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New to having my first breeding Trio-troubleshooting

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New to having my first breeding Trio-troubleshooting

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Kaybear » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:59 am


Hi all,

My husband and I have started trying to raise meat rabbits. We received a breeding trio of American blues at a good price. They are 18 months old. The first two days of trying to breed were fails. The buck never fell off and the does kept running around. We checked the does lady parts last night and it turns out the does arent ready yet. When will the does become ready?

Thank you!

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Re: New to having my first breeding Trio-troubleshooting

Post Number:#2  Unread postby alforddm » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:21 am


Feed, weight, and other factors can affect a does willingness to breed. The first thing I would check is weight. Make sure they are not overweight as that can definitely cause them to not want to breed.

Have these does kindled before?

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Re: New to having my first breeding Trio-troubleshooting

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Kaybear » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:37 am


alforddm wrote:Feed, weight, and other factors can affect a does willingness to breed. The first thing I would check is weight. Make sure they are not overweight as that can definitely cause them to not want to breed.

Have these does kindled before?


I did not think about their weight. I will weigh them after work. This morning I felt around their hips and felt lots of bone. They were outside rabbits before we got them. They sucked down water the first two days but evened out now. The person I got them from said they kindled once around 13 months old.

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Re: New to having my first breeding Trio-troubleshooting

Post Number:#4  Unread postby shazza » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:07 am


where are you located? sometimes rabbit care is very localized so having at least a general area ("southern US" or just a state/province,) is incredibly useful for giving advice.

if it is summer where you live, that may be part of the problem. does aren't as willing to breed when it's hot, and bucks can go sterile in extreme temps. it could be that they haven't settled in yet. i find it can take several weeks for a rabbit to grow adjusted to their new environment and routine before they'll be comfortable enough to want to breed. i also second weight. feeling the rabbit may not always give you a good idea of how much fat is on them since they tend to store fat in odd areas. generally if you can feel the spine and it feels "padded" they're fine, but not always. putting her on a scale will give you a better idea. i think americans are supposed to weigh around 10lbs as adults?

some of the tricks you can try are:

- putting the rabbits in a pen on the grass. sometimes the change in scenery can get them frisky and timid does appreciate the space to "escape" if needed
- breed in the early morning/late at night when it's cooler
- apple cider vinegar in the doe's water
- spinach and kale are good treats and also can provide vitamins that may encourage does to breed
- swap their cages. i like to do it in the morning when i feed them, then leave them in each others' cages over night and try to breed the next morning. being surrounded by the buck's smell can get stubborn does in the mood


if it still won't work, i would move to seeing if it's a feed issue. several members have had issues with some commercial feeds making their rabbits unwilling to breed or miscarry due to chemicals sprayed on the grass.
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Re: New to having my first breeding Trio-troubleshooting

Post Number:#5  Unread postby 2CrazyFools » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:36 am


I was just burying my head in the Textbook of Rabbit Medication (I was using the free eBook trial and now it's on my christmas wish list!) that,
Full sexual receptivity occurs every 18 days and is manifested by restlessness and increased chin rubbing.
So personally I'd keep giving them "play dates" and keep an eye out for the does scent rubbing things. Check their vulvas in another few days and try again.

Also, concerning body condition I was also reading,
In trials conducted at the University of Edinburgh, the rib area proved to be the most useful for assessing body fat, with the hips and spine only showing appreciable changes at extremes of body weight.
Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 9.32.15 AM.png
Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 9.32.15 AM.png (54.65 KiB) Viewed 1220 times


Personally, I also got some (4) Americans last year (two years ago?) and could never get them bred, never get them bred, got one bred and she and the kits died, never got them bred, never got them bred, finally got the favorite bred and she died in childbirth though I was able to hand raise four of the kits and kept two of her daughters. Couldn't get the remaining two to breed, and finally got frustrated after a year of nothing and ate them both.

So my experience with Americans is pretty dismal, hopefully yours will be much better! :D Good luck!!
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Re: New to having my first breeding Trio-troubleshooting

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Kaybear » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:23 am


shazza wrote:where are you located? sometimes rabbit care is very localized so having at least a general area ("southern US" or just a state/province,) is incredibly useful for giving advice.

if it is summer where you live, that may be part of the problem. does aren't as willing to breed when it's hot, and bucks can go sterile in extreme temps. it could be that they haven't settled in yet. i find it can take several weeks for a rabbit to grow adjusted to their new environment and routine before they'll be comfortable enough to want to breed. i also second weight. feeling the rabbit may not always give you a good idea of how much fat is on them since they tend to store fat in odd areas. generally if you can feel the spine and it feels "padded" they're fine, but not always. putting her on a scale will give you a better idea. i think americans are supposed to weigh around 10lbs as adults?

some of the tricks you can try are:

- putting the rabbits in a pen on the grass. sometimes the change in scenery can get them frisky and timid does appreciate the space to "escape" if needed
- breed in the early morning/late at night when it's cooler
- apple cider vinegar in the doe's water
- spinach and kale are good treats and also can provide vitamins that may encourage does to breed
- swap their cages. i like to do it in the morning when i feed them, then leave them in each others' cages over night and try to breed the next morning. being surrounded by the buck's smell can get stubborn does in the mood


if it still won't work, i would move to seeing if it's a feed issue. several members have had issues with some commercial feeds making their rabbits unwilling to breed or miscarry due to chemicals sprayed on the grass.


