Rabbit breeding

Rabbit Breeding | Rabbit Doe Kindling Start Signs


Information about Rabbit Breeding

Are you thinking about rabbit breeding? After mating the doe should be returned to the hutch which she will occupy until at least after her litter is weaned. The use of the same hutch for each animal is always desirable. There will be no change in management during the first part of pregnancy, although she should at no time be roughly handled. Her feeding during pregnancy will change, but until the third week she will be handled as any other adult.



At the end of the third week, that is about ten days before she is due to kindle, the hutch should be thoroughly cleaned out and a good supply of rabbit breeding placed therein, together with a nestbox, unless one is left permanently in the hutch, or the system is not used.


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It may sometimes happen that the doe willbegin to make a nest early, and in this case the cleaning outshould immediately take place. The doe will make her nest by carrying rabbit breeding material (and hay is best for this particular purpose) about in her mouth and forming a hollow mass from it. This she will line with fur plucked from her breast andbelly. If the doe starts to make her nest outside the nestbox, then it can be transferred therein and she will usually continue to snake it there. Occasionally a doe is found that will refuseto make a nest in the box, or alternatively will make two orthree.


Rabbit Doe Kindling Start Signs

Some does do not line their nests satisfactorily. During cold weather, the youngsters in these poorly lined nests are easily chilled, and some additional lining can be provided if some oldest linings, particularly those from does which have lost their letters early, are cleaned, sterilized and kept for further use. The doe should not be unduly interfered with from thistime onwards. She need not, indeed should not, be coddled.


It is quite wrong to suppose that the least noise or disturbancewill affect her. There are some does which abort theiryoung, or scatter them at birth, or eat them, and it is sometimessaid that this is due to disturbance. If the disturbance is due to rats or dogs, or cats, this may be true, but otherwise, reason-able disturbance, although avoided if possible, should usually do little harm.


When the baby rabbits are born the doe will usually placethem in the nest, but if they are seen outside, they shouldimmediately be placed in it.




The litter of young rabbits should be examined within 24hours of birth. The attention of the doe can be distracted byoffering some tit-bit whilst the nest box is removed, or preferablyshe can be taken from the hutch whilst the litter is beingexamined. However the young rabbits should not be frequently handled and many, particularly of the marked breeds, have been ruined by constant handling whilst in the nest. It should be the rule that the litter is periodically examined to see that they are progressing satisfactorily, but ‘young rabbits should not be removed from the nest for display.


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