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My rabbits won't conceive

Discussion in 'Breeds and Breeding - Rabbits' started by Alcor, Jun 11, 2019 at 6:53 PM.

  1. Jun 11, 2019 at 6:53 PM
    Alcor

    Alcor Herd lurker

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    I am running out of ideas here. I just cannot, whatsoever, get my rabbits pregnant. I don't understand. I'm trying to breed Silver Fox rabbits.

    I've tried several females and males over time. It's been about a year now. We take the does individually to the buck's cage. The buck does his grunt-and-flip routine after he mounts and goes at it for a while, and we try to get him several successes with each female. We do this for about a week, then we let the females chill in their hutches. They have plenty of water, all the hay they can eat, and we give them greens from the garden as well as vegetable scraps. And yet, month after month, no babies. After each gestation window has fully passed, we try to breed them again.

    It's summer now. There are no excuses due to long nights or cold weather. The rabbits aren't obese. We have painstakingly charted how they were maintained each day, and when we mated them. The does seem receptive enough, though some days they just don't bother, but we've had plenty of successful matings. The rabbits are all of appropriate age.

    What the heck is going on? I feel like after a year, we should have seen something. This last round, two of the does repeatedly made nests near the end of their gestation window and then tore them down, then never gave birth at all. The third, we were told was proven from the breeder when we got her, but she has never acted pregnant. I'm about ready to give up entirely.

    We culled one of our 4 females because she would refuse to have sex whatsoever, like she wouldn't let the buck mount ever, and we had to force breed her. That was a pain, so into the pot she went. While butchering, we noticed a two-pronged organ with lots of little "marbles" along it -- presumably the uterus? -- and so maybe she was pregnant then? But we have never managed any births.

    Please, go ahead and ask questions. I have no idea what to do anymore. You'd think rabbits would actually want to create more of themselves.
     
  2. Jun 12, 2019 at 6:08 AM
    promiseacres

    promiseacres Herd Master

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    Very hard to say.... we have had a rough breeding season.... we have 3 breeds. The Velveteen lop does refused most of Spring... finally had a litter about 2 weeks ago. The Polish buck and does did just fine, a couple misses but both does had litters and they survived past weaning. The mini rex I decided the misses were all a new buck....so decided he is infertile...tried with 10 breedings, with 4 different does. The does that did breed with other bucks lost their litters 1 crushed hers, 2 due to cold, and 1 lost hers due to illness/fading at 2 to 4 weeks. :( in any case we have 4 does (1VL, 3 MR) nesting as of yesterday :bunny
    Some say keep your does bred on a regular basis. I have definitely seen this. As most my does I only want 2 litters from annually. They also can be seasonal. Are you feeding a good quality pellet along with the hay and greens? They may not be able to maintain a pregnancy if they are not on a balanced diet. FYI the only rabbits I know that breed "like rabbits" are only when you don't want them too.... :rolleyes:
    @Bunnylady Any thoughts?
     
    AmberLops likes this.
  3. Jun 12, 2019 at 3:13 PM
    AmberLops

    AmberLops Loving the herd life

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    It's so strange!!
    It's been a strange breeding season for me but not that bad...

    I would get rid of all the rabbits you have, start over completely and don't get them from the breeder you got these guys from...find someone else or multiple people. Go to a breeder and if you see a doe with kits, ask to buy them all.
    That way you have babies, you have a doe that can produce and all you need is a buck to start with.
    As for other ideas...
    You can try adding Apple cider vinegar to their water. I do that for mine and it seems to help a little.
    You can try driving them somewhere...even just to the store and back...and try breeding them afterward. New things can get them going.
    Are they in the dark? Or outside?
    Sometimes being in the dark can make it impossible to breed them.