Rabbit Intentional Community

@Marjory Wildcraft I heard you speak about keeping your rabbits all together. Do you have a video about how you do it? How does that work for breeding? Next I am doing meat rabbits, starting with fiber rabbits. I have four two and a half month old pedigree French angora rabbits that are sisters and they are still together, hoping to get some males with legs for breeding and others, hoping to sell the babies. Next perhaps a meat breed, like New Zeelands. How would you recommend setting things up? They are going to outgrow this Rabbitry I guess? Thank you in advance!



  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 1,938 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am considering adding rabbits, so would be interested in this information as well.

  • heirlooms777
    heirlooms777 Posts: 208 ✭✭✭

    Does anyone know if it is better to keep rabbits in single hutches or in communities? Thanks!

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @heirlooms777 There is more fighting in a community, especially between bucks and you can tell if a doe is pregnant. She will bite to keep other does away. I raised my rabbits in a community when I was a teen. If they have enough space, it usually works out well. And places to hide or be alone. If raising for selling fur, I might do single cages. As for any pregnant does, they should be in a hutch for safety of their kits.

    Lately I have raised rabbits in single cages when they are older. I feel kind of bad. It limits their socialization and life like a rabbit. I only have one rabbit now. If I had more, I would probably have more in one pen or raise in a community.

    Both ways have advantages and disadvantages.

  • heirlooms777
    heirlooms777 Posts: 208 ✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie Mine are finer rabbits, but I want to do whatever is best for them. My fiber-rabbit friend said that since they are all sisters raised together they might be able to live all together all their lives, and I heard European rabbits are social animals, unlike American rabbits, which are isolationists. Yet as they get older (they are three months), they seem to need to be alone. Still trying to figure things out. —Christina

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @heirlooms777 Since they were raised together I think they will do fine. Try it. I had three, one mother and two kits a few years ago that lived together and did fine.

  • heirlooms777
    heirlooms777 Posts: 208 ✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie thank you. I think I will try to keep the three sisters together! —Christina

  • heirlooms777
    heirlooms777 Posts: 208 ✭✭✭

    I guess it’s called colony rabbits. Stumbled on this and it is quite amazing. I hope to do this. Curious if @Marjory Wildcraft had any luck adding a local wild rabbit with her rabbits 🐇🐇🐇🐇

    Thank you, Marjorie. This work and reality ALL your work and the group’s work is quite amazing. —Christina

    @Monek Marie

  • Marjory Wildcraft
    Marjory Wildcraft Posts: 1,541 admin

    Hi @heirlooms777 had a good laugh about the concept of a "rabbit intentional community"...

    I tried a few times to 'domesticate' the local wild cottontail rabbits. People often find the babies and some were given to me. Like other projects it wasn't successful for the first few attempts. The babies usually arrived very traumatized. One time after carefully nursing a baby cottontail for a few weeks and getting it healthy again, a big snake got into the cage and ate the baby. Yikes! Life is too real sometimes...

    I had also thought it could be good to try and breed back in some wildness into the domesticated rabbits - like the new zealand whites, californias, rex's. The wild ones are so much better at foraging, heat tolerance, etc. But it turns out they aren't exactly in the same genetic groups and breeding wild cotton tails with the regular meat rabbits won't work.

    They have different behaviors too. The domesticated meat rabbit love to dig while the cottontails may scratch around a bit, they don't dig tunnels. I was also hoping to get that trait of not digging as it makes keeping a colony so much easier if they don't dig.

    I didn't far enough into the genetics research to see if there were some breeds that could be cross bred.

    I thought about trying to keep a colony of wild rabbits but that just made me laugh out loud at myself. Like, hey I already have a colony of wild rabbits - they live out there just fine.

  • heirlooms777
    heirlooms777 Posts: 208 ✭✭✭

    lol, @Marjory Wildcraft ! Yes, I guess the wild rabbits do a really good job already having their own community :’)

    My brain blanked out with the word “colony” …. so funny. I’ve been studying mostly Christian intentional communities for so long now I guess I accidentally wrote that for rabbits! Well, yes, …… I guess it’s intentional for the rabbits …... They look really, really look happy on your homestead!

    If I get a chance I would like to have a couple rabbit colonies like yours: at least one for meat, and one for fiber …… a colony is said to hurt the wool production, but I don’t care — I am more interested in happy rabbits, and happy baby rabbits, finding happy homes :)

    My neighbor wrote the following article about using sheep wool for gardening…. I have never heard of this, and I wonder if rabbit angora wool would qualify? I know angora is seven times warmer than sheep wool, but is it as (or more) absorbent like sheep’s wool? She is saying to put some wool when planting seedlings. I have some baby wool that I could sacrifice for the cause and research a little:

    Marjorie and everyone in this group, you are all amazing.

    Warm regards,


  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin
    edited February 22

    @heirlooms777 Marjory has a video called "Colony Rabbits" you can access via this page (registration is free): https://thegrownetwork.com/colony-rabbits-72h-registration/ Maybe that contains some information that would help?

    Just on the subject of meat rabbits (not necessarily on keeping them all together), here is another (paid) resource that might interest you:

  • heirlooms777
    heirlooms777 Posts: 208 ✭✭✭

    @Merin Porter thank you.

    My four sisters French angora rabbits are still together at three months. The biggest one, Sunshine, takes over the food from the smallest one, Moonlight. I am trying to feed Moonlight more, but Sunshine runs in a takes it over, with Moonlight not eating no matter what I do. Any suggestions?