Mating different breeds of rabbits?

messybun

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Hey! So, I am a rabbit breeder. I breed Netherland Dwarfs currently, I hand tame them and sell them as pets. But I am looking to expand my business by cross breeding. I want to cross my male Netherland Dwarf with a Lion Head female. Would this work? The thing is Lion Heads are bigger than Netherland Dwarfs, so if the female is larger, then more babies could be born. Also, Lion Heads are generally pretty big. So if I breed her with a Netherland Dwarf, then I get the beautiful Lion Head fur in a small bunny. Is any of this possible?

Thanks!!

Hello there! So, a breeder friend of mine did this mix, and they turned out adorable! Quite a few of them ended up with manes and smooshy faces, some were a cute combo. The most basic rule is always breed the smaller breed male to a larger female. It’s been a few years, but I don’t remember there being abnormally large litters, just average.
 

Beebs172

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Hello there! So, a breeder friend of mine did this mix, and they turned out adorable! Quite a few of them ended up with manes and smooshy faces, some were a cute combo. The most basic rule is always breed the smaller breed male to a larger female. It’s been a few years, but I don’t remember there being abnormally large litters, just average.
Nice! Thank you!!
 

Beebs172

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Hello there! So, a breeder friend of mine did this mix, and they turned out adorable! Quite a few of them ended up with manes and smooshy faces, some were a cute combo. The most basic rule is always breed the smaller breed male to a larger female. It’s been a few years, but I don’t remember there being abnormally large litters, just average.

Hi! So, I have on more question. I was wondering if I can feed baby Netherland Dwarf rabbits a rabbit milk formula? I found one online. Kitten milk replacer or goat milk with one tablespoon of no sugar heavy whipping cream. What I'm planning on doing is getting a mini sucky bottle from amazon or something and feeding them with that. Do you know anybody who does this? I just don't want my baby rabbits to be unhealthy or get any bodily issues. The reason I want to do this is because first of all, this will allow me to breed my rabbit more often. If she doesn't have to care for them, then she could produce more babies. Second of all often I get at least 1-2 runts per litter, and they usually get almost no milk. They get enough to live of course, but they are always very small and bony. Third of all, this will make the rabbits far more tame. Fourth of all, I can control their diet more efficiently, being able to work hay and pellets into their diet faster. Well, I think you get my point 😅. There are a lot of benefits to being able to hand feed them rabbit milk formula.

Thanks!!
 

messybun

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Hi! So, I have on more question. I was wondering if I can feed baby Netherland Dwarf rabbits a rabbit milk formula? I found one online. Kitten milk replacer or goat milk with one tablespoon of no sugar heavy whipping cream. What I'm planning on doing is getting a mini sucky bottle from amazon or something and feeding them with that. Do you know anybody who does this? I just don't want my baby rabbits to be unhealthy or get any bodily issues. The reason I want to do this is because first of all, this will allow me to breed my rabbit more often. If she doesn't have to care for them, then she could produce more babies. Second of all often I get at least 1-2 runts per litter, and they usually get almost no milk. They get enough to live of course, but they are always very small and bony. Third of all, this will make the rabbits far more tame. Fourth of all, I can control their diet more efficiently, being able to work hay and pellets into their diet faster. Well, I think you get my point 😅. There are a lot of benefits to being able to hand feed them rabbit milk formula.

Thanks!!
Hi there again.
I’m going to speak from my own experience, I know some people have others, but I’m not them lol.
First off, I absolutely hate that formula. Rabbits can’t handle cow milk (lactose) especially the cream part of it. I have seen so many rabbits killed or sickened by that formula. For reference, I am a wildlife rehabber who does a lot of work with cottontails and I have rescued more than my fair share of domesticated rabbits; I’ve also volunteered with a rabbit rescue and done a lot with them. I’ve also worked with rabbit breeders.
Now, bottle feeding a rabbit is nothing like bottle feeding a goat or livestock. They do not take to it well, and it takes a lot of work. I’ve had the best survival rate feeding about five times a day because no formula is going to be as rich as mom’s milk. There is also no way to give the natural immunity, and gut bacteria that is in momma’s milk. The best simulation is grab some ceco pellets and use a livestock probiotic in the milk. I use powdered goat milk or fox valley milk replacer btw. I prefer goat actually.
If you do decide to bottle raise rabbits use a no needle syringe with a soft tip or a “miracle nipple” rabbits don’t really suckle a bottle, especially not at first. Buy at least a dozen, they chew through them pretty quickly once they’re bigger. Keep all sterilization rules as you would for a human, boil syringes and nipples every few times, soap and water every use.
As far as your reasons, keep in mind rabbits actually do have feelings, and they can (and will) get depressed if you steal her babies. If you steal every litter it is probable she will grow to be aggressive towards you and possibly her babies. I’ve personally had a rabbit who got so depressed she stopped cleaning herself and barely ate anything. That’s to say, she very well may not want to breed if you take her reward for her labor.
As far as freeing her up to produce more? It’s not like rabbits nurse for that long and she’d need a recovery period even if she doesn’t nurse.
Being able to get them to eat pellets and hay faster? Actually it’s the opposite, with you feeding a milk replacer they will have a more delicate system and you will have to be more careful/wait longer to add hay and pellets.
For being tamer? A rabbit who isn’t raised with other rabbits will have behavior issues, a rabbit hand raised with a litter won’t actually be tamer than a well handled mom raised rabbit.
If you are worried about your runts then you can top them off with goat milk in the middle of the day. That will help them grow big and strong, but they will still get all of mom’s special nutrients.

