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Breeding options

Keeping rabbits for their wool and methods of using it.
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Breeding options

Post Number:#1  Unread postby dragonladyleanne » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:13 am


I have a quandary. Based on others' opinions of a doe I got with unknown provenance, other than she was about 5-6 months old when I bought her, I bought Aramis, a purebred French Angora buck. I had been breeding strictly for meat, and had NO interest in the pet market, and nominal interest in the fibre market until acquiring the doe, but she has grown on me. Well, the buck had health issues from the get-go, and sadly passed at age 5 months. Since he passed before he could be bred with my French Angora or FA/cross doe, I am now pondering the next move. A replacement buck has been offered to me by Aramis' breeder, but none will be available for another 4-5 months (she lost HER herd sire to our crappy weather, and her replacement is only 4 months old himself), while my doe is now a year old and never successfully bred. She weighs a little over 5 pounds, but my smallest meat buck is my 8 pound Champagne (the NZW buck weighs over 10 pounds), so I am a little reluctant to just make her a meat mama with useable fur, unless someone can reassure me that breeding her to a bigger buck won't hurt her. I could just keep her as a pet/fibre provider, but I already have 2 "pets" who don't get much attention as it is (a former breeder whose mastitis affected most of her teats, and her boy who lost his leg to the same rats who caused her mastitis by eating 8 babies the day after her milk came in).

So, option 1. breed her to my Champagne buck and hope for the best 2. breed her to the 3 legged boy who carries the wool gene and also some checkered giant (though he himself is smaller than she is, due to his injury stunting his growth, his dad was about 7 pounds) 3. find a CHEAP replacement FA buck who is already of breeding age, within an hour's drive of Pace, FL 4. See if anyone will do a "stud service for pick of litter" option or 5. Sell her to someone who has a French Angora program in place - but I would NOT sell her off super cheap in this last scenario, as I have grown fond of her. Thoughts?
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Re: Breeding options

Post Number:#2  Unread postby akane » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:25 am


A 5lb doe to an 8lb buck shouldn't be a problem. The kits lean towards the dam's side, that's true of most species, and since it's not a dwarf breed the extra difficult labors are not a consideration. I had slightly over show size mini rex being bred by american sables and american chin crosses that are 8-10lbs. That's a far cry from my champagnes. lol My herdsire was a 15lb meat brick. Everything looks small when I think about handling my champagnes. I also had some fully sized checkered crosses that weren't as solid but were taller and longer. They had some impressive reach with those back legs. First time I carried one it slit my inner arm from wrist to elbow.
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Re: Breeding options

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Dood » Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:50 am


If she is only 5 pounds then your are probably not going to be getting much meat off her 8 week old kits but if you don't mind "Cornish Hen" rabbit or letting them grow for a few extra weeks (or months :mrgreen: )

If you decide to breed her I'd cross to your meatiest, and fasting growing buck.

I would not cross to the wool carrier buck as you will likely get some sparsely wooled critters with tufts here and there.

I have another option - get a stud service from Aramis's breeder in a month or for several breedings in lieu of a replacement buck.

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Re: Breeding options

Post Number:#4  Unread postby skysthelimit » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:41 pm


Ok, so the doe is an FA? She's only 5lbs?

If you want wool, then you would want to breed her to the wool carrier. Crossing to a non wool carrier will get you nothing in the first generation. My SF x Angora kits have short SF coats, not tuffs of wool.

If not, cross her to the largest, meatiest buck.
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Re: Breeding options

Post Number:#5  Unread postby BlueMoods » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:23 am


My 5 lb velveteen does has done fine crossed to my 11 lb Cali mix buck, the kits end up closer to the size of the doe (5-7 lbs) She is a sr, so has lots of experience but, I would breed her to yout largest buck since you primarily want meat. You'll get some slightly larger ones form the kits, and, some of those might end up being what you want for wool crosses later. If not, at the least you will get as much meat as you can from the kits off the smaller doe and, of course usable hides.

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