Anyone successfully raise meat rabbits in a colony?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by AchesonAcres, Oct 11, 2017 at 12:25 PM.

  1. AchesonAcres

    AchesonAcres Well-Known Member

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    Last week, I put our breeding pair into our old chicken coop after modifying the run to make it "rabbit proof". Here is a brief description of the set up:
    I laid fencing down through the chicken run so they aren't able to dig out. I also created several hidey-holes, areas they can climb into/onto/under/through. Food and water is in the coop itself where they have access to shelter. They are still fed pellets as well as fresh greens. The floor of the coop is covered in a layer of wood chips and straw which I will clean out as needed when it is soiled. i have also placed the doe's nest box in the coop as well, should she choose to use it. I haven't completely decided if I will remove/separate the buck once the doe kindles, or try a more intensive breeding approach and leave them together.

    Has anyone used a colony set-up for raising rabbits? Any successes? Any failures? Any suggestions?
     
  2. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hello, I will reply even though I have never or never plan to raise in a colony. I have read a lot on this and some like it, Most do not. Some do colonies so they do not have to clean cages etc. In area's with harsh winters---a colony might be better??
    I like to control breed----when "I" want. I rather them not be on the dirt(seems to be more sickness from my reading) and rather be able to handle the new born when I want---not have to chase rabbits. SO I built a 20 hole rabbitery that is easy to clean----just minutes a week---automatic waterers except for the few freezing days we have. Does not smell, just a Good Working rabbitery.
     
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  3. AchesonAcres

    AchesonAcres Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your input, Fire-Man! I'm envious of your ability to craft a rabbitery that works for you. Sadly, neither my husband or I have much in the way of carpentry skills (I'd post a pic of our first "chicken coop", but that would be embarrassing). Currently, the rabbits have access to the chicken run but aren't directly on the ground. There is a layer of wire followed by a layer of straw. In my perfect world, the grass would grow up through the wire in the spring, we'll see......

    Handling the kits may be an issue and I'm not sure how I will deal with that. Maybe, since we haven't had a litter in a while, my kids will be more eager to play with them/interact with them (as long as I don't tell or ask them to! :rolleyes:)

    This is a rabbit experiment, and I will try and post updates as it goes along. Thank you again for the response! :)
     
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  4. Lookin4GoodLife

    Lookin4GoodLife Well-Known Member

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    Use the search function here, several people have had success with raising in a colony. Most have not, though, I think. Some here, I can't remember who it was, used one of their barn stalls with a concrete floor. They just put out big piles of hay and the rabbits burrowed in the hay and built their tunnels and what-not. Don't know if it was a success long-term or not.
     
  5. jimmy588

    jimmy588 Well-Known Member

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    I've had problems with mites and upset tummies when I started, you have to raise them from time they get off momma's teet to eat grass like that or their gonna get diarrhea
     
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  6. Forcast

    Forcast Well-Known Member

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    I had some escapees they dug holes and tunnels under my coops. Pain in the bt to catch when you need to. Holes to fall in are not great.
     
  7. jimmy588

    jimmy588 Well-Known Member

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    Put some wire on the bottom of cage small enough they can't get out but big enough grass does. Like a 3" x 2" or so
     
  8. Fire-Man

    Fire-Man Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We are replying to a Colony set-up---you said "cage"---do you mean "pen/run"?

    If I was going to do a colony---I would scoop out a lot of dirt, place chain linked wire down then pile a lot of dirt on top---so they could dig(to the wire)---but I do not want a colony.
     
  9. jimmy588

    jimmy588 Well-Known Member

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  10. AchesonAcres

    AchesonAcres Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the colony is in an old chicken coop with a fenced chicken run. I put more fencing down on the ground inside the run to prevent the rabbits from digging out. Maybe in the spring I'll be motivated to dig it out a bit and follow the suggestion from Fire-Man with dirt on top of the chain-link.
     
  11. jimmy588

    jimmy588 Well-Known Member

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    That works, just remember where you put it