We bred Lucy, our Californian doe back in mid November. She was due this past Friday. We were going to give her one more chance to have a large litter. Her first litter was 3. One died immediately and another one died in our heinous heatwave. Her last litter wasn’t a litter. She just had one kit. One big healthy kit, but just one kit none-the-less. So we said that if she couldn’t give us a big litter the next round we’d have to retire her.
We’ve tried several different techniques but the one that I’ve read the most about we hadn’t tried. So this was her chance. The technique is to let them breed 3 times, remove the doe and then take her back 8 hours later. The theory is that rabbits don’t cycle until stimulated. After being stimulated they will ovulate 8 hours later, but if they urinate between the breeding and ovulation all is lost. So that is the reason for breeding again 8 hours after the first breeding.
Turns out she wasn’t pregnant. Neither of us have mastered palpating to see if she’s pregnant. But she seemed bigger. She wasn’t though. I’m not going to hold it against her for not being pregnant. Rabbits’ fertility wanes as the days do. She was also really stressed when we last bred her. We bred her with Lou who she wasn’t familiar with and was quite scared of because he’s so much bigger than Ricky, who she lives next to and is used to.
So this time we’ve bred her to Ricky again. She likes him a LOT. She doesn’t run around his hutch like a crazy rabbit trying to get away from him. Plus he’s really sweet and grooms her. So let’s hope this time takes. But since it’s almost the Winter Solstice and days are so short I’m not going to expect much.