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I'm new to keeping and breeding rabbits, but I really want to get some babies born to raise as meat for my family. I have 2 meat mutt bucks who are about 7 months old and about 7 lbs. I know one of them has bred successfully as I also have two of his daughters. My breeding does are white Flemish Giants (possibly crossed with NZW) and they are about a year old and weigh about 12 lbs., I'm guessing.

Two of the rabbits, when put together, just chase each other around in circles, alternating biting and slapping each other. No bloodshed, but no successful mounting either. That doe has a very slight chance of being pregnant, though I palpated her and felt nothing (I know I'm inexperienced, but I've successfully palpated my guinea pigs and rodents are rodents, right?).

The other two rabbits also chased and thumped around the cage. The buck was able to mount the doe many times, but he kept missing his mark. I tried helping him out by holding the doe's shoulders and flipping her back legs out to present her nicely. He gave her a few licks, mounted her, and when it looked like it was going well, I let go and he just popped off (no drama, no grunt, no keeling over, just walked away). Then the doe started going after his genitals, so I separated them.

For all the accidental litters that happen and "breeding like rabbits" I hear about, I just don't understand why I'm having so much trouble! Do I just need to persist? Are my does just too big for my bucks to handle? Do they need a little carrot juice to get in the mood? For now, we're playing the waiting game and I'm going to try re-breeding again tonight. I'd appreciate any and all advice people have on finally getting a successful rabbit breeding under my belt.
 

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Was it hot out where you live? Heat can interfere with breeding. The buck is often infertile and it decreases his interest.

A few weeks after it cools off the bucks are usually ready to be bred!
 

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We had a few warm days in September, but I live in New England, so it's cooling down now. We have days in the 60s-70s and nights in the 40s right about now.

I just tried rebreeding them and the first couple might have been successful, though the doe sprayed urine in between the first successful mount and the second successful mount. Time will tell. The second couple just hung out in separate corners of the cage, pretending not to see each other, even when I tried to assist them.

Maybe my does are just jerks?
 

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"Breeding like rabbits" is a myth. Guinea pigs, now they "breed like rabbits!!"
Keep trying, but if the doe isn't interested, he won't be able to get the job done. A heck of a lot can cause issues with breeding, food, weight, age, genetics, caging, handling, water, health and anything else you can pull out of thin air! It can be a massive pain to get it right. Even more annoying since some people breed with zero issues...
Rabbits are not rodents, they are lagomorphs.
 

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Rabbits can actually be quite hard to breed and far harder to palpate. Plus they aren't even rodents. Guinea pigs have got to be the simplest thing in the world to make more of.

Rabbits breed best when they are pushed a little. If you wait too long to breed them the first time or between breedings they often shut down. If you feed them too well they pack fat in the abdomen where it's not visible but does interfere with reproduction. Lack of breeding and lots of good feed will just give you fluffy eye candy. Getting them to breed usually centers on making sure they don't have excess weight, feeding a variety of things with trace nutrients they might be missing, and stubbornly exposing them to a buck until they agree to breed. Sometimes a change of scenery helps. Neutral breeding pens on the floor can fix some mating problems. To help avoid castration of your bucks check the color of the doe's vent before attempting breeding. Pale means it's not worth the attempt, red maybe, and dark reddish purple should be successful.
 

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If you keep the cages next to eachother, the familiarity may help. My first pair enjoyed an affectionate, but platonic relationship for what seemed like months. They were penned together (because the buck overcame the barrier), and clearly bonded.

Just be patient.
 

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Try a teaspoon of Cider vinegar in a liter of their water for a few days.... and a lot of patience. You do not say what breed your bucks are. If Flemish/NZ.....they may still be a little immature.. but breeding may still be possible
 
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