Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Breeding Rabbits: Holland Lop Rabbits

What Your Need to Know About These Adorable Rabbits!

Holland Lop rabbits are a breed of rabbit whose origin is from the Netherlands. This breed of rabbit was recognised in 1964 by the Rabbit Council of Netherland and in 1979 by the Rabbit-Breeders' Association in America.

The Holland Lop rabbits are well known house pets and a popular for possessing a non-aggressive behaviour and a sweet temperament. They are juniors till they are 6 months old. From 7 months onwards, they are considered as seniors.

This breed came into existence when a rabbit breeder named Adriann de Cock from the Netherlands sought to breed the Netherlands Dwarf buck and the Fresh Lop doe. After several attempts of breeding and interbreeding of the litter, he came up with the Holland Lops. De Cock's Holland Lops were 2.4 or 3 kilograms in size. He then came up with the most desirable less than two kilograms of weight specimens and he presented them to the Rabbit Council of Netherlands. After this, the Holland Lop got recognition as a new rabbit breed.

The Holland Lop rabbits are well-liked and are popular among several breeders, pet owners and rabbit enthusiasts due to their inherent attractiveness and compact size. This is one of the smallest rabbit breed in the lop-eared category. Their muscular-appearing stocky body can be characterised by short-thick legs, deep chests and bread shoulders. They usually are white, black, broken black and tortoise-shell shade in colour. The Holland Lops comes under the dwarf category. The Holland Lops grow and live normally and can easily weigh up to 5 ½ lbs. The ears of a Holland Lop hang down 1 inch under their jawbone. They have their heads high on their shoulders.

It is essential for the owners of this breed to keep the weight of the rabbit in control. Take precautions so that the rabbit does not become too fat. Reproductive problems could arise id fat gets accumulated around the ovaries. Hence, keeping a Holland Lop's weight under control will ensure good health.

Though the Holland Lop rabbits are small in size, they are known to be quite playful and active. Hence, when kept as a pet it is advisable to cage them in a cage that is spacious. This rabbit breed is also a good choice for a first time rabbit owner. In certain cases, they ted to be a little hyper and skittish, so handle them a little carefully.

Breeding Rabbits: How to Care For the Dwarf Rabbit Breed

Dwarf Rabbits are one of the best and cutest animals that are being kept as pets. They are one of the smallest domestic breed rabbits and the origin of these rabbits is from Europe. After dogs and cats, dwarf rabbits are one of the most loved pets in England and America. These docile pets are adorable and cute. Kids love them, they look very sweet, and you can give it as a gift to your near and dear ones. Therefore, whenever you buy a dwarf rabbits be cautious to take good care of them. To ensure proper Dwarf rabbits care you need to find a suitable place where they can stay and breed.

Many people all around the world are keeping rabbits for three reasons and they are: interest, breeding, and butchering. These rabbits are also known as the Netherlands Dwarf Rabbits, as they were found in 1900 in the Netherlands. The normal weight of a dwarf rabbit is around 0.7-1.4 kg with thick fur and a round body. They look shiny and soft and have a large head with small ears. It is very easy to identify them without too much of problem as in comparison with other breeds of rabbit.

Dwarf Rabbits basically come in twenty four colors together with smoke pearl, chocolate, tortoiseshell, opal, chestnut, black, orange, etc. They are obedient and gentle creatures. These rabbits normally do not create too much of a problem. Proper care includes keeping these animals in a warm place in winter and a mild place during the summer season.

Give them proper diet foods like carrot, hay, green vegetables, and fresh fruit. You need to give them a proper diet if you want to keep them nice and healthy. Rabbits are hard-core eaters; they chew and eat anything that comes their way. With this, many times dwarf rabbits face digestive problems and other health disorders. It may be a good idea to provide digestive pills every week. This will control their gastrointestinal problems and other ill symptoms due to overeating.

You can see many people have kept these tiny lovely creatures for breeding purpose and they are getting good results. People are also keeping these animals for butchering because the meat of these animals is in high demand and are very tasty and people really love it.

Breeding Rabbits: 4 Critical Considerations Before You Begin to Breed Rabbits

When it comes to rabbit breeding, there are many things to consider and learn before you can really consider yourself somewhat knowledgeable about it. There are certain rules that you must not break such as breeding brothers to sisters should never be done. Other combinations, however, should be fine such as father to daughter, mother to son and so on. Of course, until you gain enough knowledge about how their genetics work, it is recommended that you don't breed closely related pairs. Also, you should only mate pairs of the same breed unless you are breeding them for their meat or as pets. This is because you will not be able to sell a rabbit that has mixed block and does not have a background that goes back 4 generations. Besides the ones mentioned above, there are more things to consider when it comes to rabbit breeding. Here are a few more:

- You should never keep more than one rabbit in each cage especially if the rabbit is 3 months or older. This is because rabbits actually mature faster when they are alone. They will not fight nor breed and this basically eliminates unexpected results.

