To breed or not to breed (rabbit)

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by AltonaAcres, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Yes!

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  2. No.

    0 vote(s)
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  1. AltonaAcres

    AltonaAcres Songster

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    Happy Fall everyone! So I got a Black Mini Rex doe three weeks ago. I got her off of craigslist, a lady was selling the last of her bunnies as she is now in college. I named the bunny Zinnia. She is one and a half years old. Very healthy, active, and curious. Her pedigree has lot's of show winnings. She had two litters of 5 at her past owner's rabbitry. Anyways, i was planning on breeding her after she acclimated to her new home. I was all ready to breed her when all of a sudden she started pulling fur! She pulled about a handful in total, and made a tiny "hay nest" the size of an egg. So now I'm just wondering if i can/should just go ahead and breed her. I really want to breed her sooner than later as winter is right around the corner, but don't want to risk her already being pregnant. The lady I got her from was very responsible and knowledgeable, I would be surprised if Zinnia "accidentally" got bred. Let me know your thoughts!
     
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  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Great Horny Toads

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    I have had non pregnant does make nests. My oldest doe does it quite often. I initially thought they were false pregnancies, but I was told they aren't. Mine get all grumpy and hormonal during it. You could wait a month to see to be sure. Where are you located? If it gets too cold I would wait until spring.
     
  3. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Rabbits don't do "heat" like a lot of animals do, but they do experience hormonal peaks and valleys. At a hormonal peak, a doe may grunt, pull fur, chin (scent mark) things; if you check her vulva color, it will probably be cherry red. She may become a touch-me-not, or she might stick her tail up in the air when you stroke her back. These very normal behaviors can drive you nuts when they appear in a show rabbit; a coat made ragged by pulling doesn't do you any favors on the show table, and how can a judge evaluate a rabbit in that position?!:barnie

    A doe that is far enough along to be pulling fur would most likely have babies that even a novice would find hard to miss when palpating. Or, you could just put her in with the buck and see how it goes. I know, you've been warned about the risk of the doe carrying two pregnancies at the same time, but in my over 30 years of breeding rabbits, I can't say I have ever seen that happen (I did have one doe give birth to 3 one day, and 3 more a few days later, but that was from one breeding).Generally, a doe that is already pregnant will run from the buck and refuse to be bred. If your doe accepts service (does at a hormonal peak are usually eager breeders), odds are excellent that she will give you a nice litter in 31 days' time (so mark it down!).
     
  4. AltonaAcres

    AltonaAcres Songster

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    Ok! Thanks y'all. I will see how she does with a buck, and then go ahead and breed her. I did try to feel her abdomen, and did not really feel anything. I am putting a small heater in her hutch so her babies stay warm
     
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  5. AltonaAcres

    AltonaAcres Songster

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    I am breeding her today! On a separate note, I just read a book that said you should be constantly breeding your does. When their litter is 6 weeks old, rebreed them. This seems a little extreme to me. Does anyone do this? Have i been breeding rabbits incorrectly this whole time?
     
    DrakeMom likes this.
  6. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Kinda depends on what you are breeding, and why. A Netherland Dwarf doe bred on that schedule might not live 2 years. A New Zealand might be OK with it, as long as she was being fed correctly and watched closely for signs that she wasn't maintaining condition. Does that are out of production can get too fat, which can cause all manner of problems when you do try to breed them again. That said, most of the people I know (or know of) that breed rabbits have at least one season of the year when conditions are just too nasty, so they give the rabbits a break. It seems to work for them.:idunno
     
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