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How soon is early?

Addressing the special needs of the breeding doe and her kits. Includes nutrition, gestation, nest boxes and materials, and tips to ensure survival of the young.
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How soon is early?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby dfr1973 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:32 am


I went out to feed this morning, and discovered one of my grow-outs in her first heat. She had mounted her sister in frustration, so I tossed her in with the only buck by himself, Jack, her sire, her mother Lacey is also a very eager breeder but didn't have her first heat until she was 6 months old. Looking at my records, this girl is from Lacey's first litter born 15 Feb, which makes her 20.5 weeks old.

Hubby asked if this was an early age for that, and I didn't know for sure, so I said I'd ask here. Is she precocious? :?:
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Re: How soon is early?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:38 am


I always make sure litters of weaned rabbits are separated by sex,
before they reach 12 weeks,
as I have had viable litters, from 16 week old rabbits ...
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: How soon is early?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby dfr1973 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:39 am


OK, so this isn't really unusual then. I just didn't know for sure yesterday when hubby asked. Should be interesting to see if the breeding takes, considering we hit 93F Sunday, and 94F yesterday afternoon. But, that discussion is probably better suited to my breeding for heat tolerance post.
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Re: How soon is early?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby golden rabbitry » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:28 pm


I had 2 sisters that both went in heat i think week 18 and they where just fine. I had one male reach sexual maturity at 16 weeks but he was always kinda ahead. I wouldn't stress about it, but it seems that ur just fine. Some rabbits just mature earlier but I'v never had a problem with it so

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Re: How soon is early?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby hotzcatz » Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:27 am


FWIW, rabbits don't go into heat, they are contact ovulators. After she's been bred by a buck, then the doe will drop eggs. There's four days of the month where they can't conceive, the rest of the time they are ready.

Mounting another rabbit isn't always sexual in the rabbit world, it's also part of the dominance game. Who mounts whom, who gets groomed first, who does the grooming, it's all part of their determining who gets to be Queen Empress Bunny.

As for how early is too early, a lot of that will depend on the breed of bunny. The smaller breeds will be able to breed at an earlier age then the larger breeds. The rabbits here are English angora and can breed at five months old, although I'll separate them at about four months old.
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Re: How soon is early?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby dfr1973 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:12 am


I do know they don't have a heat cycle per se, but that seemed like the easiest way to express what I saw: she was doing more than just the usual dominance games. Just got in from morning feeding, and instead of munching down on the bit of grass I gave her, she has folded the blades up neatly and is looking for a place to nest. It is day 29! I hope she likes her nest box with pine shavings and timothy hay for nesting-building that I just put in for her.
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