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  #1  
Old 06/25/11, 02:48 PM
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Forcing them to breed

I put my doe in with the buck last weekend and watched them run in circles for a solid 30 minutes before I walked off. I actually forgot that they were together and went back a few hours later and they were on separate sides of the small cage. I never heard the squealing I was listening for-how do I know if they bred? Other than waiting a month ....

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Old 06/25/11, 02:57 PM
 
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Squealing? Some bucks make a noise when they complete the act, but many do not. I'm afraid there is no way to tell whether or not they mated, since you did not observe. It is not recommended to leave a buck and doe together without supervision, especially in a small cage. Does can become extremely upset with the buck's persistence and more than one rabbit owner has returned to find the buck castrated, bleeding or dead.

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  #3  
Old 06/25/11, 03:02 PM
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My first try at rabbits went terribly and I never tried again. I put the small male in with the female ( think they were like mother and son, not sure though ) and he tries to mount her and she fought like it meant her life. By the time he got on top of her he was exhausted, they never mated and after a few tries, he stopped trying. They would just stay on opposite sides of the cage.

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Old 06/25/11, 03:30 PM
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I know I messed up by walking off and forgetting them-I won't do that again.
I guess I'll just wait and see what happens.

How can you "force" them to breed? What if he doesn't ever mate with her? Then what?

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Old 06/25/11, 04:55 PM
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i have 3 bucks and trained one of them to be comfortable breeding the does while I hold then. The other 2 either stare at me or go to the back of the cage if I am too near at breeding time.
But you can try, Put one hand over the back shoulders with the does ears under your hand. The other hand hold the does hind end up so her feet are still on the wire. You can push back gently to put the girl part in line so the back can get to the right place.

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  #6  
Old 06/25/11, 04:57 PM
 
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My rabbits must be calmer than normal. I always leave them together for a long time. After they are finished they cuddle and hang out. I think they all really enjoy each others company. Right now I have 6 pairs out there all just relaxed and enjoying themselves. Actually the one doe I can't pick up because she is seriously crazy and will attack me viciously (meat rabbit so its ok), so I always put 'her' buck in the cage with her for breeding. He lives next door to her and they really like each other. Right now he is snuggled with her and their two kits from the last breeding. Maybe not the best way to do things, but the rabbits all seem really happy with a 'friend". I mean, if they didn't like it, then they wouldn't cuddle, right? I never see a fight between a buck and a doe at my house. I want my rabbits to be happy and have a good quality of life...and having a friend with them for a few weeks seems to make them happy. I take the buck out before she has her babies to regulate it. So far its worked out. I don't ALWAYS leave them together and if the male wont stop trying to mount the female after 24 hours I take him out. I find the fact that mine all get along particularly useful in winter when its cold and they need a friend. Last winter they all had the good sense not to get pregnant. I had a number of couples together all winter with no babies at all. Come spring all the does got prego no real problem.


And NO I don't recommend it and I realize I take a small risk by leaving the love birds together. Just showing a different perspective. People have colony cages that work out just fine.


Oh and I had put a buck and a doe together last fall. He tried and tried but she wasn't having it. it was basically my last chance before winter really set in so I decided just to leave her until spring. I never left them alone for a second (they didn't know each other at all) and I know he wasn't successful. But 31 days later she surprised me with babies she had on the cage floor. 6 in total! 5 lived.

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  #7  
Old 06/26/11, 07:43 AM
 
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Location: Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
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I agree that there are times when bucks and does can be safely left together. In a colony, there is space for the buck to get away if he seriously annoys the doe. Colony life is different, too, because there is no rush or pressure. The rabbits have an ongoing social relationship.

Pretty Paisley put the doe in with the buck in a small cage. Her words. To me, this is taking a risk because the buck has nowhere to go if the doe decides she has had enough and attacks him. It may only happen once in a hundred times... but who wants to take the chance of coming back to a castrated and bleeding buck?

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  #8  
Old 06/26/11, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by kirkmcquest View Post
My first try at rabbits went terribly and I never tried again. I put the small male in with the female ( think they were like mother and son, not sure though ) and he tries to mount her and she fought like it meant her life. By the time he got on top of her he was exhausted, they never mated and after a few tries, he stopped trying. They would just stay on opposite sides of the cage.
Forgive me I'm new but from what I've learned the doe is brought to the buck not the other way around...

On that note...

Since I'll make my own hutches should I make an extra roomy buck hutch?

Also should I start with an experienced (Hugh Hefner type) buck...

Sorry for all the questions... My Storey rabbit raising book hasn't arrived yet...
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  #9  
Old 06/26/11, 08:39 AM
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my meat rabbits have cages 30x30 for the does. the bucks get a 24x30. grow out pens are 36x30.

young bucks should be watched when an older doe is placed with them. some of those old bags can be real crotchety and will "subvert" a young buck's attitude in approaching a doe. place an "easy-breeding" doe with a young buck his first few times. if a young buck is all you've got. then "babysit" the pair and make sure the doe doesn't get real aggressive with him.

always check the doe for receptiveness before placing her into the buck's cage. let them mate once or twice. then pull the doe. you can go back six hours later, (IF YOU HAVE THE TIME) and let the buck rebreed her once more. again---take the doe to the buck.

keep your bucks gentled and tame by petting and scratching them occasionally.(it doesn't take much time and will pay you big dividends) this will help you when you need to restrain a doe for breeding. the buck will "pay you no mind" as he goes about his business.

grumpy.

