Patchwork Willow Rabbitry



Q: My rabbit seems lonely, I think he needs a friend...

A: Most likely not, although I love the fact that you would like to give another rabbit into your home. Rabbits are generally solitary creatures, if they do want company they most likely will allow them to be a neighbor in another cage. Although I have seen rabbits in pairs and seem to be best friends, most likely they were introduced when they were young and raised together.

Q: What sex of companion would my bunny most likely enjoy?

A: I don't recommend any companion for rabbits especially those of the same sex. Males have been known to fight/ injure and even KILL when they reach maturity, even if they have been raised together. Females are known to fight the same when reached breeding age. As for a male and a female, the female can grown tired of the males sex drive and injure or kill her companion.

Q: I want to have babies (kits) can I just keep the female in with the male at all times?

A: NO! NO! NO! NO! And again NO! Rabbits have 2 uterus's and can get pregnant back to back. They can get pregnant the day they give birth and 2 weeks later. Rabbits gestation period is only 30- 35 days, and will have anywhere from 2- 15 depending on the breed of rabbit. This activity is very hard on the doe and can cause death. With the doe giving birth every 2 weeks, you will have dead young because the mother will choose which litter to keep alive. 

Q: I want my rabbits to be free and live in a colony setting, what do you suggest??

A: As my experience with colonies haven't been the best, I ONLY keep 1 buck inside with the girls for 2 weeks than I remove for 6-8 weeks. I place many nest boxes inside shelters, make sure there is enough shelter for each rabbit to hide from the other does. Our colony is for meat purposes meaning I don't care which babies and who's as long as I am getting litters. When you get a rabbit for the colony, the doe must be introduced to the other does properly. We place a cage next to the food and in the shelter and put the new rabbit inside, let the other does sniff for about 3-4 hours than release (it is best to do this during the day so you can watch behavior). The general rule of thumb is 3-4 cubic square feet per rabbit added to the colony. I currently have 5 does and PT 1 buck in a colony that is about 24' x 48' with 2 old truck toppers and lots of hiding places. This set up took months of planning and hard work, we buried wire 2 feet down around the edges and secured wire up so babies couldn't squeeze out. This set up took months of learning and trial and error to get where we are now.