Beginning rabbit breeders should definitely have an idea of how the mating of rabbits is carried out correctly. Rabbits get pregnant. both ordinary and decorative. very easy. However, sometimes coverage still does not end with success. Below in the article we will talk about how to minimize the number of such cases.
Should I do a mating at all?
In the event that you are not involved in breeding rabbits for sale (if it is an ornamental breed) or for meat, but just keep the animals as pets, before you conduct an event such as rabbit mating, you should think several times. First, decide for yourself whether you can attach the offspring in good hands and whether you have enough time to care for the pregnant rabbit and newborns.
At what age is best to mate
In different breeds of rabbits, puberty occurs at different times. As a rule, the smaller the variety, the faster the rabbits mature. So, in ornamental breeds (and not too large meat ones) the body is more or less ready to bear the offspring already in 3.5-4 months. The first mating of California rabbits and other precocious varieties is carried out in 5-6 months, that is, about a month and a half after the onset of puberty. In giants, the body becomes an adult in 5-6 months. The case, respectively, is carried out in 6-7 months. To the owners of the rabbits. and especially decorative breeds when kept in an apartment. you need to be prepared for the fact that during this period animals begin to actively mark the territory. Moreover, not only males do this, but also females.
The first mating of rabbits is carried out in the usual manner. We will talk about how exactly a little later. To begin with, we’ll deal with some nuances.
How to distinguish a male from a female
Manufacturers should be bought only from breeders with a good reputation. Otherwise, you risk acquiring sick, unclean or old animals. Of course, even a beginner rabbit breeder must be able to distinguish between a male and a female. To know the gender of the rabbit is not at all difficult. To do this, put the animal on its knees with its hind legs towards the knees. Then they lift the tail and, stretching the skin, examine the genitals. If you press on it from the sides, the pink penis will fall out of the male, and the pink triangular “petal” will be visible in the female. In rabbits older than five months, oval testicles are clearly visible.
Rabbits, breeding and care for which must be carried out in compliance with certain rules, for reproduction in an existing herd are selected as follows:
- Only rabbits from the first, second or, in extreme cases, the third litter of the female are left for brood.
- Be sure to pay attention to the exterior of potential manufacturers. Of course, it should be strong, healthy, neat rabbits, quickly gaining weight, active and cheerful.
- Manufacturers should be chosen even when the newborns are in the nest. In any litter, there is always a couple of very young rabbits and at least one plump giant. Here is the last one and suits the tribe the most.
After mating rabbits will be carried out several times, it is imperative to make a cull of the producers. At the same time they get rid of those rabbits whose efforts to procreate were unsuccessful in more than 30% of cases. Females are also rejected:
- They ate their rabbits or aborted more than two times in a row.
- Not pregnant even after control mating.
- Bearing and feeding less than four rabbits in two litters in a row.
Of course, as producers it is best to leave only high-dairy rabbits.
Two weeks before mating, the female begins to give more concentrated feed. The amount of rough – hay and twigs – should remain the same. In no case should you overfeed animals. Fat females become pregnant less often than individuals with normal weight. During this period, males are fed boiled potatoes and steamed grains (preferably oats than a sack).
The first way to do mating
Decorative rabbits are often simply planted in one cage and kept there for a week. This is a fairly effective way. However, it has some disadvantages. First, the female and male may not get along with each other. Fights between representatives of different sexes in rabbits are not uncommon. Especially if the male did not like the female for any reason. Among other things, during games the animals will surely turn over the drinking bowl with the feeder.
I put the female to the rabbit for only a few hours. And only when it is in the stage of active sexual hunting. This method is much more effective than the first, since it is possible to control the mating of rabbits and save yourself from the need to constantly clean up the cage. This is how farmers involved in breeding rabbits for meat or skins spend mating.
