Doe's uninterested in breeding

Rabbit Talk  Forum

Help Support Rabbit Talk Forum:

a2lute

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2022
Messages
15
Reaction score
14
Location
Michigan
So I'm a new rabbit breeder, and I can't get my does to be receptive to my buck. One doe was receptive a while back and had 4 fall offs, but she never had a litter. My other doe runs and runs and tries to get away, eventually she will sit down and tuck her butt. Right now both are doing that, running away or tucking their butts down. All of them are around 7 months old. Maybe I should add artificial light since its winter now? any ideas to get them to be receptive?

I also am concerned that my buck may be infertile because he had 4 fall offs with no litter produced...
 
Joined
Aug 24, 2022
Messages
156
Reaction score
114
Location
Suffolk County, Long Island, NY
My maiden Holland Lop doe wanted absolutely nothing to do with my first choice. However when put with my second choice buck she was interested, quiet and lifted for him and was completely fine. Same day. It’s possible that your does don’t like him for whatever reason. Who knows what they are thinking.
Good luck with this, I hope you have a successful breeding soon.
 

MuddyFarms

Well-known member
Rabbit Talk Supporter
Joined
Dec 13, 2021
Messages
606
Reaction score
512
Location
NW US
Hey there, @a2lute ! I have experimented with lighting for my herd, and would fully recommend bright lighting for 14-15 hours until they breed. Afterwards you can experiment with how long you want the lights on for. I added good lights to my rabbitry last winter when none of my does would breed, despite my efforts for a longer than normal timeframe. I’ll see if I can find that post. I also moved the rabbits to a new building this summer and didn’t get the lights in for a while into winter. Again, only one of my does would breed. I tried for two weeks or so (as I recall). Added bright lighting for 14-15 hours a day and one week later had does breeding. I really like adding lights in for my herd!

Usually, it takes my herd about a week of light added, and then they are all READY.
 

a2lute

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2022
Messages
15
Reaction score
14
Location
Michigan
Hey there, @a2lute ! I have experimented with lighting for my herd, and would fully recommend bright lighting for 14-15 hours until they breed. Afterwards you can experiment with how long you want the lights on for. I added good lights to my rabbitry last winter when none of my does would breed, despite my efforts for a longer than normal timeframe. I’ll see if I can find that post. I also moved the rabbits to a new building this summer and didn’t get the lights in for a while into winter. Again, only one of my does would breed. I tried for two weeks or so (as I recall). Added bright lighting for 14-15 hours a day and one week later had does breeding. I really like adding lights in for my herd!

Usually, it takes my herd about a week of light added, and then they are all READY.
Thanks! I have 1 more outlet out by them left open, water heater and pump has the rest! I'll get them hooked up.
 

MuddyFarms

Well-known member
Rabbit Talk Supporter
Joined
Dec 13, 2021
Messages
606
Reaction score
512
Location
NW US
 

a2lute

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2022
Messages
15
Reaction score
14
Location
Michigan
haha, its not perfected yet... It was about 20° out and the nipple froze in 3 out of 4 bowls. the distance from the circulating line where the T is to the valve is too far. I need to get it shorter, because the hose doesnt freeze off the T, just the valve. Once I get it working I'll take some pics of what I did and get a how-to post going.
 

MuddyFarms

Well-known member
Rabbit Talk Supporter
Joined
Dec 13, 2021
Messages
606
Reaction score
512
Location
NW US
haha, its not perfected yet... It was about 20° out and the nipple froze in 3 out of 4 bowls. the distance from the circulating line where the T is to the valve is too far. I need to get it shorter, because the hose doesnt freeze off the T, just the valve. Once I get it working I'll take some pics of what I did and get a how-to post going.

Thanks! I like seeing all the ways systems like this are put together. I put one in last year and am really glad.
 

Buknee

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2022
Messages
152
Reaction score
180
I had a Rex buck that none of my does liked. They all ran from him or would lay down and tuck. I watched and waited patiently. No luck, 4 does! I finally decided to switch him out. Sold him to a gal that was putting him in a colony.
One doe, that dodged him the most, amazingly had kits 32 days after their mate date. I am still puzzled!
Still only 1 of 4 was a success. I guess there are just some bucks that the gals don't like.
And my new buck, my little Rex gal took to him with no issue.
 

a2lute

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2022
Messages
15
Reaction score
14
Location
Michigan
Well if the lighting doesn't work there's a fella a few miles up the road who breeds silver fox's. I'll probably buy a breeding buck off him if he has one available.
 

