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timing spring and fall litters

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timing spring and fall litters

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Rainey » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:22 pm


We thought we had figured out when we wanted to breed our rabbits. We aimed to have the most kits growing out when the most forage was available, to not have first time does kindling in the cold, to avoid kindling in the hottest weather, and not to have does producing milk when their water would be freezing up. So we we’d start breeding in March and breed a doe a week for 4 weeks, breeding the proven does first, ones we knew would build a good nest and kindle in it. Then we’d take a break and breed 2 or 3 does in August to kindle in September and have kits growing out through the fall while we still had stuff coming in from the gardens.
We had 4 spring litters but spring was late and the earliest kits didn’t get as much fresh green stuff as we’d wish. Bred the first doe again for a June litter and tried to breed 2 others for fall litters but the young doe was uncooperative and the other had a single and has been culled. Not much of a fall. Hot and humid through September, then cold and wet through October and snow starting and staying in November.
I know that many in the north take the winter off from breeding while many in the south take the summer off. I’d like to hear from others who try for litters in spring and fall and how that is working for you as spring and fall don’t seem very predictable.

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Re: timing spring and fall litters

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:32 pm


Your weather and mine are pretty similar, Rainey, though I think you get more snow than we do. I had some problems in timing litters when the rabbits were in cages. In the colony (in a shed) and with nest tunnels instead of open boxes, I did not have the same concerns. There were other issues to troubleshoot, but I could and did let the rabbits decide when to have their young.

Mind, I'm not pushing colony-raising at you. I liked it, but you do have less control than when the rabbits are in individual cages.
Sojourning in 1894 . . .

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Re: timing spring and fall litters

Post Number:#3  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:14 pm


after a log spell with does not having litters, they are often a little hard to get rebred. ...for those who would not cooperate.. - I would cut their feed ration by 1/4 to 1/3, let them lose just a little weight for about 2 or 3 weeks ,... then,- feed 1 1/2 the normal amount of feed and start checking vulva color, and trying to breed them.. the increase in calories stimulates reproduction , - I would "guess" it is kind of like spring with extra feed available after a long winter.. any way.. it worked for me...
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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