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Question about breeding New Zealand rabbits.....I have read so many different things that say different ages you can start breeding. I've seen 4 months, 4.5, 6, 8, etc. Has anyone had experience breeding New Zealand's and at what age did you start breeding?
 

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First breeding- doe was five months old, buck was six. Eleven healthy kits and mom is doing great.

If you are breeding for meat, the issue is not as critical as it would be if you are breeding for show. Make sure the rabbits are good sized and healthy. Make sure the summer heat is not going to be an issue. Make sure the doe is ready, and go for it.
 

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Iv been told by trusted source wait for a mature weight so thats what i have done so when they hit 7-8 lbs, if you have good stock 4 months is obtainable. With bucks i wait till 4 months and if the bucks dont take to it right away i let them mature more till they do. In my rabbittry i select for size and color so kits that grow fast i keep and the rest are sold(pedigree show rabbits.) or sent to freezer camp.
 

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In my limited experience (2 years), at 4 months the doe could be ready. My best first kindles were with 4 month does being bred. The does I waited til 6 or 7 months had small litters or didn't mother well for the first litter. Everyone has done great on litter #2 and after, but those early mothers had litters of 8 and kept all of them.

tish
 

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I had some first time mothers in my last rotation one was a year (blue), who i hadnt breed because i was having trouble finding a buck for, and two where 7 month old sisters. I also tried an expeariment with how many visits the does seen the buck. The one year old doe seen the buck once for a while where they copulated 7-10 times and was not returned, One of my biggest rabbits seen a another new buck where the 5 month old buck had a hard time and only connected once with a scream(first screamer) and the next day my last 7 month old went to see the first buck twice once in the morning and once in the evening.

So, the one connect yeilded no litter (will be breed with bigger buck). The one year old nested early and produced two kits ( one being a blue charlie =D). The last 7 month old had a litter of 7 seven( so ill be praticing with a double visit from now on.) I fostered out 3 of her kits to the doe with two as she is far superior mother see is feeding them twice a day and the kits are litterly twice the size even the foster kits now, I will keep her even if her litter size doesnt grow because of how well she foster kits and breed with some of my doe who have bigger litters. So you can take what you want from that.

I think it has to do with gentics im happy with my original breeding stock as they where raised by guys who where heavy on the culling for size and who would also cull bad behavior like bad mothers. I also breed for temperment along with size and color . just something to keep in mind.
 

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Newbie here, but the breeder warned me about the heat- unrelenting 90s and their huge colony style cage does get sun-- butchered the doe that died full of kits (4 aborted and 3 still inside) and she has got to be 8 or 9 or 10 lbs she is a HUGE doe, its just the heat I think (she was about 8 months old...)....
 
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