Does wouldn't lift - seeking advice on next steps

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MaggieJ

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Still no luck finding anything definitive on wintercreeper, but I've found several sites mention that they are commonly damaged by wild rabbits eating them, so based on that I'm going to slowly introduce to a test rabbit. I'll post what happens!
We have some kind of Euonymus here -- what's left of it. I never felt the need to try it for my rabbits, but the wild rabbits have all but killed it by eating it in winter. The seasonal aspect of their feeding on it tends to make me think it is safe for rabbits, but perhaps not as palatable as some other plants.
 

ThunderHill

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We have some kind of Euonymus here -- what's left of it. I never felt the need to try it for my rabbits, but the wild rabbits have all but killed it by eating it in winter. The seasonal aspect of their feeding on it tends to make me think it is safe for rabbits, but perhaps not as palatable as some other plants.
That makes sense! My test rabbit quickly ate the few leaves I gave him today, so hopefully they like it well enough! We have lots of it and it's evergreen, so should be abundant all winter.
 

KelleyBee

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Hi! I tried breeding two does this week and neither would lift. I watched for 30 minutes or so without seeing a single fall-off and then left them together all day (so I don't know if there were any fall-offs the rest of the day).

I know to mark the calendar anyway and treat as pregnant. My question is, what do you do when you never see a fall-off? Do you try again the next day? And each day until she is receptive? Or wait until you can palpate? Or try putting her back in later to "test breed," and if so, how long after? I already put one of these pairs together two days in a row with nothing, but if she is pregnant, would sticking her back in with the buck a few more times over the next few days to try to be sure hurt anything?

Oh, and I did check the vulva color and they were both pretty light pink, so I guess I should have just waited, but I've never had a buck not get at least a few fall-offs (been lucky, I guess), so I tried it anyway! I like breeding on Tuesdays and Wednesdays so we get babies born on the weekend.

Thanks for your advice!
I have two does of the silver fox breed who won’t lift. One seems as if she’d prefer to kill the buck than ever lift for him. Last month I “assisted “ in making sure they lifted for him. I had read how to assist and that conception rates are low when assisted. However, it turns out the assisting worked because both does conceived and 6 kits were born yesterday, the other due in about 3 days. I am brand new to rabbits and to animal husbandry in general, but now that I know assisting works I’ll never fret over a reluctant doe again. I’m hoping now that these girls have experienced pregnancy and a litter that they will be more attuned to their ”rabbit “ hormones lift moving forward. If not, my plan is to replace each with one of their daughters who shows more willingness to breed like a rabbit. I see refusal to breed for no discernible reason as a trait I would not want to cultivate.CB663DDC-AE1F-4906-953C-4294E34F37C1.jpeg
 
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ThunderHill

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I have two does of the silver fox breed who won’t lift. One seems as if she’d prefer to kill the buck than ever lift for him. Last month I “assisted “ in making sure they lifted for him. I had read how to assist and that conception rates are low when assisted. However, it turns out the assisting worked because both does conceived and 6 kits were born yesterday, the other due in about 3 days. I am brand new to rabbits and to animal husbandry in general, but now that I know assisting works I’ll never fret over a reluctant doe again. I’m hoping now that these girls have experienced pregnancy and a litter that they will be more attuned to their ”rabbit “ hormones lift moving forward. If not, my plan is to replace each with one of their daughters who shows more willingness to breed like a rabbit. I see refusal to breed for no discernible reason as a trait I would not want to cultivate.View attachment 28099
That's great! Congratulations on the new kits! They're beautiful! I did try to hold the does for the bucks, but the bucks wouldn't mount with me helping. They had already been trying so many times by that point though, I think they were just worn out. I'm so glad it worked for you and I'll for sure try again next time, before the buck gets too tired!
 

ThunderHill

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My Wintercreeper test has gone well! My test rabbit was getting several branches a day with no negative effects, so I've started offering small amounts to the rest of the herd. They are all getting a handful of clover/dandelion/plantain mix, a few small pear branches, a big comfrey leaf, and a little wintercreeper every morning, and they love it! I never realized pear branches had spikes on them, so I've been trimming off the sharp bits! I'm excitedly thinking about what other good herbs and veggies I can plant around the barn in the spring! I've read that they like basil, and that it can help repel flies, so that's definitely on the list!

