the 3 foot tin. So it is pretty much a failure. I have read that canabalism is a reaction to fear so we skirted the pen to a height of 24 inches to add a visual barrier. This did not help. We have now seperating the cannibal back into a raised hutch by herself. We are thinking of wiring the floor of the brood hutch. It is all been rather discouraging. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
 
kadence blevins
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not all rabbits are fit for colony life. rabbits nature is not to be communal in a defined area but rather to be spread out over a very broad area and only meet up for breeding or fighting for territory.

if you really want to do a colony you really need solid bottom. I see a lot of good things from cement bottom colonies and using deep bedding system.

you will have to work through to figure out which rabbits will work in a colony setting. this is why it is most suggested to start with a male/female pair of rabbits and keep back does from the litters to expand.

personally I have not done a colony and it seems a lot of people doing it their reasons are all very humanized ideals of what rabbits feel and want.. and most of it is untrue to rabbits behavior.

that said I am in the process of planning and building a colony that will be basically a giant sprawling wood and wire hutch.

something else to remember is that certain rabbits will not get along with any other rabbits at all period. while other rabbits will be very friendly to any person or rabbit they meet.

how many rabbits do you have?

how old are they?

have they been raised on their own in cages their whole life?


as to the 'cannibal doe' I am thinking there is something else going on. it is rare to find a doe who will just eat all the kits from her litters for no reason.

what do you have for hiding spots?

what do you have for nests?

is there areas where rabbits can hide or get up away from the other rabbits to separate themselves out for alone time?
 
joe craw
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how many rabbits do you have?
3 does one buck
how old are they?
1 and 1/2 years for the older two 6 months for the fine young cannibal

have they been raised on their own in cages their whole life?

The older two shared a cage the younger was in an adjoining cage with a shared wire wall.


as to the 'cannibal doe' I am thinking there is something else going on. it is rare to find a doe who will just eat all the kits from her litters for no reason.

what do you have for hiding spots?

Besides their warren I have put couple of plastice bins with lids in the ground for alone time.

what do you have for nests?

Just the ones they make

is there areas where rabbits can hide or get up away from the other rabbits to separate themselves out for alone time?
In the warren and in the bins.
 
jimmy gallop
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try adding salt to her diet when I had rabbits they always did this if I didn't add salt to there food.
When I put there feed out I would sprinkle a little water on there food and salt it so they had to eat it.
 
joe craw
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We figured out it was rats the whole time. Last week i noticed that the buck kept pulling his food out of the feeder onto the ground then he started shitting on top of it. After a closure inspection I realized the poop was a giant rat turd. We got hardware cloth and dug down a few inches laid this and covered it back up paying close attention to the edges and overlaps. This held for a few days before the poop started showing back up. The walls are hardware cloth for the first 3 feet then switch to 2" chicken wire. So that's not going to keep them out unless we redo it. Right now I'm opting for poison if I can get the land mates on board. Man i really hate some rats.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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