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*Mean* Does

Understand why your rabbits behave the way they do - and what you can do about it.
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*Mean* Does

Post Number:#1  Unread postby MoonSpiritMom » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:52 am


no other way to describe things honestly.. both of the does i received in trade are huge brats with a bad side!

They grunt, thump, try to bite anytime any one is any where near their cage. they are for meat production so temperment isn't as high on my list as it would be if i was raising for pets... but I'm worried that maybe these does will give me a hard time once thier have kits and i wont be able put my hands anywhere near the cages without an inccident happening.


Thoughts?

I do want to get into pet breeding as well.. and i have no intention of selling kits from these does as pets at all right now... unless i handle the kits alot. anyways... the does are labled "one" and "two" But I'm starting to call them by more vulgar names... They have been with me for almost a month now.. i know thats not tons of time.. but I'm out there at the same time every day to care for them... i don't think i should be getting such aggressiveness from them by now.... or am I being presumptuous?
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Re: *Mean* Does

Post Number:#2  Unread postby a7736100 » Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:53 am


Well you can cull if you don't think they'll calm down. Do you have a feeder that's filled from outside the cage? Less chance of biting if you don't have to put your hands in the cage. You can give them treats like carrots and celery holding it through the cage. They may mellow after a couple months.

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Re: *Mean* Does

Post Number:#3  Unread postby SoDak Thriver » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:27 am


I have one doe who has suddenly become very aggressive. When I open her cage, the first thing I do is cover her eyes and use that hand to push her backwards into a corner. If she comes out of that corner while I'm working, I repeat. She tends to stay in that corner now until I'm finished.

Once we get some kits from her, we'll find a better-tempered doe and replace her from the litter. I'm also told that does often outgrow that aggression, too. It just might take time and habitual treatment.
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Re: *Mean* Does

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MoonSpiritMom » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:22 pm


I'll keep an eye on them. I don't have outside feeders... they are inside the cage currently I'm looking for feeders like you have mentioned though. I've decided that i need a whole new cage system... the one i have is not working for me at all. and i want to expand my breeding program. I've found out that the mothers to the does are horrid temperament wise. and apparently my buck and does are related by father. So I'm going to be looking for new blood soon. but I'll get through this breeding and kindle first and go from there.
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Re: *Mean* Does

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Zass » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:41 pm


RT has tons of threads on doe aggression.

It really comes down to how much you are willing to tolerate, and how much time you plan on investing in it.

I personally, will forgive a little grunting and even a small lunge or two (that doesn't land or doesn't actually hurt), especially with the first litter. Sometimes otherwise nice girls try to act threatening..

I draw the line at intentionally drawing human blood. That includes biting aggressively, or even kicking with intent to main.
There is a big difference trying to use claws to gain purchase against a surface (sometimes a soft fleshy one) and raking with their claws in an effort to cause harm.

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Re: *Mean* Does

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Rainey » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:07 pm


MoonSpiritMom wrote:I'll keep an eye on them. I don't have outside feeders... they are inside the cage currently I'm looking for feeders like you have mentioned though. I've decided that i need a whole new cage system... the one i have is not working for me at all. and i want to expand my breeding program. I've found out that the mothers to the does are horrid temperament wise. and apparently my buck and does are related by father. So I'm going to be looking for new blood soon. but I'll get through this breeding and kindle first and go from there.


I've read posts about culling for meanness because mean does will have kits that will grow up to be mean. And just wanted to say that while we culled one of our original does for repeated biting, we did keep 3 of her daughters and none of them showed any inclination to bite. One was culled for poor mothering but the other 2 are good tempered and good mothers. So new blood could be the answer, if you can find does that are less hostile and otherwise good rabbits for your purpose. Or you could see if raising the young yourself would make a difference in their behavior as adults. Good luck to you, whatever you decide. Rabbit chores are a misery when you have to cope with a biter. :(

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Re: *Mean* Does

Post Number:#7  Unread postby AprilW » Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:50 pm


.
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Re: *Mean* Does

Post Number:#8  Unread postby ladysown » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:17 pm


I've learned over my years of rabbit raising to be VERY QUICK with rabbits that show any aggression.

I don't mean does being protective who are otherwise sweetie pies. (though I am also quick to withdraw) but once they chill I'm also quick to give a quick pet and ear rub to remind that pets are good but I'll respect the "leave my babes be"... one litter like that and does chill second time around. :)

Does that aim to hurt as opposed to warn off should simply be culled at earliest opportunity. I've learned that generally speaking they aren't worth it in the long run. It is worth breeding them once if only to see if it's hormonally related and ergo you can take advantage of post partum snugglies to help them learn people are safe. But if the negative behaviour continue or escalate post partum I'd be culling (DEAD) as soon as I could.
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Re: *Mean* Does

Post Number:#9  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Feb 28, 2016 8:59 am


ladysown wrote:I've learned over my years of rabbit raising to be VERY QUICK with rabbits that show any aggression.

