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Breeding siblings? Your thoughts and experiences please

Discussions and questions about how best to keep your breeding program running smoothly.
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Re: Breeding siblings? Your thoughts and experiences pleas

Post Number:#16  Unread postby RebelScumHan » Sat Apr 07, 2018 10:22 pm


I do it. My doe just gave birth to her first litter from her brother... all healthy, beautiful babies. We breed father to daughter, too. There was an experiment that showed it took something like 36 generations of inbreeding before ANY issues emerged. It's just not something to worry about and it's really one of the best ways to bring out those fantastic genetics you want.
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Re: Breeding siblings? Your thoughts and experiences pleas

Post Number:#17  Unread postby Rainey » Sun Apr 08, 2018 12:12 pm


RebelScumHan wrote:I do it. My doe just gave birth to her first litter from her brother... all healthy, beautiful babies. We breed father to daughter, too. There was an experiment that showed it took something like 36 generations of inbreeding before ANY issues emerged. It's just not something to worry about and it's really one of the best ways to bring out those fantastic genetics you want.


We've already bred 2 does to full siblings this spring and one doe is bred to her son and one doe to her father. I'm wondering why breeding siblings is seen as a problem by some who don't see father/daughter or mother/son breeding that way Wouldn't you have the same problem of the recessive genes manifesting in some of the offspring?
Another question--even when you have unrelated rabbits, you don't now what recessive genes they might carry and could get the same sort of problems in any given match for breeding.
Do most people bring new rabbits into their breeding programs to avoid problems associated with inbreeding or to introduce desirable traits--better markings or type etc?
Bottom line for me--we're just raising rabbits for meat for ourselves and what we have is good enough for our purposes so we'll go on as we started as long as we have healthy litters that grow out on our feed in a reasonable time.
I really appreciate all the folks who addressed this issue and hope it wasn't a hijack to take it away from (or beyond?) the original post.

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Re: Breeding siblings? Your thoughts and experiences pleas

Post Number:#18  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:06 pm


Rainey wrote:
RebelScumHan wrote:I do it. My doe just gave birth to her first litter from her brother... all healthy, beautiful babies. We breed father to daughter, too. There was an experiment that showed it took something like 36 generations of inbreeding before ANY issues emerged. It's just not something to worry about and it's really one of the best ways to bring out those fantastic genetics you want.


We've already bred 2 does to full siblings this spring and one doe is bred to her son and one doe to her father. I'm wondering why breeding siblings is seen as a problem by some who don't see father/daughter or mother/son breeding that way Wouldn't you have the same problem of the recessive genes manifesting in some of the offspring?
Another question--even when you have unrelated rabbits, you don't now what recessive genes they might carry and could get the same sort of problems in any given match for breeding.
Do most people bring new rabbits into their breeding programs to avoid problems associated with inbreeding or to introduce desirable traits--better markings or type etc?
Bottom line for me--we're just raising rabbits for meat for ourselves and what we have is good enough for our purposes so we'll go on as we started as long as we have healthy litters that grow out on our feed in a reasonable time.
I really appreciate all the folks who addressed this issue and hope it wasn't a hijack to take it away from (or beyond?) the original post.


most people bring in "fresh blood" because they have been told that they need to, by "others" I have had far more genetic problems from bringing in "fresh blood" to my herd then I ever had from line, or in breeding..
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Re: Breeding siblings? Your thoughts and experiences pleas

Post Number:#19  Unread postby ladysown » Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:38 pm


what inbreeding does is show deficiencies in your herd. IF you have any hidden genetic issues that's where you'll see it. For instance... I didn't know I had fuzzies in my herd until I started breeding father to daughter and suddenly I have bucket loads of them. TRYING to get rid of it as doing fuzzies is not what I want to do. SOME of them come out looking like jersey woolies if you look at their profile so I'm thinking someone fudged on a pedigree somewhere.

if you have any teeth problems in your herd FIX THAT before you breed inline. You don't want to fix that into your herd, along with pinched hips, curved spines etc.

Only breed that VERY VERY best of your herd to your very very best.
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Re: Breeding siblings? Your thoughts and experiences pleas

Post Number:#20  Unread postby hotzcatz » Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:30 pm


It also matters which two siblings are crossed. If their parents aren't closely related to each other, then it's about a 25% inbred and probably not much culling necessary. I've got one buck that is the result of a sire/daughter cross but that was an intentional (as far as I'm concerned) inbreeding. I wanted to get a concentration of genes from the original buck to his replacement. If that buck from the sire/daughter cross were bred to a full sibling, the coefficient of inbreeding would be almost 60%.

When the rabbits here get too inbred, then the Vienna marks start showing up. That's a DQ on the show table, but otherwise a fairly harmless gene as far as I know.
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Re: Breeding siblings? Your thoughts and experiences pleas

Post Number:#21  Unread postby SoDak Thriver » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:54 am


I do think my situation is odd. It came from having too little space to winter. Therefore, we had to make permanent breeding/culling decisions without being able to see the results of those decisions. Now that I have a small barn for rabbits, I can maintain several buck and lots of does. Once I find a working combination, we'll be back in the saddle. If I can't find a working combination, I'll have to bring in fresh blood, and all the problems that brings in.

