How Frustrating! And poor Kenya...

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by GoslingFever, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. GoslingFever

    GoslingFever Goslings say Weh-Wey-Weh!

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    Drat!

    Kenya, my Flemish Giant doe, was introduced to an AWESOME buck. BOS, legs all over his pedigree, including a few nationals. Besaw lines. Gorgeous guy, gentle...

    She was terrified.

    She was okay sniffing him through the bars. But when she was put into his cage, she just froze. She didn't want to lift her rump (the breeder tried to help, and the buck would stop) and Kenya was breathing so hard I thought she'd hyperventilate.

    We tried taking her out, calming her down, but it didn’t work. The buck got a little rough, ripping out quite a bit of the fur at the nape of her neck, and I decided she was done for the day.

    It’s possible he got her, but it certainly didn’t look like it. I’ve read that it is possible to palpate the doe and feel ‘marbles’ at one week. I think I’ll try, but I don’t want to do more harm than good.

    We have a mini rex buck that is really gentle with the does, and romances them a bit before he does his job, so I think I’ll set up a cage in the house next to Kenya’s, and he can woo her through the bars. Maybe that will get her used to boys?

    She is a year old, so she can wait a few months before she’s bred, but I really want kits from this buck. And she is such a good girl! And her pedigree doesn’t look so bad either.

    Ah well. If she isn’t pregnant, I’ll have our mini rex use his wiles on her from afar and then bring her back to the FG buck.

    I’m still apologizing to her for the treatment. Hopefully by that time she’ll have accepted all of those extra carrots, banana, apple, and yogurt drops as a truce and forgive me.
     
  2. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can palpate at 14 days not 7.

    I have read that you need to breed a doe by her first birthday as her pelvis if not stretched by birthing by then will not do so as much in the future, and it will make having a litter harder. I don't know if it's true or not, maybe some of the more experienced people on here can say?

    Jennifer
     

  3. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

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    The fusing of the pelvic bones is a debate that has gone on for centuries between rabbit and cavy breeders.

    You see it far more in cavies, many people say that if a sow is not bred by 4 months old, don't breed her. I disagree. I've had pigs over a year old birth for the first time problemless. Given there are a few sows lost due to older birthing ages, it isn't bad enough to not breed older sows alltogether.

    I don't go for the fusing of the pelvic bone theory in rabbits. I have bred too many older rabbits for first litters without a problem to think it true.
     
  4. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    Did the buck fall over?
     
  5. GoslingFever

    GoslingFever Goslings say Weh-Wey-Weh!

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    The breeders I got my giants from wait til the doe is a year old to breed her :shrug:
     
  6. GoslingFever

    GoslingFever Goslings say Weh-Wey-Weh!

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    I've never waited this long to breed a doe - normally, we breed them at 6 months. But two breeders in particular (the ones I got my stock from) wait til their does are over a year to breed them, and pressed very heavily on this point.

    I have to say, I wish I knew about the guinea pig info. I've never talked to anyone who admits they've bred them at over a year (for the 1st time) and been successful. Hmmm. The things you learn.


    SusieM: No, the buck didn't fall - and he tried for several minutes. I've never had a buck that didn't...
     
  7. Honorine

    Honorine Carpe Vinum Supporter

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    I breed my Flemish does between 9-11 months, not because of the pelvic bones, but fears of them gaining too much fat and not conceiving. In humans the pelvic bone separates at a particular point while giving birth, I don't know if it also happens in rabbit/cavies. When I was a kid an older first time sow that was given to me had gotten bred accidentally. Babies came out crushed and dead, sow died shortly after. I also have a Silver doe that I bought, never been bred, a year and a half old. First babie came out dead and contorted, 10 hours later she delivered the rest, alive, all had serious bruising on their heads. Litters since some have bruising, some don't. I myself wouldn't breed a an older first time cavie ever, and try to breed my rabbits under a year, feel its easier on them.

    Flemish are notoriously hard to get breed, the does freak and run, and run and run and run. I almost always breed them by holding them for the buck the first time, I set them up, bang on the cage floor and tell my buck Jeremy to load up, and he happily breeds the doe. Many bucks won't do this, some will, I've worked with my buck so he's an easy breeder. Fur pulling is normal, while upsetting isn't really a big deal, I always expect to have some fur flying around. Maybe I'm mean but I would have left her in there, as long as she wasn't aggressive towards the buck. With rabbits running, pawing, and even biting the neck and pulling out fur is part of courtship. I wouldn't wait months, I'd try again soon. I also would breed another experienced doe at the same time, in case you need to foster her kits. I have two mini-rex does who have raised flemish kits, and now have Harlies for the same purpose. Flemish are clumsy mothers, often stepping on babies. I hate finding a big fat healthy kit dead and obviously stepped on. Good Luck!!
     