I don't mean does being protective who are otherwise sweetie pies. (though I am also quick to withdraw) but once they chill I'm also quick to give a quick pet and ear rub to remind that pets are good but I'll respect the "leave my babes be"... one litter like that and does chill second time around. :)

Does that aim to hurt as opposed to warn off should simply be culled at earliest opportunity. I've learned that generally speaking they aren't worth it in the long run. It is worth breeding them once if only to see if it's hormonally related and ergo you can take advantage of post partum snugglies to help them learn people are safe. But if the negative behaviour continue or escalate post partum I'd be culling (DEAD) as soon as I could.


there are a lot of "nice" rabbits out there, don't keep or breed nasty ones, -- aggression is often passed on the young
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Re: *Mean* Does

Post Number:#10  Unread postby ladysown » Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:40 am


that is very true. :)
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Re: *Mean* Does

Post Number:#11  Unread postby imajpm » Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:33 pm


When I first restarted my rabbit operation I would have bred once, replaced with a few daughters and culled the meanies. Now having the benefit of hindsight, I would not even bother. Meat rabbits are cheap and plentiful. I'd not waste my time and money. Even if they are just for meat, easy to handle rabbits are much more pleasant to be around. Also my crabby nervous does never seem to be very good moms. The mellow calm mothers do better, or at least in my barn they do.

Temperament is definitely hereditary and can skip generations. I've experienced this first hand over and over again. Mostly with nervousness but the occasional savage beast is still showing up. That is high on my cull list and is being bred out as we speak :)

Good luck and happy rabbiting :D

*edit* lol I see I have just contradicted myself with that advice and my following statement. The rabbits I am willing to work on breeding out various flaws including, evil temperaments are $200-300 German Angoras, which are a bit too spendy and hard to find, to just eat when they make my life a bit too exciting :) Meat buns, nope. Those go for 15 bucks around here, less than the 3 bags of feed I'd pay for to raise a litter from them and replacement does.

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Re: *Mean* Does

Post Number:#12  Unread postby MoonSpiritMom » Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:37 pm


This two "mean girls" are my only does. I am looking for replacement does though since the more I'm learning about these rabbits i got in trade, the more concerning I am becoming. The mothers to all of these rabbits i have (2 does and a buck) are MEAN.. they bite, scratch whatever they can do to get you away from them. Which for the owner is not a big deal because she has no intention on doing anything but the bare minimum in care for them (clean cage, clean food and water) so she's not interested in handling them and has given these does names that tell you about their temperament (insert foul language here) the people i trades the ones i have are related... I'm assuming by buck.. and not by mother.. so same father,different mothers... but for me it's a little to closely related. So Now that these does are just grumpy girls.. I will be replacement them. But these are my "try it out" rabbits... my guinea pigs if know what i mean. They aren't worth much, no pedigrees or anything certainly not show quality... they are meat rabbits and thats it. i was told my the lady who owns their parents that they are Flemish X NZ crosses..... but honestly they could be anything.. no one writes anything down here. Which i will rectify if i am going to be breeding regularly.. because it's good to know where your kits come from.

So I'll breed the does tomorrow.. test out my breeding plans on these rabbits.. then look for new blood to replace the Mean ones. I have a line of a nice looking FlemishXNZ doe.. 8 months old.. never been bred.. she's a red colour.. super cute.. the breeder says she's friendly. So I'll get in touch with her. She's about 90 minutes away from me.. so it'll have to be a day I'm off of work.

I do want to bred for pet in the near future.. I'd love to get my hands on a Black Otter Rex pair.. but one step at a time. I need a whole new cage system for sure.. but the one i have will do.. i just dont like it.

Thanks soo much for the insight everyone!!
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Re: *Mean* Does

Post Number:#13  Unread postby imajpm » Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:19 pm


I do enjoy acquiring new rabbits so have fun :D alas, I am out of hutch space and contemplating building more...oh boy.

I'd not be concerned about the close breeding on that trio of yours normally. However having all come from a mean doe is not ideal. That personality could get concentrated and locked in the line. If it were me, I think for the future, once you find some nice replacements, that I'd scrap that whole line and not retain anything from it. I've had really vicious rabbits come out several generations later in some lines that were temperamental. Those rabbits just kept showing up, along with all levels of nervous nellies, even though the "nice" ones were selected for breeding. Those guys have covered my hands, arms and stomach with scars and just transferring them for breeding was a rodeo! I am too old for that nonsense :) I even tried swapping litters from a crazy doe to a calm one to see if they would raise up better with a nice mother but nope. Had a calm mother surrounded by 8 skittish whirling dervishes. Practically lost a pint of blood when it came time to butcher :x

I hope you find some nice ones!

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Re: *Mean* Does

Post Number:#14  Unread postby Stephanie » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:03 pm


I have a doe that I almost culled because of her cage aggression. She would stomp and charge at me whenever I opened the door. I knew it was from fear, not real aggression, because of her second eyelid nearly covering her eye. And she would cower in the back corner of her cage if I simply was present without opening the door. To make matters worse, I had a real hard time getting her to breed. She simply refused to lift, after numerous attempts. At the last, I decided to give her one last shot at getting bred. Lo and behold, she lifted with no issues that time. She kindled 9, of which 7 survived and are almost slaughter weight. The does attitude has changed dramatically after getting bred. She still gets just a little nervous if I open the door. But, she readily accepts treats from my hand through the wire now. And, she doesn't cower anymore, nor does her 2nd eyelid show. I was just outside an hour ago, cleaning her cage to get ready for another litter, which is due in a couple weeks. She wasn't especially pleased with me in her space. But, she settled down after a while and just sat in her box while I cleaned it out. As soon as I finished, she got out to inspect the place and didn't seem the least bit annoyed with me anymore. So, whatever attitudes you are seeing now will likely change after getting bred. It could improve. Or, it could get worse. If they are good mothers and don't actually attack with malice, I'd be inclined to tolerate it, providing the litters are a decent size. But, I must also point out that I have a very small rabbitry. If I had many more, I might be a bit more disinclined to tolerate it. Just be patient with them.

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