Understanding the Mating Process when Breeding Rabbits
In order to breed your rabbits, there are a number of things that you must first consider and prepare before beginning the process. The first, and most crucial of these is the condition of the rabbits at the time for mating. This is because the physical condition of the doe and buck at the time of mating is critical in determining the success of the mating.

Animals that are either overweight or underweight will not be as productive. That is why it is essential that you monitor the nutritional value of your rabbit’s feed and the total caloric intake. It is an absolute necessity that producing animals be kept in excellent physical breeding condition and be provided the best possible nutrition. Here are some specifics for the does and the bucks.

Does:

  • The most common problem is when breeding does are overweight. An overweight doe will not be as receptive to the male, nor will she get pregnant. The fat deposits become a physical barrier that keeps the kits from being conceived.
  • Seasons affect mating:
    • Does are much more receptive to mating in the spring and summer as compared to fall and winter. This is because of the increase in the environmental temperature and length of the daylight hours. So, it is recommended that the doe be maintained in an environment that has a minimum of fourteen to sixteen hours of light per twenty-four hours, in order to be receptive to bucks year round.
    • Summer: You will need to keep does cooler during the summer months in order for them to be comfortable enough to mate.
    • Winter: Most does will mate during the warmest part of the day during the winter months.
  • Producing does are more receptive to mating than those does that are not producing. This is particularly true within the first twenty-eight days after kindling.  

Bucks

  • Young males should not be mated too frequently, until they become older since excessive breeding of young males may permanently damage his success at breeding in the future. One suggested schedule when first breeding young males is to use them once a day up to 2-3 times per week.
  • When the male is old enough, it can be used daily for extended periods of time. An older male can be used 5 -7 times per day, after which a 5 - 7 day rest period must follow in order for the rabbit to rest and be able to successfully mate in the future.