wean all at once or a little at a time?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Ddunk1026, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. Ddunk1026

    Ddunk1026 Active Member

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    I am about to wean a litter of six and was wondering weither to do it all at once or wean a couple a day. Thanks for any imput.
     
  2. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, if they are all to be weaned into the same cage, then, I would do it all at once. Reason? A new environment (e.g., cage = "territory") means a new pecking order needs to be established. Each time you add a new occupant to the cage, that pecking order will need to be re-established... and that means fighting. Best to get it taken care of all at once, then. Watch for the trouble-makers.... you may need to remove one or two to a separate cage.

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

  3. Ddunk1026

    Ddunk1026 Active Member

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    this could even happen if they are as young as 5 or 6 weeks?
     
  4. rzrubek

    rzrubek Flying Z

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    Pat, do rabbits make colostrum like other mamals or is their milk all the same? Also when weaning all at once, what if the doe becomes engorged? We are going to the 11 day breedback schedule and they should only be without kits for about a week. I weaned one litter all at once awhile back and the doe got so engorged I put a kit back in with her for a couple days. I would appreciate your thoughts on the matter. Thank, Randy
     
  5. woolyfluff

    woolyfluff Well-Known Member

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    are you in a hurry if not let the DOE do it they do it much better than we can
     
  6. Ddunk1026

    Ddunk1026 Active Member

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    No not really. How long will it take for the doe to do it herself?
     
  7. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, rabbits make colostrum the same as any other mammal. The milk produced by the doe will usually *begin* decreasing when the litter is 4 weeks old. Some does have been known to nurse longer than usual (unless they're just going through the actions?). We also have to keep in mind that rabbits simply aren't clones or machines, wherein each one may differ somewhat in this respect.

    Having a doe become overly engorged seems to be a bit unusual, but surely not unlikely. I've never had that problem, or perhaps I just never noticed it. In any case, the does did just fine. However, we were weaning at 6 weeks of age, but we have had some who lost their litters at a very young age and still did fine. If engorgment turns out to be a problem, you may wish to pursue some holistic remedies to help.

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

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Almost forgot to answer this one!

    Lo and behold.... pecking orders are established in the NEST BOX when the litter is extremely young, and this is carried forward. 5 and 6 weeks of age is far from being too young. "Newborn" would be too young, heheheh. We were weaning at 6 weeks of age, and believe me... they WILL fight if intimidation, alone, doesn't work.

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

    rzrubek Flying Z

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    Thanks Pat, I appreciate the advice.