We live in Texas but they have been inside for four days in air conditioning. I will try these tricks and see what happens. I can post what feed I got them when I get home. Im not sure how much protein is in it.

-- Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:23 am --

2CrazyFools wrote:I was just burying my head in the Textbook of Rabbit Medication (I was using the free eBook trial and now it's on my christmas wish list!) that,
Full sexual receptivity occurs every 18 days and is manifested by restlessness and increased chin rubbing.
So personally I'd keep giving them "play dates" and keep an eye out for the does scent rubbing things. Check their vulvas in another few days and try again.

Also, concerning body condition I was also reading,
In trials conducted at the University of Edinburgh, the rib area proved to be the most useful for assessing body fat, with the hips and spine only showing appreciable changes at extremes of body weight.
Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 9.32.15 AM.png


Personally, I also got some (4) Americans last year (two years ago?) and could never get them bred, never get them bred, got one bred and she and the kits died, never got them bred, never got them bred, finally got the favorite bred and she died in childbirth though I was able to hand raise four of the kits and kept two of her daughters. Couldn't get the remaining two to breed, and finally got frustrated after a year of nothing and ate them both.

So my experience with Americans is pretty dismal, hopefully yours will be much better! :D Good luck!!


I was concerned it may be that they were on some off days even though they dont really have heat cycles :/ my husband thinks we have faulty rabbits lol Now I am wondering if I should have gotten New Zealands. I wanted a good meat/hide rabbit that was an interesting color.

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Re: New to having my first breeding Trio-troubleshooting

Post Number:#7  Unread postby alforddm » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:52 am


Since your in Texas it's quite possible that your bucks will be heat sterile even if the does do decide they want to breed. I live in far southeastern OK (about 15 miles from Texas) and I generally don't get litters until late Oct or early Nov depending on how long the heat lasts. Even if you bring them into the AC, it takes at least a month (some studies say up to 70 days) for the boys to get everything working again if they do go completely sterile (mine do). I usually get my last litters in June and then take a break for the summer.

In my experience, rabbits tend to need fairly frequent litters to keep them in breeding shape. If they have a break (even just over the summer like mine), they can be hard to get bred. My mutts aren't usually so bad, but I have had some problems with my Rex.

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Re: New to having my first breeding Trio-troubleshooting

Post Number:#8  Unread postby shazza » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:12 pm


i agree with alforddm. i've heard it can take up to three months for the bucks to become fertile again. even then, it can be VERY hard on rabbits to be pregnant and raise kits in the heat. i'm also in texas and my rabbits have done okay so far, but it's the time of year where we get triple digits and i wouldn't risk it personally. even though it may be a bit difficult to get a litter later in the year, it'll be much safer on the doe and her kits once she does finally conceive.

i forgot to say that you should add your location to your profile so we don't need to keep asking :) nice to see another fellow texan here though!
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Re: New to having my first breeding Trio-troubleshooting

Post Number:#9  Unread postby alforddm » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:27 pm


It doesn't have to be an exact location. Just east texas or west texas is fine if you don't want to be more specific. So many rabbit questions relate to location and climate so it just saves us a bit of time.

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Re: New to having my first breeding Trio-troubleshooting

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Kaybear » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:57 pm


alforddm wrote:Since your in Texas it's quite possible that your bucks will be heat sterile even if the does do decide they want to breed. I live in far southeastern OK (about 15 miles from Texas) and I generally don't get litters until late Oct or early Nov depending on how long the heat lasts. Even if you bring them into the AC, it takes at least a month (some studies say up to 70 days) for the boys to get everything working again if they do go completely sterile (mine do). I usually get my last litters in June and then take a break for the summer.

In my experience, rabbits tend to need fairly frequent litters to keep them in breeding shape. If they have a break (even just over the summer like mine), they can be hard to get bred. My mutts aren't usually so bad, but I have had some problems with my Rex.


Thanks for the information. I couldn't find this anywhere. When I check the does, can I just flip them over and look? With the buck i had to push on his area to see he was indeed a boy. :lol:

-- Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:53 pm --

alforddm wrote:Feed, weight, and other factors can affect a does willingness to breed. The first thing I would check is weight. Make sure they are not overweight as that can definitely cause them to not want to breed.

Have these does kindled before?



Im at home and able to check. Looks like doe one is 9.4 lbs and doe two is just below that.

-- Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:57 pm --

Also, my buck was biting my does. I think to hold on but he bit one hard enough she screamed :( that was a day or two ago. When we get to where we can breed them, weather permitting etc. Will she be scared of him?

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