- Before you begin rabbit breeding, do check the bottom of their cage for any signs of loose stools or diarrhea. If you find a rabbit with these conditions, do not breed it with another unless it's been properly treated. Also, do check for other signs of infections that might require medical treatment.

- Some people would leave the doe overnight with the buck whilst others put the doe in and remover her once they have mated. If you do this, it would be best to put the doe back in the buck's cage within 2- 12 hours after the initial breeding. Doing so would increase the likelihood of pregnancy and might even increase the number of offspring.

- Avoid breeding rabbits that have defects such as tooth malocclusion or moon eye because it is highly likely that they would pass the same genetic effects to their offspring thus eliminating them from being candidates for rabbit breeding purposes.

Lastly, rabbit breeding requires a lot of work and research. Of course, proper planning is a must because otherwise, your chances of failing would only increase. So, before you even begin your new hobby do consider learning more about it as well as the genetics of the rabbits. This would give you the knowledge you need and help you make better and wiser decisions.

Breeding Rabbits: Do's and Don'ts When You Breed Rabbits

When it comes to breeding rabbits, one should not only know about the proper care for them but also the genetics involved. There are certain rules to follow when it comes to properly breeding rabbits and in order to produce the best, you have to keep in line with them. Whilst some people might think of breeding rabbits as a simple task to accomplish, it is not always this way. First off, let's talk about the basics. A small breed doe or female rabbit is ready to mate by the time she reaches 5 months old. On the other hand, a buck or a male rabbit would be ready once he reaches 6 months old. Typically, it would be wise to breed rabbits whose ancestries have proof of good genetics and overall great productivity. For this reason, you would need the pedigree listings and various show winnings. In fact, as a breeder, you should keep your own records as well. As for the ratio, you can keep it at 1:10 if you wish. That is, 1 buck to 10 does. The buck would be able to breed up to 7 times a week effectively.

Now, let's talk about the do's and don'ts of breeding rabbits.

- Do mate rabbits of the same breed. The only exception to this rule would be breeding for the sake of meat or pets. Otherwise, you may not mate rabbits that aren't of the same breed. This is because you won't be able to sell a pedigree rabbit that has mixed blood and can't trace its background for up to 4 generations.

- Don't keep more than one rabbit in a single cage. This is imperative once the rabbit reaches 3 months or older. The reason for this is the fact that rabbits actually mature faster when they are kept in solitude.

- If you feel like you are ready to start breeding rabbits, bring the doe to the buck's cage. Don't do it the other way around because the buck would be to busy sniffing around the doe's cage to even pay attention to mating.

- There are people who live the doe in the buck's cage overnight whilst there are those who take the doe out once the 2 rabbits have mated. If you choose to go with the latter, you need to put the doe back in after a couple or more hours as this would actually increase the likelihood of pregnancy and might even increase the number of offspring.

Quite obviously breeding rabbits isn't as easy as it seems. However, with enough effort and research, you would be able to do it correctly. After all, breeding rabbits is a science and is something that everyone can learn given enough time to do it.

Breeding Rabbits: Raising Meat Pen Rabbits For Competition

Many fairs and rabbit shows have a class called a Meat Pen. If you are buying rabbits for a 4H project, this may be one of the options you want to try. To compete in a meat pen class, you must have three young rabbits that are ten weeks old or younger from the same litter. They each need to weigh between three and five pounds. The winning pen will contain three rabbits that are almost identical in appearance, weight and condition.

It is best to prepare by knowing the rules for showing meat pens before you begin. Join the American Rabbit Breeders Association and purchase the Standard of Perfection. This will let you learn about all the breeds recognized by the association and learn the rules for showing meat pens as well as showing individual rabbits, competing in fur and other classes. When you join ARBA, you will receive a book that teaches you about caring for rabbits properly. The book covers show rabbits, meat rabbits and pets.

You can raise your meat pen from litters born to your own rabbits, or you can purchase a meat pen from a rabbit breeder. Most meat pens are purchased when the rabbits are between four and five weeks old. This allows you to raise them yourself to the proper weight and age for competition.

Meat pen competitions are dominated by New Zealand Whites and Californians. These two breeds are most frequently raised for meat, so they have been bred to develop quickly. Other breeds that you may see in meat pens include New Zealand Reds or Blacks, Champagne D'Argents, Palominos, American Sables, Chinchillas, Cinnamons, Crème D'Argents, Rex, Satins, Silver Fox, and Silver Martens. All of these breeds have been raised to provide nutritious meals to families all over.

