This may sound crazy, need help mating rabbits

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by popcornpuppy, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. popcornpuppy

    popcornpuppy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So rabits are just supossed to multiply naturally. My husband has been trying to raise bunnies for a year and a half with no success. We got one male, one female to start with (I think they were New Zeland) They were both of breeding age and never got the job done. Several months after we got the pair we found the female dead in the hutch. There was no outward signs of the cause of death and thought she may have had internal problems and that was why she did not get pregnant. So my husband got 3 new females that were 8 weeks old at the time. The girls grew up and are 9 months old now. (They are a New Zeland California cross). At 6 months of age we introduced our male to them, one at a time for a month at a time. No bunnies. We figured our male was a dud. We replaced him with a lop cross. The lop cross is trying his best to mate with our girls, but I think they may be too large for him. He tries and tries and the girls even mount him! What are we doing wrong?
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  2. texasgal

    texasgal Brood with an Attitude

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    Oh my .. a couple of things. I assume they aren't all kept together.

    Always put the female in the male's cage to introduce them.

    If your females are riding the male, then they are likely ready to breed.

    Sometimes they need help .. I usually do this anyway just to expedite the process.

    I place the doe in the bucks cage, holding her head at the door and with my other hand up under her, I try to position her (sometimes having to move the tail up out of the way) .. and let mr buck come do his thing. You'll feel the doe "raise up" when he makes contact. Then there will be the tell tell squeel and the buck will "fall off" to the side.

    If she doesn't cooperate in a few minutes, I put her back and try again tomorrow ..

    Good luck!
     
  3. popcornpuppy

    popcornpuppy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, I will try that.

    And I probably should have said in my OP that all of them are in seperate pens and we rotate the girls out of the bucks pen.
     
  4. taraann81

    taraann81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Ontario
    Quote:Sorry OP I am not trying to high jack but am going through the exact same thing sort of. 3 breedings, 2 different bucks two (one of them twice)different does. With no kits. And then I read what texasgal wrote. And thought hmmm.

    Yesterday was day 28 for my lionhead doe. In order to put the nest box in her cage I have to remove her briefly, I had my son hold her. Long story short she started to struggle and my son put her down quickly in the stall we were in and where our buck was exercising( I rotate one bunny into this stall a day as I hate to see them constantly caged) Anyways Goomba(our buck) was on her in a second. She lifted for him and he fell of squealing. And then she started to try and attack him and ride him and growling at him. Until I finally caught her.

    So does this behaviour suggest she was bred 28 days ago and is pregnant? Or because she allowed him to breed she isn't pregnant? Now I'm worried about her. I don't know.
     
  5. popcornpuppy

    popcornpuppy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sorry OP I am not trying to high jack but am going through the exact same thing sort of. 3 breedings, 2 different bucks two (one of them twice)different does. With no kits. And then I read what texasgal wrote. And thought hmmm.

    Yesterday was day 28 for my lionhead doe. In order to put the nest box in her cage I have to remove her briefly, I had my son hold her. Long story short she started to struggle and my son put her down quickly in the stall we were in and where our buck was exercising( I rotate one bunny into this stall a day as I hate to see them constantly caged) Anyways Goomba(our buck) was on her in a second. She lifted for him and he fell of squealing. And then she started to try and attack him and ride him and growling at him. Until I finally caught her.

    So does this behaviour suggest she was bred 28 days ago and is pregnant? Or because she allowed him to breed she isn't pregnant? Now I'm worried about her. I don't know.

    Hey, we are all trying to learn something [​IMG]
    [​IMG] just waiting to see what folks have to say about either question
     
  6. mamato3

    mamato3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    taraann81 Ive never had this happen but i would think to go ahead put the nestbox in then on day 35 no babbys pull it Count 28 days from the mating and put a nestbox in there better safe then sorry.
    There is a great new fourm for all rabbit owners from breeders of meat buns to people wanting a pet bunny http://rabbittalk.com/ great people over there. Not saying anything is wrong here this form is great to.
     
