Good rabbit breeding stock should be selected from does who are good mothers and who have good body size and shape. Also to be considered is the live weight of the rabbits, select the heaviest but take account of any differences in age if selecting from more than one litter.
The size of the litter of which the rabbit is a member, give selection preference to rabbits from the largest litters if there are enough liters to give a choice.
Select rabbits free of any signs of ill-health. Males should be checked to confirm that each has two testicles in its scrotum.
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Rabbit Mating and Rabbit Breeding
On forage based systems, does are normally ready for mating at about 8- 10 months. At this age their growth will be slowing and they will be able to direct a larger portion of available food to reproduction.
The weight at mating varies according to breed. Effort should be mad to determine the optimum weight for mating for any breed in question.
The same applies to bucks as to does, but bucks can usually be used for mating from 6-8 months, depending on the condition.
The ratio of does to bucks should not exceed 10:1. However, for safety, it may be sensible to have two bucks for more than six does and three for more than twelve.
Experience has shown that early morning or evening mating is best. It is advisable to avoid the hottest periods of the day.
For rabbit mating, the doe should be taken to the buck’s hutch if it is done the other way round the doe may attack the buck and cause injury. If the doe is ready to be mate she will stand still within a few seconds, stretch out and slightly raise her hind quarters so as to allow the buck to mount and mate, as shown in the image above, successful mating is signaled by the buck thrusting forward and literally falling off the doe.
This is very easy to see. If the buck slides backwards off the doe and does not fall, then mating has not taken place. Once mating has taken place the doe is removed from the buck’s hutch. The doe may be returned after an hour or so for a second mating. This is good practice for new keepers to follow.
In conclusion, reproduction is a complex process controlled by substances called hormones. Breeding stock should be selected from does who are good mothers and who have good body size and shape to ensure healthy offspring’s.
Reproduction is a complex process controlled by substances called hormones which are produced in endocrine glands in the boy, and in other parts of the body like the ovaries. Hormones are transported to the organ they controlled (target organ) by the blood circulation system.
The female rabbit reproductive system consists of the ovaries (2); oviducts or fallopian tubes (2); uteri (2); cervix; vagina; vulva ad Mammary glands- (8-10). While the male rabbit reproductive system consist of the testicles (2); vas deferens (2); Penis and associated glands.
Breeding stock should be selected from does who are good mothers and who have good body size and shape. The ratio of does to bucks should not exceed 10: 1
The first real confirmation of pregnancy can be obtained at about 14 days after mating. The doe should be relax and sitting naturally. If fingers are then gently run along the abdomen, between the back legs small bead-like lumps can be felt if the doe is pregnant, these are developing foetues.
The doe usually kindles or gives birth, at night. Sexing of rabbit can be done any time as from the moment of weaning. Weaning is the separation of the doe and the young. It should be done around 6-8 weeks after kindling.
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