How fertile are bucks?

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CO Int

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I got my buck at 6 months and have been patiently waiting for him to grow up - ok - only three months so it wasn't forever. He is a very consistent 3kg/6.5#. He's not fat and is healthy although he has the odd flareup of pasteurella now and again. He didn't at time of the breeding though.

I only have this buck and two does. I wanted to the does to kindle together in case I had problems (I was expecting issues with one).

It's summer here and can get hot during the day so I bred them around 7am when it's still nice and cool.

I bred him to a first time doe on the Saturday morning. He had his required 3 fall offs and she had lifted for him every time. She kindled 6 kits.
I bred him to the second doe on Sunday morning and he had a whopping 5 fall offs in about 15 minutes (she also lifted for him every time). I removed her after that as he was still game but I was worried about a heart attack! She only ended up kindling one kit.

I bought the second doe pregnant from a different buck and she kindled 6 healthy kits 11 weeks ago. I'm disappointed that she only kindled one kit this time.

Did I ask to much of him to breed 2 girls in 24 hours?
 

Zass

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The small litter likely has more to do with your doe than with your buck. Overweight does seem especially prone to have a large single kit.
 

CO Int

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Well that's good news for the buck but not great for the doe.

I didn't think too fat would be an issue so soon - especially with her just having weaned a litter.

This is the one thing where I'm getting stuck. I cannot tell how a rabbit should feel that is in proper condition.

I've watched videos and the place where I bought them did allow me to feel a few but none were in good condition (I was told they were too thin).
The descriptions I can find on the internet are very vague. Some say you shouldn't feel sharp edges. Others talk about a "pocket full of pens and not pocket full of rulers" but I struggle to feel the ribs - even on the thin ones.

I think I understand what too thin feels like but it's how to tell what is too fat that's my issue.

Any help would be much appreciated!
 

michaels4gardens

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If you run your hand over the backbone area [top of the rabbit] it should not feel smooth.
You should be able to clearly feel the top of the vertebrae points.[with gentle pressure]
If the vertebrae points are sticking up a quarter inch or more, the rabbit needs to gain weight.
Keeping a doe "breeding", and "weaning kits", is the best way to avoid excess hidden internal fat.
Adjusting feed amounts and calories, is more effective for weight control [in breeding does]
than waiting a long time between breedings.
 

CO Int

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Thank you so much. That makes a huge difference knowing what to feel for!

I took everyone out yesterday and ran my hands all over them and the backbone is very smooth and is some cases it actually dips away leaving a little groove with the muscles being higher than the vertebrae. I definitely couldn't feel the spinal processes on any of them - I'm going have to adjust my feeding on the younger ones and keep breeding the older ones until their condition improves.

One thing I did notice because it was so obvious is that I felt no spine until I got to the rump (in the picture below I drew a yellow line) - they were so clear to feel I could count them - including the point of hip.

Should that area not also be well covered in muscle? Three rabbits had a smooth curve with the processes not being so obvious but the others had nothing.

rabbit-conformation.jpg


Is this a genetic issue that can be improved with selection or do rabbit naturally not have any muscle there?
 

michaels4gardens

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The conformation differences in the back end,are usually more of a "genetic trait" ,
than feed related .
However feed intake definitely affects this..
a thin rabbit will lose muscle mass ...
 

SoftPawsRabbitry

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I got my buck at 6 months and have been patiently waiting for him to grow up - ok - only three months so it wasn't forever. He is a very consistent 3kg/6.5#. He's not fat and is healthy although he has the odd flareup of pasteurella now and again. He didn't at time of the breeding though.

I only have this buck and two does. I wanted to the does to kindle together in case I had problems (I was expecting issues with one).

It's summer here and can get hot during the day so I bred them around 7am when it's still nice and cool.

I bred him to a first time doe on the Saturday morning. He had his required 3 fall offs and she had lifted for him every time. She kindled 6 kits.
I bred him to the second doe on Sunday morning and he had a whopping 5 fall offs in about 15 minutes (she also lifted for him every time). I removed her after that as he was still game but I was worried about a heart attack! She only ended up kindling one kit.

I bought the second doe pregnant from a different buck and she kindled 6 healthy kits 11 weeks ago. I'm disappointed that she only kindled one kit this time.

Did I ask to much of him to breed 2 girls in 24 hours?
Stress and multiple other factors can vary litter size, sometimes my Flemish had 4 sometimes it was 22! It was probably something with the Doe, I've bred a buck to 3 does in 1 day and all had large litters, I know some people do more, I'd assume the Doe had been spooked or something
 

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