Rabbit Record Keeping

Every few days I go through my Excel chart to see which rabbit does need to be put up to kindle, which ones need to be re-bred, when kits reach that horrible age: 16 weeks old, etc.

The best way I’ve found to get breedings done is in a conventional cage.  Pen breeding doesn’t always work.  That means either I need to leave the buck in cage (which I don’t like to do) or transfer the buck to a cage and then carry a doe to him.  That works the best, but sometimes lack of time and laziness take over, especially when I have more than one or two does to breed.

Last week, I put a Chin buck in with a group of three young does to be bred.  I leave him with them for a week and then take him out.  That way, I know if the doe is bred, there is a one week window for her to kindle.  I put her up 30 days from the first day I put the buck in the cage.  It’s much easier if I have an exact date the doe is due (then she is not taking up a kindling cage for over a week), but it doesn’t always work that way.  I’m getting better at knowing if a doe is pregnant and I’m sure I’ll get even better in time.

Unfortunately, during the past week, some of the horrible 16 week old rabbits in an adjoining tractor dug in to the tractor with the buck and three does.  Some of these kits were pretty good sized and are due to be processed, but I haven’t gotten around to that yet.  Now, I need to go through the tractor and figure out which are the three does (probably not too hard to figure out), which is the buck (easy because he’s tatooed) and which of the kits that dug in are does so I can keep an eye on them to see if they got bred (which hopefully they did not).

That horrible 16 week age is when the bucks get rowdy and start digging.  On my list of to-dos is to fill in the holes they’ve dug all over the property.  I like for them to get to be a good size before I process them, but the hole digging is a pain in the butt.   In general, they don’t dig too much, except for this time frame.  I guess at that age, the bucks have decided they want to jump ship and move on to bigger pastures.  I don’t blame them, especially at this time when there is virtually no pasture to be had.  It’s incredibly dry and not much is green or growing any more.  I’m watering the garden area in an effort to at least get the weeds to grow.

Record keeping and management has been a week point for me and I’m trying hard to get better at it.

Until later …