New Breeding Stock- does litter size count

shan777

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So for outsourcing my stock I look for a few things:
- weight
-the parents temperament
- physical features that show health
- and litter size

Does everyone else ensure that the stock you are buying come from a good size litter of 8 or more?
There are 2 thoughts as far as I'm aware on this matter
1. that it doesn't matter as the litter size you'll be bringing in to your stock is in the genes anyway regardless of the exact litter size the rabbit came from
2. that the litter size it came from is a clear indication of litter sizes you can expect

Obviously culling is needed, but answering this question may reduce the amount of culling needed to get great meat rabbit stock.

What is everyone's thoughts on this?
 

Four Winds Ranch

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I definatly look for a good litter size! (I would be on side with your 2nd point!)
The more kits born per litter is more money/meat produced faster and with less feed cost!
 

Bunnylady

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shan777 said:
2. that the litter size it came from is a clear indication of litter sizes you can expect
This is only true up to a point. Older animals aren't as fertile as younger ones, particularly older does. If the animal in question came from a litter of 3, and the mother is barely 2 years old, it could be a problem. On the other hand, if the doe is 5, that she's still producing at that age is worth remarking on. If the breeder is keeping good records, s/he should be able to show you the production history of the parents, which would be a better indicator than the specific litter that particular rabbit came from.
 

OneFineAcre

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Bunnylady said:
shan777 said:
2. that the litter size it came from is a clear indication of litter sizes you can expect
This is only true up to a point. Older animals aren't as fertile as younger ones, particularly older does. If the animal in question came from a litter of 3, and the mother is barely 2 years old, it could be a problem. On the other hand, if the doe is 5, that she's still producing at that age is worth remarking on. If the breeder is keeping good records, s/he should be able to show you the production history of the parents, which would be a better indicator than the specific litter that particular rabbit came from.
That makes a lot of sense and I don't raise rabbits.:D
 

PendergrassRanch

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Regarding litter size, I look for litters of about 10. That seems to be the magic number of good healthy kits with great growth rates while being relatively "easy" for the doe to handle. I have two does that are from litters of 8 and 9. They have both produced litters of 10 and 9 for me and are excellent mothers.

You also do not want to breed from rabbits with rude attitudes. They should not be aggressive.
 

sawfish99

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Yes, litter size matters. We breed American Chinchillas (and mixes thereof) for meat. I know of a different breeder about 2 hours away that breeds for show and not for meat. He specifically breeds for small litters so they grow out fast with less competition and fewer culls to deal with. We breed for large litters. If I had one of his does that would only produce 5 or 6, I would cull her. If he had one of mine that produce 10-12, he would cull. I would rather have a litter of 10 that grow out 1 or 2 weeks longer than a litter half that size. It means keeping fewer breeding stock and lowers your cost basis.
 

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