Any breeder of rabbits, for their successful breeding, must have the necessary knowledge about such things as the optimal age for the first mating, the diet of animals before mating, as well as various tricks and tricks to get the best result.
The unpretentiousness of rabbits and their resistance to low temperatures allows you to get offspring from them even in the winter, if you make them comfortable for this.
Selection of animals for mating
The increase in livestock is the basis on which all rabbit breeding is based. Mating rabbits requires increased attention from the breeder, and above all it concerns the choice of pairs for breeding.
Males must meet the following requirements:
- individuals from the first or second (in extreme cases, from the third) rabbit litter are suitable for reproduction;
- males are selected immediately after birth; in any offspring there are the weakest cubs and, usually one, strong and large; he is the best candidate for subsequent reproduction;
- attention should also be paid to the weight of the rabbit, the quality of its fur cover, its physique and level of activity.
Culling is based on how many mating were unsuccessful.
If every third mating of rabbits does not lead to the pregnancy of the female, then such a male is not suitable as a producer.
Among the rabbits, the selection for the tribe takes place according to the following parameters:
- rabbits not fertilized as a result of mating are rejected;
- also, females who have fewer offspring less than four cubs are not suitable for the tribe;
- do not take rabbits that eat their offspring;
- High milk production is also important, which is an indicator of the female’s good performance.
It is generally accepted that in a personal compound there should be at least two male males with high sexual activity. Phlegmatic and lethargic animals are subject to culling. Before mating, animals must be carefully examined for general health.
Optimal age and best time for mating rabbits
Beginning rabbit breeders should be aware that females of almost any breed are ready for first mating at the age of five months, while their weight should be at least three kilograms (if this is not decorative small breeds). It should also be remembered that the smaller the breed – the earlier you can carry out the first mating. The same is true in the opposite sense: the larger – the later.
For example, female breeds of black-brown, white or gray giant, which belong to large rabbits, are allowed for the first mating later about two to four weeks later. However, overexposing the animal is also not worth it, since it is gaining weight, which negatively affects its ability to fertilize.
The male rabbit is ready to mate at the age of 6 to 8 months.
How to know when a rabbit is ready for mating?
You can happen to rabbits at a certain time, which is called the period of hunting in females. The onset of this period can be determined by the behavior of the rabbit and by some external signs.
Typically, females behave calmly and quietly, but with the onset of hunting they begin to worry, drags the litter, spreads food, sometimes it starts to pluck down on its chest. Possible refusal of food. The rabbit’s genital loop is usually pale pink, not enlarged. When the female begins to “want” the male, her loop swells and turns bright pink. Such signs appear in females, regardless of their breed.
Hunting in females that have already brought offspring can occur one to two days after giving birth and lasts for five days. The next two days (6-7th), it begins to decline, and then there comes a time of rest. The frequency of hunting is individual. In some females, the cycle is 9 days (in summer), in others – 15-20 days (other periods of the year).
Rabbits breed all year round. In summer, it is best to do mating in the morning and evening. The most unfavorable time for mating is October and November, because in these months the animals are usually sluggish.
The high fecundity of rabbits is due to the fact that the females are ready for mating already on the second day after okroli. However, you need to give them time to feed offspring.
Preparation for mating. What to do?
Before the random period, rabbits need to be prepared for it.
For 15-20 days, you need to examine the animals, determine their weight and general health. Sick and weakened individuals are not allowed into mating. If a lack of weight is found, such rabbits are transferred to an enhanced diet.
Also, the preparation should concern the composition of animal feed. Two weeks before mating, a mixture of boiled potatoes with steamed oats is added to the diet of males. Rabbits are given concentrated feed without changing the amount of twig feed and hay. It should be remembered that overfed animals breed worse. If the rabbit has obesity, then concentrated types of feed and foods with a high concentration of starch are almost completely removed from his diet.
Before mating, it is necessary to conduct a female examination of the nipples (their number is eight or ten), and the external genitalia. Rabbits with deviations from the norm are discarded. Also, you cannot happen to those animals that are actively molting.
For best results when mating, several conditions must be observed: