Small buck and a large doe

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northernnevadahollandlops

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I'm trying to breed a very small buck (less than 2 lbs) with my does that are closer to 4 lbs and having a hard time of it. I think he's struggling trying to exert any kind of dominance and getting tired rather quickly because the does are not receptive. Wondering if this is a size issue or if my does will be more receptive at a different time. Currently watching my largest doe grooming the heck out of him, but that's all that going on. It's an improvement from yesterday though when she wouldn't let him anywhere near her.
 

Preitler

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Normally size isn't that much of an issue, a 3lbs wild buck once knocked up one of my 9-10lbs does. Size doesn't mean much to them, it's all about attitude. I let my buck live with the two does in spring, last year it took him 3 weeks for both, she obbviously just wasn't in the mood. There are several ways to try to adress this, i think lots and long hours of light for a week is what I would try first. I've read about others, like reducing rich food like pellets for a few days and such, but I'm not sure I remember that accuratly., I just give them time.
 
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Personally, I would give your does more time to be comfortable with the buck. Are they first-time mothers? Most of my inexperienced does will not be very receptive the first time. When the doe is receptive, I wouldn't foresee the size difference being much of an issue. I've never had a rabbit less than 2lbs, so I can't say that for sure!

I've bred my 11lb doe to a 5lb buck before and he was able to get the job done. The doe is a pro, though, so she was receptive and the buck is my most eager breeder, so he knew what to do!

I have also helped out my inexperienced breeders. The bucks will sometimes be in the right area but not actually making contact. A little manual repositioning will help. I've found that after a buck gets the right spot, he will know what to do for the rest of the session.
 

northernnevadahollandlops

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Thanks! Both does are proven, each have had three litters and the buck is proven too, just not with these does. I'll try to increase the hours I leave the lights on.
 
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MuddyFarms

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Just a thought: With proven does, the only thing that has caused me rebreeding issues so far was the scent glands. I attempted getting a doe bred three days in a row and tried all kinds of things with no success. Each time I put her in with the buck I would check her vent color and she was always a dark red and purple. I knew she was ready to breed, so I decided to check her scent glands. They really needed to be cleaned! Went ahead and cleaned all the rabbits' scent glands that evening. Next day I got her bred. Now I routinely clean scent glands of the doe and buck about a week before breeding. Not totally certain that was the only thing that was causing issues, but it seemed likely since everything else was right and she switched so quickly.
 

northernnevadahollandlops

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Just a thought: With proven does, the only thing that has caused me rebreeding issues so far was the scent glands. I attempted getting a doe bred three days in a row and tried all kinds of things with no success. Each time I put her in with the buck I would check her vent color and she was always a dark red and purple. I knew she was ready to breed, so I decided to check her scent glands. They really needed to be cleaned! Went ahead and cleaned all the rabbits' scent glands that evening. Next day I got her bred. Now I routinely clean scent glands of the doe and buck about a week before breeding. Not totally certain that was the only thing that was causing issues, but it seemed likely since everything else was right and she switched so quickly.
Thank you! Wow! I would have never thought. But I'm still pretty new to all of this!
 

MuddyFarms

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Thank you! Wow! I would have never thought. But I'm still pretty new to all of this!

That was my first time, too. :) I haven't really found a whole lot of info out there about the scent glands. I happened to look in my most unlikely rabbit book and it mentioned dirty scent glands being a possible cause of breeding issues. Just a warning, though- it smells BAD when you clean it out! A strong musk-like smell. :(

I would be interested to know if that makes any difference for your does if you try it!
 
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eco2pia

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I have had a doe that just was not that into breeding, and a buck that was a little passive. I just kind of put my hand on her scruff and kept her from running for a few seconds. She lifted just fine after that. I am sure if I had left them together for an hour he would have managed eventually, but ain't nobody got time for that. She has always prefered an assertive buck though, so in that case I think it is just that doe. She wants a bad boy I guess?🙄
 

northernnevadahollandlops

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@MuddyFarms thank you for the advice! I cleaned the scent glands of the three bunnies I want to breed and then put the buck together and she lifted for him the first time! I did have to help out by lifting up underneath her belly for a couple more fall offs, but she was so much more receptive. I cleaned another doe that I'm trying to breed and will try her tomorrow. It's possible there were other factors, I guess we are closer to the full moon (I read that could make a difference) and just more exposure to each other, but it was such a positive turn around after cleaning their scent glands! Which was never something I'd ever thought I'd do.
 

MuddyFarms

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Awesome! Glad you got her bred! You never know when something works for one rabbit if it will actually work for another. I guess it would take a study or something to really know how much it affects things, but hey! we can keep doing it anyway. It sure seems to make a difference! There are so many things people try to get their rabbits going, and that is at least a simple one- if not smelly! Thanks for letting me know how it went; I only have so many 'test subjects' around. :)
 
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Preitler

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Just a thought: With proven does, the only thing that has caused me rebreeding issues so far was the scent glands. I attempted getting a doe bred three days in a row and tried all kinds of things with no success. Each time I put her in with the buck I would check her vent color and she was always a dark red and purple. I knew she was ready to breed, so I decided to check her scent glands. They really needed to be cleaned! Went ahead and cleaned all the rabbits' scent glands that evening. Next day I got her bred. Now I routinely clean scent glands of the doe and buck about a week before breeding. Not totally certain that was the only thing that was causing issues, but it seemed likely since everything else was right and she switched so quickly.
That's an interesting observation. I too wonder if it really is the scent glands, or if being handled when cleaning those tosses them off their high horse :D

I once had a first timer doe always attacking the buck, I stuffed both into a just big enough cardboard box side by side for 10 minutes, and then she lifted. I speculate doing something distracting with the doe could be what helps.

How do you clean the scent glands?

With Q-tips and water or baby oil.

BTW: This is one of the best channels on YT about rabbit care:

 
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MuddyFarms

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That's an interesting observation. I too wonder if it really is the scent glands, or if being handled when cleaning those tosses them off their high horse :D

I once had a first timer doe always attacking the buck, I stuffed both into a just big enough cardboard box side by side for 10 minutes, and then she lifted. I speculate doing something distracting with the doe could be what helps.



With Q-tips and water or baby oil.

BTW: This is one of the best channels on YT about rabbit care:


Well, the doe I told about in that story had scent glands that were dirty enough they were stuck shut. I'm thinking cleaning them made her more comfortable in that area, made her able to move her tail around fully, and made the scent glands able to work properly again. Cleaning the buck's scent glands may improve his ability to scent his area and cause the doe to be more interested in him? I'm not totally sure.
 

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