Breeding


Breeding Angoras is a challenging task. You want to not only improve and increase your herd but improve the breed in general. For this you always want to breed your best rabbit to your best rabbit.
The most important thing to keep in mind is breed the best, anything less and you're hurting the breed. I'm not saying that you have to spend a fortune on breeders but do breed the best animals you can afford. If the animal has a fault (genetic malformations, improper type etc ) keep it as a pet, not a breeder.
First your Angora should be at least 6 months of age( a buck can be a little younger). You want to make sure that the doe is sexually mature, so that there won't be any physical problems during the pregnancy.
Both the buck and the doe should be in good physical condition. Check both rabbits genitalia to be sure there are no infections. When checking the does vulva, color is important. She should be a dark red. This is indicative of the doe being very receptive.
Really scrutinize your rabbit's type. Are there faults? The idea is to breed animals that complement one another so as to produce an animal that well represents the breed. Remember the old computer term GIGO(Garbage in Garbage out)
Once you have your two animals and you've decided that this will be a good match, you take your doe to the buck's cage and hopefully nature will take its course. The doe is taken to the buck, instead of vice versa, because a doe will defend her territory, whereas a buck is usually just so happy to have a doe visit him that he doesn't care! Watch the animals! Yes I know this sounds a little silly but the doe might not be receptive or just in a bad mood and could seriously injure your buck . The buck should mount the doe,(sometimes in angoras he might need a little help with aim, soom can't tell which end id which). If all goes well the doe should raise her hinquarers for the him. Immediately after serving the doe the buck may fall over, squeal grunt etc.. This is normal!
A good policy to follow is to attempt to rebreed about 8 hours later; it seems to help with the conception percentage.You must record very carefully when you breed, so that then you will be sure just when the litter is due. Record the buck's name and tattoo number (all show rabbits are tattooed to identify them) if he has one. Do the same for the doe. And, most importantly, record the date! Gestation period for rabbits is between 28-32 days; most does have their litters at 31 days.

Babies are usually born 31 days after mating, and are born hairless, and with their eyes shut . At about 28 days or so the doe will start to build a nest. She'll use hay and whatever else she can get her hands on to build it in the nestbox that you've given her. Then the day she's due she'll start to pull wool from her chest to insulate that nest. One potential problem here is that the wool which can be quite long can get noted and twisted up by the squirming of the babies. You must either cut the doe's wool short before she starts the process ( when you breed her is a good time)or after she has pulled the wool. You just pull it out if the nest,snip it into 1' or shorter pieces and put it back. If you don't do this the kits can twist the wool into deadly little cords that can wrap around their neck or other extremity.
After the babies are born, check them regularly. Distract mom with a treat and just remove the nestbox and take each baby out and check it over. You're looking for malformations, stillborn kits,any chance of those wool cords just any problem. Once you're finished put them back in the nest and return them to the does cage. You need to check them daily at least for the first coupla weeks. By the time Angoras are four weeks old, they're running around, driving Mama crazy, eating, drinking, and already have at least an inch long coat of wool!


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