ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Breeding Process of Rabbits

Updated on February 11, 2015
Source

Overview

Whether you breed rabbits as pets, for meat, or are simply interested in the "fast and furious" process, this article will provide you the information you need to know about breeding your rabbits, and what occurs from the time of the mating to when the litter of kits have been born.

Though it is not as detailed, there is also a video provided at the bottom of this article outlining the mating and preparation process.

Mating

After choosing which of your bucks, the males, and does, the females, you wish to mate, it is imperative to remember that you always bring the female to the male, and not the other way around. This reduces the risk of aggression on either party's behalf.

When the doe is brought to the buck it should not take long before the buck makes a move to mount the doe. The doe may make it easier on the buck by lifting her hips slightly for him, allowing for easier penetration. The mating can take anywhere from one to fifteen minutes to complete. It is easy to spot when the male has succeeded, as he will quite literally fall off the female and pass out for several seconds. If the male does not fall off in this way, he has not finished mating.

After the buck has finished mating with the doe, the doe must immediately be taken away from the buck. If this does not happen, the doe will soon attempt, and will usually succeed in castrating the male.

Note: Always supervise the mating process while the two rabbits are together to ensure the safety of both. Both the male and female will sometimes bite each other, and it is crucial to be present and watch to make sure that it does not get too out of hand.

Source

Gestation

Typically it is a good idea to allow the pair to mate once in the morning, once later that night, and even again the next day if you so choose in order to guarantee a pregnancy. After the mating it becomes a waiting game to see if it was successful; if it was, the doe will give birth approximately thirty days after the mating, give or take a few days.

During the gestation period the female should be given additional food and water. Later on, closer to the 27 day mark, a nesting box should be placed in the doe's enclosure. A nesting box is a metal or wooden box that can be filled with wood shavings or hay and provides a safe home for the kits when they are born. It replicates the burrow a doe digs in the wild when she is close to having her litter. Do not give the doe her nesting box until it is near the end of the gestation period, as she is likely to simply defecate in it any time sooner than that.

When the doe receives her nesting box she will begin preparing it for her litter by rearranging the material put in the box. She will also pull out the fur from her belly and line the nest with it. This is completely natural, and it should not cause concern to see this happening or if mild bald patches appear on her stomach.

Source

Birth

The doe will generally have her litter of kits in the middle of the night. Unless only one side of her ovaries were inseminated, a typical litter will consist of eight kits. If that does happen, four newborn rabbits can be expected. These kits will be both blind and deaf, and extremely vulnerable to the elements. Lining the bottom and first two inches of the sides of the rabbit hutch with chicken wire is highly suggested in order to keep the kits from falling out if they escape the nesting box. This is especially important if the hutch is above ground, as entire litters can be lost to falls without this precaution.

A doe rabbit is ready to mate several hours after she gives birth to her litter. However, in order to give the doe time to recover and not over work her, an ideal waiting period of ten to twenty one days after a litter is born is ideal before mating again. If a doe is bred too soon too many times, it can negatively affect her health and cause a much shorter lifespan. Breeders suggest waiting two to three weeks as the preferred recuperation period.

When the doe is bred again she may still stay with her current litter. The mother and her kits are not separated until the kits are on average six weeks old. Given the waiting period between giving birth and being re-bred, this schedule would work well to time when the next litter is due and when the mother needs to be separated from her young.

(Note: the sale of any rabbit before the age of eight weeks is illegal.)

The mating process of rabbits, while simpler and more low-maintenance than that of other animals, is an exciting and rewarding time. When done right, it will yield many bundles of joy that come with many uses, whether it be for the simple happiness of companionship or the meat the feeds your family.

Rabbit Breeding Video

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)