Breeders: What age do you retire your breeders?

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bluepez

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I was wondering on the age that some of you retire a doe or buck from breeding stock. I have read various choices on search, but want to find out from real people lol ones that reply back :)

Thanks.

misty
 

BlueGiants

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Depends on the breed, depends on the doe. I've had Flemish that let me know they don't want to breed any more at 3. I've had others that were quite content to breed until they turned 5.(Yeah, and you always get the one or two that won't breed at ANY age!)

Our Mini Rex are usually retired around 4-4 1/2... but again, there are exceptions. We had a doe that wasn't happy unless she had babies to care for. She was bred (successfully) until she was 6 1/2... and then she was kept with a neutered son, so she had "someone" to mother.

I think you have to take each rabbit individually. If the litters keep getting smaller and smaller, if she takes a long time to get back into condition, if she doesn't look happy or content caring for the litter, if she "misses" 2-3 times in a row... it's time to retire her. She's earned her retirement and rest.
 

pamnock

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We use bucks for breeding indefinately.

We generally try to sell does by 2 years of age. By that time, they should have produced something to replace them in the herd, and they are still able to be sold and produce for someone else. This method helps to move through stock quickly, enabling herd improvement as well as keeping the median breeding age of the brood does low - you don't want a barn full of 5 year old breeding does!

Pam
 

Blaze_Amita

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I'm going to say, Go Pam, that's the way I work as well with the bucks. My does like BlueGiants said I work with them until they tell me they've had enough, then I look for loving pet homes for the younger-older does if they are happy and love kids. I've got Skye whom I've had since she was 8 weeks old and I'm stuck with her through her senior years because she attacks almost everyone including my sister(Who's the actual owner of Skye).
I try to retire my does when they're four/fiveish, keep one of the offspring and continue the line unless its proven to not be a good line.
 

BlueGiants

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You're so right Pam! Butgetting goodblue Flemishis so hard, I don't have as much to work with as other varieties or breeds... but it's entirely up to my girls.
 

OakRidgeRabbits

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I do a similar thing to Pam. I try to move does about between 2 and 2 1/2 years of age, mainly because I have a very small rabbitry and can't afford to get stuck with does who can't produce. That may sound harsh, but if I have one more "pet", that's one more cage taken away from breeding stock. On the rare occasion I use one longer, I sell it as a house pet when it's done.

I use bucks for as long as I need them, or for as long as they don't mind "working". LOL!
 

pamnock

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Selling the does while they still have value is also a good management practice because it makes the rabbitry more profitable.

Pam
 

BlueCamasRabbitry

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pamnock wrote:
Selling the does while they still have value is also a good management practice because it makes the rabbitry more profitable.

Pam
I will definitely have to take that into consideration for my Senior Project (rabbitry management). But for a smaller rabbitry, like I am, wouldn't you have to keep getting new bucks? Because you would need new bucks for the does you keep out of litters... I have 2 does, getting a new buck soon hopefully, so if I were to sell Sage after her next litter, and then keep a doe from her...well I could use the same buck I use for the first daughter, for the second daughter I guess...haha.

For me, I tend to retire them at about 3/4 years of age. But then again, I've never really had to retire show quality brood does because I've only had one...lol. and she's almost 1 or 2....I can't remember which.

Anyway, I agree that if the doe isn't taking, she takes a while to get back into condition, doesn't really like being a mother, etc....then she could probably be retired. It depends on what you think is best for the rabbit, as well...;)

As for myself, I probably wouldn't let a doe breed past 5....unless they really wanted too, haha. And if they threw good babies and were a good mother. ;)

Emily
 

pamnock

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BlueSkyAcresRabbitry wrote:
I will definitely have to take that into consideration for my Senior Project (rabbitry management). But for a smaller rabbitry, like I am, wouldn't you have to keep getting new bucks? Because you would need new bucks for the does you keep out of litters... I have 2 does, getting a new buck soon hopefully, so if I were to sell Sage after her next litter, and then keep a doe from her...well I could use the same buck I use for the first daughter, for the second daughter I guess...haha.



Emily
We keep the best bucks from litters, occasionally purchase another with traits needed in our herd, and occasionally sell off some nice bucks if cage space is limited. We have about 150 holes, and have cut our herd way down, so cage space generally isn't an issue.

Pam
 

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