  8. Hilda

    Hilda Well-Known Member

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    Hi GoslingFever.

    I had quite the time getting my first time does to breed, too. I'm including a old link with some tips on this very issue that was posted here a while back.
    http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=147429&highlight=ACV

    Now, keeping in mind, how inexperienced I am when it comes to raising rabbits and I don't have the same breed rabbits you do...

    Putting the doe in with the buck did not work here. A very uncooperative and generally ticked off doe makes for one worn out buck. In the play area, however, seemed to be fine. There were no territority issues, may-be because it was considered "neutral territory", I don't know. The mating pair chased each other, seemed like they did a courting routine and mated with no problem.

    The best thing, for me, about this method was I knew when the does wanted to be bred. In the play area, if my does were looking for some lovin', they'd chin everything - me included :rolleyes:. I don't know, may-be they were so desperate for love that my shoes looked appealing to them). They'd run up to the buck's cage, show him their bum, try to get in with him. Then I'd let him out and let nature take it's course. If they just ignored him, well I'd wait a couple of days and try again.

    This is what worked for me. I didn't know if it was going to work so the first few times, I made sure I had gloves on and a broom handy just in case things didn't go well.
     
  9. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Using the play area for -uh- play is a great idea, Hilda. I'm going to keep that one in mind if I get any reluctant does.
     
  10. GoslingFever

    GoslingFever Goslings say Weh-Wey-Weh!

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    No, Honorine, you aren't mean... I know I should have left her in there longer.

    Hilda, I agree, I think I'll bring a collapsible excerise pen and try that. It is just so cold... I'm kinda waitin for it to get above -12 before we go out there again. I was almost frozen solid after a half hour. I can't take much more of that, and I'm sure Kenya wasn't any happier about it either. (She's a house bunny, he isn't.)

    However, we've brought in our mini rex buck. All the girls LIIIIIIIIKE him. I put their cage RIGHT next to each other, so she would get used to another guy.

    She likes him a lot. Now I'm concerned he'll be the only one she likes! But I really think that she just needs to get used to the idea of the FG buck. I'll just keep bringing her back until we know for sure.
     
  11. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    push come to shuve breed her to the Mini rex just to get her pipes primed and ready, sence she is a first time mom, the sooner she breeds the better i am sure, and in alot of first timers cases the doe can be a bad mother first time around, and if she is a bad mother on these VERY IMPORTANT kits from this FG buck you wont be too happy, better to test her out on something less important,

    i would breed her now to the little buck to get her used to the idea of actually EARNING her keep and then once she kindles and shows she is or ISNT a decent mother you can breed her back directly to the FG and know what to mostlikely expect
     
  12. GoslingFever

    GoslingFever Goslings say Weh-Wey-Weh!

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    Good point, yes. Sunday is tentatively scheduled for their 'rematch' and I'll bring an excersise pen and see if she lets him get her. I'll try to help him out myself, if he'll let me.

    Yes, if this doesn't work I'll just bring her home and put her with the mini rex. As you said, better to breed her now so that I still have the chance to breed her later.
     
  13. Hilda

    Hilda Well-Known Member

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    Keep us updated! I'm interested in hearing how it goes.

    I have Cremes and wanted Creme kits but the buck seems to be sterile (hopefully temporarily) and I ended up breeding my does to a really nice Californian buck who wooed them and did the rabbit equivalent of whispering sweet nothings in their ears. He made a noise that sounded like a bee in low gear, charmed my does completely.

    I did it for the same reason you're considering it - fear that the does would get to old to kindle at all. The end result here was lovely. Bouncy kits all over the place - hay racks, feed & water dishes, mom's back...

    If it doesn't go well with the Flemish Giant buck (best wishes that it does, though), it sounds like your rex would probably help her quite a bit to get over her reluctance.

    Giant Flemish crossed with a mini rex - what on earth would those kits look like?
     
  14. GoslingFever

    GoslingFever Goslings say Weh-Wey-Weh!

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    It was sooooo cold yesterday.

    But we left Kenya with Peter the FG buck, and went shopping. When we came back, it didn't look like she'd moved at all, her rear was still rammed in the corner.

    I reached in and stroked her, telling her that it was too cold to stay out here much longer... and she arched her back. Peter took advantage of that opportunity and jumped her. I helped two more times, but my fingers were so cold, I couldn't feel them anymore. I decided that if she's pregnant, she's pregnant.

    [​IMG]

    (Kenya)

    [​IMG]

    (Peter)

    [​IMG]

    (Peter again.)

    I'll keep you all posted on her litter. Thanks all for your ideas and support!
     
  15. Hilda

    Hilda Well-Known Member

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    Whoo-hoo! Keeping my fingers cross for you and Kenya!

    What lovely pictures! Kenya is a very pretty rabbit and she's got such a cool name!