Buck Problems and Retiring Does

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Graceful Rabbitry

gracefulrabbits
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Buck Question: So, I have a a litter of rabbit that were 2 months old February 5th, I still had the bucks with the females causes I didn’t think they would try anything til at least 12 weeks old, well a couple week ago the bucks were humping each other so I moved them out so they wouldn’t get the does pregnant? Can does even get pregnant that early? Anyway, I moved them out and I never noticed any more jumping until today? When will they start fighting and do I need to separate the bucks now?

Retiring Does Questions:
I have a doe who will be 2 this year and I’m just have some questions about retiring does.
So, she has had 4 litters and I bred her when she was about 7 months old. She had her first litter December 16th 2021. She will probably have 2-3 each year. She weighs 6.10 lbs. When do you think she will need to be retired? I’ve noticed she seems a lot less active and not as happy when she is not pregnant. When I put her with a buck and he’s not doing it right lol she will hump him lol.
AD9CAA99-E04B-4921-9338-FB3383F174AD.jpeg

I was also wondering how you decide when does need to be retired? Also, do bucks need retiring too?

Thank you :)
 
Buck Question: So, I have a a litter of rabbit that were 2 months old February 5th, I still had the bucks with the females causes I didn’t think they would try anything til at least 12 weeks old, well a couple week ago the bucks were humping each other so I moved them out so they wouldn’t get the does pregnant? Can does even get pregnant that early?
I've never had a doe get pregnant before 12 weeks, and I often keep our meat grow-outs together that long. The humping is not only sexual, it's also a dominance behavior. If too much of it is going on it can be best to separate them so they don't tear up each other's fur, but otherwise it shouldn't be a problem before 12 weeks.
Anyway, I moved them out and I never noticed any more jumping until today? When will they start fighting and do I need to separate the bucks now?
Since the humping is a dominance thing, as long as the bucks are content with their place in the hierarchy, they may get along for quite a while. It seems to depend a lot on the individual rabbits. I've had 2 brothers get along for more than 6 months without serious fighting; one was quite dominant and the other was quite submissive. It does seem that having more than two bucks, or females nearby, tends to make it more likely that bucks will fight. The "dominance dance" of peaceful coexistence can involve chasing, nipping, some fur pulling; but I usually separate rabbits (either male or female) if I start to see scabs or blood drawn, or if one of the rabbits is falling behind in growth as a result of the dominant rabbit "guarding" the food and/or water.
Retiring Does Questions:
I have a doe who will be 2 this year and I’m just have some questions about retiring does.
So, she has had 4 litters and I bred her when she was about 7 months old. She had her first litter December 16th 2021. She will probably have 2-3 each year. She weighs 6.10 lbs. When do you think she will need to be retired?
Again it depends on the individual doe, and also what your goals are in your breeding program.

I breed for both meat and show. If I was only interested in meat production, I would probably retire most does after about 3 years of age since that is when most of them start having smaller litters (2-4 instead of 6-10), and also begin to intermittently miss conceptions. However, I did have a doe that was still reliably giving me litters of 6-8 into her fourth year, and also produced a large number of Grand Champions, so of course I didn't retire her. :)

Even if a doe is giving me smaller litters, if she contributes quality offspring to my breeding program, I'll keep breeding her for that reason. I had a 4-year-old doe that had 2-3 kits per litter all season, but out of 7 bunnies, 5 ended up Grand Champions. Since I show my rabbits, in my estimation 2 high-quality bunnies are worth as much as 8 mediocre ones. :) On the other hand, if a doe does not produce what I'm looking for, or if I only kept her to produce a particular color, for instance, I'll retire her in her first season.

The final consideration to retiring does is that even if they are not super-productive, my older does are fantastic foster mothers. It works very well for me to breed a young doe who is likely to have a litter of up to 10-12, at the same time as an older doe who will most likely have 2-4. The older doe has plenty of room to take 4-6 bunnies - they seem to be able to raise big litters well past the time they kindle big litters.

Incidentally, most of my retired does end up going to other breeders or to pet homes. I rarely have to butcher adults, generally only if they have health problems.
I’ve noticed she seems a lot less active and not as happy when she is not pregnant. When I put her with a buck and he’s not doing it right lol she will hump him lol.
I've noticed the same thing - my does are by far most content when they're pregnant or raising kits. I believe it is because that's what rabbits are designed to do - reproduce! :ROFLMAO:
 
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I've never had a doe get pregnant before 12 weeks, and I often keep our meat grow-outs together that long. The humping is not only sexual, it's also a dominance behavior. If too much of it is going on it can be best to separate them so they don't tear up each other's fur, but otherwise it shouldn't be a problem before 12 weeks.

Since the humping is a dominance thing, as long as the bucks are content with their place in the hierarchy, they may get along for quite a while. It seems to depend a lot on the individual rabbits. I've had 2 brothers get along for more than 6 months without serious fighting; one was quite dominant and the other was quite submissive. It does seem that having more than two bucks, or females nearby, tends to make it more likely that bucks will fight. The "dominance dance" of peaceful coexistence can involve chasing, nipping, some fur pulling; but I usually separate rabbits (either male or female) if I start to see scabs or blood drawn, or if one of the rabbits is falling behind in growth as a result of the dominant rabbit "guarding" the food and/or water.

Again it depends on the individual doe, and also what your goals are in your breeding program.

I breed for both meat and show. If I was only interested in meat production, I would probably retire most does at about 3 years of age since that is when most of them start having smaller litters (2-4 instead of 6-10), and also begin to intermittently miss conceptions. However, I did have a doe that was still reliably giving me litters of 6-8 into her fourth year, and also produced a large number of Grand Champions, so of course I didn't retire her. :)

Even if a doe is giving me smaller litters, if she contributes quality offspring to my breeding program, I'll keep breeding her for that reason. I had a 4-year-old doe that had 2-3 kits per litter all season, but out of 7 bunnies, 5 ended up Grand Champions. Since I show my rabbits, in my estimation 2 high-quality bunnies are worth as much as 8 mediocre ones. :) On the other hand, if a doe does not produce what I'm looking for, or if I only kept her to produce a particular color, for instance, I'll retire her in her first season.

The final consideration to retiring does is that even if they are not super-productive, my older does are fantastic foster mothers. It works very well for me to breed a young doe who is likely to have a litter of up to 10-12, at the same time as an older doe who will most likely have 2-4. The older doe has plenty of room to take 4-6 bunnies - they seem to be able to raise big litters well past the time they kindle big litters.

Incidentally, most of my retired does end up going to other breeders or to pet homes. I rarely have to butcher adults, generally only if they have health problems.

I've noticed the same thing - my does are by far most content when they're pregnant or raising kits. I believe it is because that's what rabbits are designed to do - reproduce! :ROFLMAO:
Thank you, you always answer my questions flawlessly!!
 
Rabbits mount each other for dominance. I've had a Doe mount her brothers, and when I breed rabbits a lot of times the Doe tries to "show the Buck what to do"
 

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