If you are breeding your own meat pen, count back ten weeks from the date of your show. This is when the rabbits must be born. Your doe must be bred four weeks before that, since gestation is between 28 and 31 days. If you don't have breeding stock, it is best to start looking for some at least four or five months before the show. Does should be a minimum of six months old before they are bred. If you are waiting on a single doe, you may end up without a litter. Your best bet to get the best meat pen possible is to breed several does at that time. If you have the time, let them have a litter before you need to breed for your show. This lets them learn how to parent their babies and you'll have fewer mishaps.

When buying stock, you'll need to weigh your options between buying from a commercial rabbit breeder and someone who raises show stock. Ideally, you want rabbits that will grow fast like those developed by commercial breeders, yet at the same time, they need to fit the standard for their breed like show rabbits do. Go to a rabbit show if you can and meet the breeders of the types of rabbits you are considering. Even if they don't have stock for you to purchase, they may have contacts with others or be able to give you good advice on what to look for and how to achieve your goals.

Breeding Rabbits: Rabbit Hutches For Breeders

Some avid rabbit enthusiasts become so enamored with these wonderful animals that they decide to take up rabbit breeding. Their intent is to first experience the joy of welcoming new life into the world and providing a supportive environment necessary for growth; and then to share the results of their efforts with the world: quality bunnies!

If you're considering breeding, you should already be aware that you will need to do a lot of homework to learn what you need to know to successfully produce and raise quality litters. One primary issue will be housing. If you have a large home it is possible to house the breeding quarters indoors, in an enclosed porch or a basement. But most breeders look to outdoor rabbit hutches.

For the skilled, building your own custom hutch arrangement is a possibility which will not only allow you to customize a breeding hutch to the available space in your yard, but also will give you a genuine sense of pride in your accomplishment. Many of us would love to point to something and say, "I made that!"

If you lack building skills, there are plenty of commercially available rabbit hutches from which to choose. Search the Internet and you'll find a wide variety of options. Most involve variations of stackable units. Some of the better wooden ones lock together with a tongue and groove design. In addition, they have removable partitions between individual units, allowing you to expand the size of the living space as bunnies grow.

If stackable units won't work for you, there are breeder hutches that have individual living compartments built into a single unit. You can get them in two tier, three tier, and even four tier units. With all these breeder hutches you need to be aware that the living quarters are small. In time you will need to provide some form of rabbit run for proper exercise. This is far preferable to allowing bunnies to roam the yard free as they can go places they shouldn't and can be hard to catch!

As you research the ins and outs of breeding rabbits, one issue should be foremost in your thinking. What do you plan to do with the rabbits you breed? If you think this can be a money-making venture, think again. Spend some time on the Internet Pet Discussion Forums and you'll find out why it can be difficult to turn a profit.

If you are doing this for your own enjoyment because you love bunnies; remember that they grow up. Then what? Again check the Discussion Forums and you'll hear tales of rabbit rescue groups overwhelmed with adult rabbits no one wants.

Breeding any pet animal in a world overrun with unloved, unwanted pets is a serious responsibility, not to be taken lightly. Think about the needs of the rabbits you will be bringing into the world instead of just on your own needs. Find other rabbit breeders in your area and visit them. People with a passion for pets love to share that passion with others. See what kind of living arrangements they have found to be the most advantageous, both for them and the rabbits. And most importantly, learn what they do with those lovely bunnies when they reach adulthood.

Breeding Rabbits: All About Rabbit Breeding

We all know how fast a female rabbit gives birth and how many babies it could deliver in one pregnancy. Because of this, there is an influx in rabbits without homes in animal shelters because owners just don't know where to put them anymore.

For you to avoid adding to the rabbits with no homes living in cramped cages in animal shelters, you have to be a responsible pet owner and make sure that your rabbit's breeding is under supervision.

The first thing you need to know is that unlike dogs, rabbits do not have a specific heat season. Your female rabbit is ready to mate anytime of the year and can conceive as soon as it is 3 months old.

One conception could give birth to an average of six kits (baby rabbits) which means that there are six new mouths to feed in your family. If you plan on taking care of them, you better separate the males from the females since they might reproduce again as soon as they are mature enough.

Remember that rabbits for pet purposes can be found in various animal shelters so you need not breed one of your own to give to your friends. In fact, only rabbits from the same pedigree should be bred to preserve its bloodlines.

Owning a pair of rabbits is not an easy task especially when they are both mature enough to reproduce. If you do not plan on separating them, at least put them in two separate cages that have wired walls so that they could still see each other. Rabbits, like dogs and cats, are continuously being left in shelters with no one to care for. Instead of adding to this population, promote adoption to get a cute furry baby out of there and into the loving arms of someone you know.

