Can a rabbit be too old to breed?

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Master Jeff

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My friend has been breeding rabbits for a while and I've just gotten into it myself. i havent started to breed yet, I dont have any suitable homes for the baby buns, if they are to come.

I was to purchase two of her rabbits for breeding, she suggested before I buy two more rabbits, why not breed the two I already have ( same breed but are pet quality)

The thing is, the buck is about 9 years old and the doe is 1 yr old.Ididn't feel right breeding them until I know if everythings safe. Would it be a bad idea to breed them, I dont want to have to deal with a dead litter or buns with defects ( which would cost $ and be harder to sell)

Would it be alright to breed them together, or is the buck too old?
 

aurora369

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I would advise against breeding the old buck.

A rabbit that age may die of a heart attacke while breeding.

Also, females should not be breed past a certain age as well. I'm not 100% what the correct age is, and I believe it varies with breed and indivual rabbits. But 3-4 years is the most common cut off I've seen.

You should also be careful about starting to breed a female too late. A year is not bad, but make sure she is not over weight. Over weight and older does can get a build up of fatty tissue around the ovaries, causing difficult breeding, and health risks to the doe.

I would also wait till you can get some good quality stock to breed, rather than breed pet only quality. Perhaps see if you can go to some local shows and talk to some breeders about the breed you are interested in, and how the rabbits are judged.

--Dawn
 

Master Jeff

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Thanks! Another breeder ( from another forum) said it would be fine, so I dont know..I guess when i get the buns checked up on, I'll ask the vet. I think I may wait to get show quality rabbits. It would be for the best



Thankyou again. :D
 

aurora369

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I think that perhaps if the rabbit had been breeding his entire life and has shown no ill effects, then I would consider breeding him at this age. Especially if he was a show winning rabbit with many legs that made his offspring very desirable.

But as you said he'd never been bred before, and that the buns are not show quality, that leads me to advise you to wait.

There are lots of knowledgable breeders on this site who would be more than happy to help you learn about breeding before you get your first set of show bunnies.

We also love pictures! Feel free to start a blog for you bunnies in the Bunny Blogs section.

--Dawn
 

pamnock

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Bucks can be used longer than does for breeding, and bucks are often siring offspring until well into old age.

In some cases, older bucks may not have the stamina for successful breeding.

There is far more risk using older does than there is in using older bucks.

Pam

http://www.geocities.com/pamnock/
 

MyBabyBunnies

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A question for the breeders. Isn't it true that you run a higher risk of having complications with the doe giving birth if they are not bred before a certain age? I hear many breeders swear they will never breed a small or medium (never talked to a large breed breeder before) rabbit after about 9 - 10 months because they had had bad experiences with it. Some have even lost or almost lost does because they waited too long to breed.

Of course I'm not a breeder but this is what I heard and if the risk was higher for losing a doe who hasn't been bred at an early age, I wouldn't take the risk.
 

SunnieBunnie Rabbitry

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That's a very good question MBB.

Yes, it is advised to breedwhen the rabbit reaches Sr. weight (6 months), but not longer than 9-10 months of age (my preferance).

The reason is due to fat buildup around the ovaries. The older the doe is before you breed her, the harder it is for her to conceive due to stored fat (irregardless of if she looks fat). If a doe successfully conceives, there are other problems such as a higher risk of ketosis, or pregnancy toxemia.

Some breeders will do their first breedings even as late as a year of age... but often times (from my experience) there's generally more difficulties associated with breeding this late.

~Sunshine
 

MyBabyBunnies

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Thanks SunnieBunnie, I have never actually been told why a doe is more likely to have complications if they are not bred young until now.
 

tamsin

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What do you know about your rabbits familyhistory? As a breeder your friend can probably tell you all about herlines whether they have any health problems (or rather that fact theydon't) whether the does have any problems birthing etc. Whatcombinations are likely to produce what colour/type of rabbits, theirfamilies temperaments.

If you just mate two random rabbits you don't know anything about thehistory of you could end up with anything. The parents don't have tohave problems themselves for their offspring to have them. For example,you don't know if they are carrying genes for teeth problems or avarity of other problems that can be genetic.

If you do want to breed I'd strongly suggest doing it with two rabbits that you know as much about as possible.

Having a litter a cute little babies that need denist work at 8 weeksold and on going vet treatment throughout their lives is not a funexperience.
 

TinysMom

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Hi! First of all, I am a breeder and I will saythat from my own experience - if you're going to breed - go with theBEST quality of rabbit you can afford. I understand the concern aboutthe ages you mentioned - but my concern is over the fact that you areconsidering breeding rabbits that are only pet quality. Is this atotally BAD thing to do? No...just...well..you'll have better luckselling your babies if they are from higher quality parents becauseother breeders may be interested in your rabbits as well as otherrabbit lovers.

I don't know much about your area - but I know that in the small townwhere I live - it didn't take many litters to suddenly have an"overflow" of pet quality rabbits (and I breed lionheads which aren'toverly common in Texas like lops or other rabbits). I now have betterstock for my herd but still yet - I wish I'd started with higherquality stock to begin with.

Anyway - that is just my .02 ~ but I wish you the best of luck no matter what you decide.

Peg

Master Jeff wrote
same breed but are pet quality
 

gentle giants

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I agree with Tiny's Mom. The biggest mistake Imade when starting out, is getting in too big a hurry and not doingenough research into what varities are compatible, which breeders arereputable, what you are looking for in a show rabbit. A breederswebsite can tell you a lot. If they ahve long lists of wins, have beenbreeding for a decent amount of time, and that sort of thing, that cantell you a lot.
Consequently, I am dealing with problems with myMini Rex being too narrow bodied, and some having long ears. Breedingrabbits can be very rewarding and enjoyable, but you have to go aboutit the right way. Every breeding you do you should have in mind: Willthis improve the breed? Please don't breed pet quality rabbits. Iunderstand that it can be hard to wait even longer, but there are somany homeless pet rabbits as it is.
 

andreakiser137

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My friend has been breeding rabbits for a while and I've just gotten into it myself. i havent started to breed yet, I dont have any suitable homes for the baby buns, if they are to come.

I was to purchase two of her rabbits for breeding, she suggested before I buy two more rabbits, why not breed the two I already have ( same breed but are pet quality)

The thing is, the buck is about 9 years old and the doe is 1 yr old.Ididn't feel right breeding them until I know if everythings safe. Would it be a bad idea to breed them, I dont want to have to deal with a dead litter or buns with defects ( which would cost $ and be harder to sell)

Would it be alright to breed them together, or is the buck too old?
The buck is to old to breed you need to stop breeding them at age 2 to 3,4 years old. I have a buck rabbit and he is 3 years old and I stop breeding him. The doe rabbit she is 4 years old. So if I were u I would stop breeding them.
 

majorv

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The buck is to old to breed you need to stop breeding them at age 2 to 3,4 years old. I have a buck rabbit and he is 3 years old and I stop breeding him. The doe rabbit she is 4 years old. So if I were u I would stop breeding them.
Hi, not sure if you realize, but this is a very old post.

We bred our bucks up to 4-5 years old and never had problems. Our does were various ages when they stopped bearing kits. Our oldest was almost 6 years old when we retired her. It makes a difference if they’ve been bred consistently over their life as then they can typically bear litters to an older age.
 

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