may sound stupid but "Fusing Hips?"

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dungeonbunnies

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I've been told by too many breeders that large breed does will undergo a fusing of the hip bones at 12-13 months of age. I'm desperate to know if this is true or not?

My stud for my show Elop program passed away, and I need time to grieve his loss before I start looking for a new stud, but I won't get much of that if my doe has to be bred in the next few months to prevent this issue.

If someone could help me out, I would be much appreciative.

(As stated: I'm looking to breed English Lops with pet personality and good confirmation for a show program. All sub-par animals will be adopted out with a spay/neuter contract)

EDIT:
I tried looking this up online and find a LOT of conflicting answers, sometimes on the same page!
 

OakRidgeRabbits

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From what I understand, rabbits' hips don't fuse, that's guinea pigs. Regardless, rabbits ARE difficult to get bred if they're not bred almost immediately after reaching maturity.

Small breed does should be bred for the first time aorund 6 months of age. Large breeds closer to 8 months. If I have a doe that is particularly large for her age, I may even breed her a month younger.

Definitely try to get your doe bred for the first time as soon as possible for the best chance at a healthy litter. After the doe turns a year old, your chance of successfully breeding her gets lower. And too much after a year old is pretty risky for her own health too.
 

dungeonbunnies

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thank you for clarifying, OakRidge. A lot of the breeders that I've run into (my sister included) believe that the hips do fuse around 1 yr of age.

I also emailed the breeder that I bought her from and she gave me the same answer, adding that she thinks a maiden doe may chunk out around one yr when growing slows down.

Thank you again for answering my potentially stupid question, and I hope this helps other people who are told the same thing.
 

CloverRabbits

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I am not a breeder, but I'll speak from my own experience. I have a 4 1/2 year old doe and a 6 1/2 year old buck. She had a litter by him (a first for both of them) this summer. It was not exactly planned, though I was well prepared. I gave her superb nutrition all throughout her pregnancy, and she wound up having seven super healthy babies, all in her nestbox. She literally could not have been a better mama, and she did just fine with them. She did lose a noticeable amount of weight while nursing them, but I kept her nutrition up and she has gained all her weight back and is doing great, as are the babies. I know this is not the norm, but I was sooo nervous when I knew she was pregnant, because I had read the same conflicting information (either their hip or pelvic bones fuse rather than keep the cartilage that keeps them flexible if they are not bred early enough). Just my experience!
 

OakRidgeRabbits

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dungeonbunnies wrote:
thank you for clarifying, OakRidge. A lot of the breeders that I've run into (my sister included) believe that the hips do fuse around 1 yr of age.

I also emailed the breeder that I bought her from and she gave me the same answer, adding that she thinks a maiden doe may chunk out around one yr when growing slows down.

Thank you again for answering my potentially stupid question, and I hope this helps other people who are told the same thing.

Not a stupid question. :) I had always heard the same reasoning used. I think it's something that has kind of been thrown around over the years and people just repeat what they hear. Like I said, I don't even know for sure myself- but I had someone explain to me before that their hips don't actually fuse.

But either way, breeding them early is best. It's not impossible for an older doe to kindle a litter, it just reduces your chances and makes the pregnancy more risky, just like it does with humans or other animals. So if your goal is breeding, it's best to start early when your chances of a successful litter are higher.
 

Revverress

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The myth that the pelvis bones fuse is not true; the real reason why older first-time does are difficult to get bred is because layers of fat will line the reproductive organs, making conception difficult. This can also happen in does that are not bred regularly (given a year or more break between litters).

For English Lops, I prefer to breed for the first time between 10-12 months. The breed does tend to mature slowly; I wouldn't breed much before 8-9 months.
 

dungeonbunnies

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Revveress, I LOVE that lop in your display pic! Beautiful! I also appreciate your input on the subject, the more I know, the better it will be for my bunnies and I.

I'm really grateful for the help, ladies!
 

missyscove

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Does anyone have any good resources on this topic? It's something I too had heard before but I never could wrap my head around how t would work physiologically. I tried searching for information but couldn't find anything I'd consider reliable and the books I have don't seem to address it either.
 

Luv-bunniz

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Just as an irrelevant side note, it's not true in guinea pigs, either. What actually happens, instead of the bones 'fusing', is the ligaments tighten. Somewhat the same effect but ligaments tightening isn't such a risk in breeding older animals, although doing so isn't preferable at all in any case. :)
 

dungeonbunnies

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Luv-Bunniz,
Still relevant if it's not true for 'pigs either. Maybe we should work together to dispel those misconceptions and start replacing it with the truth.
 

dungeonbunnies

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Right now, I'm feeling a little discouraged from a breeding program. I'm aware that occasionally these things happen, and I may lose a litter, but I'm not sure if I can really deal with that. :(
 

fuzz16

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talk to the breeder about a stud to prevent future problems wit your doe being bred late, but from ive read it is more a concern of te fat buildup like mentioned making the doe arder to conceive
 

dungeonbunnies

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my sister has a stud that I might be able to borrow when it's time to breed. But I'm not sure if I want to go down that road anymore at this point. It was disheartening to lose Harold
 

Revverress

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dungeonbunnies wrote:
Revveress, I LOVE that lop in your display pic! Beautiful! I also appreciate your input on the subject, the more I know, the better it will be for my bunnies and I.
Thank you. :) That's my late heart bunny, Tris; she was my first English Lop. I've learned a lot about the breed and rabbit raising in general since getting into bunnies thanks to more knowledgeable individuals sharing their advice, and I certainly don't mind sharing what I know!


Right now, I'm feeling a little discouraged from a breeding program. I'm aware that occasionally these things happen, and I may lose a litter, but I'm not sure if I can really deal with that. :(
Unfortunately, raising rabbits can be quite emotionally difficult, especially if you're dealing with a breed like English Lops. The breed does tend to be fragile, and there's a number of health issues that plague the ELops (though thankfully breeders are working hard to breed those issues out!); you have to be emotionally strong enough to deal with and to responsibly dispatch the sick ones from the breeding program. I love them, but English Lops aren't for the fainthearted.
 

dungeonbunnies

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My fiance can dispatch sick ones. But I love lops and would like to have another buck again. I'm tentatively looking, still not ready to buy (it's only been a few days)... :/

I'd rather have my own stud too, that way I don't have to worry if their buck is sick, etc. I get paranoid like that.
 

pamnock

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The hip bones fuse together in all mammals (pubis, ischium, and ilium). It is believed that in cavies, the symphysis pubis (pubic mid-line cartilage joint) will remain more flexible if the cavy is bred for the first time before 8 months of age. Hormones are also released to increase flexibility of the joint so the fetus can pass through the birth canal. In animals, just as in humans, pregnancy risks increase with increased maternal age due to a wide variety of factors.
 

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