In order to determine whether the female has come hunting, you need to examine her genitals. It should be red and slightly larger in size. At this time, the behavior of the rabbit changes. She becomes restless, runs around the cage, drags hay in her teeth, and sometimes tears down the fluff from her chest. The rabbits’ sexual hunt lasts about five days with an interval of about two weeks. In November and December, animals showed a slight decrease in sexual activity. The rest of the time, the ability of rabbits to reproduce the genus remains unchanged. Thus, the breeding season of rabbits is almost all year round.
Farmers containing large numbers of rabbits often use the most effective method – artificial insemination of the female. In order to take sperm, a female is planted to the rabbit and wait until he jumps on it. After that, just substitute the tube. In the heat of passion, the rabbit does not notice the substitution.
Sometimes, females do not become pregnant after coating. Therefore, experienced rabbit breeders are advised to conduct a control one week after the first mating. The female is again planted in the male, and then her behavior determines whether she is pregnant or not. If she does not let him in, growls and fights, then everything is in order – she will have babies soon.
What rules should be followed when mating
In order for mating of rabbits to succeed, the following recommendations should be observed:
- These animals are most active in the evening and morning hours. It is at this time that mating is necessary.
- The female is planted in a cage to the male, and not vice versa. In this case, he will feel more confident, and the chances of success will increase.
- There should not be any sharp objects in the cage, for example, wire sticking out of a mesh, nails in boards, etc.
- A feeder and a drinking bowl should be removed from the cage.
In addition, you should be aware that no more than 8-10 heads of females should be per male. In this way, California rabbits, giants, Soviet chinchillas, etc. are propagated. If we are talking about a decorative breed, there are only two rabbits (female and male), of course, you cannot keep them in the same cage all the time. For young rabbits, experienced “partners” are chosen and vice versa. The process of mating is considered successful if, after coating, the male falls on its side and emits a characteristic squeak.
Has pregnancy occurred?
How successful was the mating of decorative rabbits or their meat counterparts, can be determined not only by the behavior of the female during mating control. You can find out whether pregnancy has occurred or not, in a slightly different way. The female is placed on her knees with her head to her and probed her tummy in the area closer to the tail. If pregnancy has occurred, in this part a "chain" of small "balls" will be clearly visible. embryos.
A palpation procedure is performed approximately two weeks after mating. Of course, probing should be done as carefully as possible. Otherwise, there is a risk of miscarriage. Many females become very picky about food during the gestation period. Some very early begin to build a nest. However, one should also be aware that the occurrence of the so-called “false pregnancy” is not uncommon in these animals. At the same time, the unfertilized female also becomes restless, drags straw for the nest and plucks the fluff from her. After about 18 days, all these signs of “pregnancy” disappear.
Bit of theory
The exit of the eggs ready for division into females occurs immediately at the time of mating. In total there can be from six to eighteen. They enter the oviduct after about 10-12 hours. Sperm cells “run” here in about 2-2.5 hours. Fertilization occurs in the upper part of the oviduct. The fact that sperm enter it much earlier is not critical. They maintain their activity and vitality during the day.
It is interesting that not one but several spermatozoa penetrate the egg. Crushing begins after 10-12 hours. The reproductive system of rabbits has another very unusual feature. The fact is that the rabbit’s uterus is double. This means that fertilization can occur twice – after a certain period of time. In this case, the rabbit gives birth two times – with the same interval. The second fertilization can also occur during the control mating. Therefore, if the female snarls at the male, she must be immediately removed from the cage. The fact is that a “duplicate” pregnancy, depleting the female’s body, usually leads only to a roundabout of stillborn babies.
Germinal petals are formed in the uterus of the rabbit on the 5-7th day. On the 8th, they are attached to the wall. On the 13th day, their length is already about 7 mm.
Breeding rabbits in the winter
Mating can be carried out including in the cold season. Quite successfully, these animals breed even in unheated rooms. However, in severe frosts, it is still worthwhile to include electric heaters in the barn. The rabbits tolerate the cold quite well, which can not be said about the drafts. It is not necessary to purge the cells, otherwise the animals will get cold. Also in the barn and the cells themselves should be dry.
