My Two Pet Bunnies won't breed, not sure why not.

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bun615

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Oh boy, I'm not sure if this is a stupid question, but here it goes: can bunnies be sexually incompatible?

I have two domesticated Netherland dwarf bunnies that I adopted at the same time when they were 2 months old from a reputable breeder that sells fancy show quality rabbits. One is a girl and the the other is a boy. I knew I wanted two buns from the get-go, so they have bunny companionship. I was hoping that they would have one litter and then get them fixed (spayed/neutered).

My rabbits are now almost 2 years old, and they have never had a successful breeding or litter. It's not for lack of trying on the part of the buck, he is constantly bothering her and basically dry humping her since the beginning, but the doe has never ever been receptive. She always moves away, or after hours of him dry humping her, she'll turn around and hump him. They are similar in size, but the doe is only slightly bigger (2 lbs/2.3 lbs).

Since they are my pets, not for meat or profit, I don't ever separate them. They free-roam, and are bonded. They really do prefer to be together.

I assumed they would "breed like rabbits" but no such luck, 2 years in. Ive never seen him do the "fall-off". I don't think they are overweight or malnourished. It does get hot during the summer, so I've been worried about them being sterile for a period because of that, but that s only like 1 month out of the year.

So.....

Can anyone tell me what could be going on? Is there something I can try?

Is it that the doe is bigger/the dominant one so she'll never be interested in the buck?
Is it the environment (aka the fact that they are always together or the temp)?
Is it that the doe wants to get settled in her career before being a mother?

I don't know.

Anyone?

:bunnyhop:
 

hotzcatz

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Look up the symptoms of 'Vent Disease' and see if it would apply to your rabbits. It's basically rabbit syphilis (not transferable to humans) and can cause sterility in rabbits. Are you certain you have one of each gender? An adult buck should be obvious at his age.
 

bun615

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Thanks so much for the suggestions so far!

Follow up on the two replies above:

1. I am 100% sure I have one buck and one doe. I attached pictures to confirm (though I don't understand the sexing confusion in non-neutered bucks, their testes are blatantly obvious, right?)

2. I checked the vent disease thing, as well as other types of reproductive issues that I'd be able to see upon visual inspection, but to me, my rabbits look normal, but again, Im no expert and I attached pictures to see if any experienced eyes can confirm.


Other things that I should also mention: My buck frequently tries to mount the doe, like excessively, and he pulls her fur on her back and even hangs on to it as she's trying to escape but I've NEVER seen her raise her bottom to show she is receptive (As I have seen happens in other rabbit breedings). Just from what I've seen, I think that the problem is my doe, not the buck, but idk. I have also tried to help get my doe in the right position but my buck absolutely refuses to mount her if I am too hands on.
 

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Zass

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I'll try to answer in order the best I can.

It's very common for does to be a bit larger than bucks, and most breed standards reflect this, allowing for heavier does.
The issue might be because they have always been together, or there could be an invisible health issue. Separating them for a while and waiting for her to show signs of receptiveness might help.

As far as being overweight, it can be really hard to tell that by feeling a rabbit unless you are very experienced. They have an unfortunate tendency to pack fat inside around their kidneys and reproductive parts before it really show anywhere else on their bodies.
Your doe might just not like him.

Getting your doe spayed comes with serious health risks, that I recommended looking into before making that decision.

If she manages to get pregnant, make sure to remove the buck before she kindles, as they can become pregnant immediately after giving birth.
 

ladysown

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at two years of age, I really wouldn't bother trying to breed them at this point. Just leave them as is.

IF you want to try to breed them you'll have to separate them probably for a couple of months.

My suggestion... just get the buck neutered and call it done.
 

golden rabbitry

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I'm agreeing Zass, she might just be sick of him. My doe won't take to my buck unless I introduce him a day early, then separate them again; if he's always there and trying to mate it's most likely turning her off to it. Also check for illness and remove her a week or so before putting them back together. If she did get pregnant and still had the buck with her, she could've gotten stressed from his constant nagging and reabsorbed the litter over and over again only a few days after being successfully bred.

Separation in general makes a doe happier to breed.

If they do have a successful breed, remove him again and give her peace to carry the pregnancy and kindle the litter.
 

hotzcatz

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If the pictures were from a nine week old or less bunny, I'd have guessed the doe was possibly an immature male. There seems something a bit 'off' in the pictures of the doe, not quite sure what, though.

I've had rabbits that were together for ages and just never got the job done. Others, it takes about seven seconds and it's all over. So there's no telling, a lot of it seems to depend on the individual rabbits.

There's also a lot of value placed on the term 'proven doe' for a reason, I'd suspect. If a doe has had a litter, it seems she's much more likely to later.

I once did a herd resorting right before going on a six week vacation. All the adult females were in one big space so they'd be easy to take care of by the bunny sitter. The two young does were put in with them and then there were about ten adult females in one big space. When I got back from vacation, I discovered that one of the young does was actually a buck! Who had been with the entire herd of adult females for over a month! I was expecting a bunny explosion, but out of the ten does, only one had a litter. Of course, it was still a very young buck, but he'd become functional at some point since one doe did have a litter.

Whoever came up with the term 'breeding like rabbits' obviously hasn't tried breeding rabbits.
 

arachyd

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The pics of the doe look to me like pics of an immature male that isn't being pressed very firmly. Does she have a dewlap? Post a pic of her head and neck from the side if you can. Maybe there's a hormonal problem. If it is a doe, well, does can be choosy when it comes to breeding.
 

Canlay

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I would try seperating them for a few months. A lot of the time a doe wont put out to a buck she is too familliar with, that’s been my experience at least! You could also check online to see if someone is willing to stud out a buck to you.
 

northernnevadahollandlops

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I'm somewhat new to all of this too, so maybe someone with more experience can confirm, but I have read that you don't want a doe to have her first litter after about a year. That it's really hard on them to be a first time mom after a couple years. 🤷🏼‍♀️
 

Preitler

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Well, it sure isn't optimal to start after 2 years, chance of complications rises with age but there are enough reports of accidential pregnancys in later years that went well. I think 1 year is still reasonable ok.

This spring one of my girls, 7yo Red, which I didn't breed for two years accidentially got pregnant. First kit got stuck, noticed only the next morning, already smelling bad. Tried to get the bloody mess out, but no chance, can't praise my vet enough to pick up the phone on saturday and doing an emergency spay despite very bad odds. Worked out, Red is fine now.

Just as a tale about why I wouldn't breed one of my pet rabbits, and not when something seems off anyway, and after years passed. I'm quite attached to my 2 pets. Red is a retired breeding doe, not exactly a pet.
 

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