Winter Breeding

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Kumi_Ori, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. Kumi_Ori

    Kumi_Ori Active Member

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    Happy New Year everyone!
    This board has been too quiet lately. So maybe we can get a discussion going. I was wondering if any of you in the northern climes breed during the winter and if so, what additional measures need to be taken?
    I live in North West Montana and the temps are in the teens during the day and single digits at night (sometimes – digits) and we are getting maybe 8 hours of daylight. My barn is just an enclosed carport with no heat.
    I have two litters in the nest box now that are about 2 weeks old. They are doing fine. I seem to have this part down once the kits are born.
    I am wondering about the breeding part now. I just bred 2 does today, one VERY willing doe and one not willing doe (although he did get her once). These does are sisters (same litter so you know for age reference, both virgin) and before I put them with the buck I checked the vulva and both were dark pink (red). I have seen posts where people are leaving lights on for 16 hours a day or bringing the does in the house for a couple days, etc. Based on what I saw today that doesn’t make a difference. What is your opinion? Do you do anything special?
    Thank you.
     
  2. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    NC
    I'm not up north in cold country, but it seems to me that if you brought animals into the warmth for a couple days to get them to breed, then returned them to the cold, that you would be putting them at risk from the temperature changes. The lights would seem more practical to me.

    We've got the opposite problem down here...bucks that go sterile in the summer heat...so winter is prime breeding time.

    (Just helping get a conversation going. It has been quiet in here lately)
    Meg
     

  3. cedargrove

    cedargrove Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Kansas
    The WIFY and I breed the NZ's over winter break from teaching on the 29th and 30th of Dec. They had a BLAST and yes it has been cold here also. One fat lazt Doe is so active now, must have realy changed her disposition.
     
  4. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm located in eastern Washington state where the summers are hot and winters can sometimes get down below zero! We were able to maintain breeding year-round and bred every week without fail.

    For our climate, we found that temperature had more bearing than lighting during the winter months. Although it plays havoc with scheduled daily chores, we found that if we waited for a day with a slightly higher temperature (even if only by a couple of degrees), we had much better success. Sometimes had to wait for the day after that day of the higher temperature, though, but it did work. Our barns were also lighted, so the temperature key was a real boost to our success in winter breeding.

    I've discussed this with Dr. Mark Grobner, and he also agrees with me that temperature may have more of a bearing than lighting. There are large rabbitries without lighting which breed year-round.

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
    Chairperson, 2005 ARBA Commercial Department Committee
     
  5. Kumi_Ori

    Kumi_Ori Active Member

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    Maybe someone should tell them that this kind of activity will get their blood flowing and warm them up!!

    Kristi
     
  6. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    Indiana
    We don't do much late fall/winter breeding just because its too cold to do much winter butchering! We butcher rabbits outside and nothing worse than bloody chapped hands :no: . We do have our rabbitry back up to 3 bucks and 8 does. 4-NZ & 5-GFXNZ& 2 CGXNZ. Just about time to breed again lets see feb, march april, april wouldn't be too cold :D
     
  7. Tucker

    Tucker Well-Known Member

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    NC
    ========

    Hi Sherrie ,, Yep my husband hates to butcher to begin with and will delay for the slighest reason anyhow and butchering out in the cold is no fun at all :no:

    We had a warm spell here in NC from about the week after Christmas till last week ,, back into teens at nite now ,, so you know that Feburary will just be misserable as payback :p ,,
    I'm delaying rebreeding here till the first week of Feb to aim for March birthing ,, shouldn't be soo miserable then for the babies ,, lol we'd be butchering about June should be nice enough weather by then ... ;-) ...

    I had a water bottle freeze and bust the other nite !! BRR!!

    Thanks goodness this bunch of fryers will be ready for the processor by next week ,, hopefully :haha:

    Tammy
    NC
     
  8. SherrieC

    SherrieC Well-Known Member

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    Indiana
    Lucky Lucky you Tucker, My husband does not, butcher. I do the most of it with my sons who learned from me. He has progressed enough to bring coffee to the basement when we are down there sawing a steer up, and even fed chunks of pork thru the grinder for sausage, witch really surprized me, but he said its just meat now LOL!