Upon starting up colony #3 we suffered a few set backs. Even after doing everything correct for introducing the females they were just not compatible for colony life together. Two of the girls remained together and were bonding well when I came home and one of the does had gone to sleep and hadn't woken up. The bonded doe was beside herself and didn't understand why she was not waking up. It crushed me to lose my girl, Phoebe, but it broken my heart to see the pain the other girl was in after losing her as well. Poplar has since become her normal self and hopefully will find another match for her colony. We are sitting at 2 successful colonies at the moment still so I am eager to see where it leads!
Along with not getting the pens done not much else has been going on here at Milo & Me.
Yesterday while doing chores I let the younger three girls out in the pen to enjoy some outside time even with the heat. In doing so I decided to try to introduce Eadda and Ophelia to the group to see if they would accept them as part of their colony. To my surprise, they did! So I now have Alchemy (the head of the colony), Iris, Margo, Eadda and Ophelia as members of Colony #1. As of this morning, 9/2, all 5 girls had settled back into their multi level condo nicely and had made it together through the night without any battle wounds. I am hoping that with the close relation of the younger two to Alchemy they will be accepted permanently into the colony and they will be able to be moved into their new pen together.
With this big new step, we are making excellent progress towards a colony raised rabbitry!
Well, I got nothing done on the colony pens whatsoever this past weekend as I had hoped. Family time just seemed more important ;) This week the temps will most likely be too high to be working outside and have the barn door open with the A/C running and this weekend we will be out of town for a wedding. I hope to have things started before too long but we will have to wait and see. Right now things are on hold until we finish up with our personal commitments and our temps go back down some.
In other news, Poplar, my broken blue steel was accepted by the most non accepting doe in the Sr. Doe colony so I am hopeful that she will become the 4th doe member to the colony once the pens are created. Pics from their romp outside will come soon!
I have been probably saying this for several weeks now... BUT I am very hopeful that Saturday night I can get my pens made for my 4 colonies! A Friend will be coming over to assist me in building them and getting them ready for the buns to move in. My goal is to finish at least 2 of them but i will be thrilled if I could get all 4 done. The biggest thing will be the levels that I need to build so it "should" all go fairly quick, even if I just get the walls in and add levels later there will be enough floor space to put the girls in there for a night and finish it on Sunday. This will require moving my already built colony cage around to make room while we work but hopefully I can put a few of my Jr bucks in there who are already housed together or near each other once the colony pens are finished.
I will "TRY" to remember to take progress pics... I am soooo bad at that part....
The girls in Colony #1 are doing fabulous! They are growing leaps and bounds as they snuggle and eat together. They are starting to get the Lazy Lop attitudes now and mellow out some. Still attention crazed as ever!
Iris and Alchemy send their love!
Well, with each day that the Sr. does in colony #2 live together, I see a dramatic difference in their personalities.
Evey: The once attention crazed rabbit is no longer frantic to get attention, no longer biting the door to her cage and much more relaxed in general.
Roxy: The once lazy rabbit who would purposefully lay herself in a position she could eat AND drink without getting up is more active and coming to see me when I walk into the barn as well as joining the others at meal time.
Honey: Who was my shy girl that would hide in the back corner of her cage and freak out if anything touched her is now relaxed and starting to interact with the other two girls as well as not bolt when I walk in.
And last but certainly not least is Charley: A buck but he is a sweetheart, he has been a struggle to keep weight on and he is always so mopey. He is now holding his weight well, grooming and tending to the ladies and loves his snuggles with them as well.
The Jr. does in colony #1 have surpassed the age I have ever been able to keep together without fighting and are still going strong as a colony. There is no scuffle during meals, no fighting when it comes to attention and most of all, they are all scrambling and pouring out of the door to see me when I come to say hi.
Things are currently in the works to create 4 large pens for colonies in the barn now that the temps have cooled down some and I can work with the door open and not worry about the barn getting too warm without the A/C on.
All three does are settling in and becoming a family unit. Honey is still a little freaked out when one of the other girls touches her but I found her relaxing with the other two girls last night when I got home. Charley and Evey are inseparable for the most part and will lay and groom each other for hours. I have also noticed that if another girl goes near Charley, Evey will chase them off and sit next to him herself. The hierarchy is fascinating to me.
Well, it is nothing fancy by any means but I started a colony with a couple adults. 3 does, Roxy, Evey and Honey, and a buck, Charley, actually. Funny story behind doe #3 being added to it actually....
She is in the top cage of my giant wooden, 3 level nesting cages and was in the process of taking a designated break before having another litter, her last litter is 11 weeks old and weaned at 7 weeks, I opened up the bottom nesting cage and used my playpen to fence around it along with a couple other gates for my buck and two does I desired to breed him to.... This morning, I found that doe #3, Honey, had managed to break the clasp on her cage and jumped down and into the colony.... Everyone was happy and content this morning including the two bucks with whom I had left a doe each for in their cage with them last night as well. I am VERY tempted to ditch the cages all together aside from grow outs for rabbits I am selling and bucks and just make individual colonies for the does that will tolerate it. My two does were so content last night but they were also extremely laid back in nature.
I am hopeful to be adding the second colony within the coming weeks along with a possible out door area for them to explore and play in.
Ir will consist of two 6ftwx12ftlx3fth pens with a completely enclosed top and a door that opens for easy access to the rabbits on the top. My hopes are that this will give the rabbits some added freedome and they will be able to enjoy the summer on pasture instead of only coming out when I am abale to supervise them. Which also is a limited time frame.
The Colony Experience
Follow Milo & Me's adventure of creating a colony lifestyle for a more natural life for our rabbits. Since rabbits are sociable beings, we believe a rabbit colony is a way for them to live and to maintain a happy demeanor and overall health.