Rabbits are unusually prolific animals; for an adult female to give life to 60-70 rabbits a year is the norm. But an uncontrolled increase in livestock is not required; rabbitry needs healthy and strong rabbits with positive, stable traits.
In this article, we will talk in more detail about the age at which rabbits can happen, how to do it correctly and when to happen after a round.
Favorable age and season for first mating
First, let’s look at how old rabbits begin to breed and when it can happen the first time. The rabbit reaches puberty by 3 months after birth. Avoiding accidental coatings, from this age animals are sorted and seated based on their gender.
However, to obtain a healthy and strong offspring, 3 months is still an early age. Therefore, for the planned mating of rabbits, 4-month-old rabbits are suitable.
This age is not considered an exclusive rule. So, if the farm contains meat rabbits, then the first mating starts at 5, or even 6 months.
However, overexposure of rabbits should not be. Animals that are not involved in breeding gain excess weight, lose interest in the partner, and such spouts are few in number.
In-vivo festivals occur year-round. On average, a healthy female accounts for 6-7 rounds per year. In late autumn and winter, their frequency is less frequent due to weather factors. Adverse events are October and November.
Selection of rabbits for mating
but the best offspring grows more often in winter bays. Rabbits born in the cold season are healthier, stronger than their summer relatives. If the purpose of raising rabbits is to obtain fur, then winter is the most favorable season for mating rabbits. It is also worth avoiding rabbit cattle during active molting.
For a successful mating, the time of day also matters. In the summer, the morning hours are most suitable for mating, since it is still not hot. In winter or in cold weather – the warmest hours of the day, that is, daytime.
Partner selection and pairing
When selecting males and females suitable for mating, proceed from the following criteria:
- Animals must be healthy and be in a suitable age and condition. To obtain high-quality offspring, individuals older than 3 years old, overweight rabbits, animals with underdeveloped or damaged genital organs are not suitable;
- Rabbits should bear the best signs of their breed or their individual qualities are most suitable for the rabbit breeder;
- For cases, it is desirable to select winter rabbits, as well as those born in early litters with a rabbit. These rabbits are best suited for the role of producers;
- Mating of related individuals is not allowed.. With a lack of animals, they can always be found on the side. It is worth remembering the need for quarantine and a thorough health check for new animals pouring into the herd, especially when it comes to producers.
Experienced rabbitries, in addition to choosing active and strong individuals, also pay attention to the mother and brothers (sisters) of the future producer. If there were a lot of weak or sick rabbits in the litter, and the mother also has flaws (frequent miscarriages, a bad character), then the likelihood of their recurrence is high.
Breed selection for mating
In addition to the individual choice of partners, experienced rabbit breeders pay attention to pairing. The ideal option is to hold several cases at the same time. In this case, the excess (lack) of rabbits in litters can be mutually compensated, and the choice of future producers will be greater.
When pairing, the experience of the male and female is also taken into account.
Often situations when the manufacturer loses its status. There are several reasons:
- Rare or, conversely, too frequent mating lead to the loss of positive properties of the manufacturer;
- The onset of the "limit" age. The best offspring in rabbits of 1-2 years of age;
- The presence of a disease leading to frequent miscarriages. The death of several litters in a row indicates the presence of rabbit listeriosis – a dangerous disease that is inherited;
- The loss of maternal instinct for the rabbit, reaching the destruction of her own offspring, is a clear sign of the unsuitability of the animal for further reproduction;
Fertility of rabbits gives their owner ample opportunities for breeding. Therefore, if, for some individual reasons, doubts arise about the suitability of the rabbit for reproduction, then it is better to replace it.
Rejection of males
Proper preparation of the rabbit for breeding
A key step in preparing for mating is to determine the rabbit’s readiness for motherhood, otherwise called the hunting season. Its duration depending on the season is 3-5 days.
Between hunting periods, mating is unlikely. The breaks between the next hunting of the female also range from 5 to 10 days. In winter, they can last longer, as the sexual activity of animals decreases.
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Determining the hunting period is quite simple. This is evidenced by:
- Increased activity of the rabbit;
- Plucking down on the stomach;
- Procurement of materials for the nest.
For persuasiveness, the condition of the rabbit’s genitals, called the loop, is checked. Its redness and swelling clearly indicate the onset of the hunting period in the female.
For males, such restrictions do not exist.
Just before mating, it is important to properly prepare the cell.
All unnecessary items are removed from the rabbit’s cage, including a drinking bowl and a feeding trough. Animals will not have time for food. The cell must be washed and disinfected. Only then can the rabbit be planted with a partner.
The diet of rabbits should always be more nutritious before mating. Why it is desirable to increase the share of feed, oats, grain, legumes.