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  #10  
Old 06/26/11, 08:44 AM
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I have never heard my buck squeal, so maybe yours is quiet, too. I have heard that if a doe doesn't want to be bred that it may be hard to get her to stay still long enough for the buck to breed her. (But who am I to know- I am new at this rabbit thing!)

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  #11  
Old 06/26/11, 09:36 AM
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I'm another one that puts the buck in with the doe, but my pens are all about 30sq feet floor space with plenty of room. I only have three breeding does, and they are all use to living with a buck for a month at at time.

Last week I put my junior buck in with an older doe (it's actually his mother, but he was fostered). He's only 4 months old, so on the young side but I needed to move the senior buck into the pen I had him in. The doe immediately mounted him a few times, and seemed to get a bit annoyed that he didn't reciprocate. Then he got real interested, but she didn't want him getting close.

There was some squabbling, but I never saw any fur fly, and as soon as the young buck figured out he better let the doe come to him, things settled down quickly. Now I normally find them with the doe lounging around, and the young buck grooming her. I have no idea if he did the deed, but will leave them together until the doe starts nesting.

I've gone from full live-in situation, which didn't work for me, to completely separate except at breeding time, which I also didn't like. This summer I'm doing the "traveling buck" scenario, and so far it's working well, but we'll see how it goes.

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  #12  
Old 06/26/11, 10:28 AM
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Always take the doe to the buck and always give him a few days in a new cage before offering him a doe. A buck has confidence when he's n his own turf... so does a doe. So putting the buck in with the doe puts him in a new surrounding, so he's already off in confidence, but then you've got the doe trying to defend her 'territory' against the buck!

As far as leaving them together, I always watch them to check the first mating, if he succeeds, I'll leave them together for a little while, because that means the doe has accepted him. I don't do that for known aggressive does, they generally only put up with the buck for as long as it actually takes him to mount and breed.

As for force breeding, it can technically be done, but you'd be wasting your time and effort. I used to do it, but have long since stopped. It's not worth it. You will get a reduced litter size, if you get any litter at all! It's better to try a daily regimen instead. Every day, check the vulva of the doe, put him in with the buck and see. If no mating occurs, put her back and try again the next day, and repeat.

To the OP, as for your rabbit you aren't sure about, try palpating in 2 weeks. That may eliminate having to wait the full month to try again. Palpating is easy, use a buck for comparison (because you know there is NO WAY he could be pregnant).

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  #13  
Old 06/26/11, 03:22 PM
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Hi, force breeding rabbits isn't hard at all, you just have to have a buck that is up to the task as many are not. A good buck that can be used for force breeding is an asset to any rabbitry, in my mind.
To find a good force breeding buck you have to try force breeding them over & over until you find one that is always ready for force breeding and comfortable with you completely, 100%. I had 4 boys that played with my rabbits all the time and this helped the bucks be alot more comfortable being handled which is what is needed for a buck to be comfortable in this situation.
The doe doesn't have to be too comfortable with it but she can't go completely ballistic either. You'll have to practice a few times to get the feel of holding the doe in the proper position but its not at all hard.
I either put the doe in the bucks cage or I have some round breeding cages I built to allow some hyper does to run in circles while the buck sits in the center watching her run until she gets so tired she stops and allows him to breed her without him having to chase her the whole time and get exhausted too. Works great. Some ornery does will castrate a buck when hes put into their territory, (cage) & it doesn't take but a second with sharp teeth & and experienced older doe then your without a buck. best of luck

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Last edited by Ray; 06/26/11 at 03:25 PM.
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  #14  
Old 06/26/11, 03:40 PM
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I have small cages for my bucks, so in the morning i switch one of my bucks with one of the does I need to breed. So he has a bigger cage.

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  #15  
Old 06/26/11, 04:21 PM
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You may not have to wait a full month,wait two weeks and try them again. If the doe growls and acts like she wants to fight ,she is proably bred. If she is not she will accept the buck .

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  #16  
Old 06/26/11, 05:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tnokie View Post
You may not have to wait a full month,wait two weeks and try them again. If the doe growls and acts like she wants to fight ,she is proably bred. If she is not she will accept the buck .
This approach is far from fool-proof. Many does will accept the buck even though they are pregnant - and may conceive a second litter in the other horn of their uterus as a result. Other does, not bred, may still resist the buck two weeks later. I really don't think this method tells you anything reliable.
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  #17  
Old 06/26/11, 07:25 PM
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Melda, my cross bred NZ/cal doe bred to my Champ buck. I didn't see it happen. So I put her in with my cal buck and they bred 3 times, But she had 6 kits about 10 days later. 2 cal colored and 4 solid black. I hadn't put a box in with her, but she took care of them in the corner of the cage. I heard them squeeking and put them in a box for her with hair from another molting doe.
The point is she did breed to the cal when she was obviously bred to the Champ.

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