Daughter Colony

Colonies invariable grow in size and number of members. There comes a point at which the colony size becomes too large due to the number of dwellings required, and it becomes difficult to find jobs for all the members. Further, it becomes more difficult to manage a large colony. Every management team knows that they will eventually split off and start a new colony, so they do not want to over build on the existing site.

Therefore, once a colony reaches about 30 families or around 150 people, the colony begins the process of establishing a new colony, called a daughter colony.

Men working on a building on a Hutterite colony.


The process for building a new place is slightly different from leut to leut. The Schmiedeleut and the Dariusleut typically follow a similar process: they purchase land, they might move a few families to the farm to start building, and eventually, when the new site is complete, they will officially split up. The decisions as to whom moves to the the new colony varies, but in all cases the assets of the two colonies are valued and divided into two parts, one for the home colony and one for the daughter. Deciding who will move is a different matter; sometimes, a group will volunteer to go freiwillig and if that is the case, assets are divided on a per person basis. The volunteer group goes to the farm and elects their own job supervisors, such as colony manager, farm boss and so on. Other times, a the members are divided into two groups and a lot is cast to decide who goes and who stays. As would be expected, this event can be painful on all those involved, especially those who end up moving.

The Lehrerleut have a slightly different process: they completely build and finish every aspect of the new colony before anyone moves there. Once the new hof is complete, and the decision is made to split, all the members are divided into two groups, about evenly split. Every family then packs all their belongings, even before they know who will be moving to the new site. Trucks and vans are on the mother colony, read to help. Once the lot is cast (to make the decision about which group goes and which stays), the group that moves packs up and is often gone from the mother colony within a single day. Those that remain unpack and life continues as before, albeit on a now-smaller colony.