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Rabbit Breeding General Info

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hey there, 

 

My single male rabbit is an escape artist. We are seriously considering renaming him Houdini. He's escaped twice now and had gotten very very lucky both times. The first time someone took him to our local animal shelter, and yesterday a friends friend's friend found him and I'll be getting him back tomorrow afternoon. After this incident my mom has been gleefully fantasizing about getting a pretty girl for him because she has fantasized the idea of having baby bunnies, especially with our beloved yet infuriating Pup's genes in them. She also thinks that if he has a girl to hang around then he'd be less inclined to run away, but I'm not so convinced. I've waved away the idea for now, but she as the parent has the ultimate decision and knowing her, it would not be surprising to come home to another bunny, so I would rather have the information in case than be completely blindsided and end up with dead rabbits.

 

I've done some reading on breeding and rabbit pregnancy, but I would love to get some insight from those of you that have personal stories and experiences with both the positives and negatives of rabbit pregnancy. I think the scariest thing for me would be coming home to a nest full of kit limbs and a stressed out, bloody momma rabbit. And I think what I am most unclear on is whether or not you can keep a male around a pregnant doe and later on her kits (assuming he is neutered after the first litter and he has enough space to hide from a hormonal female), or if he would be a danger to the kits. 

 

Any other information and stories would be lovely! 

Three dogs, one rabbit, a ton of fish, and five pullets: one Welsummer/Production Red mix, two Easter Eggers, one Black Sexlink, and a White Old English Game Bantam.
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Three dogs, one rabbit, a ton of fish, and five pullets: one Welsummer/Production Red mix, two Easter Eggers, one Black Sexlink, and a White Old English Game Bantam.
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post #2 of 2

I raise and breed show rabbits and I've had experience with 7 litters so far. Four of those litters have had no complications at all. Two of the litters were from first-time mothers (who often have a little difficulty) and I lost a few kits from those litters. One of the litters the doe had a lot of trouble with but she went on to have a beautiful healthy third litter.

 

When you breed animals, there is always a risk of something bad happening when they give birth, especially if they are first-timers. However, the chances of you coming home to a bloody litter with mangled kits is relatively low if the female is kept stress-free and given appropriate care. My rabbits, even in their difficult litters, have never eaten their kits and there hasn't been much blood.

 

With that said, I'm not sure breeding would be the best idea in your case. It will not make him less likely to run away. And, you would have to deal with many extra kits (depending on the breed, rabbits can have up to 12 kits or even more). You could keep one or two, but you would likely need to find homes for the extras (or eat them). I'm not sure what the background to your buck is, but if he isn't bred for show and the doe you breed him to isn't show quality, you'll have a hard time selling the kits. People don't usually want mixed breed, pet quality rabbits.

 

Also, it is never a good idea to keep a male and a female rabbit together. They often fight, especially if the doe doesn't feel like breeding. Your buck may get injured by her. A pregnant doe will be stressed out by a buck in her same cage, possibly causing birthing problems. A doe can be re-bred as soon as she has a litter, so if you don't remove the buck as soon as she's had a litter, you could have another litter in a month.

Owner of about 20 chickens and 12 exhibition rabbits

Always happy to answer questions! You can ask me about diseases, raising chicks, feeding, and breeds!

 

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Owner of about 20 chickens and 12 exhibition rabbits

Always happy to answer questions! You can ask me about diseases, raising chicks, feeding, and breeds!

 

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