Breeding Questions on Color, Hutch and Time to Breed
by Mindy Huspen
My rabbit Thumper. Quite a handsome chap, don't you think?
I have a Lop buck that I would like to breed. I have a few questions. First: Does it matter what breed the female is if the buck is a supposed Mini-French cross? I want to get a lop doe, but I want to get certain colors out of her.
If the male is a broken black, and I want some broken lilac and the occasional broken or solid fawn, what color of female should I get?
Second: Thumper (my buck) lives in a hutch with a built-in wooden nest box. Should I have the doe live there, or should I put her in the other hutch I have? It has a pull-out plastic tray for the floor, and I think it might have been a former guinea pig cage. The hutch with the built-in nest box is outside, and the one with the plastic cage is in our garage.
Third: when would be the best time of year to breed based on temperatures? Is it in the 70s?
Enclosed is a picture of Thumper so you can see what he looks like. Any answers would be greatly appreciated. If you need more information, just let me know.***** Karen Sez *****
Yep, very handsome chap! :-)
If you want lopped offspring, purchase for your buck a lop doe - you'll get the best results if you don't mix ear types. Beyond this, since your buck is a mix, the breed is not so important, as long as the ears are lopped.
As to color, so much depends on the gene combinations in your buck that may be hiding under the broken black coat. Do you see any gold tipping in the black? This might indicate a steel gene. Do you have any idea of the colors of his parents or grandparents? If so, what colors were they? Any chocolate animals? Your best bet, if you like lilac and fawn offspring, is to acquire a lilac doe. This is because lilac is very recessive, and you may or may not have the necessary genetic combinations if you obtain a fawn, or chocolate, or other color doe.
The cage you describe for Thumper sounds like an ideal doe cage. Putting your new doe in there would be great. Is the other cage big enough for your buck?
It's January - your rabbits will probably be willing to start breeding any time now. Don't worry too much about the temperature - rabbits do fine in cold, especially if there are no drafts and you can provide insulation if the temps drop into the sub-zeros F. You may need to worry more during summer heat streaks.
Enjoy your rabbits!