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What to try when rabbits won't breed Update Success

Discussions and questions about how best to keep your breeding program running smoothly.
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What to try when rabbits won't breed Update Success

Post Number:#1  Unread postby ckcs » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:29 pm


I bought a trio of French Angoras months ago that are now about 9 months old. I bought them to breed them and am ready to go. A few months back I test bred them hoping they were ready and the buck mounted, the doe lifted and everything went smooth. Too young so no babies. Here I am months later and the does will not lift. Here is what I have tried and my results.

1) Put does in bucks cage one at a time. Does both lay down and the buck mounts but they never lift. None of the typical chasing around that I am used to with my Lionheads.
2) I brought the buck to the does cage. The doe lays down and so does the buck. He shows little interest. It's unbelievable at how relaxed they are around each other.
3) I put both does in with the buck at the same time. I expected chaos. Instead both does flopped down and the buck exhausted himself going back and forth mounting each of them.
4) I put one of the does and the buck on the table. Both really liked being on the table. So much that the buck never attempted mounting.
5) I have add apple cider vinegar to their water as I've heard that helps sometimes. I've rubbed the female and she lifts but I am of course not a rabbit.

I'm planning on clipping the hair down there as I think that may be getting in the way. Good idea?

I've also read this http://www.ehow.com/how_8394151_force-d ... breed.html but not sure what this looks like in action. Maybe someone knows of a video.

Getting new stock is not an option at this time as it took me a long time to be able to get these 3.


I tried the apple cider and waited a couple of days. I put the doe in with the buck tonight and she lifted right away. He was able to do his business three times. I also noticed my buck was more assertive this time which may have helped him score.
Last edited by ckcs on Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What to try when rabbits won't breed

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:25 pm


This is going to sound silly, but quite a few people have had successful breedings using this idea. Buy some Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Zinger tea and offer that instead of water for a day or two before attempting a breeding. There are no guarantees and no actual statistics, but anecdotal evidence indicates that it is worth a try.
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Re: What to try when rabbits won't breed

Post Number:#3  Unread postby akane » Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:52 pm


Various diet supplements can help. Aside from the ACV and raspberry tea people try BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds sold for birds), flaxseed, grains, different types of fresh forage like berry bush or safe tree leaves, plantains, dandelions... There's a list of edible plants in the natural feeding section.

Making a breeding pen can help. Some put them together out on grass if the rabbits are used to eating grass but they may just find the ground more interesting than each other. I put a puppy xpen type setup on the wood floor just inside the house with no other items around and then set the buck and doe in there. The change of scenery seems to especially help the doe. Using a different buck for one breeding and then keeping the doe bred can fix the problem but doesn't sound like an option in this case unless you want some crossbreeds. Which I have done before if I had a doe that really wouldn't breed with a specific buck. I've made one litter of mutts and then kept her bred closer. Does are less likely to want to breed if they haven't been bred for awhile or if they are allowed to get older before their first litter.

If everything fails and neither rabbit is acting aggressive to each other I will leave a doe and buck in a large cage for awhile. It's not a suggested practice because if the doe gets tired of his advances she might just decide to neuter him. If you have really laid back rabbits though sometimes they just won't get to the task in the time you are sitting there watching. Usually a week is good, sometimes 2 and then I separate them again and put in a nestbox 28 days from the first day they were together until day 40 from the last day they were together. It's only failed once. I'm starting to think there's something wrong with that doe.
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Re: What to try when rabbits won't breed

Post Number:#4  Unread postby TwoAcreDream » Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:52 pm


I hope you wrote down the first time you attempted breeding them.

My example is Sally, a mixed doe.
She had 3 litters so far, and I was attempting to get a 4th litter from
her. Her 3rd litter was 10. I am thinking that probably 7 or 8 attempts
were made. Several different bucks. Nothing was happening.
The doe just sat there. Never growled, nothing. Just sat there.
And I did not leave them unsupervised. So I knew nothing had happened.

So standing out in the bunny room several weeks later,
feeding them and happened to glance at Sally. There she sat,
with a BIG mouthfull of hay. Well the human moved very fast and got the
rabbit , a nest box. Next morning, there was 5 babies. Litter number 4 :)

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Re: What to try when rabbits won't breed

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Ramjet » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:22 pm


I've heard that ginger root will increase their libido .... Might be worth a shot.
Hindsight is always 20/20 but looking back its still a bit fuzzy.

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Re: What to try when rabbits won't breed

Post Number:#6  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:33 am


I look at the vulva color each day before I try to breed stubborn does, I just breed them when they are purple inside, -- works for me--
but,- I have little experience with any rabbits except meat breeds.
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: What to try when rabbits won't breed

Post Number:#7  Unread postby 3mina » Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:51 am


Try taking them for a car ride, I had a pair of does decide they needed to be bred while they were at a show about an hour away from home.
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Re: What to try when rabbits won't breed Update Success

Post Number:#8  Unread postby ckcs » Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:00 pm


One of my two does has been bred now. Other doe is still playing hard to get. I will keep at it.

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