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Before Breeding Your Rabbits

Rabbits Mating - Crossroads Rabbitry

Before breeding your rabbits, it’s best to always do a pre-breeding inspection. Look over both rabbits to make sure they are in good condition. The doe should always be taken to the buck’s cage. Stay beside the cage and pay attention, as it can happen quickly. Should the doe run about the cage, simply hold your hand in front of her face to prevent her from running.  Sometimes this is all that is necessary.

When a buck breeds a doe he will almost always fall backwards or over to one side and squeal. It’s actually quite comical. We allow the buck to breed her 2 to 3 times depending on several factors such as; the bucks stamina, the bucks use that week and the does willingness.

If she breeds once but is being difficult for the second, we take her back to her cage, wait 1 to 6 hrs, and then try her again. This usually works for the second or third breeding. Ovulation (when she releases eggs) begins 10 hours after mating so do not try to breed her after 8 hours have passed, as this may lead to a double pregnancy. A double pregnancy can be very dangerous for the doe and the litter.

Does have two uterine horns, meaning she could already be pregnant in the first one from the first breeding, and then become pregnant in the second one. This could result in the doe carrying two litters at the same time. This could cause mummified fetuses and could kill the doe.

Forced breeding’s, in our opinion, do not work well. This is not to say that you won’t be successful at them. However, in our experiences, the conception rate is very low, usually 30% or less for us. You must remember, the mechanical action of the breeding will cause the does eggs to drop. She is a induced ovulator and will not drop eggs to get fertilized if not stimulated. She needs to be stimulated. Forced breeding’s are tempting because it’s easy, but what’s the point if it doesn’t work well? You breed them to have litters and you may waste a full month if the breeding is unsuccessful.

We have also not had great success with; just leaving a doe in the bucks cage all night when she is being difficult to breed. This too averages about a 30% conception rate for us. If you get to the very end of your breeding time requirement and must make the choice of not breeding a doe or forcing her; you might try both combined for a little higher chance of conception.

You can leave her in the bucks cage all night and then force breed her before returning her back to her cage. Make sure this is done before 8 hours have passed. In theory with doing both; you may increase your chances the breeding will be successful. In doing both, you’ll know she may have bred on her own and by force breeding you’ll know that spermatozoa is present. Still, you’re better off if you allow the doe to breed on her own as the conception rate is usually higher.

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