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Posted in Facts about Raising Rabbits | 1 comment

What to do when your rabbits don’t want to get it on

There’s many reasons that rabbits may have trouble mating, but sometimes it just comes down to chemistry and stimulation. Whether you’re trying to boost fertility and libido during the winter or looking to help first timers get the show on the road, there are a few things you can do to help mother nature along when your rabbits are having trouble mating.

If you are having trouble getting your rabbits to breed in the winter, put a light in the cage of your doe(s) for 24 hours a day for several days. Like with many other animals, this will essentially rest her breeding clock and should get the breeding cycles started again.

She’s Just Not That into Him

It may be hard to believe, but rabbits also have a sense of attraction just like humans. So just because you feel these two are right for each other, the doe may have other ideas. Some does mate for life and if something should happen to the buck, she will refuse to make with anyone else.

Sometimes a doe just seems to want to see what other options are out there before they make a commitment. It’s also possible that although she seems ready to mate, she isn’t quite there so you might want to retry on the following day.

If you’d like to try a few other tricks, here are a few more suggestions to get her in the mood:

  • Put a tablespoon of cider vinegar in a gallon of drinking water and use it as the sole source of water for a few days. Then try again.
  • Switch cages on the doe and buck (ie, move the doe into his cage and move the buck into her cage.) They may find each other’s scents appealing and stimulating, causing them both to be ready to mate.
  • Feed her grape vine tendrils. They’re said to be very stimulating for does.
  • Feed wheat germ. This is said to boost fertility in both the does and the bucks.
  • If all this still doesn’t work, start looking for an infection in the doe. Something could be wrong that you just haven’t spotted yet.

When Your Buck Can’t Satisfy the Ladies

It’s pretty rare that a buck will refuse to mate but if it’s hot (remember rabbits are most comfortable around 70°F), he could be having some problems. This is especially true in older bucks.

One thing that usually works really well is to switch cages on the buck and doe. You might also move another buck closer to the pair. If the unwilling buck thinks someone is going to move in on his territory, he may get excited.

You can also try putting two does in the buck’s cage and letting them experiment. You might come up with some strange and amusing pairings but usually only one doe gets what she needs from him.

You can also try the cider vinegar and wheat germ tricks mentioned above.

And if none of that works, make sure to check his genitals and vent area as well because he could also be carrying vent disease and you certainly don’t want him passing it around. If he is infected, make sure you do not mate him until you are positive that the infection is gone.

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  • David Ritz

    I’ll have to try the suggestons. This article came at the perfect moment!