New Bunny Mom - Seeking Opinions on Breeding and Bonding

Discussion in 'The Rabbitry and Show Room' started by Butterscotch, Jun 2, 2019.

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  1. Jun 2, 2019 #1

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

    Butterscotch

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    Hello,

    I am a new member here, please excuse me if I've posted in the wrong place.

    I have just brought home two new bunnies and I am looking for opinions on breeding and bonding these bunnies. I have a 9 week old male Netherland Dwarf, siamese smoke pearl marten colored, and a 7 week female Netherland Dwarf, lilac/fawn harlequin colored. They came from different breeders. I've had the male for 8 days and the female came home yesterday. My end goal for these bunnies is for them to both be fixed, bonded, and semi free roam house pets. I understand that I may not get what I want but I want to increase my chances, which is why I'm here seeking advice. As of right now my bunnies are in separate cages in the same ex pen. I let one out at a time for exercise and safe introductions. My female seems indifferent to the male, she is only interested in escaping the ex pen, but my male is completely enamored with my female. This boy is in LOVE! He tries to groom her through the cage bars, he spends his turn in the ex pen right next to her cage watching her every move, and he very briefly mounted her the one time I let them in the pen together. So here are my questions:

    I am interested in getting one healthy litter from these two, the babies would already have homes with my adult sisters and their older children. Should I put them in the same cage right now (provided the introductions continue to go well) and let nature take its course or should I keep them separate until the female is older? How old should she be for safe breeding?

    Are they likely to bond before and stay bonded after the litter is rehomed and both parents are spayed/neutered? What are some possible complications of this scenario?

    Are the parents both good colors for breeding to each other? I know absolutely nothing about rabbit genetics and breeding. I am just very curious what color their babies might be.

    Is this whole thing a bad idea and should I just proceed with spaying and neutering them both and hoping they will bond?

    I am a first time bunny owner, everything is new to me. I have done a lot of research but as we all know learning is a never ending process and the internet is full of conflicting information, so I'm here seeking interactive advice from all of the experts here.

    Thank you for any and all replies!
     
  2. Jun 2, 2019 #2

    SableSteel

    SableSteel

    SableSteel

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    Personally, I'd just continue with spaying a neutering them. Netherland dwarfs are notorious for having issues in birth (that can hurt both them and the kits), with their large head and dwarfism, and usually make poor mothers to the kits. I don't recommend breeding them to anybody without prior experience in breeding rabbits.

    If you do choose to breed them, separate them now and reintroduce when they're 6-8 months old for only long enough for breeding. Make sure that they're separate when the doe is ready to give birth, as she can become territorial towards the buck and they can rebreed immediately after birth. You want to make sure the doe has a chance to fully grow and develop before the litter, but that she's not too old that internal fat has had a chance to build up.

    This is not a popular color crossing; you're likely to get opals and potential blue otters or blues from the cross. Generally people try to keep lilac out of shaded (smoke pearl is shaded) lines, and harlequin restricted to agouti lines.
     
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  3. Jun 2, 2019 #3

    majorv

    majorv

    majorv

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    I can’t help with Dwarf colors but it’s not a good idea to allow them to try and breed at a young age. Bucks typically try to mount even before they become fertile, which is what you’re seeing. Usually 12 weeks is the time you need to separate bucks and does to prevent accidental breeding.
    If you decide to breed them you really need to wait until the doe is at least 5-6 months old so you have a better chance of having a successful litter. If you were breeding for show then colors and type would be an important factor in your decision, but you’re not.

    As to bonding, you won’t really know until they’re both fixed. You have to be prepared to keep them separate forever if it fails though.
     
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