Keep or Cull?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Milkjug, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Milkjug

    Milkjug New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Location:
    Upper Texas Coast
    I bought some NZW meat rabbits from the Texas A&M Kingsville project earlier this spring. The fellow running the program was very helpful and friendly.

    Anyways, he let me breed the doe I bought from them to one of their top bucks before I brought her home. My plan is to keep one of the bucks from the litter as a breeder for my rabbits.

    The doe kindled a litter of 6 with 3 bucks. When they were a couple weeks old one buck developed an eye infection. It may have been related to poor husbandry. There was a heavy rain and the shed they were in had a leak above the best box. The kits and nest got soaked, but all survived since it was warm. The eye was fused shut for a while, but eventually opened up on its own without treatment.

    The litter is now 7 weeks old and weaned. I'm trying to decide which buck to keep. The buck that had the eye problem is barely discernable as that eye can't open quite as wide as the other. Looks perfect healthy. I took weights and this same buck also weighs a solid 100 grams more than the 2nd biggest. About 1200g vs 1100g.

    Would you keep this rabbit as a breeder or one of his smaller brothers? I am not interested at all in showing, just meat production. However I don't want to introduce susceptibility to eye problems in my rabbits. Not sure of the genetic vs environmental contribution to his previous eye infection. Since the doe was bred at the university I don't have access to his sire anymore so I want to keep one buck from this litter.

    Any insight? Thanks!
     
  2. CountryMom22

    CountryMom22 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,319
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2014
    Location:
    Central NJ
    If you know that the eye problem was a result of husbandry, then keep the bigger buck. If the other kits didn't develop eye problems, I doubt that the problem is genetic, anyway. Just my 2 cents.
     

  3. Marinea

    Marinea Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    396
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    I agree. While I do believe there may be a genetic component to "nest box eye", this doesn't sound like it. I would keep the bigger buck.