Check out our breeding tips when you have questions or are dealing with difficult breeding situations.
There is an age-old saying about breeding rabbits that clearly, who-ever coined the phrase “they breed like rabbits”, has never actually bred rabbits. In other words – breeding rabbits is not always as easily done as what it sounds. This problem is not just for Conti’s either. Anyone who has ever been involved in raising rabbits can agree with the fact that some times things simply do not work out as well as we would like them to. For such times as those, here are some tips that will help increase your chances of successfully breeding Continental Giants.
1.) Make sure your Continental Giants are getting 14-16 hours of light per day.
2.) House your Conti bucks and does (not together- but) near each other; their scent glands help activate their hormones.
3.) Does will be more receptive when their vents are a dark reddish-purple color.
4.) Since rabbits do not have a heat cycle, as dogs and cats do, they can reproduce at any time – however the trick is to “get them in the mood” before attempting the breedings.
5.) Add 1 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar per gallon of drinking water (if you add too much, they may not drink it)
6.) Take your Conti Giants for a nice car ride – silly as it sounds, it works like a charm. The vibrations from riding in the vehicle will have them date-ready before you know it.
7.) Give them a change of scenery… move their hutches around, or switch the rabbits from one hutch to another (“meet your new neighbor” theory)
8.) Don’t limit your Conti breeding stock – if one buck/doe combination doesn’t work, try using a different buck. Odd as it is, some does really are quite finicky.
9.) Decrease the amount of feed that the does are given.
10.) Allow your Continental Giants to have lots of exercise, outdoors – where they can run and jump, etc. It keeps them healthier, and healthier bucks are more likely to produce good litters than a lazy ‘couch-potato’ boy would. It also increases stamina and the interest in breeding. (The better you feel, the friskier you’ll be.)
11.) After a breeding occurs and the buck ‘falls off’, roll the doe over onto her back and tilt her rear end up a bit… in other words, let gravity play its part
12.) Try to breed your Conti’s at various times of the day; in other words if you breed them in the evening – change it up, and try mornings and afternoons
13.) Put your pals on a diet. Yep! While it is true that we all want our Conti’s be as huge as possible – what we ‘want’ and what is ‘best’ for them may not always be the same things. (Fat rabbits will not produce and they are much more likely to also develop other serious health problems, such as liver disease and other things).
14.) Try to breed them in a different location; instead of taking your doe to your bucks’ hutch, breed them on the table, or on the ground or in an exercise pen in the yard, etc).
15.) Breed them every day for several days in a row, during different times of the day, and in different locations (sometimes a combination of all of the above is what it will take to get the job done.)
16.) Add electrolyte-additives to your Conti’s drinking water
17.) Change the temperatures in the area the rabbits are in — if its hot, put a fan near them; if its cold, put up a heat lamp for a little while (change their body temps and their hormones will kick in)
18.) Still having problems? Completely separate the does and bucks for a few days or so (where they cant see or smell each other), then go back to housing them next to each other for a day or two and then breed them, daily, for the next week.
19.) Try leaving a light on 24/7 for a week or two, then breed them
20.) Never give up!! 🙂
If you know of more tried and true rabbit breeding tips, drops us an email and we’ll add them to our list.