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First litter, Only 3 Kits?

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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First litter, Only 3 Kits?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby StaffordHomestead » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:33 pm


It's my first year breeding meat rabbits. I have 2 American Blue does, and 1 male American Chinchilla. Bunny #1 had only 3 kits in her first litter, Bunny #2 had 4 kits. Is this normal? I am kind of disappointed I was hoping for 6-8 kits. I just rebred bunny #1 today so Im hoping for a better second litter. The does were both about a year old for their first breeding, I'm thinking maybe I started them too late or they're too overweight?? I don't know... any insight/tips would help!

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Re: First litter, Only 3 Kits?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Marie28 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:25 pm


I'm thinking it would have mostly to do with the age but you really never know. I would also consider how many times the buck fell off. We try for at least 4 times if the doe is oky with it. We also put her in again the next day because that can get the right hormones going. I would breed them again and see what happens.

Our doe ruby had one kit (& one DOA) her first litter (accidental litter) her second litter was Four (and one DOA) and her third last litter was eight. And this time I think she has at least 8 judging by the size of her belly.

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Re: First litter, Only 3 Kits?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby SableSteel » Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:01 am


Could just be luck. Having living kits at all Id consider a good first litter, so just try and rebreed them.
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Re: First litter, Only 3 Kits?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Marie28 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:21 am


SableSteel wrote:Could just be luck. Having living kits at all Id consider a good first litter, so just try and rebreed them.


Agreed!

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Re: First litter, Only 3 Kits?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby alforddm » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:11 am


A year old at first breeding is late. Lots of time for internal body fat to develop and reduce fertility even if they don't appear fat on the outside. Rebreeding within two weeks of birth, will help reduce that internal fat and hopefully give you larger litters the next go round. You can continue the fast breeding cycle until the does are just slightly on the thin side. I always get larger litter when my does are slightly thin. One of my does gave me 3 and 5 and then the next litter was 12. Her first litter at 5.5 months was 13 so I knew the genetic potential was there but she had gotten just slightly heavy over the summer.

-- Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:11 am --

And she just kindled 13 again on day 29. Thank goodness I put her nest box in last night. She usually kindles day 30.

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Re: First litter, Only 3 Kits?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby akane » Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:30 am


Late breeding or large gaps in breeding of both genders can reduce litter size for at least a litter or 2. If you breed in the heat the bucks can also have reduced sperm or go completely sterile. Different bucks will take different amounts of time to recover from heat sterility. I've had some fail to breed again until Nov when it's usually back down to low 80s or less here by sept and 60s by oct.
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