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Which offspring to keep for breeder

Discussion in 'Everything Else Rabbits' started by Hopalong Causually, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. Jun 17, 2017
    Hopalong Causually

    Hopalong Causually Overrun with beasties

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    I have a breeder doe that is showing a tendency to have small litters. Is that tendency more likely to carry over as a trait in buck or doe offspring, or both? I'm trying to determine whether to keep a buck or doe from her last litter, for future breeding, in order to have the best chance of having larger litters.
     
  2. Jun 17, 2017
    lcertuche

    lcertuche Loving the herd life

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    The older does get the smaller the litters or so I've been told. I would think if she's throwing small litters because of her age then that wouldn't be something passed on. Try a different buck and see what happens. Do you give it a couple of conjugal visits before saying a 'done deal'.
     
  3. Jun 18, 2017
    Hopalong Causually

    Hopalong Causually Overrun with beasties

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    The whole story is that I'm working with one buck and two does. The buck and older doe are both just over two years old. The younger doe is just over one year old. I've bred both does to this one buck on two separate kindling cycles. On the first cycle, the younger doe kindled nine and the older doe one. The second cycle saw the younger doe kindle nine again and the older doe three. I observed three or four fall-offs on every breeding pairing and the older doe was bred before the younger one each time, too. The buck appears to be potent. I want a buck out of the older doe for future breeding, fearing that another doe from that pairing might exhibit the tendency for small litters, too. But I don't know that that logic is valid. At over two years old, the older doe may not have many litters left in her.

    I still have the doe (over three months old now) that the older breeder doe kindled her first time for me. She is absolutely stunning but, if she is also going to produce small litters, I'd rather have a buck and keep a breeder doe from the litter of the younger doe.
     
  4. Jun 18, 2017
    Marie28

    Marie28 Overrun with beasties

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    Sounds like the doe is at the age where she is going to have smaller litters. Is it possible to keep the 3 month doe you have until breeding age and see what she produces? Did the older doe have any litters before you got her? Could you ask the breeder how many she had before? I think thats the only way to know for sure.
     
  5. Jun 18, 2017
    Hopalong Causually

    Hopalong Causually Overrun with beasties

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    I know that the older doe had a litter of four before I bought her and suspect that that is why she was for sale in the first place. On the plus side, she accepts adoptees readily, cares for her kits superbly, and has a great disposition. She doesn't kindle many at a time, but they are whoppers.

    Part of my problem is that I don't currently have facilities for a lot of breeders without some major renovations to my shed. This may be the impetus I need to accomplish that. I may have to keep her long enough to breed her with one of the bucks from the other doe's current litter in four or five months. The resultant litter size should tell something.

    My initial objective was to work up a line of meat rabbits, but this young doe is so pretty that I can't bring myself to part with her. If I were inclined to jump into the show circuit, I think this would be a good one to start with. I'll see if I can get a good picture that does her justice.
     
  6. Jun 18, 2017
    Hopalong Causually

    Hopalong Causually Overrun with beasties

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    P1020517.JPG This isn't the greatest photo. It makes her look fatter than she is (cameras always do that to girls, right?) but the color rendition is pretty close. I didn't realize that she had her rear leg out of position, either.
     
    HaloRabbits likes this.