In fact, if I have to bring in fresh blood, I might just cull my herd and restart with two new breeding trios.
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Re: Breeding siblings? Your thoughts and experiences pleas

Post Number:#22  Unread postby Rainey » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:09 pm


ladysown wrote:
if you have any teeth problems in your herd FIX THAT before you breed inline. You don't want to fix that into your herd, along with pinched hips, curved spines etc.


Not sure if I should be starting a new thread for this but since it is related and is in response to something said in this one, I'm trying it here. What am I looking for about a rabbit's teeth? Never notice any problem except the original vicious doe that bit the hands that fed her and is long gone. I can imagine that if the teeth aren't right, then eating (especially maybe the willow and other forage we feed) could be difficult. But is there a way to check with newborn kits or when should I be looking and is there some way to tell besides watching everyone eat? That feels like a dumb question, but I can see this is something I need to think about with breeding closely related rabbits. Thanks, ladysown, for pointing it out.

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Re: Breeding siblings? Your thoughts and experiences pleas

Post Number:#23  Unread postby Nymphadora » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:18 pm


Rainey wrote:What am I looking for about a rabbit's teeth?


Signs of malocclusion, would be my first instinct. And you’re right, severe malocclusion will definitely interfere with a rabbit's ability to eat properly, but even before then you may be able to detect it. It can show up as teeth that are slightly crooked, or offset. If the teeth don't look nice and neat, or something looks to be overlapping weirdly, chances are there's something not quite right. And it can get worse with time, since the teeth won’t get worn down correctly. Of course, an especially silly rabbit may end up messing up their teeth by chewing and pulling on cage wire, as well. In which case, you wouldn’t have to worry about it passing bad teeth to its offspring. :roll:

I know the judges at rabbit shows check teeth for each individual rabbit when they do their assessment. It doesn't look terribly hard, but baby rabbits can be squirmy (my arms tell that story all too well). :x

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Re: Breeding siblings? Your thoughts and experiences pleas

Post Number:#24  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:44 pm


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Re: Breeding siblings? Your thoughts and experiences pleas

Post Number:#25  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:06 pm


Downright scary, Michael! :shock:

Here's a couple of links about rabbit teeth, with photos of proper alignment. Sometimes in young kits their teeth may not seem quite right, but may correct themselves as the kits grow.

http://www.rabbitmatters.com/rabbit-teeth.html
https://www.raising-rabbits.com/rabbit-teeth.html
Last edited by MaggieJ on Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Breeding siblings? Your thoughts and experiences pleas

Post Number:#26  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:09 am


Fortunately for me- I have never had malocclusion in my rabbits, -but- when I worked for a "animal sanctuary" -there were a lot of "pet breed" rabbits surrendered [ "dumped"] there-- I treated /trimmed teeth on a lot of those rabbits. -careless inbreeding , and irresponsible breeding, is a real problem in pet breeds . I also saw a lot of GI issues, eye issues, and clogged /Nasolacrimal duct obstruction in those designer breeds. I think,-- those type of problems have mostly been eliminated in standard meat breeds, it only crops up when crossing or inbreeding discovers a recessive gene.. It is said by some,- that malocclusion can happen from rabbits pulling/ biting the wire on cages-- maybe so,-- but in the hundreds of thousands of rabbits I have raised-- I have never seen it..
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Re: Breeding siblings? Your thoughts and experiences pleas

Post Number:#27  Unread postby alforddm » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:51 am


I will probably do a couple of sibling breedings this year so long as the buck proves he can produce litters. He has a massive loin but I bred him twice and neither doe took. One, I can't hold against him as the I've had trouble getting that doe bred in the past but the other one really surprised me. His inbreeding COI is only 20.57% so def not so much that I would expect problems. I rebred him to 3 does and they are due in 2 weeks. My palpating skills are not great so I guess we'll see.

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Re: Breeding siblings? Your thoughts and experiences pleas

Post Number:#28  Unread postby Rainey » Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:58 pm


MaggieJ wrote:Downright scary, Michael! :shock:

Here's a couple of links about rabbit teeth, with photos of proper alignment. Sometimes in young kits their teeth may not seem quite right, but may correct themselves as the kits grow.

http://www.rabbitmatters.com/rabbit-teeth.html
https://www.raising-rabbits.com/rabbit-teeth.html


Thanks, Maggie, the links were really helpful. My daughter and I read them and then went out this morning and checked the teeth of our 2 bucks. They both looked good. And Michael's post about teeth problems being less common in breeds that have been developed for meat than in pet rabbits was also helpful. Going forward it will be another thing we'll be sure to look at before breeding anybunny.

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Re: Breeding siblings? Your thoughts and experiences pleas

Post Number:#29  Unread postby SoDak Thriver » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:47 pm


We get malocclusion from time to time in our meat herd, but we just trim the teeth until they get to fryer weight and then they feed us.
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