Even Demons Need to Breed
I have a doe, Patsy, that is very "difficult" this is why her nickname is the DEMON. She refuses my buck, bites him, growls at him, hates me, which makes things worse come breeding time.
I have bred her 5 times, the first 2 unsuccessful, the 3rd breeding she had 5 kits (they lived 3 days then all died). I just assumed that none survived because of her inexperience anyway.... 4th breeding nothing.... now we are at her 5th breeding and now 30 days in she SEEMS heavily pregnant.
Patsy did not make a nest for her first litter and I'm just worried for her hopefully future kits. Thanks to your helpful site I know what to look for. I can't properly palpate just yet so I don't know if she is pregnant. Her fur is loosened and I have been pulling out small clumps and putting in the nest box, maybe she will get the idea. Right now she hasn't used it for anything other than a hay buffet and litter box.
Should I cull, sell, or give her more chances if she doesn't keep this litter alive. If the litter is alive when born, if born, should I try hand feeding since all my other does do not have litters?
Hand-feeding = goats milk with egg yolk or kitten milk replacer? I have heard both negative and positive reviews. Thanks ahead of time for any extra help!***** Karen Sez *****
Do "demon" rabbits really need to breed? I'll be interested in learning how it goes for you, Sarah, but I'll tell you how it'd go if this were my doe.
Three strikes, and she would have landed in the soup pot. Difficult does don't last in my barn. Why would I perpetuate a possible genetic propensity toward aggression and failure to mother, when I can breed any number of sweet does, who will successfully kindle and raise all their litters on the first try?
You're on the 5th try. You've been feeding this doe some very expensive commercial feed (if it's like my feed) for at LEAST 6 extra months, and you have absolutely zero kits to show for all that feed. Now, if this doe had any other redeeming merit, I can see keeping her, say, from the sheer enjoyment she would give. (I have a cat that is as dumb as a brick. She's supposed to be a mouser but I doubt she knows which end of the mouse is which. On the other hand, this cat is ever so sweet, so she stays on the payroll for her ability to boost company morale.)
But, yours is a "demon" rabbit.... Why keep her? It's a valid question which I can't answer for you, but which might give you food for thought.