Why you need a breeding plan…and how to create one

why you need a breeding plan

Do you have a plan?

Do you know what direction your rabbitry is going?


Or, when a doe is ready to breed, you scramble to pick a buck for her – and hopes she settles.

Only to realize later you should have bred her to your other buck.


I’m pretty sure everyone does that at least once 😉

But, it is a good idea to try and minimize that so you know your rabbitry is going the direction you want it to…and not just flying by the seat of your pants.

You need to know where your rabbitry is going

why you need a breeding plan

I believe that having a plan and direction is one of the things that separates the careless breeders from the ethical ones.

You may have it written down, or carry it around in your head.

But you NEED to know where you are headed…or the rabbits in your barn will never improve.

Some people can remember everything about each rabbit – others (like me!) need to write things down and have it hanging in from of them.

It is easy to see when a rabbitry has no vision.

It is also very telling when a rabbitry does.

That breeder who you admire and just LOVE their rabbits – they have a vision.

The barn that turns out mixed breeds willy nilly – they do not.


What’s your plan?

To start this off right, create a vision or goal statement. However you want, wherever you want.

The important thing is that you have it.

My vision is to raise the best tris in Ontario. Each year I am getting closer. It’s visible in my herd; especially when I look back at pictures.

Side note: take lots of pictures! And don’t delete them all. Those pictures are one of the things that will show whether you are getting closer to your goal or not.

Be specific: do you want to win at a certain show? Get a BIS or BOB? Want juniors for a specific show? Have your meat kits hit a particular weight at a certain age?

Write it down!

why you need a breeding plan

You have your vision or goal, now you can plan

Once you have your vision/goals laid out, you can start planning breedings – you also know now what things you need to keep track of in order to reach your goals.

Evaluate your rabbits. Which ones are going to help you reach your goals, and which ones aren’t?

Do you NEED all of them or can you sell some to make room for upcoming litters?


Did you add some to your sale list?

Good. 🙂

Now you have your best rabbits left. Time to start pairing them up!


Look back at your goal(s), and decide what traits are important to you, what things you want to work on.

When pairing rabbits, you want to take into consideration all their strengths and faults.

For example, my goal is to raise the best tris.

A good tri is well marked, not torted, and has good colour distribution. Their colour is not washed out but nice and bright.

At this point not all my rabbits are like that, but I know which ones give me good tris and what pairings will give me good tris with good type.


Take these two rabbits for example: (buck on the left, doe on the right)

Both have good type, but for right now we’re talking colour.

The doe is gorgeously marked with good colour; but she’s torted.

The buck is nicely marked, but a little on the light side. His orange is not near as bright as the doe’s. But, he’s not torted.

Pairing these two up should give me a couple well marked, good-typed, non-torted kits.

I have several nice tri bucks in the barn, but knowing my goals and my rabbits helps me pick the right pairings.

why you need a breeding schedule
roundup my favourite holland lop colour sites

As a breeder, you should be able to do the same thing. Your methods and breed may be different, but the underlying theme is the same.

Know your goals, your rabbits, and what you’re aiming for.

Don’t breed randomly, know instead who will go with who 🙂 Be in control of your rabbits, and your barn’s future.

It is incredibly freeing to actually create a plan, even if before you felt you had one. Getting it down on paper makes it so much more real.

How do you plan for your rabbitry?

Need more ideas on how to create a breeding schedule? Check out this blog post!

Enjoy!

Megan


Why you need a breeding plan…and how to create one

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