How To Create The Perfect Breeding Schedule

How to Create The Perfect Breeding Schedule

It’s exciting to raise rabbits, breed does, pick out favourites and watch the kits grow.

But a lot more goes into breeding rabbits than just throwing a buck and doe together and hoping for the best.

You need to consider colour, type, size, desired outcome, genotype, age and more.

There is no particular order to what things are important, you need to figure that out for yourself.

What are your priorities? A meat breeder will not have the same priorities as a show breeder. For today we will be using Holland Lops as our breed of choice.

Type:

Holland Lop type is finicky, to say the least. When choosing a buck and doe pairing, you need to consider each rabbit’s strengths and weaknesses. Does he have a strong crown, and she a weak crown? Neither rabbit has to be perfect, but never breed two rabbits with the same fault together.

Example: Tight crown x tight crown = even tighter crowns with lots of ear control. Strong crown x tight crown =a good chance and several kits having good crowns.

Color & Genotype:

There are some colours you never breed together. It can mess things up at the gene level. A super handy chart for figuring this out is over here. Be sure to learn as much as you can about colour genetics as well. It can be confusing and frustrating but pays off in the long run! This program can predict litter colours as well.

Size & Age:

The preferred breeding age varies from breed to breed. Dwarf breeds can start producing as early as 4 months – I don’t recommend that – while the giant breeds wait till 8-10 months.

I tend to wait with my Holland Lops till 6-8 months, depending on the growth rate. Breeding a small doe too early can result in kindling problems.

Desired Outcome:

What are your goals? Colour desired? Type wanted? This will greatly affect what buck you use and what does you breed.

How to Create The Perfect Breeding Schedule

Tools:

For pedigrees, I use Evans Rabbit Register. This program also shows me each rabbit’s genotype and can predict what colours a certain pairing could give. (not an affiliate link)

Start with creating/printing off all the pedigrees. This way you can see colour, age, lineage all in one shot.

Get yourself a calendar. Wall calendar, desk calendar, planner calendar, computer calendar. Doesn’t matter. Whatever works for you.

Study your rabbits. Before going ahead and pre-planning pairings and breeding dates, make sure you know each rabbit’s strengths and weaknesses.

List preferred pairings:

For example for me that would look like:

  • Lewis x Alexia
  • Word Play x Feather
  • Lewis x Savannah
  • Word Play x City Girl

and so on for all my does.

This takes into consideration type, colour, genotype, size, etc.

List breeding dates:

I can’t breed Lewis to Alexia and Savannah on the same day, it generally doesn’t work for a buck to do that…never mind a young one.

Instead, I would do:

  • January 22, 2018:
  • Lewis x Alexia
  • Word Play x Feather
  • January 29, 2018
  • Lewis x Savannah
  • Word Play x City Girl

List due dates & 8-week-old dates:

Due dates are obviously important to note. 8-week-old dates are when I sell the kits, so I note those as well.

  • Alexia & Feather:
  • Due February 21, 2018.
  • Kits 8-weeks-old April 18, 2018.

And so on.

Add all dates to your calendar. There you have it! Super simple, easy to do and doesn’t take hours to accomplish.

Remember that this is not set in stone. A doe might miss or lose a litter. You might sell a buck or doe. This is so you have a plan to reach your goal for your rabbits.

Enjoy! Please share with someone you know who would love to hear this.

Til next time,

Megan



How To Create The Perfect Breeding Schedule

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top