To cull or not to cull...

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Livvy

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I have stated in other threads that my lops escaped one night and the female is now very pregnant.
I had never ever thought to breed her even though they are both gorgeous as she has malocclusion and in my opinion that would be very ....unresponsible..I know there's a better word but thats the word that comes to mind.
And yes I planned to bring them to a clinic for spay and neuter. The male is still going, however she can't now. (Due to covid their age (now 6 months) and vets offices closing I couldn't do it sooner, but kept them apart best I could.(obviously not good enough lol)
However my buns are smarter than me and escaped one night. Its been about 4 weeks and I left for vaca and came back to a fat female with a nest made in her hide house. I can feel the kits when petting her and see them kick when she lays down so I absolutely know she's very pregnant. (Escape date puts it at 28-29 days today)
My question and its probably controversial. Can I tell at birth if the kits have malocclusion? And if so should I cull them?
I feel my bun is very lucky to find us as we take the time to research her disorder and care for it, however I don't wanna send off buns to homes that won't.
And since its my fault it happened in the first place I feel I need to take the proper steps to avoid kits with the same disorder going to homes that can't or won't take care of them.
What would you do?
I am fully prepared to keep any that I can't find responsible owners for (although my husband may divorce me lmao).
Curious on your opinions....
 

Happy Hollands

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have stated in other threads that my lops escaped one night and the female is now very pregnant.
Oh I'm so sorry to hear this, for your sake! Sometimes accidents happen, not because you were irresponsible, but simply out of sheer determination of the buns. This is part of the reason why I house boys and girls in separate areas where they cannot even see each other!


Can I tell at birth if the kits have malocclusion?
While I have never had a malocclusion issue at my rabbitry, a close friend of mine has. This is something you may be able to tell at around 5 - 7 weeks of age, as their jaws develop it will become noticeable. While it is genetic, I do not believe every kit will have it (can't guarantee). They WILL all carry this issue though, so looking ahead to the far future I reccomend selling them already spayed / neutered, or with a signed contract the issue will be taken care of properly and the rabbit will be fixed / not used for breeding.

** This being said, maloccusion can be helped if caught super early / a few weeks of age. **


And if so should I cull them?
This is ultimately up to you. I reccomend making your decision now, before you see them and fall in love. You may have to wait until they are older, which will make it harder. My opinion is that culling is not necessary. I know many many breeders disagree with me on this, and that's totally fine. Every person has a right to their own opinion, I'm just sharing mine. Maybe try thinking back to when you bought your sweet bun - do you regret it, and if you had to do it over again, would you take her in? Hopefully this will let you see that maloccusion IS a sad issue, but if taken care of the bunny can still live a happy life. 💕


I am fully prepared to keep any that I can't find responsible owners for
It sounds to me that you are going to do what you think is best for these babies, no matter what happens. Seeing as she is a first time mama, there is a lot of things that could happen such as the babies being DOA, or not surviving for some reason. Who knows what could happen! Make sure she has a nest box and everything necessary for labor.

Keep us updated!! 🤞
 

Livvy

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Irresponsible thats the word I was thinking of lol
I wouldn't trade my bun for anything. Her teeth give her character. And I feel we have a strong bond from it. I got the pair from a pet store. And she was there a few weeks longer than our male because nobody wanted her. (I've put in complaints that the pet store did not mention anything about the malocclusion when purchased).
I just worry about other people that say they understand and actually don't and don't get the proper care for them. Maybe I'm looking too much into it. I worry for the healthy and safety of the buns that didn't ask to be born.
Its also been a very quick realization that I'll be a bunny grandma in a few days lol instead of knowing for a month like breeders do lol
I'll have to draw up a contract for them to not breed and spay/neuter, didn't think of that.
I feel the same that culling for humans sake is ridiculous, if its for the babies well being ( such as a disease that can cause lifelong pain, etc) i can understand.
I know the babies are moving alot in her belly right now (she let's me feel them and I can see them) but I've researched and am prepared for problems to happen.
 

Happy Hollands

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I'll have to draw up a contract for them to not breed and spay/neuter, didn't think of that.
Awesome! It dosen't have to be super complex, just enough to show you are serious and scare off people who aren't going to take proper care of the bunnies lol.


I feel the same that culling for humans sake is ridiculous, if its for the babies well being ( such as a disease that can cause lifelong pain, etc) i can understand.
This is VERY well said! I agree 100%. Depending on the severity, maloccusion does not cause pain if taken care of - but if you feel it would be best to cull - I advise doing that as soon as they are born as they are born deaf and blind. Sorry, that sounds so morbid but it is true!


I know the babies are moving alot in her belly right now (she let's me feel them and I can see them) but I've researched and am prepared for problems to happen.
Hmm this most likely means she has a large litter on the way - normally I feel the babies kicking around if there is 6+ kits.
 

Livvy

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The idea of culling in general sound morbid honestly. But yes if its in the best interest of the animal I get it, thats what would happen in nature.
Oh no! I was hoping a small litter lol any advise? I'm semi prepared, internet searches give little info on rabbit pregnancy or kindling. She's only 6 months and pretty small. I believe a holland lop. (I'll include pictures)
Shes gotten very round the past couple days and I beleive is very close to having them, like the next day or 2. Today she's been trying to nap but keeps waking up in a twitchy motion, I'm assuming from them kicking. And I'm pretty sure she won't be able to pull fur do to her sweet snaggle teeth.
 

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majorv

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You won’t know right away if a kit has a malocclusion, not until they’ve grown some. It isn’t 100% genetic though. We raised Tans and they can be high strung and very active. A few of them also had a tendency to chew the wire on the cage. Done for long enough it can cause the front teeth to grow crooked.
 

Livvy

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You won’t know right away if a kit has a malocclusion, not until they’ve grown some. It isn’t 100% genetic though. We raised Tans and they can be high strung and very active. A few of them also had a tendency to chew the wire on the cage. Done for long enough it can cause the front teeth to grow crooked.
I never thought of that. I'm sure hers is genetic as we got her about 10 weeks old and the vet said it was cuz her jaw was misaligned and she was mostly likely born that way. Although the more I read about kindling I do wonder if maybe she was injured in the nest and the breeder didn't notice....
Seems ill just have to hope none are born with it and if so make sure I find the right owner(s).
 

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