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Meat rabbit male wont breed! Help needed  RSS feed

 
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So this year I bought 2 does and one buck California rabbits for raising my own for meat and they would be going on 6 months now they are good and healthy the does are visibly larger the male and they have been in spate cages since Aug. The buck is for some reason skidish the does are fine but he goes crazy when im in his pen for anything at times. I have tried to breed him with the does and nothing he does not sniff them mount them or even show any interest just sits there and I have left them in for a decent bit each time keeping an eye on them but nothing. My other rabbits I would breed for pets to sell it was instant the buck was on the doe before I could get my arm out of the cage. Again they aren't resisting him or not lifting he is just flat out not even paying any mind to them. I have someone that has 6 month old bucks and is willing to sell me one but I am unsure if I should just give up on this buck and get one from her or if I should give him a chance. I read they require light like chickens but my last breeds didn't care one bit about that and I actually have small lights like xmas lights for the chickens that also gives them additional light. I believe I am going to buy one I just would like input before I go and give up on a buck I raised all summer.
 
gardener
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Have you checked to make sure that "he" has testicles?
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rabbit
 
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Location: Middle Georgia
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I am no expert on rabbits but my first thoughts are....

Are you moving him when you try to breed them? If he is shy then I would put the doe in HIS pen and leave them for quite some time so he can relax. Is there a reason you can't leave them together for 2-3 days? If there is no good reason you can't, then that is exactly what I would do (in his pen/territory not in hers). And I would give him some privacy during this time (including adding stuff for privacy to his pen if possible, and giving him time to adjust to the new stuff) especially if he is skiddish around you.

Many shy mammals take a stronger interest in breeding once they have experienced it, so if you can get him started he could really take off from there.
 
pollinator
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Location: South of Capricorn
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food preservation homestead rabbit
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he sounds so unlike my rabbits, where the buck is laid back and the doe is the nutter. I wonder, if he is not interested in breeding and aggressive/skittish (and indeed is a male) would it even be worth passing on these tendencies to offspring?
 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Tereza Okava wrote:he sounds so unlike my rabbits, where the buck is laid back and the doe is the nutter. I wonder, if he is not interested in breeding and aggressive/skittish (and indeed is a male) would it even be worth passing on these tendencies to offspring?



I agree completely.  Unless it's a one-off breeding, and you won't use any bucks he throws, I'd buy a buck that's interested in breeding.

I had a doe that just refused to breed after her first litter.  She was a terrible mom but I though I'd give her another chance, but she wouldn't take.  It was a mistake for me to try again, to be honest, as she'd shown she couldn't mother, but my daughter liked her.  Breeding requires you to take a dispassionate look and cull any animal that doesn't meet breeding standards.  I've often heard it said that it costs as much to keep a good animal as it does a poor one and, in the mid to long term, you'll be glad you culled.  
 
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I agree with Lucrecia’s thoughts. Admittedly most of my breeding experience is with guinea pigs rather than rabbits but when we introduce them for the first time it’s always on neutral, scent free territory, especially if there’s more than one female otherwise the male tends to feel ganged up on and retreats to a hidey hole.
From the few times i’ve bred rabbits i’ve observed the same behaviour. He’s also still young at 6 months and depending on where he was raised may not have observed mating behaviour.

So i’d suggest either making a new pen that none of the animals have had the chance to scent for introductions or if that’s not an option try to clean as much scent as possible and put the does in his pen. Try leaving at least two separate hidey holes for them to retreat to so that they feel safe and don’t force it. It normally takes 1-2 days (average sometimes takes longer) to get the idea the first time but then they’re well....like rabbits. My best breeder had lived on his own for the first few months of his life when I got him and he hid from his ladies for the first two weeks but he’s now a very assertive critter. Sometimes they just need a bit of help.

If this doesn’t work and your only motivations for keeping him are breeding then maybe getting another buck is the only way forward.

 
Tereza Okava
pollinator
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if you`re going to raise the kits for meat and not for breeding stock, and the person who is willing to sell you rabbits can wait another week or two, it won`t hurt to try fiddling with his environment, and won`t cost you anything either. Maybe he`s just slow on the uptake, it`s worth a shot!

(I`m remembering a dog I had which, while beautiful, could not smell a darn thing, and basically didn't learn anything from her mama. I loved her dearly but she needed everything to be shown many times and/or just done for her. I had her spayed right away, since she was a pet, but I imagine breeding/whelping would have been a similar fiasco.)


Edited to add....
if the females are visibly larger at 6 months (and the breeding stock is the same) i wonder if he's got some sort of hormone problem, you could have just gotten unlucky with this buck.  I guess you'll see, if you can get him to cover.
 
pollinator
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I know that males are usually ready to cover sooner than the female of the breed will be biologically ready to healthily carry a litter to term, but six months sounds young to me to be expecting instant results.

I know that it is suggested that you not breed female Flemish Giant rabbits, often used in the breeding of meat rabbits, until they're at least 18 months old, though they might be biologically ready at 8.

I have heard it suggested that the males need to be at least 8 months, and that it can start later. He's probably too young still.

I found a page on Flemish Giant breeding here.

I also googled it: California meat rabbit breeding age

Just wait a couple of months, maybe a bit longer. They're large rabbits. I wouldn't expect it to be healthy to breed them before 8 or 9 months, and I would leave the females until 18 months.

Thinking about it, how do you know that it's the male that's not ready, and not the females who are immature? That's more likely, in my opinion.

-CK
 
austin miller
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He has the bare patches where his testicles would be since rabbits pull them back in they don't hang out like others.
I had looked into the Californian breed and others that raise them for meat and they say does are ready by 5 months and bucks 6.
I had other pet breeds that breed by 6 months. I always bring the doe to the buck so she isn't territorially and as far as leaving them together I did the last time for 30 min without him paying any mind to her and as far as leaving them in the same cage for extended time that is a no. One I need to know when she is breed to track kindle the male.
These are for raising for meat rabbits. Its not a buck that I am breeding for genes I need production out of him. No wine and dining in the rabbit hutches lol.
All the breeding in the past has been rather fast as in placing the doe in the bucks pen and I would have 3 fall offs in less then 15 mins. Having bought and moved rabbits with the my brothers farm its nothing to overnight store several rabbits in a pen and one buck breed them all.
I believe I am just going to buy a new buck from the other person I talked to they actually gave me a trial if he doesn't preform I can bring him back lol.
 
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