How rabbits mate: at what age and how to rabbits
The main direction of raising rabbits is meat - with all outward mercy, these furry animals are a source of dietary meat. Some breeds are bred for a beautiful skin. Reproduction is the most important part of the life of these productive animals, so the owners of the livestock should pay close attention to this process. What exactly should they do, read on.
Suitable age for rabbits for mating
Females of most breeds are ready for mating at the age of 5 months. Individual species (large) can ripen later - at 8-9. Small breed rabbits are ready for mating in 3 months. The mass of the female is usually about 3 kg, in decorative animals the future mothers may be even smaller. The age of the male before mating is 6-8 months.
The schedule of sexual hunting is approximately the following: within 1-2 days after the rounding, the female begins a new period of sexual hunting, which lasts up to five days. When the calm phase begins, after 9-20 days (depending on the breed), the rabbit begins to prepare for new fertilization.
How to choose manufacturers
For young women starting adulthood, the implementation of the first mating is important so that they do not have time to become obese and become less active. All the forces of the body should be directed to growing offspring, and not to eating food. The female’s readiness for mating is determined by her behavior. The beginning of sexual hunting can be identified by such signs:
- refusal of food;
- plucking the breast on her;
- food spreading;
- carrying litter and objects in a cage or aviary;
- loop swelling with a change of color from light to deep pink.
Important! Delay in the fertilization of already mature rabbits can lead to a decrease in the efficiency of the farm. This is fraught with a shortage of new material and a decrease in profit.
The choice of rabbits for breeding is a rather responsible task, since, in addition to external signs, hidden internal ones must be taken into account. Selection should be made according to the following criteria:
- immunity to diseases;
- a good appetite;
- developed maternal qualities;
- sanitary conditions.
The selection is carried out in three stages, during which the best manufacturers are selected:
- At the age of 2-3 months, a visual selection of rabbits is carried out. It is better to consider rabbits from winter and spring aprons, as they developed in more favorable conditions.
- From the previously selected individuals, the best ones are selected according to the parameters of health, growth, activity, and exterior.
- At the age of 6-8 months, females are selected based on the results of the first round - the number and quality of babies, and males are estimated by the time between mating and breathing state.
Not all animals are suitable for breeding, since the admission of at least one inferior breed representative to mating can lead to disruption of the gene pool of the entire herd. Mating is not allowed for individuals having disadvantages:
- violations of the exterior - insufficient muscularity, low fur density, obvious physical defects like bony protruding croup;
- inadequate behavior - both overly passive rabbits and excessively aggressive ones are rejected;
- low milk yield of a female - is estimated by the weight of her rabbits at the age of 20-23 days, which simultaneously indicates the quality of feeding, the female’s multiplicity, and the survival rate of young animals;
- slight sexual activity - the content of such animals is impractical.
Important! The female sits in a cage to the male, and not vice versa. Otherwise, the male may be frightened of the new situation and refuse to mate.
For successful breeding, it is necessary to ensure the proper conditions. For 15-20 days, future manufacturers are carefully inspected. Particular attention is paid to the genitals - for any violations in the form of injuries, tumors or rashes, the rabbit is rejected. In rabbits, the nipples and the appearance of the genitals are checked. Fatty animals with no signs of obesity are allowed to moderation.Males are fed boiled potatoes with the addition of steamed oats. From the cage you need to remove all objects that can interfere with the mating process - drinking bowls, feeders, fences. The climatic regime should be comfortable, without drafts and sudden changes in temperature.
Home Mating Technology
Even the best selected producers during mating should be constantly under control - if something goes wrong, then animals can enter into a fight instead of copulation.
The rabbit covers the female lying on her stomach and makes intense frictions. At the moment of climax, the male makes a choked squeak or rumbling sound and falls to one side. For greater confidence in fertilization, the process is repeated several more times. After that, the female is deposited in the prepared cage.
If the rabbits did not mate, then after a few hours the female is again planted to the same male. In case of repeated failure, the rabbit is offered to another producer the next day.
A few days after intercourse, an attempt is made for a new mating - control mating. This process should show whether fertilization has occurred. The pregnant rabbit simply will not let the male come to her and will in every possible way avoid him, up to the attack. According to the results of the inspection, animals are seated in separate cages.
The so-called check for succession is carried out 10 days after the alleged fertilization. The female is seated on a flat surface, and palpation of the lower part of her abdomen is performed. With successful mating results in this area, small seals (up to 2 cm in diameter) should be probed, which in the future will develop into rabbits.
Peculiarities of mating
Mating occurs quickly with the mutual desire of the animals. There are some important features that must be considered in order for mating to occur correctly.
Video: rabbits mating
Random or forced inbreeding
Inbreeding is the mating of related animals, which leads to degeneration of the genus, susceptibility to disease and a decrease in breeding traits. Inbreeding may be accidental if rabbits from the same litter that have reached puberty are in the same room. The negative consequences of mating relatives can be reduced if the blood is “diluted” by introducing a foreign producer into the herd.
Forced incest is carried out consciously to develop a new species with the desired parameters. Relative rabbits are crossed in order to obtain offspring, from which the baby is selected in the necessary qualities.
Did you know? In winter, in the absence of the ability to give water, ice (frozen clean water) can be put in the cage of a pregnant or lactating rabbit. With an exacerbation of thirst, the female will bite him.
The ability of rabbits to reproduce fully manifests itself in the cold season. For the full course of the process in late autumn and winter, it is necessary to follow simple recommendations:
- provide heating in severe frosts;
- monitor the absence of drafts;
- dampness in the room is not allowed;
- mating is carried out in the daytime - daylight hours are extended to 16 hours by lighting devices;
- after the round, the newborns are transferred to a warm room.
Possible problems and unsuccessful consequences
There are times when the female does not allow her partner to come to her. This happens for completely different reasons - from physical problems to psychological ones. The rabbit may be in a pre-painful state (the beginning of a common cold) or just flirt. To avoid unsuccessful cages (as mentioned above), you need to choose high-quality and healthy producers.
Did you know? In winter litter, one or two babies often appear. This is not a pathology at all, but the characteristics of the metabolism of the body of rabbits.
An interesting method for stimulating a female rabbit to mate is to tie a rope to the female’s tail, with the help of which they lift it at the beginning of mating, providing the male with access to the partner’s genitals. If all the tricks did not lead to fertilization, even if the process was carried out correctly and ended, then most likely this did not happen due to the obesity of the female. Rabbits of different breeds may not tend to mate.
Video: mating of rabbits without hunting 100% result
For successful breeding of rabbits, many factors must be considered. For optimal mating, you must follow the simple recommendations:
- proper nutrition - lack of obesity when a pet is full;
- hygiene of the animal and its place of residence;
- checking the health of animals, including the veterinarian;
- lack of sexual contact during molting;
- control mating to verify the puberty of both mating participants.
Although there is a consistent phrase “breed like rabbits”, this is not entirely true. Yes, sexual intercourse in these animals does not last long, and the following rounds often occur, but nevertheless the creation of the necessary conditions for conception is the most important factor in the reproduction of these pets.