Breeding Rabbits for Beginners – Fear Not!
Breeding rabbits for beginners might seem a little intimidating, if you are new to raising rabbits.
Rabbits are one of the easiest animals to raise and breed, however, so you should have little trouble successfully breeding a pair of rabbits and getting some very cute kits!
Baby rabbits are called kits, if you didn’t already know that. Female rabbits are ready to be bred about 78% of the time.
A female rabbit, properly known as a doe, has a cycle a little different than what we’ve come to expect from most mammals like cats and dogs. For 14 days she is ready to be bred then there is a 4 days period in between the next 14 days that she will not allow the male, properly known as a buck, to breed her.
Breeding Rabbits for Beginners – Where to Start
To start, you always put the doe in the bucks cage and never, ever the other way around or you might end up with a severely injured buck. Rabbits are very territorial, so in order for the doe to submit to the buck, it has to be at his place. You will know fairly quickly if she’s ready to be bred, because if she is the buck will not waste much time getting the job done!
Keep an eye on the pair just to make sure things are going well, especially if the pair is young. Occasionally you could think you have a doe and a buck, but really have a doe and a doe or a buck and a buck. This mistake is a lot easier to make when the rabbits are young, so just to be sure keep an eye on them and if a fight ensues separate them as quickly as possible.
Of course if the doe is not ready to be bred, she won’t allow the buck to mount her, but they should not fight. Additionally, especially if the pair is both does, they may not fight at all, but definitely will not breed. Bucks on the other hand, you will most definitely see some fighting if they are paired.
When You Can Expect Your Kits
Ok, so I know that was slightly of topic, but thought it was worth mentioning, especially if this is all new to you. So assuming you do have a buck and a doe and you put the doe in the buck’s cage and they’ve taken care of business. You can go straight to your calendar and write “nesting box” on the 28th day from the day that the pair bred. It’s a pretty sure thing that if the two mated, she will kindle a litter of kits.
You want to give her plenty of nesting materials, be overly generous, because if she can’t make her next how she wants it, she will euthanize the kits. That was a hard lesson I learned on my first attempt where a put a pile of straw in the cage with the doe. However it was not enough for her to cover the bottom of the nesting box completely and she dispatched the kits almost immediately after she had them.
I suppose there could have been something else that caused her to do that, but there didn’t seem to be any other reason. Since that time, I’ve not had the issue because I’ve been overly generous giving the doe nesting materials.
You will want to write “due date” on your calendar because on the night of the 32nd day or the morning of the 33rd day. She will start to pull her fur out around the 28th day, which means she is getting ready to kindle and have her kits.
The nice thing about breeding rabbits for beginners is you are in control of when your doe will become pregnant. So you can prepare yourself and time when you would want to expand your herd.
Have you attempted to have your rabbits breed before? Were your rabbits successful??