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Author Topic: Doe rejecting buck  (Read 4693 times)


  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Doe rejecting buck
« on: March 11, 2013, 10:30:59 am »
Hi, I have started keeping rabbits for meat and my doe was due to give birth last tuesday. It was her first litter and, unfortuantely, she had a stuck kit which was eventually born dead.

I couldnt feel any other kits and she came out of labour and started eating/drinking/toiletting normally so I thought that was the end of it.

I put her in with our buck again two days later and she seemed to let him do the deed but she was backed right up against the wall of the hutch and although he squeaked a couple of times it didnt look to me like he had got her properly and he kept going back for more.

A couple of hours later she became aggressive, grunting and snorting and stopped eating, I checked her rear end and saw a pair of feet!! We bought her in, but the feet had disappeared again, my OH and I turned her on her back and the kit descended again and after some intervention we got the kit out. Luckily it was intact and there has been nothing further. Shes had AB and we cleaned the area. More or less straight after the kit came out she started eating/toileting again and perked right up and she has been fine ever since.

I have left her a few days and have been checking her vulva everyday, there was some swelling initially (bless her!) which has completely gone and she seems to be back to normal so this morning I put her in with our buck again but she rejected him straight away.

Now I am wondering if she may have conceived last thursday, despite having a retained kit but I don't know what the best thing to do is. I dont want to keep trying her with the buck as I dont want multiple pregnancies but I didnt think she would have concieved while still having a kit inside her? I know rejection is a good indicator that she is pregnant but not foolproof, anyone got any advise? Can you do a pregnancy test for a rabbit? I'm not very experienced with palpitation and couldnt feel her last kits even right before she gave birth.

Sorry this has turned into a bit of a novel!!   :bunny:


  • Joined Mar 2010
  • Just when I thought I'd settled down...!
Re: Doe rejecting buck
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2013, 10:46:42 am »
I would advise popping over to and asking there - very American but lots of people who raise meat rabbits / show rabbits etc


  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Norfolk
    • The Hazy Rainbow
Re: Doe rejecting buck
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2013, 12:25:40 pm »
 We keep different types of rabbits for show & for meat, With ours we have always mated them by leaving them with the buck for 3 days at a time & then waiting 32 days for the babies to arrive (Most of ours are 32 days spot on every time)  If there are no babies by the last day they are expected, we then wait another week to ensure there are no problems before putting the doe with the buck again.
 My advice would be to wait 39 days from the date of the last time she went to the buck & then if nothing... Put her in with him for a few days - Unless she gets nasty, in which case just take her out & hope for the best!

 I know that with meat rabbits, waiting another month is annoying & costly, but it's much better to have a healthy doe that is happy to breed & produce more litters - works out better in the long run!

 :fc: for you... good luck. 
Sheep: North Ronaldsay & 4 Horned Hebridean - We also breed & exhibit 3 breeds of rabbit - Chinchilla, Deilenaar (rare breed) & Colour Pointed English Angora.


  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
Re: Doe rejecting buck
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2013, 02:06:59 am »
If you gently manipulatee the doe around the back of the ribcage towards the arse end byby using both bhands with yuor thunbs on her spine and her head away from you and use your middle fingers down the centre of her belly to the rear set of teats &o gently manilupate on  day twelve you should be able to feel if she has kits in her . By day 17 they should be well defined lumps
 If you do it say day six all you should feel is fecal pellets perhaps also check does you know not to be pregnant son you get an idea of what the fecal pellets feel like .
In the wild bucks and does do post partum mating usually after the last kit has arrived . if a kit were in theh tube so to speak and detached , then the buck had his way then it is to me quite possible she would take and be in kindle from that mating.
(  I use to run a small herd of meat amd pet rabbits for quite a few years )
International playboy & liar .
Man of the world not a country


  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: Doe rejecting buck
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2013, 07:07:43 am »
Thank you for description Plantoid, I will keep practicing palpitating, I'm sure i'll get the hang of it!

In this instance it turned out she wasn't pregnant. She has since gone in with the buck again and this time i think she has definitely taken. The reason i'm so sure is purely down to her behaviour. She has always been really grumpy and would charge anyone who was in her space but she was pregnant when we got her. a couple of weeks After she lost her litter she calmed right down so that in the end she didn't show an aggressive bone in her body. Now she has been in with the buck again and literally by the second day after conception she was back to being very territorial as well as moving hay all over her hutch.  :thumbsup: :bunny:


  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: Doe rejecting buck
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 09:34:24 am »
Just a little update: My lovely doe had a litter last night. I left her well alone and let her get on with it. I didn't put a nestbox in or anything, she made her own nest perfectly. I've only done a very minimal inspection without touching the kits as she is quite highly strung but it looks like we have three live kits in there so well done mummy!

Quite a small litter but I'm just pleased that things have gone well this time!  :bunny: :excited:


  • Joined Jun 2008
Re: Doe rejecting buck
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2013, 05:54:18 pm »
Great news , just let her get on with it , natures a great thing.


  • Joined May 2011
  • Yorkshireman on a hill in wet South Wales
Re: Doe rejecting buck
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2013, 12:22:57 am »
You can mate her any time she will accept the buck she goes to the bucks cage not the buck to hers or else she will fight . Though 28 days is not a bad period if your into serious meat breeding .
 If you don't want to drag the doe down with too many litters leavee her for 6 weeks after giving birth
 Female rabbits get excited at the string masculine smell of the buck and has what's called an ostreous  this means she releases an egg  in readiness of the hoped for mating . The ostreous occurs about every three days .
( I've had a stroke eight years ago and things like dates and numerical data have dropped out of my memory  ..... so do see if you can check this up elsewhere )
 Sit down , lay the doe on her back ...head to you whilst she is on your knees .. hold her firmly , don't be scared and she will  lie there and not struggle and fall off injuring herself .
In this position gently press either side of her vagina with your index finger and thumb to reveal her vagina. If it is slightly swollen /plummy & a real strong rasberry red she should be mated . If it is pale  & not inflated  try again  each day at the same time for the next few days till you indentify the cycle.
 Rabbits sucessfully mate best at night , we used to do all out stock matings at around " evening silflay " 20.00 hrs till 01.30 . I think it is because it gives the doe a few hours of rest &  quite for the sperms to settle on to the eggs.
 Pregnancy varies depentent up in the cycle of the doe it runs 21 to 31 days so keep a record of it if you have several does so you can plan your herds production .
 Keep at least two unrelated bucks to reduce cross breeding problems if you have more than five does
 A meat doe is good for about 8 litters  and then she starts to have erratic litters  so plan for a replacement doe to be 21 weeks old when you cull the old doe .
 A buck tends to lose it at about 2 & 1/2 yrs so plan for his replacment to be abut 20 weeks old when you cull the buck 
 Do make record cards for everything and actually fill them in ,  they are far more reliable than your data bank damaged neck top computer   :roflanim:
International playboy & liar .
Man of the world not a country


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