Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Springtime All Year Round
I have been very lucky with breeding my rabbits. When I first started breeding rabbits, I think my luck was purely accidental. I have learned much since then and realize the importance of heat and light if you want to have an easy time breeding rabbits year round.
Rabbits naturally breed in the Spring when the days get longer and the weather warms up. I have found that by giving my rabbits 14+ hours of artificial light and keeping the temperature between 55-7o degrees my rabbits are willing to breed 99% of the time.
Keeping the bucks and does in the same room also helps to keep the does willing. I think they can communicate to each other in their own way.
Many breeders have troubles getting their rabbits bred at some point. There are many people who think rabbits will breed anytime, but conditions have to be favorable. If you try to set up your rabbitry so that it is always springtime you shouldn't have any troubles.
You should also be sure to breed does as soon as they have stopped growing and are mature (usually between 5-8 months of age). If you wait any longer, I've found they are less likely to be good breeders. All of my best brood does had their first litter when they were 6-7 months old and all of my worst ones were later starters (first litter around 7-10 months of age). They must have their first litter before they are 1 year old or they could have troubles kindling.