First Time Breeder Looking For Tips!

Discussion in 'The Rabbitry and Show Room' started by Shannon Watson, May 15, 2019.

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  1. May 15, 2019 #1

    Shannon Watson

    Shannon Watson

    Shannon Watson

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    Hi everyone! I'm new to RabbitsOnline and to breeding as well. I've been around rabbits all my life, and I currently have a 14 week old mini Rex buck. Our vet has told us he is perfect for breeding when he's a little older, but I've never bred rabbits before.

    My boyfriend is super excited to try and breed our baby boy, but I have so many concerns. If anyone could answer a few of my questions, that'd be so helpful.

    1. All we know about his genetic history is that he is a mini Rex that was born on Feb. 9th. I tried to get in contact with the lady I got him from, but the number told me I had the wrong person. I have not seen either of his parents or any siblings, just him. Our vet told us he might have English Spot in him as well, but we can't be sure. My question is: as long as she's around the same size as him, does it matter what breed of doe I get for him?

    2. I really wanted to get a bonded pair of rabbits when I was first looking to own one as a pet. I finally moved out of college dorms and into a house that has so much space for a rabbit or two. When I picked up my Appa, I immediately started looking for does for sale in my area to try and bond with him once he got neutered. Now that we are trying to breed him, my question is: is it still possible for him to become a bonded pair with the doe he has bred with if we get them both fixed?

    3. Our boy gets a lot of run time in a couple of the big rooms in our house as well as in our bedroom once we've picked up the floor a bit. He has a pretty big hutch that he is locked in at night or when we aren't home, complete with a hideout, litter box, food dishes, blankets, toys, etc. Our hutch can be separated into two smaller cages, and my question is: once the doe has her litter, would it be safe to keep them in the same hutch, just separated from each other?

    4. I know introducing rabbits can be difficult as all hell, but we are determined to make this work. Once I have my female, I know I should get a second cage to keep her in until they have gotten used to each other, but my question is: would it be safe to introduce them in a room that our buck has already pretty much claimed as his own? It's the biggest, most open room in our house where we'd be able to watch them the best.

    Thank you so much for your help!!!!
     
  2. May 15, 2019 #2

    SableSteel

    SableSteel

    SableSteel

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    1. What would be the goal for breeding him? Three months is too young to really get a look at structure, especially if you don't have a pedigree and haven't seen the parents. Mini rex also have a predisposition to sore hocks, and you wouldn't be able to tell if he was genetically prone to getting them until he was a bit older as well. There isn't really much demand for pet rabbits (especially mixed breed pet rabbits, and rabbits without a pedigree) so you'd likely end up getting stuck with the babies if you did breed them. There's a bit more demand if you are breeding pedigreed rabbits for show, as people buy show quality rabbits for competition and 4H as well as pets. Frankly, I wouldn't put too much word in what this vet says. There are very few vets who know about rabbits, and even fewer with experience breeding rabbits. The fact they suggest he might have english spot in his, puts their knowledge into even further doubt. Not all rabbits with a spotted/broken pattern are english spot crosses, and english spots are a relatively rare breed. I only know of 1 or 2 english spot breeders in arizona. If you were seriously looking to ethically breed rabbits, I would suggest looking for both a doe and different buck that you had more background on (ie a pedigree). Mixed rabbits would be significantly harder to sell as pets, but if you already had homes lined up, are okay keeping them all or planning on selling as reptile/dog food and therefore were okay with mixing breeds the only thing I would look for in a doe was that it was bigger than him so it didn't have as much chance of trouble at birth, and probably avoid dwarf breeds as well (rabbits with two copies of the dwarf gene usually die within a week of birth, and many mini rex have the dwarf gene)

    2. Appa is a really cute name. I'm a big avatar fan, is that where the name came from? There wouldn't likely be any issue in bonding resulting from having had a litter together before, but there might be other issues. The fact that two rabbits will get together and form a bond is never guaranteed, some just don't like each other.

    3. Rabbits can rebreed immediately after giving birth and does with young litters can get territorial. I would suggest keeping them a bit further apart while she has babies (ie a solid divider between the two, or an inch between bars, minimum) so they don't learn to get territorial with each other. I'd suggest keeping them apart when they didn't have babies as well, if they were intact.

    4. If you want to get an intact buck and doe, even with the intent of breeding, it's recommended to keep them separate from each other. Intact does can get quite aggressive and bucks sometimes don't know when to stop trying to breed them. I've heard many stories of does getting angry and attacking the buck - its not uncommon for them to attack and maim the male's genitalia if he accidentally mounts her head so I never leave them unsupervised when I breed. During breeding, the doe is brought to the buck's territory - breeding brings out the worst of aggression in does so if they have any chance to be territorial it's dangerous for the buck.

    If you are interested in breeding rabbits, you might want to check with the Arizona Rabbit & Cavy Breeders Association (I see you're in flagstaff; I'm also in arizona) http://azrcba.com/ . There is a rabbit show in Tucson on may 25 if you want to talk to other breeders or look for breeding stock to purchase. We happen to have a few very nice mini rex breeders in the state,who like helping out new breeders
     
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  3. May 16, 2019 #3

    Shannon Watson

    Shannon Watson

    Shannon Watson

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    Thank you so much! I went to the house of the breeder I got him from and he is a purebred mini Rex, but I think we’re going to go the route of neutering him. He’s very beautiful, but I’d like to just try and find him another rabbit to bond with instead of breeding. In the future, I will take all of your advice into consideration if I decide to breed. Thank you! ❤️
     
  4. May 29, 2019 #4

    woahlookitsme

    woahlookitsme

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    I agree with sablesteel. Breeding is not for the faint of heart and it’s not always a happy ending with bunnies. People say the term “breed like rabbits” but in reality it’s not that easy. Definitely think about what you would do with the babies and finding homes for bunnies isn’t easy sometimes especially if you want the right homes for them.

    I had a French Lop who I kept as an inside house bunny. He was about 9 months when I got him and anytime we went to my parents house where the rest of our rabbits were he turned into a hormonal mess. He would always rub his chin And even started humping me after I helped my mom feed our other bunnies that stayed outside. Once he was neutered he had much better manners. Hormones can change your boy and it may bring out some undesirable behaviors that you would have to prepare for. Trust me buck urine is a pain to get out of carpet haha. Not to mention the behaviors it can bring out in a doe. Some does can go through a horrible attitude change or some you never even notice it just varies so much between rabbits but is still something you would want to prepare for before getting a doe.
     
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