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How long do y'all suggest till rebreeding?

Discussions and questions about how best to keep your breeding program running smoothly.
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How long do y'all suggest till rebreeding?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby TeaTimeBunnies » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:28 am


So I have a fist time mother doe who went through the pregnancy fine other than been a complete monster. Well her due date came and there were no babies but I saw/careful felt movement and she was still a monster. It is now day 34 of the pregnancy, and I'm not seeing nor feeling movement/kits at all, and there is no evidence of kits anywhere in her hutch. Yesterday she went back to being her sweet self, and today, in my kinda desperate attempt to feel anything remotely kit like, she started humping my arm. I decided to check to see her color and if she was humping me because she is ready to breed again. Sure enough she is the dark purple pink. My question is how long do y'all think I should wait to attempt re-breeding? And what do y'all think could have happened to those kits?
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Re: How long do y'all suggest till rebreeding?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:48 am


Well, I couldn't tell you what happened to the first kits. But if I were you I would rebreed her now. I her second litter disappears I would cull her, disappearing litter is not desirable in meat mutts.
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Re: How long do y'all suggest till rebreeding?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby TeaTimeBunnies » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:53 am


I was already planning on culling her from the breeding herd once a nice daughter shows up, but if she second one disappears too I think you are right. Oh darn, I might have to look for another rabbit :mrgreen: :cheesysmile: :lol:
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Re: How long do y'all suggest till rebreeding?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:10 pm


It is possible to teach rabbits to be nice. Even rabbits with heart conditions. I've tought several monster does that I am dominant, and after you teach them you are dominant it is a lot easier to bond with them. Just thought I'd throw it out there, since I KNOW you don't want a new rabbit! ;) :cheesysmile:
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Re: How long do y'all suggest till rebreeding?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby TeaTimeBunnies » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:30 pm


Ozarkansas wrote:It is possible to teach rabbits to be nice. Even rabbits with heart conditions. I've tought several monster does that I am dominant, and after you teach them you are dominant it is a lot easier to bond with them. Just thought I'd throw it out there, since I KNOW you don't want a new rabbit! ;) :cheesysmile:


I've tried teaching her dominance, but it just seems to make her worse. She's only aggressive during pregnancy though so I was planning on keeping a daughter and having her just be a house pet
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Re: How long do y'all suggest till rebreeding?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:40 pm


The biggest thing is make sure you "let the rabbit go" not "the rabbit got away". If she acts like she is going to box you or launch put your hand firmly on her shoulders holding her down until she quits struggling. (You probably want to wear long sleeves) Never let her startle you into letting her go or struggle out of your grasp! If you do she gets the idea "I am a big, strong, dominate bunny! I can even get away from a human!" And that is not the right idea.... It took me a month with the doe who had a heart condition (I didn't know she had a heart condition at the time) and 1-2 weeks with the other does.So it can be done, but meat mutts aren't always worth the time and effort.
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Re: How long do y'all suggest till rebreeding?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby akane » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:57 pm


Sometimes they'll come into heat even right before they give birth but if a day or 2 goes by it's likely she lost the litter and probably cleaned up before going into heat again. It's rare a rabbit will cannibalize a live litter so often it's something like a stuck kit that kills the rest. Those things are common in some breeds with first timers, particularly small breeds, so should generally be given a second chance but it also means you may pass on a risk of stuck kits. It causes some dwarf lines especially to have a high mortality rate and increases the need for small litters to have successful births because the kits fail to clear the birth canal too often.

