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Do I cull him or keep him?

Discussion in 'Everything Else Rabbits' started by Carla D, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. Jan 24, 2019
    Carla D

    Carla D True BYH Addict

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    Im having some issues with one of my rabbits. The bigger of my two sibling bucks, Heath. He has never been a very friendly rabbit since I got him. Over the last few weeks I’ve witnessed him brutalizing the little brother. He was chasing him around relentlessly. He chases the little one out of the water and feed bowls. The littler one will run into one of the boxes and hide. But if he steps out or sticks his head out Heath is back after him. I tried breeding him to my female lop yesterday. He has chased her around relentlessly as well. Actually chase through the water dish three times. I understand some of what I’d seen yesterday could be mating ritual. But Heath bit her in numerous places, face, ear, paw, butt, lower back. She was so disturbed by his aggression that she began to fight and bite back. They had what appeared to be one successful mating, I was trying for a second one but I had to separate the two of them. Then his aggression toward his brother was so bad that I had to pull Heath out and put him in a cage,by himself.

    So besides his behavior and aggression there is the factors of him being of none or little use at all. He can’t be caught and held like a pet needs to be. He’s downright huge for being a mix of lion head and mini rex. He is at least three times the size of his brother. He’s also to big for me to breed for pets. I’m hoping to breed a really small breed of rabbit to sell as pets. Something less than 3-4#. I’m thinking Netherland dwarf, American fuzzy lop, or Jersey wooly. And he’s not big enough to be a meat mutt either. The only reason I’m considering keeping him is my other buck, which doesn’t seem sexually mature yet he’s also a really small rabbit. The size I’m aiming for for my pet sales. I know I can find a fitting buck that won’t bust the bank. But if we breed the two breed able rabbits we already have we aren’t out anything if we decide we don’t want to raise rabbits. No sense buying to nice purebreds to figure things out with. My husband also wants a batch of Easter bunnies. One for our daughter and the rest to sell. To see if we are ever able to sell them during what is probably the easiest time of year to sell rabbits. I should add that Heath and his brother were born last May. My Lop, Ginger is at least a year old, but not more than a year and a half old.

    With these things in mind would you cull him or keep him? If we did cull him we could eat rabbit for the very first time. Decide if we like rabbit meat enough to raise for our freezer. I do have a small list of people who are interested in rabbit meat if that’s the route we take.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
  2. Jan 25, 2019
    B&B Happy goats

    B&B Happy goats Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Dinner
     
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  3. Jan 25, 2019
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Herd Master

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    Read your post -- I think you know the answer and just need confirmation. Why annoy yourself & other rabbits more?

    Dinner.
     
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  4. Jan 25, 2019
    Carla D

    Carla D True BYH Addict

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    I think you’re right. There are a lot more benefits to getting rid of him than there is to keeping him. I guess I need to look for a breed rabbit to replace him.
     
  5. Jan 25, 2019
    Carla D

    Carla D True BYH Addict

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    I was pretty sure about eating him, yes. My only thought was could it possibly be the behaviors of a young sexually mature rabbit. Creating the pecking order and typical mating behaviors. I’ll be look up on things related to killing, butchering, cooking rabbit. The confirmation was greatly appreciated. Thank you and @B&B Happy goats .
     
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  6. Jan 25, 2019
    Rammy

    Rammy Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    I agree. If I were a breeder of anything and I had something that was being aggressive or didnt have good qualitlies, Id cull it. He is beating up on your females and not allowing others to eat. Thats a one way ticket to the stew pot.
     
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  7. Jan 25, 2019
    B&B Happy goats

    B&B Happy goats Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Your welcome, my solution for all my animals is simple.....if you can't all get along, and your not providing to the cause ....your dinner for someone or something...(.not including cat or dogs for dinner.....yet, lol)
    Carla, try craigslist for the goats and rabbits you are looking for, but this time look for dam raised up to eight months old....I have found dam raised and older to be respectfully friendly when you spend time with them. Good luck:frow
     
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  8. Jan 25, 2019
    promiseacres

    promiseacres Herd Master

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    Many rabbits don't need companions and doesn't sound like he fits your needs. But there's a very good reason most breeders have their rabbits separated from 12 weeks on.
     
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  9. Jan 25, 2019
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    Sounds like very normal young buck behavior to me, the reason why most people have to separate bucks by 12 weeks. The constant aggression toward the other buck is typical; people talk about fighting, but this is what happens when the pecking order is established and there isn't room for the subordinates to get far enough out of the alpha's way (it can happen with does, too - even a doe and her daughters). Not being nice to does isn't unusual, either; it's the reason breeders usually only put the doe in the buck's cage for a few minutes. While I sometimes set up colonies of several does and a buck, I never use a young buck, nor one that has demonstrated serious aggression toward does (I had a Mini Rex buck that was a real love bug toward people, but I never put a doe that I wasn't sure about in to breed with him. A doe could be as submissive and willing as possible, but he would still get nasty and bitey "in your face" with her right after he bred her).

    Most rabbits hate being picked up, even friendly ones. I once had a Harlequin buck that I called my "doorman" because I had his cage near the door, so everyone coming in the rabbitry could be sure to pet him. He had a "friends we haven't met yet" attitude toward everyone, but when I picked Tim up to trim his claws, he shook like a leaf until I put him down again. "Pet me, but but don't pick me up" is pretty much normal.

    Rabbit personalities are partly what they are born with, and partly what you make them. I once had a pair of Holland Lops that produced nothing but love bugs; doing anything in Madison's cage when she had a litter was a constant battle to keep them from falling out of the door, because they were that eager for attention. Most aren't quite that outgoing. I often advise people looking for a pet to "open the cage door, and see who comes to you." The pretty one that sits at the back of the cage and ignores you may come around, but why make it harder than it has to be? A rabbit that is friendly from the get-go is much more pleasant as a pet. Early handling as babies is pretty important, but even with it, there will be some that just never really want anything to do with people.

    This is the subordinate, smaller brother? If I read your post right, he's, what, 8 months old? Rabbits (particularly small breeds) become reproductively viable at around 12 to 16 weeks of age, so what's the problem with this guy?

    But I agree, there's no point in keeping a rabbit that you really don't like and have no real use for. :idunno
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
  10. Jan 25, 2019
    Carla D

    Carla D True BYH Addict

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    Yes, that is one of my questions as well. The little brother is probably the size he should be because he’s a lion head-mini Rex across. With that in mind, why is Heath the size of small-large breed rabbit?heath must be around 7-8 pounds. Clover is possibly 3.5 pounds. As far as sexual maturity goes, they are both really late bloomers or aren’t going to bloom at all? Heath has only been acting “ready for action” for three weeks max. Is he possibly the reason why Clover is so small? Maybe I haven’t been watching rabbit behavior as closely as I should have. Could clover be stunted because he has possibly been pushed out of the food and water dishes? I don’t think that’s the case. They seemed to be buddy buddy up until recently. Is it safe to assume that at this age clover will not be breeding material and remain as a pet? I’m ok with having a castrated boy rabbit and a second boy that hasn’t reached sexual maturity?

    Two more thoughts and questions. Since my lop is more than a year old, possibly year and a half and never been breed until recently, could she have troubles with pregnancy, health by shortened life? Then in a month from now if we don’t have baby bunnies would sticking her in with Clover, the small buck be beneficial? Maybe he just needs to not be dominated? He is about much smaller than she is. She’s about the same size as Heath. I have so many questions that I’d like to find answers to. Plus I would really like to have at least one litter of babies under my belt before I buy and breed purebreds.
     
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