breeding mini rex rabbits

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Akane, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Akane

    Akane Crowing

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    I was going to breed Amako, broken castor rex, to Getsuko, the badly marked dutch buck I got, keep a male and breed back to Amako for the rex coat. After some thought I have decided to neuter Getsuko and Just get some purebred rex. I'm talking to someone with a pedigreed broken castor buck and I might get a broken opal or blue from her. Most likely not show quality but better than mutts and I can still butcher any that don't sell (I can't say that on the rabbit forum which is why I"m posting here). This does delay my plan for chinchilla meat rabbits because I don't have room for 2 breeds but I wasn't sure I was ready for that anyway. I think it would be better to wait until next year when hopefully we will be able to buy a house instead of renting.

    The rabbit forum won't talk to me since I'm not breeding registered rabbits and my culling plan involves turning them in to dog food so a few questions for you guys. Can I keep a neutered buck with an unneutered buck or will I have to make a seperate cage for Getsuko? Can females be kept together? I have a 3x6 solid bottom cage that I can divide easily. Then I'm building a 2x4 wire bottom cage that I also plan to be able to divide. Plus someone gave me a couple of your standard little wire cages from the feed store. So do I have to keep all rabbits seperate all the time or who can mix with who when?

    Second problem is temperature. We covered the screened porch in plastic last fall and I just never took it down because it made a nice waterproof and slightly temperature control room. I keep the window open between the house and porch to cool it a little and so far they've been fine with our summer temps. What about winter? I'm not sure I can keep it above freezing so there are also water issues but aside from that how well do mini rex handle cold? What temperatures are ok to let them raise kits?

    Pictures to come.
     

  2. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Songster

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    Apr 27, 2010
    Vernon County, MO
    Are you on rabbitsonline.net? Thats where I post, they can be pretty sensitive about meat rabbits [​IMG]

    As for summer heat, shade, cool, clean water, and frozen bottles usually do the trick. I THINK Rex bunnies cool better than regular-coated bunnies, due to their coat, but don't pin me on it. I'd like to get some myself, it's just hard finding good stock.

    I've kept males (unneutered) together with no issues, and females together. Some rabbits will try to mutilate each other, regardless of the sex of the other bunny. I have an Angora doe like that, she has to live in the chicken tractor because she has a I WILL KILL ALL OTHER BUNNIES' problem and I don't have a proper sized cage for her.


    As for cold, not so good. Bunnies usually do better in cold than in the heat, but with Rex I'm really not too sure. I would say at least 50F for kits with a good nest, though my bunnies have always had their offspring indoors. If you keep your porch enclosed in plastic, I would look for those lil' inexpensive oil heaters. If you seal the porch good to keep out drafts, they should warm it up a couple degrees.


    I have a blue Dutch buck myself. Cute lil' bugger, having some weight problems with the herd right now though. Switched feed (gave them quite a bit, they've only been on grass for a couple days but doing well, long story) and they pee'd in it. It looked fine to me, so I didn't bother it when I refilled their water dish. Cleaned the cage today and 'Surprise!'.

    Expensive Purina show rabbit feed and they pee in it. Rabbits. [​IMG]
     
  3. Akane

    Akane Crowing

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    Yea rabbitsonline.net went so far as to make my threads disappear so I gave up posting anything about breeding. The mods even made a thread about how everyone should answer posts they disagree with in a civil way so that such people won't stop asking for help. Then they delete mine. [​IMG]

    How cold of temps when there aren't kits? I can get a space heater and leave the window between house and porch open but it gets down to -20F in the winter here. It is flat out impossible to make any space without central heating and full insulation above freezing point in winter. Generally I just aim for getting things above 0F for the animals but this is my first year with rabbits.
     
  4. therealsilkiechick

    therealsilkiechick ShowGirl Queen

    Jul 18, 2007
    Northwestern, pa
    we have same temps here and my rex and other breeds r outside unheated all year. i just pile in more pine shaveings and hay. long as they have been out most of the year to get used to weather and grow their winter coats i leave them outside. if not i bring them in the house till spring then put them out so they r ready for next winter.
     
  5. Akane

    Akane Crowing

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    Here are the new bunnies I picked up yesterday. One broken castor buck and one broken blue doe. They are about 6 weeks old.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I couldn't resist the blue doe and now I want a broken blue or black buck to go with her. [​IMG]

    I managed to get most of the 2x4' pen done today.
     
  6. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Songster

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    Dangit Akane! Now I MUST get some Rex bunnies! THOSE ARE JUST TO CUTE.

