Is our doe too young?

by D. Chris
(Tehachapi, Ca)

We bought 2 does & a buck from a breeder that shows rabbits. These are good quality rabbits with papers & great imprinting. None of them are related, but all are 3mo 19 days old. He informed us that one of the does had managed to get mixed up at a show & was exposed to a buck from another breeder & may have gotten pregnant. 3 weeks after bringing her home we found 2 dead kits in the cage & a kit leg sticking out of her whoha. We managed to gently massage the other kit & placenta from the doe but it was dead too. No other kits have been expelled & we cannot feel any more.

I talked to the breeder & he said we did the right thing & to rebreed her 4 days later. Tomorrow will be day 4 but I'm wondering if maybe the doe is too young. What might you suggest or what thoughts come to your mind in this situation?

***** Karen Sez *****
I don't know a domestic rabbit that is truly ready for breeding by 3 months 19 days. I think the buck hit her up at the earliest possible moment. Still doesn't mean the doe was 'ready!'

Were it my rabbit, I'd wait till the doe is at least 5.5 months old if it should weigh 8 pounds or less as an adult, and longer if it is a large breed. This will give the doe a chance to fully mature and for all the maternal instincts to kick in.

Perhaps the breeder forgot how young your rabbit was. He was right that you could rebreed promptly after delivering 3 dead kits, assuming the rabbit was an adult according to the breed standard. If you don't know what the breed standard says, check this page - On that page, "senior" = adult, not 'the rabbit needs a cane and bifocals.'

Good luck, and enjoy your rabbits!

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Jan 04, 2012
what kind of rabbit?
by: Anonymous

You didn't say what kind of rabbit you had.

IF it's a meat rabbit: wait until it weighs 6 lbs and then breed.

If it's a dwarf or small breed rabbit, breed no sooner than 5 months of age...let the brains catch up with the body. :)

**** Karen Sez *****
Okay, but I'd like more clarification - why wait only till 6 pounds for a meat rabbit?? Why not permit it to reach adulthood or close to it? Some standard meat breeds can reach 6 pounds before 4 months of age....

It'll help us all to understand your rationale, and thanks!

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