All in all, I would never take a healthy baby from a healthy mom. It is more work and more cost for you. It won’t save your rabbit that much. You will get a drastically lower survival rate and less healthy rabbit in the end.
 

Beebs172

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Hi there again.
I’m going to speak from my own experience, I know some people have others, but I’m not them lol.
First off, I absolutely hate that formula. Rabbits can’t handle cow milk (lactose) especially the cream part of it. I have seen so many rabbits killed or sickened by that formula. For reference, I am a wildlife rehabber who does a lot of work with cottontails and I have rescued more than my fair share of domesticated rabbits; I’ve also volunteered with a rabbit rescue and done a lot with them. I’ve also worked with rabbit breeders.
Now, bottle feeding a rabbit is nothing like bottle feeding a goat or livestock. They do not take to it well, and it takes a lot of work. I’ve had the best survival rate feeding about five times a day because no formula is going to be as rich as mom’s milk. There is also no way to give the natural immunity, and gut bacteria that is in momma’s milk. The best simulation is grab some ceco pellets and use a livestock probiotic in the milk. I use powdered goat milk or fox valley milk replacer btw. I prefer goat actually.
If you do decide to bottle raise rabbits use a no needle syringe with a soft tip or a “miracle nipple” rabbits don’t really suckle a bottle, especially not at first. Buy at least a dozen, they chew through them pretty quickly once they’re bigger. Keep all sterilization rules as you would for a human, boil syringes and nipples every few times, soap and water every use.
As far as your reasons, keep in mind rabbits actually do have feelings, and they can (and will) get depressed if you steal her babies. If you steal every litter it is probable she will grow to be aggressive towards you and possibly her babies. I’ve personally had a rabbit who got so depressed she stopped cleaning herself and barely ate anything. That’s to say, she very well may not want to breed if you take her reward for her labor.
As far as freeing her up to produce more? It’s not like rabbits nurse for that long and she’d need a recovery period even if she doesn’t nurse.
Being able to get them to eat pellets and hay faster? Actually it’s the opposite, with you feeding a milk replacer they will have a more delicate system and you will have to be more careful/wait longer to add hay and pellets.
For being tamer? A rabbit who isn’t raised with other rabbits will have behavior issues, a rabbit hand raised with a litter won’t actually be tamer than a well handled mom raised rabbit.
If you are worried about your runts then you can top them off with goat milk in the middle of the day. That will help them grow big and strong, but they will still get all of mom’s special nutrients.

All in all, I would never take a healthy baby from a healthy mom. It is more work and more cost for you. It won’t save your rabbit that much. You will get a drastically lower survival rate and less healthy rabbit in the end.

Hey! Thank you so much for giving such an honest reply! I think what I will do is a few weeks after birth I will take them out and handle them for a bit, then just put them back for the mother to care for. My main goal is to get healthy hand tame rabbits. Thank you again for such a descriptive massage!! Without it, many of my rabbits may have died. I wish you the best of evenings! 😁😁
 

promiseacres

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All in all, I would never take a healthy baby from a healthy mom. It is more work and more cost for you. It won’t save your rabbit that much. You will get a drastically lower survival rate and less healthy rabbit in the end.
This! Absolutely true!! If you want more kits more often get more does.
 

messybun

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Hey! Thank you so much for giving such an honest reply! I think what I will do is a few weeks after birth I will take them out and handle them for a bit, then just put them back for the mother to care for. My main goal is to get healthy hand tame rabbits. Thank you again for such a descriptive massage!! Without it, many of my rabbits may have died. I wish you the best of evenings! 😁😁
Best of evenings to you as well. If your moms are tame you can handle pretty much at day two. I’ve handled all my babies pretty much right away. Earlier than some people do. I can’t wait weeks to handle lol!
 

Beebs172

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Best of evenings to you as well. If your moms are tame you can handle pretty much at day two. I’ve handled all my babies pretty much right away. Earlier than some people do. I can’t wait weeks to handle lol!
XD
 

Niele da Kine

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You wait until Day Two? Such patience! We handle them as soon as they appear, but these have had generations to get used to it. If the mum bun is used to being handled, then she shouldn't mind if you handle the kits. We also give the mum bun some treats (usually fresh grasses, ti leaf or mulberry leaf) when messing with her kits. Bunnies like bribes.
 

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