    Mine are both horribly unpleasant. Neither are tame in the slighest sense. At least they don't bite, yet [​IMG]
     
  7. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Wilmington, NC
    I prefer not to breed broken to broken. The broken gene is a dominant gene, so if it's there, you'll see it. One copy of the broken gene gives you what most people think of as a typical broken. Two copies of the broken gene gives you what many refer to as "Charlies" or double brokens. A Charlie has color on its ears, probably color around its eyes, and little or no color on the nose. Somebody thought the tiny nose marking resembled a Charlie Chaplin moustache, hence the term "Charlie." There is very little color on the body of a Charlie.

    Charlies have so little color on them, they are usually DQ'd from showing. If that were the only problem, it wouldn't be a big deal. Unfortunately, the gene that causes the broken pattern on the coat is also involved in the development of the rabbit's digestive system. Rabbits with the broken gene have what they call "reduced gut motility" - in other words, their digestive systems run slower. In a rabbit with only one copy of the broken gene, the reduction is very minor, and there isn't a noticeable difference between a (heterozygous) broken and a solid rabbit. With two copies, there is a greater degree of interference with normal function. Charlies are much more prone to digestive problems, including the rabbit owners' nemesis, GI stasis (where the system gets blocked and shuts down - much like an impaction colic in horses). You have to be hyper vigilant with the digestive systems of Charlies, as even little things set them up for an episode. Before I learned this, I had a Charlie ML doe that would get blocked from the stress of kindling. Every time she had a litter, she would spend the next day sitting in a corner, not eating or drinking, and grinding her teeth from the pain. When I finally made the connection (litter 3, I think) I quit breeding her.

    If you just like brokens (and who doesn't?), a better plan is to breed broken to solid. The best results will come from breeding to a solid with good brokens in its family tree. If you breed to a solid that has only solids behind it for umpteen generations, you will likely get too much color, and too little white.

    Congrats on your new buns!
     

  8. Akane

    Akane Crowing

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    My research has shown that it's not that simple. Charlie's, and even more so those with health issues, don't seem to be a gurantee from crossing broken to broken.

    Multiple sources I've looked up have agreed with breeding broken to broken and just culling the badly marked rabbits. For example scroll to the bottom of this color crossing guide:

    http://mr-colors.tripod.com/

    Or this article:

    http://briarwoodsrabbitry.webs.com/spotapattern.htm

    I found a few people who said to keep a charlie for breeding since if crossed with a solid you can get all brokens and usually well marked ones.

    I would put it down to personal preference on which way to breed them. Just like with overo paint horses or roan horses that can sometimes produce lethals or roan guinea pigs. The pet guinea pig forum I was on were just horrified by the breeders who bred roan to roan to get a better pattern and just used the white offspring as snake food. Personally if I had a snake I'd consider that a good solution.
     
  9. mamato3

    mamato3 Songster

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    SWMissouri
    I used to breed mini rexs but my does would always die or be non reproductive:(. My buck was a orange tri color Very pretty but could never get the ladys to stay around long. Anyway My plan was to get a charlie doe or buck on solid does or buck so i could always get the brokens which i loved and they sold much easier. Here is a forum i visit often and there meat owners and pet owner alike in there http://rabbittalk.com/
     
  10. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Quote:Not guaranteed, no. Just like any heterozygote to heterozygote cross, any particular kit would have a one-in-four chance of getting the double dominant. (While we're talking odds, would you care to calculate the odds of a solid blue x broken tort producing a litter of 4 broken blue torts? My HL's just did that) And certainly, a Charlie's sluggish digestive system is manageable, if you know what you're doing. The problem is, a Charlie is so dang cute, it is the most likely to attract a pet buyer. An awful lot of pet buyers haven't a clue what they are doing; do what you like, for them it's still going to be learn as you go. I don't want to put a problem bunny in the hands of a newby, I don't want to hang onto such an animal, and I like to give every one of my babies at least a chance at being something other than snake food (the most likely end of anything for which I can find no other purpose). For me, not producing Charlies in the first place avoids all of those scenarios.

    To address the questions in your first post though, most rabbits will need to be housed separately once they are over about 10 weeks of age. There are always exceptions, but it is safer and saner to expect them not to be exceptions, rather than count on being able to house them together and have to scramble to separate when it doesn't work out (which it can, sometimes very suddenly!) Keeping water available at temps like you are describing is going to be challenging, that is probably going to be the toughest part of keeping them as long as they are sheltered from the wind. My experience is that kits are likely to die of cold any time the temperature is below 50 degrees (F). I solve that problem by keeping the nestboxes in my hall closet, and taking the litters out to the does for feedings. Once the doe leaves the box, I put them back in the house. It may seem like a lot of monkey business for some, but it works for me.

    BTW, the odds of the HL litter I mentioned are something like 1 in 4096, just with the known variables!
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2010

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