Croatian Rabbitry - breeding questiongreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I red the article on Croatian Rabbitry (maybe not read close enough), but I figued this would be perfect for me, so I converted a barn stall and got 5 does and a buck from a local breeder and set them together for a few days and then separated the buck. About 30 days later I got 2 babies, who were lost within two days. I did touch them, so I assumed it was me - or the fact that my cats visit the stall.
However, there were no other litters since September. (yes the buck has had a few more opportunities...)
Could it be the cats?
Could it be all the does together?
I also suppose it could be my buck has become a dud, so I've found a new buck to see if that works (we'll see in a month...)
-- Sombra (Sombra.firstname.lastname@example.org), November 16, 2001
You are not following the procedures used by my cousin Alojz. The rabbits are kept in cages just like in the U.S. The buck is kept separate from the does until Alojz thinks it is time to put a doe in with the buck to be bred/rebred. The does have their kits in their individual cages and it is only when they are ready to be weaned that they are moved to a separate stall to be finished off.
The advantage of Alojz's system is not in breeding/raising litters to weaning, but rather in not having to feed them anything but homegrown/locally produced feeds.
What you are trying is called 'colony raising'. I don't know anyone who has ever been able to make it really work.
-- Ken S. in WC TN (email@example.com), November 16, 2001.
Ken -- we are considering rabbits -- any suggestions on the "best" rabbit book? Being homeschoolers, we tend to read and study a lot on a project prior to jumping in, and I'd like a really good basic book on rabbitry.
-- Tracy (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 16, 2001.
Well, I don't know what I did to make it work, but by the time it was over I had about 40 young (not kits) and adult rabbits to find homes for. All I did was turn them loose in a 20 by 40 hay shed that was open on one side. I started with one buck and two does. None ever ran off (they weren't contained) or got eaten by coyotes. I just kept food and water available and they dug tunnels and did what rabbits do best. Incidently, the best way to catch the little boogers is to put a piece of PVC pipe where they hang out, and when they see you coming they'll hide in the pipe. Pick it up and shake them into their cage, voila!
Also, our cats never got them, so I would guess your buck is sterile. Good luck!
-- Julie (email@example.com), November 16, 2001.
I used to have three does in a 4x4 pen with outside access and four nesting boxes that were accessable from outside the pen. The does were sisters. It worked great for me. They would take care of each other's kits, it was neat. Then, one doe decided to keep the other two away from the nest boxes (after three years) and the other two were also pregnant so they had to be separated. They fought when I tried to put them back together again. I miss that set up. It was so much easier to care for and the rabbits seemed so much happier.
I would take them to the buck and bred. I would watch to make sure it happened. Then repeat again in 10 minutes. You might want to try that before giving up your buck.
I touch the babies all the time after they are born. First to check for any dead, that you would have to remove. Later to make sure the babies opened their eyes.
Definitely, definitely, invest in some chicken wire and close up any open areas that the cats can get through. Not only can rabbits die easily from fright but the babies will surely disappear if the cats find them easy prey.
-- Dee (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 16, 2001.
Tracy, My favorite book on rabbits is Raising Rabbits the Modern Way by Bob Bennett. Published by Garden Way Publishing. Hope this helps.
-- Murray in ME (email@example.com), November 16, 2001.
Tracy, another excellent book on raising rabbits is called Rabbit Production by Drs. Cheeke, Lukefahr, Patton and McNitt. I raise rabbits for commercial purposes and I couldn't live without this book, or at least I don't think I can !! LOL It is really a great book and can be found at at...www.bassequipment.com...it may seem a little pricey, but it is worth every cent. Good luck with your rabbits, I find raising rabbits very rewarding and relaxing. They are beautiful and amazing creatures !!
-- Brenda in NC (CherokeeMaiden2@aol.com), November 17, 2001.
Tracy, I believe the best book and most informative that I have ever found is put out by the American Rabbit Breeders Association (arba.net) it is called "Official Guide to Raising Better Rabbits." It covers all areas and is very good. The only problem is that this book is not sold. It is given to the members of the ARBA. Individual youth can join for $8.00 but the book is well worth that and you will also receive the bi-monthly magazine that will have many interesting articles and will also have the rabbit show dates in your area. If you have not attended a rabbit show it is worth your time. If you go to a rabbit show you can see what type of rabbits people are raising in your area and at most shows people have rabbits for sale. Also you get to talk to breeders. Hope this helps.
-- Tom S. (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 17, 2001.