when to breed back

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by bob clark, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. bob clark

    bob clark A man's man

    Nov 3, 2005
    southern Iowa
    I was never sure how quick to breed back my does till i found this on the net. i have been useing this and it works well for me


    In natural mating, does are best rebred on the 10th day after kindling, with a few qualifications. The does must be evaluated to be acceptable for breeding. At the breeding for the second litter, or if the doe is under weight or out-of-condition (at later breedings), or if a feed is being used that is not specifically formulated to be used with intensive breeding, then more time must be given as follows: If the litter size is nine or more, does are bred at 39 to 41 days. If litter size is five or less, does are bred at 9 to 10 d post-partum. If the litter size is five to seven, depending on doe condition, she might be re-bred in the area of day 9 to 12 postpartum, or at day 21 postpartum. A litter of eight would be rebred at day 29. The litter size is re-evaluated at nest inspections up until the removal of the nest box. Thus the date the doe is to be rebred is adjusted to suit the number of remaining young. This keeps a consistent but flexible and not excessive breeding pressure on the doe, adjusted by the number of the offspring currently in the litter. Another way to understand this approach is to see that the does' receptivity decreases with increasing numbers of pups in the nest (Torres et al., 1987), so she will be resistant to breeding for a while. This method also avoids the arbitrariness and lack of consideration for the reproductive load on a doe of a set breed-back schedule. A doe that produces a litter of 10 rebred at 39-41 days will produce five litters per year, or 50 pups. If she is forced to rebreed at one of the earlier dates, for example to produce eight parities per year, she will not produce eight litter of 10 pups (80 for the year), rather she will go down in condition and be culled, for no reason other than not conforming to an arbitrary re-breed schedule. The big problem is in trying to avoid a negative nutritional balance after lactation of the first litter (Xiccato, 1996). The young doe is not quite up to adult body weight, she has not yet gained the full eating capacity of a fully grown doe. Even allowing a longer interval between first and second litter might not help, since the does naturally decrease feed consumption at the end of lactation. Perhaps one of the best remedies is to try if possible to reduce (by fostering) the number of pups in the doe's second litter.

    Otherwise, the 10 day rebreed (11 day for artificial insemination) is used to maximize production when conditions are right to support high production. The value of ten for the days after kindling is selected since it is close to the 12 day period suggested for reducing the lactation load (Xiccato, 1996) while being close to the peak receptivity at 9 days post partum as described by Díaz et al. (1987). This schedule helps reduce the lactation load on the doe (lactation period is then about three days shorter), because the milk output decreases on a doe that has been bred, and the lactation load on the doe is higher than the pregnancy load (Xiccato, 1996). But again, this system only can be used if the doe maintains her condition and the feed meets the requirements of intensive production AND the feed is palatable enough that the doe ingests the necessary QUANTITY of each nutrient required. Looking at the feed label and reading the percent protein, for example, is meaningless unless you know the doe's daily feed consumption. Percent protein in the feed times grams per day feed consumption gives you the actual grams of protein consumed per day.
  2. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

    Dec 29, 2002
    I used 11 day in my commercial rabbitry with excellent results.

  3. dunroven

    dunroven Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 6, 2004
    Bob, you might want to also check out this spot www.texasrabbitconnection.com. I just asked this question recently and talked to some of the top breeders in U.S. Linda Welch, who also posts on here is the moderator of the site above and she has some excellent explanations of this on her web site.
  4. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2006
    I've been doing the alfalfa pellet thing and my doe just had her first litter. It was weird as she only had five kits and two of them were twice the size as the others and died. So only three left. What else should we feed her?

  5. Michael Leferink

    Michael Leferink Well-Known Member

    Jul 12, 2003
    Rabbits need a well balanced diet in order to produce well and consistantly. We recommend using a quality rabbit feed pellet. Find something with the protein @ 16% - 18%, the fat @ 2% - 3%, and the fiber @ 18% or higher. Don't change their food alot. Keep it consistant unless you see problems.

    Rabbit breeders will experiment with breed back schedules until they find one that best fits their needs. I think most probably rebreed at 21 - 28 days and wean at 4 - 6 wks. We breed back at 38 days and wean at 8 - 9 wks. The faster rebreed schedules will require more grow out cages. However, the does in some blood lines tend to put on too much weight if not bred back within 21 - 28 days after kindling.

    Good luck,