Reproduction of rabbits in the winter occurs in the usual manner. However, sometimes the owners of these animals are faced with the so-called “one cub” syndrome. Nothing wrong with that. Apparently, these are the characteristics of the body of rabbits. It is possible to avoid all sorts of problems and difficulties by “prolonging” daylight hours for animals. Lamps in the room for rabbits should burn 12-16 hours a day. The ability to reproduce in these animals is directly dependent on the duration of daylight hours.
Breeding rabbits in the winter is a bit troublesome procedure, since you need to make sure that the rabbits do not freeze. Especially if the cells are right on the street. Experienced farmers advise in severe frosts. in the absence of a barn with a heater. nevertheless bring them into the house at the time of the rounding.
Caring for a pregnant rabbit
If the mating of the rabbits is successful, and the female becomes pregnant, she will need to provide special conditions. The rules for the care of sucral individuals are as follows:
- The rabbit should not be transplanted into another cage. The conditions for her should be familiar. The mother liquor is installed directly into the cage. Pre-disinfection.
- It is also impossible to sharply change the types of feed. This can lead to an upset bowel and even a miscarriage.
- The cage should be located in a quiet place. Pregnant females become very shy. Sharp noise can cause a jump with a strong blow to the floor of the cell, which can lead to spontaneous abortion.
In puppet rabbits, appetite increases sharply. You need to feed them well, but avoiding obesity. It is very difficult to give birth to fat females.
What to do during the round
Decorative rabbits, the reproduction of which occurs very quickly, give birth easily and almost painlessly. Pregnancy in females lasts about a month (sometimes a little longer). The term directly depends on the number of hatched cubs. The more of them, the longer the pregnancy lasts. A couple of days before the fencing, the females begin to make a nest. Therefore, a week before the expected birth, more hay should be put in the cage. As soon as you notice that the female began actively (before bald spots) to pull down the fluff on her chest, it means that she was on the eve of the round.
Cubs are usually born at night or in the morning. Okrol lasts most often 5-10 minutes. Sometimes the process of expulsion of the fetus and placenta from the uterus lasts a little longer, but no more than an hour. In most breeds, females bring about 6-9 cubs. In this regard, the age of mating of rabbits plays a rather large role. First-born females usually bring smaller cubs – 4-6. Individuals that crawled repeatedly sometimes give birth to 16 or even to 18 rabbits.
After rabbit care for rabbits
Young rabbits are born naked and almost helpless. Immediately after the bunny, the rabbit wraps them in his own fluff with his head. She can throw some weak ones out of the nest.
After the round, you need to check the nest for the presence of stillborn cubs. Unfortunately, this phenomenon is far from rare in rabbits. On hands, in order not to leave a smell, it is better to wear rubber gloves.
Why does the female bite the cubs
Decorative rabbits, the reproduction of which. the process is quite fast, sometimes, however, they eat their litter immediately after the okrol. There may be several reasons for this. The main is the painful condition of the rabbit’s nipples – mastitis. You can reduce the risk of this phenomenon by carefully monitoring the purity in the cell. Another reason for eating litter can be a lack of milk. It is believed that this can happen if the female did not receive enough food during her succession, or at the time of delivery she did not have water in her cage.
Also, some farmers call the presence of extraneous odors a possible cause of biting rabbits. And not only strangers, but also others – especially recently acquired – females.
Exit from the nest
The rabbits begin to leave mother mother and eat together with their mother on the 18th day after the birth. Two days after exiting, the nest can be removed from the cage. After that, disinfection is carried out. During this period, you need to carefully monitor the quality and freshness of animal feed. The rabbit’s digestive system is not working too well. You should not give babies some products – for example, beets. Carrots, grass and a little crushed – the main diet of the rabbit after leaving the nest. It is also impossible to dramatically change the type of feed. Young animals are sown from the female in 2-2.5 months after the okrol.
Mating rabbits is a significant and responsible procedure. The rules for its implementation must be observed without fail. Choose the best manufacturers, reject not too good ones. and soon you will become the happy owner of a large herd of healthy, rapidly developing animals.