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Old 09/21/09, 03:01 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 87
When can I rebreed after a litter death

If the litter death is 1 to 2 weeks after birth, how long should I wait to rebreed that doe?
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Old 09/21/09, 04:24 PM
byexample's Avatar
Seeking Sustainability
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Painted Desert, Arizona
Posts: 315
That's a great question. Can't wait to hear other folk's opinions on the subject.

I've read in a few books that commercial breeders will sometimes re-breed a doe 21 days after birth with or without losing a litter.

I've had a few instances where meat-mutt does lost their entire litter (more than 1/2 of my first-timers have lost their entire first litters) where I've re-bred 4 weeks later. That seemed to be fine. I did have one doe that simply refused to breed at 4 weeks. I gave her another 4 weeks (I am currently using a once a month breeding schedule) and then she was cooperative.

I have some pedigreed Americans in my breeding stock... I'm much gentler with them. I have those does on a strict once every 3 months breeding schedule that I honor whether or not they lose their litters.

Thanks again for asking the question. I'm curious to see other's thoughts.

Be well,

Patrick Harris
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Old 09/21/09, 05:00 PM
aka avdpas77
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: central Missouri
Posts: 3,432
This is a difficult question to give an opinion on without more information. If I had a doe that lost her litter because they were born on the wire in the cold, I might rebreed her in a week. If I had a doe that lost 2 or 3 giant babies, because they were too few and too large, I would probably give her at least three weeks. If the litter was two or three weeks old (if you lose a 2 or 3 week old litter there is something seriously wrong somewhere) I would have to evaluate the situation.
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Old 09/21/09, 11:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Mo
Posts: 747
Ok, some will agree with me and some wont, but thats ok.

As o&itw stated, a 2 or 3 week old litter that is lost, something is way out of wack. Its either the doe, or the husbandry in the rabbitry.

o&itw and I are aquaintenances(sp), and we both have great rabbits that produce well, altho we frequently disagree in a friendly way.

If I had a doe that lost 2 or 3 giant babies, because they were too few and too large, I would definately breed back the moment I found them. Either the doe is overweight causing the small number of kits or the breeding schedule needs to be re-evaluated. If she IS overweight, she needs to be bred to reduce the excess weight on her.

Any doe that kindles on the wire and looses her kits is bred back that very day. If a doe loses her litter she is bred right back, regardless of the circumstances. If she kindles on the wire, doesn't care for them, whatever. A dry doe that isnt bred is an unproductive doe, period.

Keep them in production and you will find that it is easier to get the does bred back.
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Old 09/22/09, 03:11 AM
KSALguy's Avatar
Lost in the Wiregrass
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: S.E.Alabama
Posts: 8,818
i am in agreement with General Brown, if i were keeping rabbits in cages like most people i would do this with out issue, but my rabbits are colony kept so they breed back on their own schedual, which is often emediatly after kindling anyway, but i will say they do their own breaks, its been a while sence the last litter came up, i am expecting new litters soon now that its cooled down though,

keep a doe well fed and in production and you will be fine, well fed and not enough production is bad,
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Old 09/22/09, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: pa
Posts: 1,203
I breed back right away.unless the does too thin.
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Old 09/22/09, 10:00 AM
aka avdpas77
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: central Missouri
Posts: 3,432
I think we are all basically in agreement. The reason I would not breed back immediately, is I want a few days to evaluate the doe. If a doe had a couple of giant babies, it is possible that that she is "damaged" in some way, and I would want a chance for her to heal (or be medically culled) before I put her back in with a buck. In truth, the three week thing is probably too long.

I can not discount GeneralBrowns opinion. The productivity of his rabbitry speaks for itself. It is a model for efficiency and quality. I think our only difference is that he views his rabbits as "stock", which is as it should be, and I get a little more involved with mine.
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