Replacing does when time
by Dennis M. Johnson
I am just getting back, after many years, into the meat rabbit business. I plan to keep it small and mainly for our own use. I am starting out with one buck and two does until I get back in the hang of the business, and will go from there if needed. One question I do have though is when it is time to replace the does? Is it permissible to just keep one of the offspring as I have heard that it is okay to breed father to daughter without getting too inbred? Thank you for any and all information you can pass along.
Dennis ***** Karen Sez *****
You'll need replacement does only when the breeders begin to miss litters and fail to perform up to par. They'll usually give you at least two good years. Some will give a third very good year.
If the current sire and dams are unrelated, then it is probably fine to keep daughters for replacement breeders.
As you've rightly heard, the inbreeding doesn't cause problems, but it is a really good way to discover if
any problems are hiding in the genetic code.
When the time comes, be that much more careful about breeding granddaughters back to their grandsire. The inbreeding will be significantly tighter. Be sure that every trait you wish to keep is present in one or both of the animals, and that any traits you hope will drop off the face of the earth are NOT present in BOTH of the animals.