It depends why they are being aggressive. Defensiveness while hormonal being met with force and "dominance" may just instill you are the threat she is worried about to her upcoming litter and make them worse. It may turn defensive to offensive instead because when you come around you are now proven to be a threat. A rabbit is a prey animal and not a dog but even the "dominance" concept falls apart often in dog training too because there are many reasons for unwanted behaviors that appear aggressive. There is a point you are boss and there is a point they are an animal acting on instinct you don't have without caring a thing about who stands where in a herd/pack that doesn't exist because you are not the same species and in the case of prey animals you live with them less often than many common predatory pets. Some rabbits fail to understand such behavior at all in the first place because they grow up alone from a young age and never have that interaction level with another animal. Even those experienced to colony life do not have a clear winner or dominant rabbit at times. The bottom of the pecking order may define a territory to put their kits and for a temporary time rule that spot no matter their usual standing in the herd. It has nothing to do with dominance at that point. It's a response to threats to the litter and other does recognize it so that even dominant does will steer clear of generally submissive does in that one area. Dominant does who do not are actually the ones I cull and not the other way around when colony raising because it may lead to a dominant doe that even kills other kits but you need to be able to tell which doe is acting for what reason instead of painting all behavior with the same brush. I had one doe I would have to remove between 2-3weeks pregnant and then pop her back in because she would spend that time wanting to claim territory for her kits. I've noticed a hormone spike is most common around 2weeks and false pregnancies also tend to most often show up then. Closer to birth she would settle into her spot and before that she wasn't interested but between that range she'd start little contests all over even if she was a mini rex often raising litters in a colony of 10-15lb meat rabbits and stayed out of their way the rest of the time. In a colony though a little of that behavior isn't always a horrible thing since they do have other rabbits that could go through their nest even if it's just bolting for some reason that happens to trample a kit and there is easier access for even small predators like rats that will kill kits. Does have been known to kill rats, snakes, and even small weasels after their litter. Some of the same rabbits that would lightly defend their colony nests were just fine in cages when they recognized the space was defined for them again.

In a cage it's frowned upon more because they have no need to keep any protective behavior but it might be easy to solve the issue by trying to eliminate what your doe perceives as a threat that you don't realize. Including yourself. Different neighbors, different cage height if possible, an end cage instead of middle, or away from a door might all be simple solutions. Moving them or whatever little thing changes their behavior might also improve how they raise a litter. However, nervous rabbits that react too easily or strongly are both a risk to harming or abandoning their litter and a pain to handle if they do not realize quickly that it's unnecessary so everyone has their own point they draw the line and what they are willing to try before they just cull a rabbit. Since it's a hormonal response to a threat often there is no training it out though. If anything not handling them, feeding treats, and showing them they can safely stay in their cage to tend their upcoming litter is the best way to neutralize the behavior instead of confirming to them you might try to invade their nest, overcome them, and take their litter. You have to recognize the difference when a response in an animal is based more on fear and defending themselves instead. It is sometimes an even more difficult or harder to predict problem and with hormones driving them potentially impossible in a rabbit to change than just a bossy one.
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Re: How long do y'all suggest till rebreeding?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Ozarkansas » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:38 am


I probably should have clarified I don't expect any doe to be sweet when she has babies under a week old. She has every right to protect those babies, and it is not a dominance issue. But does who become agressive every time they go into heat, 5 days after they are bred, or for no apparent reason have a problem in my rabbitry. I don't allow any agressive behavior until I give them their box, and even then I expect they don't jump out and bite me when I open the cage. I understand they don't want me messing with their babies, and that is why I only check them very briefly once a day and don't allow any one else to touch them until they are one week old. When they have newborns I respect their hormones and just stay out of their way. I do allow a doe to growl and watch me very carefully as that is just hormones not dominance. But if I have a doe who launches at me or boxes me her entire pregnancy or after the kits have opened their eyes she's being dramatic. You do have to remember every rabbit is different. But that doesn't mean it's ok for a rabbit to bite because she's different. My meat mutts hate being picked up or handled, and thats ok it actually makes it easier to eat them. But I do expect them not to bite me for no reason. I have an American blue doe who has never been bred before and used to be really mean. Fist I tought her dominance and then we bonded through treats and nose rubs. She is now sweet as sugar to me, but if anyone else opens her cage beware!! Lol
It really depends on how much patience you have as well.
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Re: How long do y'all suggest till rebreeding?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby TeaTimeBunnies » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:04 am


So just as an update: No kits still so I figured it was safe to re-breed. She turned into a little monster again for about a day after her breeding, but then calmed down and let's me work around her and pet her this time. Being uncertain about if the breeding went well because she calmed down I put her with a buck again and closely watched. She turned aggressive to him and I got her out before any harm was done, so I believe the breeding probably took. I'll still be palpating her in a few days anyway. She does still gets aggressive if I pet too close to her butt so I think that once she feels like the buck did his job, she's not going to let ANYONE chance breeding with her again until she's ready. I think that if she keeps this calm behavior, and this litter doesn't disappear I'll give her another chance with breeding to make sure this behavior isn't a fluke. Then I'll make a final decision.
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