  7. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

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    Quote:Sorry OP I am not trying to high jack but am going through the exact same thing sort of. 3 breedings, 2 different bucks two (one of them twice)different does. With no kits. And then I read what texasgal wrote. And thought hmmm.

    Yesterday was day 28 for my lionhead doe. In order to put the nest box in her cage I have to remove her briefly, I had my son hold her. Long story short she started to struggle and my son put her down quickly in the stall we were in and where our buck was exercising( I rotate one bunny into this stall a day as I hate to see them constantly caged) Anyways Goomba(our buck) was on her in a second. She lifted for him and he fell of squealing. And then she started to try and attack him and ride him and growling at him. Until I finally caught her.

    So does this behaviour suggest she was bred 28 days ago and is pregnant? Or because she allowed him to breed she isn't pregnant? Now I'm worried about her. I don't know.

    Go ahead and put a nest box in with her anyhow. Some does will except a buck even when they are preggo. Otherwise, sounds like she was starting to get annoyed with him. When they do that, they try to beat the poor boys up. [​IMG]
     
  8. chinbunny

    chinbunny In a hutch

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    Newzealands generally don't until they are between 8-12 months old. Sometimes at this tim eof the year, they just aren't in the mood for it. I would say keep the buck you have and keep trying. They should be more then ready to breed when spring comes around. They are still young yet. so give them a chance.
     
  9. mekasmom

    mekasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have always had more litters when I kept them in colonies. You might try that next spring if you don't get any bunnies before then. Are these simply for meat? If so, the colony is the best way to go. You just have to be sure to sort out bunnies on a regular basis so they don't become overpopulated. They are happier that way too because they get to explore and hop around. Just make sure you have enough nest boxes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010
  10. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    I met a man at a rabbit show a while back, who was telling me about his start in rabbits. " I had two of them," he said. "After a year, guess how many I had!" Knowing how rabbits can be, I wouldn't guess, in spite of his repeated encouragement to do so. Finally, he told me. "One," he said. "The other one died!" "Yep, they'll do that!"

    Maybe you have to be a rabbit person to understand just how frustrating they can be.

    As chinbunny said, this isn't the best time of year to try to breed. With the long nights and cool temperatures, some does just aren't receptive. Mounting behavior can be the result of simple excitement or a dominance thing, I wouldn't attach too much importance to a doe mounting anything.

    I haven't ever tried the "forced breeding" technique that texasgal mentioned. I know people that have, and they said the doe frequently didn't conceive when they did it, so it wasn't something they continued to do. Most of the rabbit breeders I know prefer to let the doe tell them when she is ready to breed. I always check a doe before I take her to a buck. You turn the doe over, and evert her vulva a little (like you do when you are trying to sex a rabbit). The color you want to see is a bright, cherry red. The lips of the vulva will be slightly swollen, as well. Some does never get darker than a sort of rose color, so you need to know your doe. If the vulva is pale pink, don't bother, she probably won't breed, and most likely won't conceive if she does. If you see a sort of purplish color, the doe has passed her hormonal peak. She may breed (and even conceive) on this color, but it's less likely. Give her a few days, and check again.

    I have one doe that will fight the buck at first, even when she's showing red. As long as nobunny's getting hurt, I leave them be. I guess she just has to make sure he's tough enough, because she will breed after a bit, and conceive a nice litter. Like I said, you have to know your doe.

    Taraann81, your guess is as good as mine as to whether your lionhead is pregnant or not. Rabbits do a 28 day cycle (sort of). Does hit one of their highest hormonal peaks at the time of kindling, so she may be receptive and about to kindle at the same time. I would certainly note down the date, as she may have gotten pregnant from that breeding. Rabbits have a y-shaped uterus, with each horn committed to the eggs from the ovary on that side. Rabbits are "induced ovulators", which means that they ripen eggs, holding them in readiness until the act of mating causes them to be released. It is entirely possible for a rabbit to be pregnant only on one side, be mated at a later date, "fire" on the other side with that second mating, and be carrying two entirely separate pregnancies with two different due dates!
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2010

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