Steamed potatoes and oats are very useful for males. Feed with such products begin in 1.5-2 weeks. Sprouted wheat is very useful for females. Good nutrition increases the number of rabbits in the litter and makes them healthier.
Replanting a male to a female
Now let’s find out how to happen rabbits for the first and subsequent times. In small farms where there is no possibility of artificial insemination, two methods of mating are practiced:
- Long rabbit replanting of the rabbit to the male – 5-7 days. In this situation, the animals themselves will determine the optimal mating option. At first, it is advisable to observe the animals. Cases of fights, if the partner is not liked – not uncommon. If the partners are aggressive and the case ends in a fight, then the animals should be seated in order to avoid serious injuries;
- The second option is a short-term replanting of the female for 2-3 hours. The disadvantage of this method is the need for constant monitoring and, possibly, the intervention of a rabbit breeder. It is not difficult to visually determine the moment of coverage. It lasts for half a minute. After coating, the crawl falls to one side and emits a characteristic squeak – a signal to the rabbit breeder that partners can be seated. If the partners are too flirting and do not get fucked, then experienced rabbits simply hold the rabbit with their hands, allowing the male to do his job faster.
Successful rabbit coverage does not guarantee pregnancy. Therefore, for fidelity, control mating is carried out 5-6 days after the first mating. There are no features for the control mating.
Often control mating is also checking the results of the first mating. If the rabbit is aggressive and does not allow itself to be a trusted partner, you can be sure that control mating is not necessary.
If the mating takes place as usual, its date is noted, and, accordingly, after 5-6 days, another control mating is performed.
Checking the results of mating
You can accurately verify the effectiveness of the mating 15 days after it. For this, the rabbits’ stomach is very carefully probed. On the Internet there are videos showing this procedure, so in order to avoid causing the rabbit harm, it would be useful to watch them.
The presence of one or two chains of oblong lumps is a clear evidence of pregnancy.
Rabbit refusal from mating
If the rabbit does not allow the rabbit, then the rabbit breeders choose one of the following options:
- Animals are brought to each other after a while, for example, after 2-3 hours. If the situation repeats, then the procedure is repeated in a day;
- If the first method did not work, then you can change the male. Often this is the most successful option.
Forced or random inbreeding
Inbreeding or, more simply, related breeding also occurs in experienced rabbit breeders. When the herd is kept together (in a pit, aviary, etc.), random crosses periodically occur.
Another trouble is the inability to pick a pair of their own animals, suitable for health, appearance or breed. Then inbreeding becomes forced.
Dozens of scientific papers have been written about the pros and cons of inbreeding, therefore, without going into too much detail, we give an example from practice. Even ancient cattle breeders sought to exclude the crossing of closely related animals. It has been experimentally verified that regular inbreeding in the herd leads to degeneration. Although in the laboratory, inbreeding is practiced to breed new breeds.
Possibility of related mating when kept in a pit
If, for some reason, family breeding did occur in your farm, experienced rabbits will be guided by the following recommendations:
- They try in every possible way to prevent the crossing of born rabbits with other relatives on the paternal or maternal side. Based on what, in a small herd, all rabbits born from such a crossing are likely to go for meat, and in the future will not participate in reproduction;
- In forced inbreeding, they try to pick up a couple with the weakest family ties, that is, distant relatives. Given the fecundity of rabbits, this is quite real;
- All rabbits born with birth defects, and there will be more and more of them with each subsequent kinship, must be removed from the herd.
How can you happen in the cold season?
Rabbit breeders should not be afraid of winter relations. However, to prevent frostbite and death of animals adhere to the following recommendations:
- Winter males are kept warm, in closed and heated rooms. A suitable temperature for rabbits is a range of 19-27 degrees Celsius. If it is impossible to achieve the desired temperature, then a decrease of 3-5 degrees is not critical. With proper warming of the cells, it is permissible to obtain healthy offspring and at 10 degrees heat. However, the worst enemy of rabbits is not low temperature, but drafts and dampness, which must be excluded;
- Rabbits must be full, and the diet is as diverse as possible. Potatoes, legumes, oats, sprouted grains of wheat, corn and other cereal crops are suitable for winter feeding of future parents;
- Animals for 1-2 weeks before mating and during long daylight hours required, at least 12 hours a day. Artificial light is also allowed. Insufficient illumination leads to extremely small nests (1-2 rabbits) or it is the main obstacle to a successful mating.
Now you know how and at what age rabbits happen. However, we note that the experience for rabbit breeders comes with years and mistakes. However, a thorough study of the issue, the use of advice and assistance from experienced rabbits will save from many, often fatal mistakes and will allow you to get healthy rabbits with the necessary characteristics.
And finally, we suggest watching a short video from which you will find out when rabbits are covered: