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Parkinson Farms

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Hello,

I recently decided to raise rabbits. I've had rabbits for pets for a long time but I recently decided to start raising them for FFA and 4-H. I show them as well. My 4-H leader, Donna, raises rabbits and is helping me but I feel like I'm being really annoying so I figured I'd post some of my questions on here. I currently have a sr. Lionhead doe, jr. Lionhead doe, sr. lionhead buck, Angora doe (pet), and Sr. Mini Rex buck (mom got him. I love him but I just don't have any Mini rex's yet. Maybe I'll get some eventually.) In the order above that I mentioned them in, here are their names: Ziva, Abby, Reid, Babygirl, and DiNozzo. Ziva had two litters before I got her and I just got her this September. Abby is just now 4 months old. Babygirl is a rescue and I have no clue how old she is. She more of my mom's rabbit than anything anyway. I still love her. Anyway, here come the questions.

  1. When I put the buck and doe together how long do I keep them together?
  2. When do I wean the kits?
  3. What age is the first time you yourself would breed the doe?
Any other advice is greatly apreciated. Thank you so much in advance.


 

CoolWaterRabbitry

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Parkinson Farms wrote:
Hello,

I recently decided to raise rabbits. I've had rabbits for pets for a long time but I recently decided to start raising them for FFA and 4-H. I show them as well. My 4-H leader, Donna, raises rabbits and is helping me but I feel like I'm being really annoying so I figured I'd post some of my questions on here. I currently have a sr. Lionhead doe, jr. Lionhead doe, sr. lionhead buck, Angora doe (pet), and Sr. Mini Rex buck (mom got him. I love him but I just don't have any Mini rex's yet. Maybe I'll get some eventually.) In the order above that I mentioned them in, here are their names: Ziva, Abby, Reid, Babygirl, and DiNozzo. Ziva had two litters before I got her and I just got her this September. Abby is just now 4 months old. Babygirl is a rescue and I have no clue how old she is. She more of my mom's rabbit than anything anyway. I still love her. Anyway, here come the questions.

  1. When I put the buck and doe together how long do I keep them together?
  2. When do I wean the kits?
  3. What age is the first time you yourself would breed the doe?
Any other advice is greatly apreciated. Thank you so much in advance.
When I put the buck and doe together how long do I keep them together?

You would first bring the doe to the buck's cage (since the buck would be too distracted in the doe's cage) and if the doe is willing, the buck should be able to easily mount and "fall over" marking a successful mating. A lot of breeders then remove the two and place them back together within 8 hours or so for a second breeding. Rabbits ovulate by the act of breeding, they do not have a "set date" that they will be more successful for taking. This being said, after the first mating, many breeders return the two together to ensure that the doe took from one of the breedings. Be very careful on going past that 8 hour window, rabbits can be double bred and produce two different litters at once which is dangerous for the kits and the mom.

When do I wean the kits?

The doe will typically start weaning the kits off her milk around 4-6 weeks(they are eating pellets/hay around this time as well), however most breeders don'tseperate them until they are 8 weeks since they can still gain from having mom around.

What age is the first time you yourself would breed the doe?

6 months is the minimum age that any good breeder will tell you. The larger the breed the longer you should wait without going over the 1 year period. Not breeding within the frist year can be dangerous as the doe is not using her reproductive organs (which can just render themselves sterile) and can lead to the ablility to not be able to produce or can lead to severe complications in future pregnancies.



Be careful on starting out with so many different breeds. To be successful and to get what you really want of the the rabbits, choose one or two breeds that you can dedicate your time to and gain as much information as you can about them.

All in all, have fun and choose your breeding animals wisely. Make sure that you have the proper space for breeding rabbits and the proper cage set-ups, allowing plenty of space for does to kindle and litters to be weaned. The worst thing that can happen when you are not properly prepared is you breed and don't have enough space to keep the kits safe when weaned or to keep any for future showing/breeding. I would also recommend stay with pedigreed rabbits that came from well educated breeders since you are just starting out. A lot of breeders have more then enough time and knowledge to help out a newbie.

Joining the ARBA is a very inexpensive way also to help find/read articles about any breed, showing, and raising rabbits from some of the top breeders in the nation.



Hope that helped. :)
 

mistyjr

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Hello and welcomed, I also raise Lionheads and mini rex's for almost 2 years now,

1. When I put the buck and doe together how long do I keep them together?

** I let the buck either bred the doe at least 4 times or keep them over night, But a lot breeders just bred at least 4 times or others do it and then try again 24 hours later, So many people do it different!**

2. When do I wean the kits?

**I weaned kits about 7-9 weeks old**

3. What age is the first time you yourself would breed the doe?

**I usually bred my does around 6 months old and try not to bred over an year, I had an doe over an year old, but the litter didnt make it**



Butt Coolwaters above did very good!
 

hillrise

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Sounds like everyone's covered all your questions.

I would add that since you're doing it for 4-H and FFA, make sure you keep REALLY detailed financial records and breeding records. Keeping receipts is a good idea. I used my rabbits for my SAE project in FFA and got my State Degree with them, as well as competing at the state level for small animal SAE in large part due to my record keeping (I only had 6 breeders, so I really didn't have a lot of time or money invested in it compared to the kids who did dogs or some such).

Also keep track of the time you spend feeding, dealing with breeding matters, and even driving to shows--they all count toward your hours. Good luck!
 

Parkinson Farms

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Thank you all. I just had a Rabbit meeting and we clipped all the rabbits toe nails. Found out that my Babygirl was actually a lionhead BUCK! So Donna and I switched. She took BabyBOY and gave me one of her spring does. So I have 3 Lionhead Does and One lionhead buck. Turns out that DiNozzo is a buck out of one of her old girls who unfortunatly passed away last year. He is not a Mini Rex but a California/Dutch Cross. All and all had a great day. Thank you all for your advice. I greatly appreciate it.
 

Brittany85

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Your questions have been answered. But make sure you don't breed the 'rescue' rabbit. You don't know about her history. Only breed pedigreed rabbits from breeders that you know. That way nothing weird can show up genetically in the babies down the road.
 

Parkinson Farms

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Brittany, the rescue doe ended up being a rescue buck. Anyway we found him a new home and got a beautiful little doe from my 4-H Leader, Donna. SHe has been raising lionheads for a while now and keeps very accurate records. I'm excited about little Prentiss. She is such a sweetie. I really appreciate everything everyone. I'll try to get pictures as soon as I can.
 

Parkinson Farms

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Brittany, the rescue doe ended up being a rescue buck. Anyway we found him a new home and got a beautiful little doe from my 4-H Leader, Donna. SHe has been raising lionheads for a while now and keeps very accurate records. I'm excited about little Prentiss. She is such a sweetie. I really appreciate everything everyone. I'll try to get pictures as soon as I can.
 

Parkinson Farms

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Going to put pictures up now.

Prentiss

314921_1978170423756_1528015175_31519237_91137349_n.jpg


Abby

309717_1964847170683_1528015175_31509209_1294323978_n.jpg


Ziva, she is due on Election Day (November 8th) Any Idea what color she is? SHe is bred to Reid.

292035_1959571838803_1528015175_31506146_542677872_n.jpg


Will post pictures of Reid and DiNozzo soon.
 

Parkinson Farms

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Sorry the pictures are huge I tried to shrink them but it didn't work

Reid, 2 year old Lionhead Buck. This is a terrible picture of him and it doesn't show his light grey body and darker feet, and ears well.

316753_1980271676286_1528015175_31520379_317466314_n.jpg


DiNozzo, 2 year old Dutch Cross buck. Terrible picture of him. When we picked him up with Reid both their toe nails were almost 3 inches long. This again isn't a good picture of him but it's all I have at the moment.

316753_1980271716287_1528015175_31520380_929597510_n.jpg

 

Parkinson Farms

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They are Ziva is Purebred Lionhead and DiNozzo is 1/4 California 1/4 New Zealand, and 1/2 Dutch. He came from my 4-H leader. She sold him to her friend and I bought him fromt that friend. His dam/mom unfortunatly passed away last year but Donna still has his brother from the same litter.
 

pamnock

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A study printing in Domestic Rabbits indicated that the optimal time to rebreed after the first breeding is within 1 hours. (We only breed once)
 
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