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Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Discussions and questions about how best to keep your breeding program running smoothly.
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Re: Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Post Number:#31  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Tue May 21, 2013 8:50 pm


Hi Crazyhorse!

:welcomewagon:

Some of our members breed as early as 16 weeks, even with the larger meat production rabbits. Younger does seem to have larger litter sizes and make less mistakes with nesting, kindling, and feeding of the kits.

Lionheads should definitely be ready to breed at 23 weeks. Check the color of their vulva, and if they appear ready, try them with the buck. If they lift for him, good! If not, try again in a week or two.
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Re: Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Post Number:#32  Unread postby bigmike77 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:12 am


thanks for the info. I just got my cages and will be getting some NW in a few weeks.

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Re: Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Post Number:#33  Unread postby stone soup farm » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:37 pm


The photos are very helpful. Thanks for posting them

__________ Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:37 pm __________

So, I have a question after reading through all 3 pages. Is this coloring for when you first starting breeding as in the doe being mature enough to breed or is this for general use?

I thought that rabbits don't have a cycle but ovulate upon the presence of sperm, and that is why people often take them back for another breeding after 1 hr or up to 6 hours after first try.
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Re: Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Post Number:#34  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:46 pm


stone soup farm wrote:Is this coloring for when you first starting breeding as in the doe being mature enough to breed or is this for general use?

[ Post details ]


This is for general use. An adult or sub-adult doe will not consistently be this color.

stone soup farm wrote:I thought that rabbits don't have a cycle but ovulate upon the presence of sperm, and that is why people often take them back for another breeding after 1 hr or up to 6 hours after first try.
[ Post details ]


It is actually the act of copulation that triggers them to release their eggs.

They don't have a "cycle" per se, but they do have varying periods of receptiveness... I think it is around 16 days, but I am not sure where that data is at the moment.

The follicles which contain the ova have to reach a certain size before they are ready to "burst", so I assume that the lighter to darker coloring indicates that some eggs are ready. When dark pink a few eggs are ready to be released, to purple and "this is as many as I can possibly make! Breed me right now!"
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Re: Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Post Number:#35  Unread postby mountainrabbits » Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:04 am


So if a doe is lighter pink like the first picture and gets exposed to the buck should there be a color change if she takes? Or if she doesn't?

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Re: Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Post Number:#36  Unread postby skysthelimit » Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:32 am


I have found, in the few does that I have that consistently change color, that once they are bred, they don't get as dark purple anymore. So if I breed a doe, and check 16 days later, and she is deep purple again, I breed her again because it's likely she didn't take. Though I have does that don't change and breed, and does that swell up and won't breed.
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Re: Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Post Number:#37  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:39 am


mountainrabbits wrote:So if a doe is lighter pink like the first picture and gets exposed to the buck should there be a color change if she takes? Or if she doesn't?


The color change indicates when she will be most receptive. If she is pale pink, she likely wont breed, if it is dark pink or purple she should be eager to.
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Re: Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Post Number:#38  Unread postby LearningAs-I-Go » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:59 pm


I'm flabbergasted. I've been told by many people that rabbits did not have a season, that they were always ready to breed. I am very new to this, and have been unsuccessful breeding any of my rabbits. I was so discouraged and felt like I was just a failure at it. After reading this, I feel so much better, thank you! I will look to see if the doe is ready for breeding before I put her in with the buck. Maybe I can do this. :)

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Re: Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Post Number:#39  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:36 pm


LearningAs-I-Go wrote: I was so discouraged and felt like I was just a failure at it. After reading this, I feel so much better, thank you!


Good! :D I'm glad you found it helpful. Contrary to popular belief, rabbits don't always "breed like rabbits".

LearningAs-I-Go wrote:Maybe I can do this. :)


Of course you can. There is a bit of a learning curve with rabbits, as with most things.

You have found the best rabbit raising forum on the net, in my slightly biased opinion. ;) Our members are very knowledgeable and willing to help. :)

:welcomewagon:

Welcome to RT, and the wonderful world of rabbits. Once you get going, you will wonder what you ever did without bunnehs! :)
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Re: Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Post Number:#40  Unread postby Ramjet » Tue Oct 08, 2013 9:42 am


Thanks for posting this thread & especially the images. Was a great help. Glad it got stickied. Never thought it could be so complicated to get rabbits to .... breed like rabbits!
Hindsight is always 20/20 but looking back its still a bit fuzzy.

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Re: Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Post Number:#41  Unread postby etcetrah » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:14 pm


My NZW doe is about 28 weeks and has NO interest in being bred. She isn't aggressive towards our buck (same age) but she has never lifted and I've never seen her vulva coloration darken. Is it possible she is a "late bloomer" by rabbit standards and just isn't sexually mature yet? I've tried to breed her about once a week for the last several weeks to no avail. She just puts her nose in the corner of the buck's cage and plants her tail firmly on the cage bottom.

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Re: Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Post Number:#42  Unread postby mountainrabbits » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:51 pm


What do you think of this guys? I put her in with the buck, do you think they might have got it right this time?
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Re: Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Post Number:#43  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:13 pm


Her color looks good, but she is not as swollen as she could be. It may be because you aren't pressing quite firmly enough to make her vulva "pop out" though.

Did she lift for him? Did he fall off or just gracefully dismount?
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Re: Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Post Number:#44  Unread postby skysthelimit » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:54 pm


etcetrah wrote:My NZW doe is about 28 weeks and has NO interest in being bred. She isn't aggressive towards our buck (same age) but she has never lifted and I've never seen her vulva coloration darken. Is it possible she is a "late bloomer" by rabbit standards and just isn't sexually mature yet? I've tried to breed her about once a week for the last several weeks to no avail. She just puts her nose in the corner of the buck's cage and plants her tail firmly on the cage bottom.



Don't worry, most of mine aren't interested in breeding until they are 6-8 mos old. I have a 16 mos old doe I am still trying to get a litter out of. As far as I can tell, she has never changed color. I have a line of late bloomers and slow growers. I am noticing, that as the speed of growth increases, the age of readiness lowers. Fertility is a function of maturity, growth and body weight.

__________ Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:54 pm __________

MamaSheepdog wrote: Did he fall off or just gracefully dismount?


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Re: Judging a Doe's Readiness and Breeding Tips

Post Number:#45  Unread postby mountainrabbits » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:36 pm


Well she had 4-2 were DOA I think, one died immediately I couldn't get it warm quick enough and the last one died this morning from her stepping on it and it being uncovered. When would I breed her back?

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