Mean doe?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Willowynd, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. Willowynd

    Willowynd Well-Known Member

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    I am not a novice, but it has been about 15 yrs since I last raised rabbits. I bought a few french lops 6 days ago and now that they have settled in, I noticed that one of the does is rather tempermental. She growls when you open her cage and grabs the door and pulls and pushes it, she will jump at you like she is going to attack when you put your hand the cage and then rips the clip on feed dish off the cage and slams it on the floor of the cage repeatedly. She has not bitten, but I have not handled her either since she started this and have been careful when reaching in her cage. Culling is not an option at this point- at least not until I get a doe from her to replace her. Suggestions?
     
  2. bob clark

    bob clark A man's man

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    temperment is one of the highest heritable traits there is. I would not want to keep any of her offspring. I dont put up with does like that, and I love fryed rabbit
     

  3. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I wouldn't be too quick to give up on her... she may just be stressed from the move. She sounds scared to me, not mean.

    I suggest you try sweet talking her, giving her little bits of greens through the wire (long grass is good for this because she doesn't have to get too close to you to nibble it.)

    Try speaking pleasantly to the rabbits as you approach the rabbitry so they know you are coming. Rabbits also respond well to soft music. I sing to mine when they are stressed and helps. Which is amazing because I have a terrible singing voice... but somehow it seems to reassure them.

    Good luck with her... I hope you have the patience to win her over.
     
  4. Honorine

    Honorine Carpe Vinum Supporter

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    I have a harlequin doe that was very aggressive when I first got her, I was planning on getting rid of her very quickly. She'd growl and grump and go after my hands, hitting me with her front paws. I wanted at least one litter out of her, and surprize, it turned out the people I'd gotten her from had bred her before they traded her to me. She is an excellant mother, and has calmed down considerably, I try to pet her every time I handle the babies, and give her goodies so she'd connect me with special treats. Its worked, she's a good girl so far, hasn't growled at me in weeks. Give her a chance, it may not be a bad temperament(although it could be) she could be disoriented and upset. Also does are often very defensive of their space, have you bred her yet? Bred does can be cranky too.
     
  5. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    Rabbits are just like people, they all have their personalities. We use to have a Fuzzy Lop doe that was just mean. She'd nail you if you weren't fast enough. In order to get the nest box pulled to the front of the cage you'd have to have a stick to keep her at the back of the cage, but man did she throw good babies, and none of them had her temperament, she was just awnery. She was that way with people, rabbits beside her, the bucks we bred her to.....she was just a grouch.
    It is true that doe that has been bred can be that way, but I've had does that act that way when they're ready to be bred also. And the fact that does are very territorial.
    You can always try to tame her, or put up with it. You can keep a few does off of her and see if they act the same way. If you're selling them for pet rabbits, then that might be a bad thing, but if they're just meat rabbits I wouldn't say temperament is a concern, you just have to be fast! LOL

    Oh, something that I have had happen years ago, I also raised ferrets and I learned real quick not to handle the ferrets before I handled the rabbits. One day I went out and was holding my male ferret and then went to check on the Mini Lops litter and she ran up and nailed me on the finger and she was always a very sweet rabbit. If you have anything like that, or even cats and you mess with them before the rabbits, some rabbits really go banana's. :nono:
     
  6. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The best commercial NZW doe in my barn would charge the cage door growling and clawing if you got within 10 feet of her cage when she had a litter! But boy... could she raise the kits! We simply learned how to get close enough to grab her when it was time to breed, and used a wooden resting board to herd her into a corner for pulling the nest box half-way through the door for counting the kits. We just figured she was a "survivor" and fully intended for her litter to survive, too. In a way, we actually admired her for it. Naturally, we never sold any of her offspring to others... they were strictly for meat, although we did keep a few does from her.

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
    Chairperson, ARBA Commercial Department Committee
     
  7. Willowynd

    Willowynd Well-Known Member

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    I have not bred her yet- waiting for my rebbit pen to be built. I was wondering if she had been bred though. She was the mom of another rabbit there- so know that she has been bred before. Its possible. I will call and ask the people I bought her from- I thought to get thier phone number. Could be too that my dog herding chickens around her each afternoon is putting her off. It is not bothering the other two, but it may be her. I'll move her cage and see if that helps. Thank you.

     
  8. Willowynd

    Willowynd Well-Known Member

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    Is being a survivor such a bad trait? I wouldn't think so. I had a mean rex years ago and she would kill all her babies and eat them. This one is apparantly at least a decent mom as there was at least one of her older babies at the sale that I saw (unless they fostered them to another rabbit). My plan for these babies is meat for the dogs and sell as pets to pay for meat for the dogs- I could always use hers for meat and breeding and sell the ones from the other doe. I do hope I can win her over though.

     
  9. pasotami

    pasotami Hangin out at the barn!

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    I have a commerical NZW with a terrible attitude and it gets worse when she is NOT bred or with a litter. She not only growls, she will bite and scratch - we have had it out. This is honestly how I know when she is in heat - I just keep her bred. Also, she raises the nicest, biggest babies. I have several that will only growl when they are in heat but other wise are nice and most of mine will pick up the cage door for me... I feed hay (a handful once or twice a day). I presume they think I'm too slow so they help me open the door. I would breed your doe a couple of times and watch her babies - she may turn out to be your best breeder.
     
  10. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Yes, good suggestions. I would give her time to come around, try sweet-talking her and offering treats. Hey, maybe she's just stressed out after moving to a new home. Some does also mellow out after having a litter. :shrug:
     
  11. annie716

    annie716 Well-Known Member

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    An old time breeder told me to feed a couple feedings of dry dog food, it's worked for me! Doesn't seem to matter what kind and I have no idea why it works. I've had different results, some are better natured after a couple feedings, others need a handful every once in awhile. I don't sell for pets or keep offspring from these does but they have been some of my best meat producers and mothers.
     
  12. Willowynd

    Willowynd Well-Known Member

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    Well, she came around- still not sweet- but no longer growled and jumped at me. Today I went out and she was gone. Cage door open. I will post another thread so people will see it.
     
  13. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    well if she WAS bred and she is loose she could very possibly dig a burrow under your shed and deliver there, then you could have a bunch of little lops running loose to catch lol