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How Often Should Bucks Be Used?

The Babies Are Here

Babies Are Here

If you ask 10 different growers how often they use their bucks you’ll probably get 10 different answers.  Regardless of the use, It is very important that the stud buck be given the best care and treatment available.  A breeding buck is the most important animal in your rabbitry.  A strong vigorous mature buck can be used numerous times a week for up to four weeks. The key is to not over use him since over use can often ruin him as a reliable breeder.  A buck’s physical condition will influence the health and vitality (strength) of his offspring.  Bucks in poor condition, overweight, or over used for breeding may either go sterile or sire small litters. Many growers will use a 1 buck to 10 does ratio; some commercial growers use a 1 to 20.  Research has shown that the sperm count does not decrease below the level for optimum fertilization even when the buck is used daily for extended periods of time or used three or four times a day for several days.  A bucks only purpose in a rabbitry is breeding; this is what he is used for.  Young males (5-7 months old) should not be mated too frequently, until they become older since excessive breeding of young males may permanently damage his success at breeding in the future.  A suggested schedule when first breeding young males is to use them just once a day up to 2-3 times a week.  When the buck is old enough (over 8 months), it can be used daily for extended periods of time.  An older male can be used 4-5 times a day, after which a 4-5 day rest period must follow in order for the rabbit to rest and be able to successfully mate in the future.

Examples of buck use by personally known growers:

  • Used 4-5 times for one day and then a rest period for 4-5 days.
  • Used 2-3 times for one day and then given a rest period for one day.
  • Used 2 times for one day (with 8 hours in between breedings) and then given a rest period for one day.
  • Used 2-3 times a day for two consecutive days and then given a rest period for two consecutive days.  This is the breeding schedule we practice at Crossroads Rabbitry. All of our does are bred in a 2 week period allowing the buck to have a resting period for 2 weeks. We have a 1 buck to 8 does ratio but remember we breed rabbits on a commercial scale. We attempt to breed all our does in a two week period so we may have a down time of two weeks.  This is the only reason we keep a 1 to 8 ratio.  A 1 buck to 10 does ratio should be fine for the average grower.

…….Whatever schedule you decide on for breeding, remember to keep your stud bucks in top condition and you will realize the full benefit of their breeding value.  Also remember that what works for us may not be the solution that works for you.  Through trial and error you should find the best breeding schedule for your buck.

 

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