Rabbit Breeding Difficulties--Other Rabbit Breeder Advice needed

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by BantamLover21, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello all,

    I'm new to raising rabbits. I currently have six of them, of three different breeds, with a buck and doe of each breed. I planned on breeding two of the pairs this past week. The first pair breeding went successfully: I saw the buck mount the doe, thrust downward with a grunting noise, and then fall off. One hour later, I repeated the breeding, and the same thing happened. Unfortunately, when I tried to breed the second pair, it was not like that. The buck repeated mounted the doe, but did not fall off or grunt, and got tired of this within 5 minutes. The doe just didn't seem to be responding to him mounting her; instead of flattening out/raising her tail/rising a little on her hind legs, she just stayed laying on the ground with her feet and tail tucked up.

    I gave the buck a few hours of rest, and tried again. Once more, the doe didn't seem to cooperate, and there was no falling off/grunting. The next day, I tried again--no luck. Since then, I've put some apple cider vinegar in both the buck and does' water, and have been giving them calf manna and a few sunflower seeds. I tried breeding them again a few minutes ago, and still nothing worked. I've tried partially lifting the doe's hindquarters up, but the buck doesn't like mounting her when I do that and the doe squirms quite a bit.

    So what I'm asking is, what could be going wrong? And what should I do? The doe and buck are both about 9 1/2 months old Champagne D' Argents. The doe weights a whopping 11 pounds, with the buck just barely reaching weight at 9 pounds. Both are fed quality feed, along with hay and fresh water. The doe's vent is not a really pale pink, but it is not the reddish purple color that I've seen online, either. She makes grunting noises and twitches her tail often, but does not want to correctly lay down to be mounted. The buck seems very interested in breeding, though he is always exhausted afterwards, and I think he is getting a little discouraged.

    Are there any other tips for making does/bucks want to breed? I've tried switching them in their cages; buck in doe and vice versa. I'm also giving them the sunflower seeds and ACV (though I've only been giving the ACV for two days). It seems like the doe is the main problem, but it could very well be the buck. He seems intent on breeding, but maybe his technique is off? Also, he has been at three shows this summer, which I know may have stressed him out or made him infertile. I'm willing to take the chance that he isn't fertile, though; I just want to have him breed successfully and know that I tried.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  2. SA Farm

    SA Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ACV can takes time to come into effect. Is the doe overweight? With her at 11 pounds I have to wonder if she's got a bit of fat stored and isn't interested due to being out of condition. Run your hand down her spine. If you can't feel or can just barely feel the bumps, she's overweight. Cut back on her pellets and increase her hay rations, stop the sunflower seeds and try again in a few weeks.
    If you can feel the bumps, she may just not be interested in that particular buck. You could try housing them beside each other to get her more interested or you could try breeding her to one of your other two bucks to see how they do.
     
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Thanks for responding. No, I don't think the doe is overweight. According to the Standard of Perfection from the ARBA, 11 lbs is actually the ideal weight for a Champagn'e D'Argent doe, and I can feel her backbone without too much difficulty. Still, I'm cutting her pellets just a little bit, just in case she is somewhat overconditioned.

    I plan on continuing the ACV for a few more days, and then perhaps trying again. Unfortunately, these are the only D' Argents I have. The other rabbits are different breeds, and I wouldn't want to breed her to a different breed and create crossbred offspring. My buck seems so willing, but maybe this giant doe is too much for him?
     
  4. SA Farm

    SA Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oops, for some reason I thought D'Argents were supposed to be smaller. Sounds like she's in good shape then. The point of trying her with a different buck is to see if it's just the buck she's not responding to or if you are correct that the doe is too intimidating for him. Getting them both producing is the key, even if you have mixes for a litter or two. Two inexperienced breeders can take a long time to produce since neither knows what to do. If you pair an experienced with an inexperienced, it's easier to get them going.
    Not that you have to do it that way, it's just less of a headache in my experience.
    Of course, if you are set against crosses, it's just going to be a matter of diligence and patience on your part [​IMG] Keep checking her for readiness and keep putting her with the buck. They are most active/energetic in the evenings...
     

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