Wonderland's Mini Rex Rabbitry

Breeding thru Weaning

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Rabbits unlike humans ovulate during mating and do do have a "heat" cycle. Mini Rex's typically have 4-6 kits in a litter.
I take my does to my bucks cage (never the other way around) and let them mate while being supervised (to make sure no one is being excessivly rough). I let them mate around 4-6 times and then I return the doe to her cage, then about 6-12 hours later (just has to be before 48 hours) I will return her to the bucks cage and let them mate again 4-6 times and I will not breed again after the second session. Some breeders will leave the doe in with the buck overnight, I don't simply because I cannot watch them to make sure that no one gets hurt.
After about 2-3 weeks I can usually palpate the doe and feel little marbles inside and that is how I know she is pregnant. Some breeders can tell how many babies are inside, I however am just glad I can tell she is pregnant. :)
Rabbits only have a gestation of 31 days. You need to put the next box in around day 27. I do not put it in any earlier because she might make a mess of the box. She can only deliever between day 28-32 otherwise the kits probably won't make it.
When the doe delievers she may not have all the kits in the nest box that you provided, if that happens you need to get the kits in the box ASAP the longer they are out of the box the smaller chance of survival.
With the Mini Rex breed you can get a gene called the "double dwarf" gene. This is because to make the breed a mini it needed the dwarfing gene to be introduced, unfortunatly because of this you may and will sometime get kits that are called "peanuts". They are smaller than the other littermates, and will usually look a little different as well. These kits (peanuts) will not survive. Only a hand full in the the enitre breed have made it, but still died at an earlier age. So because of this you have three options.
1. You can humanly have the kits euthanized (not going to work well since they are sooooo tiny)
2. You can do nothing and let nature take it's course.
3. Do what I do and try to hand feed the babies knowing that they are not going to make it, but to try to make it less stressful on them for there short life.
Peanuts cannot digest food or milk properly and because of that they basically starve to death. It is probably the one thing about this breed that makes it hard to raise.
Since the mother will only feed her litter 2 times a day at the most, I bring the kits in at night, and return them to mom for an early morning feeding and then again for a night feeding. They kits stay inside the house at night for their own protection. I also don't leave them with mom during the day until they are about 3-4 weeks old. Once they leave the nest box they stay outside with mom for the day, but still come inside at night.
Once the kits are born they will remain hairless (they will have a peach like fuzz to them) and with closed eyes for around 7-10 days. When there eyes open and around 2-3 weeks of age they will leave the nest box on their own. Around 3-4 weeks they start showing interest in the pellets and the hay. I do not wean my babies until they are about 6-8 weeks old. It all depends on how the litter and the kits alone in litter are doing.
You need to make sure you check the babies at least once a day to make sure that their genitals look clean, and that they don't have any discharge from their eyes or nose. You also need to handle them from about 3 weeks and up everyday for a while so they get used to being held and handled.
You can usually tell the sex of the kit by 4 weeks of age, this does take practice. I will be one to tell you that I have misread a kits sex before. Some of the biggest breeders in the breed have missexed a rabbit before, it's called the "Turkey Award". So it does take some practice.
Every breeder varies on when a kit should be weaned and given to a new home. I wean around 6-8 weeks, and at that time they can go to a new home. Every kit that is born here gets a tattoo before they leave. You must have a tattoo in the ear for the rabbit to show.
I hope this has helped, please if you have any questions please feel free to ask. I also have information on what colors can be breed together.
Thanks :)

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