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Ashley's Bragging Right's Rabbitry

November 4th Meeting
08-09 Beginning Rabbit's 4-H Project
April 7th, 2009 Meeting
Dressing Out a Rabbit
A Little History...

Beginning Rabbits

November 4th, 2008


Body Types:



      Full Arch




Breeding Basics:


Step 1: Breeding

      Rabbit’s should be of mature breeding age (usually around 7 months old)

      Rabbit’s should be in good condition (not shedding, shouldn’t have a cold…)

      You ALWAYS take the doe to the bucks cage!!! You do this because:

o       Doe’s are very territorial and could harm your buck

o       Buck’s will spend more time “checking out” their new area because their smell is not there

      You can also use a play pen area for breeding

      Do not leave your rabbit’s unattended because they could fight


Step 2: Gestation

      The rabbit’s gestation period is 28 to 32 days long

      You can Palpate your doe starting at 10 days, but should not try to palpate after 14 days.

o       At 10 days the fetus is as big as a blueberry

o       At 14 days the fetus is as big as a grape

      You should put your nest box in the doe’s cage at about 25 days


Step 3: Building a Nest

      First you need a nest box

o       Metal

o       Wood

o       Sub Terrain

      Start with about an inch of pine shavings in the bottom of the box

      Next add a good handful of straw bedding into the box. I like to give the doe an extra handful of straw in her cage to work with as well

      The doe will then pull fur from her dewlap, belly and or legs to help insulated her nest


Step 4: Birth

      Your rabbit will more than likely give birth when nobody is around & things are quite

      The size of the litter will vary depending on your rabbit’s size. (Netherland Dwarfs will only have 1 to 4 kit’s whereas New Zealand’s will have anywhere from 1 to 12 kit’s)

      Leave the kit’s alone. I like to wait at least 3 days before I count them. Some doe’s don’t mind if you mess with there babies, but other doe’s will sometimes even kill the babies after you mess with them)

      Kit’s are born blind, deaf & hairless


Step 5: Birth to Weaning

      Week 1:

o       “peach fuzz” over their whole body

o       start jumping around in nest box

      Week 2:

o       Eye’s & Ears open

o       Continue to learn how to use their feet

      Week 3:

o       Start to eat solid food

o       Will start to leave the next bow on their own

      Week 4:

o       Remove next box from cage

o       Start providing “free feed” fro the kit’s

o       You can tell the sex of your kit’s

      Week 5:

o       The kit’s will continue to grow during this week

      Week 6 to 8:

o       You can separate the kit’s from their mother anytime during these 2 weeks as long as they are eating solid food on their own and drinking water


Showmanship Lesson 1:

      Know your breed

o       Where did it come from

o       Know your breed standard

      Pick out a rabbit that you can handle

      Practice turning your rabbit over