Cindy in SD

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 24, 2022
Messages
82
Reaction score
66
Location
Western South Dakota, USA
Thanks! I like seeing all the ways systems like this are put together. I put one in last year and am really glad.
Twice a day, I take their galvanized "bowls" and bang them against a support pillar in the barn until the ice falls out. Then I break the water in the sheep's buckets (if it isn't solid) and dip some out for the bunnies. Otherwise I melt the edges with milk jugs of hot water I've brought from the house, dump out the giant ice "cube" somewhere out of the way, and fill everything with hot water. I'm kinda low-tech here. 😂
 

judymac

Well-known member
Rabbit Talk Supporter
Joined
Jun 26, 2022
Messages
120
Reaction score
183
Location
Pennsylvania
There are a number of issues that could cause breeding problems. Light at this time of the year is a big one, artificial light for at least 14 hours can help, something bright enough to say 'springtime sunshine!' I've noticed that my cats prefer the broad-spectrum light that my husband uses, perhaps that may help as well.

I have definitely noticed that does do have buck preferences. I had a doe I could not get bred. She ran violently from any buck. I had one day that I tried three different bucks. She bounced off the pen walls to get away. Until the third buck, my last choice, an albino. She loved him. Cozied up, lifted nicely, they were done in seconds. My husband had a blue Silver Fox buck that he really didn't want to use, as he wanted black kits. But, all the does loved him. When the other black bucks couldn't get the job done, my husband would put the does in with the blue, and they'd be bred in seconds.

Check the vulva on the does before breeding (the little 'slit' below the anus when you turn the doe upside down). If it is pale, whitish, dry and small-looking--she's probably not going to be interested in breeding. If it is pinkish, moist and perhaps a bit swollen--she should be prime to breed. A dark purple/pink usually indicates the doe is just past prime breeding, give her a few days and try again. I know that rabbits release eggs at breeding, and not in a monthly cycle like humans, but there is a mini hormone cycle involved, and the condition of the vulva lets you know where in that cycle the rabbit is. I'm sure the amount of light affects the cycle as well.

Next time you breed, try leaving the doe in the buck's cage, and take the buck back to the doe's pen. Hopefully, the odor of the opposite sex will entice their hormones. The next day, take the doe to the buck (who is in the doe's original pen), and try for a breeding. Whether successful or not, I take the buck back to his original home afterward, and try again a different day if needed.

Some report success by taking both rabbits to a neutral territory, and letting them romp together for a while (one used their living room, another a secure area in their barn) while under supervision. I have a friend that simply lets the two rabbits live together for a week, and hopes for the best. That can work, but if you have an aggressive buck or doe, you may end up with damage done to one or both of the rabbits. In a colony set-up, a buck is often simply added to the doe colony and the date marked down. One friend has had a lot of success with this method, even in the summer heat, as the bucks can sprawl over the cool concrete and keep their equipment cool.

If you live where it is hot, remember that temperatures over 85 degrees F for five days in a row, or over 90 for 3 days, can result in the buck being sterile for the next six weeks or so. If your buck has been successfully coupling, but not siring kits, has it been more than six weeks since your last spell of warm weather? Your buck may have had heat sterility. Some find keeping the buck in air conditioning, or using frozen jugs of water or frozen tiles in the pen will help prevent this problem.

Of course, an overweight doe will generally not ovulate--no kits even if they manage to breed. Diet and exercise can help with this
 

a2lute

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2022
Messages
15
Reaction score
14
Location
Michigan
It's been cold up here in Michigan. I don't think the heat made anyone sterile lately, lol. I did notice my buck's family jewels don't seem to have dropped yet, and he's about 7 months old. But I have also heard they can retract them. So I'm not sure.
 

Buknee

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2022
Messages
152
Reaction score
180
It's been cold up here in Michigan. I don't think the heat made anyone sterile lately, lol. I did notice my buck's family jewels don't seem to have dropped yet, and he's about 7 months old. But I have also heard they can retract them. So I'm not sure.
Did you confirm it's a buck?
 

Latest posts

Top