Breeding Rabbits: What You Need to Know About Breeding Your Rabbits

Raising rabbits can be very rewarding. Before you begin, however, ask yourself why you want to breed rabbits. People breed rabbits for many reasons. They may raise them to feed their families or to sell to restaurants and stores. They may breed them because they show rabbits in 4H or in American Rabbit Breeders Association shows. What are your reasons?

Purebred rabbits are a must if you want to show them. Join the American Rabbit Breeders Association and study their Standard of Perfection. Choose a breed that appeals to you and get the best stock you can afford.

If you want to supplement your food budget, most meat breeders use New Zealand rabbits crossed with Californian rabbits. They develop and grow quickly to marketable size. Other breeds also make terrific meat rabbits, but they grow a little slower. In fact, many of the breeds you'll see at shows started out as meat breeds.

If you won't be eating them, what will you do with the babies? Selling pets may not always be a reliable way to find them homes. Those who show will only buy animals that are high quality and meet the breed standard. Show animals must also be pedigreed. You will need to keep records of when your does are bred, when they kindle, how many were born, and who belongs on the pedigree.

Each doe needs her own cage. It must be large enough to be comfortable for her, include a nestbox, and hold the growing litter. Each buck also needs his own cage. Most breeds can produce babies safely once they reach the age of six months. Larger breeds may take longer to mature.

When you want to breed, place the doe in the buck's cage. If you put the buck in the doe's cage, she may attack him. Does can be very territorial. While the doe is in the buck's cage, keep an eye on them. If they begin to fight, they will need to be separated. The buck may chase the doe around the cage. This is fine. It may take a few attempts before the doe decides she is ready. Once the buck mounts properly, and he may do this improperly many times, you'll know if the breeding was successful if he falls off. You may want to let the buck try again before removing the doe.

Write down the breeding date on the calendar and count out 28 days. This is when you need to give the doe her nestbox and lots of hay. The doe will make a nice nest. She will pull fur right before she gives birth. Rabbits usually give birth 28 to 31 days after breeding. If you find the babies outside the box, put them in and cover them with fur if they are still alive.

Most does have no problem producing a litter and caring for them. They will nurse the babies once or twice per day, spending only a few minutes with them. This is normal. Sometimes the doe doesn't conceive and there is no litter. Sometimes the doe will deliver dead babies or savage them. It is not always known why. Babies should be weaned at 6 to 8 weeks of age.

Breeding Rabbits: Build a Rabbit Cage For Breeding Rabbits

Many people are starting to breed rabbits to provide food for their table. The reasons range from the cost of food at the grocery store to the desire to get away from commercial meat that has been raised on antibiotics and poor food. Rabbit meat is tasty and low in fat. Domestic rabbit is all white meat. It is tender and versatile.

One doe can produce 1000% of her own weight in meat in a year. Pretty impressive, isn't it? Rabbits don't require a lot of space to raise them. Along with meat, your rabbits also produce a good amount of manure. Rabbit manure can go straight from the rabbit to the garden. It doesn't need to compost first.

Now that you may be considering raising your own rabbits, you need to provide them with cages. The cages should be in a shed or lean-to that will protect the animals from the weather. The cages can be mounted on the wall or hung from the ceiling. The cages should be large enough for the adult rabbit to have plenty of room to move about in as well as give room for a growing litter.

Wire mesh is the best cage material for raising rabbits. You can see through it easily, letting you take notice of any problems that may be starting. Wire is easy to keep clean. Use heavy duty 14 gauge wire mesh that has been welded together. It should be galvanized to give it longevity. Floors should be made from ½ inch by 1 inch wire while walls and ceilings can be made of 1 inch by 2 inch wire. If you have extra cash, spring for the babysaver wire. This wire has a smaller mesh at the bottom, which can prevent baby bunnies from falling out of the cage.

Put the cage pieces together with J clips or hog rings. Make the door large enough for you to clean the cage easily. It should be big enough that a nestbox can easily fit through it. If you stack your cages, make sure you have some corrugated tin or other material under the top cage at an angle so any droppings and urine will fall behind the cage below. You don't want the rabbits below to be the recipients of the manure from above.

Once your cages are done, fasten them to the wall or hang them from beams in the ceiling using heavy wire or chain. Plan on a regular routine for removing waste materials. Breeding can take place when the rabbits are about six or seven months of age for most breeds. Always take the doe to the buck's cage. If you bring the buck to the doe, she may attack him. Does are very territorial about their cages. When you breed a doe, mark her cage with the date and make note of the date you need to supply her with a nestbox. There are metal card holders you can purchase from rabbit supply companies that hang on the cage. They are just the right size to hold an index card. Always check and double check. You don't want to lose a litter because you forgot to supply the box and bedding.