Pre-mating Examination

Look over your buck and doe for health before breeding

Rabbit Buck ready for breedingCheck your buck to make sure his penis looks normal, he is feeling well today, and his nails are clipped.  If so, he’s ready to go.  A buck can be bred anytime after his testicles descend, so, if you are breeding a young buck, you may need to check for descended testicles.  I generally wait until a buck is six months old to breed him.  I want to wait until he is sexually mature enough to be an assertive breeder.  I think it is important that his first few experiences as a breeder are successful so that he does not shy away from breeding in the future.  I will breed bucks younger than six months old, but only with extremely willing does.  If the breeding does not happen fairly quickly, I end the session and try again later.

Likewise, check your doe thoroughly.  It is a good time to clip her nails as well.  Make sure she is looking healthy and is at a normal weight.  Check the glands on either side of her vent and clean them, if needed.  Make sure her vent area is clean and there is no dried cecal or fecal matter attached. 

Next, check the color of her vent.  If it is deep purple, you are in luck and will probably  have no difficult breeding her.  If it is red or dark pink, she will probably still breed and conceive.  If her vent is light pink or even whitish, it is probably best to wait for another day.  Does are fertile most of the time (they have induced ovulation rather than come into heat).  You need only wait another day or two for the color to change.

If you don’t want to wait, try letting her trade cages with a buck for a few hours.  Just being around the scents of the male may help her make the necessary hormonal changes necessary.

Make sure the doe is mature enough to breed.  I generally breed does beginning at six months of age.  For some early-maturing does, I have started them at 5 1/2 months.  If I have a doe that is doing well on the table, I may wait to breed her when she’s nine or ten months old.  I did have one doe that had her first litter at eighteen months (and it was live), but I would generally like all does started by one year of age at the latest.

Next Article: Natural and Table Breeding Rabbits

Next Article: Breeding Rabbits on the table and naturally.