Breeding Rabbits Problem! Advice?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by AnimalsRmyLife, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. AnimalsRmyLife

    AnimalsRmyLife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my teachers has been trying to put our class buck and doe together to breed. We've tried a few times before and this past time we thought it happened. But the due date (9/11/14) passed, and she didn't conceive. We continue to put them together for a little while every few days or so, action happens in the pen, but we still don't think she's gotten pregnant.

    My teacher thinks the male is "running out of luck" and not producing the needed sperm. We bred him last year to a different doe, and she got pregnant. But we believe she either ate her kits or aborted them.

    We have been asking other kids if they had a buck we could borrow to help make the miracle happen, but the only offers are from kids who want my teacher to keep the rabbit so they don't have to continue caring for it. My teacher has specified that she only wants to borrow the rabbit, not keep it, as the buck mentioned here is her own rabbit.

    Do you have any advice we could use? Any advice would be appreciated!
     
  2. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Bucks are usually fertile until about age 4 to 5, after that, it gets dubious. A male may start "shooting blanks" before that age, of course, it's not set in stone; on the other hand, he might sire litters well beyond that age.

    A more common problem with a buck is that he isn't interested/able to "do the deed." Bucks that are allowed to get overweight and out of condition may not have the energy to get the job done. This is more common with older bucks, though it can happen with a young one, too. There is also a surprisingly common genetic defect of the reproductive organs that can interfere with a buck's ability to sire litters - split penis. A buck with a split penis may go through all the motions, but not get the job done.

    Problems with the doe are more common. Once again, weight can be a problem; a doe that is carrying more weight than she should be may not feel inspired to breed. Does generally have a much shorter productive lifespan; most aren't fertile past the age of about 3 or so, and does that don't get bred until they are over a year old are notoriously hard to get settled. Some does simply don't like a certain buck, or need a little extra inspiration (like being caged next to a buck) to get "in the mood."

    A lot of people will tell you that rabbits don't do "heat" cycles, and in the classic sense, they don't, but does do experience hormonal peaks and valleys. During a peak, a doe is more likely to breed, and more likely to conceive a decent-sized litter from a breeding. When you try to breed a doe, always take her to the buck's cage. Before you put them together, flip her over and check the color of her vulva. A doe's vulva is in a sort of fuzzy bump on her underside; the way you check the color is to gently pull her tail toward her backbone, and press on the front side of the fuzzy bump. Doing that exposes some of the tissue lining the does' vulva. The best color to see is bright, cherry red - that is a doe that is at her hormonal peak. A doe that shows red will most likely breed readily. A doe that shows a pale pinkish color most likely won't breed, and may even fight and injure a buck. A doe that shows a purplish color is past her peak, and may or may not breed or settle. Some does never get darker than a deep rose color, so it helps to know the doe. Some does will chin things, grunt, raise up when you pet them, or even pull fur when they are at a peak; these are all signs that tell you that a doe is ready to breed.

    When you breed, you should always put the doe into the buck's territory. If she's interested and he's capable, the whole business may take only a few seconds. The buck mounts the doe from behind and grabs a mouthful of the doe's shoulder fur, she slides her back feet back and raises her backside up, he does a few little movements and then one big thrust (and usually grunts or even squeals) then falls over backward or sideways, often taking the doe sideways with him. When it happens, you know; if the whole performance didn't happen, the doe most likely isn't bred.

    This may be a tough time of year to get some rabbits bred, since rabbits' wild ancestors mostly breed in the spring.. If nothing else, artificially increasing the apparent day length by leaving lights on may help.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. AnimalsRmyLife

    AnimalsRmyLife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We do put her in the buck's cage when we try to breed them. The buck mounts the doe, grabs hold of her and heaves, but we don't know if anything happens. This happens a few times then the buck will let go and they will just go back to sitting next to each other.
     

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