Does anyone know if they can eat flax plants (Linum usitatissimum)? Not the seeds, but the actual plants? They volunteer all over from flax seeds dropping out of the chicken tractor and look like they would be good treats, but all I found online was an old RT thread that wasn't very conclusive. The chickens seem to like the plants more than the seeds! Thanks!
 

golden rabbitry

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do you table breed? Put her in the bucks cage? Rabbit run? Often times it's what the buck wants and he will be persistent enough to actually make it happen.
 

Zee-Man

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From feedipedia...

Fresh flax forage: flax crops delayed by weather and damaged by frost can result in incomplete seed development, and in some cases, regrowth, including flowering, may have occurred on the green plant. However, while fresh flax forage is nutritious, it may contain toxic amounts of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and nitrates, and farmers should exercise caution before feeding it to livestock (see Potential constraints on the "Nutritional aspects" tab) (Government of Saskatchewan, 2008b).

If I were to use it I would have it as a part of forage variety, not a staple. Darn! I was excited by the idea, I plan to grow some flax in order to experiment with extracting the fibers. Having the seeds would be nice too, but I didn't plan on growing that much.
 

northernnevadahollandlops

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That makes sense! My test rabbit quickly ate the few leaves I gave him today, so hopefully they like it well enough! We have lots of it and it's evergreen, so should be abundant all winter.
My rabbits free roam my backyard during the day and the three Euronymous bushes we had were stripped very quickly.
 

ThunderHill

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do you table breed? Put her in the bucks cage? Rabbit run?
Hi! I put the doe in the buck's cage, and usually leave her there all day (I know that it isn't recommended to leave them unsupervised).


If I were to use it I would have it as a part of forage variety, not a staple. Darn! I was excited by the idea, I plan to grow some flax in order to experiment with extracting the fibers. Having the seeds would be nice too, but I didn't plan on growing that much.
Thanks for the info on flax!


My rabbits free roam my backyard during the day and the three Euronymous bushes we had were stripped very quickly.
I'm giving each cage two or three wintercreeper twigs daily now, along with pear and comfrey, and they love it!

As an update, both of the does I didn't see a fall-off for are now nest building right on schedule at 28 days! So fingers crossed that they kindle in a few days!

20211116_123941.jpg
 

MaggieJ

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It would be helpful if members who have successfully tested new plants for their rabbits would start a thread in the Natural Feeding forum for each one. Please use both common and Latin names in the thread title if at all possible. Together we can build the best list of safe forage plants ever!

Thanks very much!
~ Maggie
 

ThunderHill

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It would be helpful if members who have successfully tested new plants for their rabbits would start a thread in the Natural Feeding forum for each one. Please use both common and Latin names in the thread title if at all possible. Together we can build the best list of safe forage plants ever!

Thanks very much!
~ Maggie
Done! Great idea, @MaggieJ!
 

MuddyFarms

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From feedipedia...

Fresh flax forage: flax crops delayed by weather and damaged by frost can result in incomplete seed development, and in some cases, regrowth, including flowering, may have occurred on the green plant. However, while fresh flax forage is nutritious, it may contain toxic amounts of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and nitrates, and farmers should exercise caution before feeding it to livestock (see Potential constraints on the "Nutritional aspects" tab) (Government of Saskatchewan, 2008b).

If I were to use it I would have it as a part of forage variety, not a staple. Darn! I was excited by the idea, I plan to grow some flax in order to experiment with extracting the fibers. Having the seeds would be nice too, but I didn't plan on growing that much.

Here is another report on flax mentioning that flax straw is a low-quality forage, and that green flax straw should not be fed or grazed due to high prussic acid. It also says prussic acid poisoning is more likely after a freeze. @Zee-Man Did you find anything out about how this might/might not affect rabbits?

 

Zee-Man

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Here is another report on flax mentioning that flax straw is a low-quality forage, and that green flax straw should not be fed or grazed due to high prussic acid. It also says prussic acid poisoning is more likely after a freeze. @Zee-Man Did you find anything out about how this might/might not affect rabbits?

Cyanide is dangerous for all animals. Below 500 ppm is considered safe. While ruminants are particularly susceptible because of microbes in the rumen, it should not be considered safe for any animal. I am not going to bother with a forage that I have to take an extra step of testing to use. Here is a link to South Dakota State University page.
 
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