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Unleashing the Secrets Of New Zealand Rabbit Breeders

By Tom Seest

Are You Ready to Discover the World Of New Zealand Rabbit Breeders?

At BackyardBunnyNews, we help people who want to raise rabbits and bunnies by collating information about the hare-raising experience.

Originally from California, New Zealand, rabbits were developed for their fast growth and meat type. They were added to the US rabbit standard in 1916. Originally, New Zealand rabbits were red, but breeders created white New Zealand in 1917. These rabbits became highly prized for their meat.

Are You Ready to Discover the World Of New Zealand Rabbit Breeders?

Are You Ready to Discover the World Of New Zealand Rabbit Breeders?

When Do Feline Rabbits Reach Maturity?

Unless you are planning to breed the rabbits for breeding purposes, you should wait until the females reach full maturity. This is around six months for the smaller breeds but nine months for the larger breeds. Although female rabbits become fertile between eight and 12 weeks, you must wait until they reach full maturity to breed. The gestation period for female rabbits is 28 to 35 days, and the litter will usually be born between 31 and 32 days of age. It is advisable to provide a nest box for the new mother two to five days prior to the expected kindling date. The doe will use materials in the nest box to lay eggs. The young rabbits are born hairless, blind, and deaf.
The gestation period is approximately 31 to 32 days for the medium-weight breeds. A typical litter consists of eight to 10 kits. A commercial doe will produce between three and five litters per year. A good doe will produce maximum-size litters for two to three years.
Fertility in female rabbits is a common cause of unwanted litter in the pet industry. The process is not regulated by law but can be accelerated by the adoption process. Many breeders euthanize the babies early to avoid this problem.
The BRC recommends feeding female rabbits a special diet during the first year of their lives. This diet is designed to support the development of a healthy pregnancy. The diet for pregnant doe should be high in hay and a small amount of vitamin-enriched food.

When Do Feline Rabbits Reach Maturity?

When Do Feline Rabbits Reach Maturity?

Are New Zealand Rabbit Does Always Ready to Breed?

New Zealand rabbits are naturally good breeders and are ready to give birth at ages 8 to 12 weeks. They are fertile all year round. A does’ gestation period is 28 to 35 days, and most will kindle at 31 or 32 days. To ensure a successful litter, it is important to take good care of your doe, both as a breeder and as a new mother.
Depending on the breed, you can choose from a variety of colors. Some varieties are white, while others are red. White rabbits are the most common type and tend to have snow-white skin. However, crossbreeding can produce other variations.
In contrast, the FCR of New Zealand rabbits is 4:1, and this ratio is higher than that of beef, which is six to 10. Commercial chicken and fish have FCRs of about 2:1 or 3:1. Red rabbits are generally smaller and have coarser fur.

Are New Zealand Rabbit Does Always Ready to Breed?

Are New Zealand Rabbit Does Always Ready to Breed?

Are Male New Zealand Rabbits the Key to Successful Breeding?

Although rabbits do not have a natural heat cycle, they do have periods when they are more receptive to breeding. The act of breeding stimulates a doe to ovulate, and if the buck doesn’t cooperate, you may need to resort to table breeding, which involves holding the doe while the buck does his thing. However, not all bucks will cooperate, and you will need to stand close to the doe so that she does not attack the buck.
After mating, a doe will ovulate approximately 10 to 13 hours later. A single mating may not be enough to trigger ovulation, so breeders often allow several matings within a 30-minute period. Once the doe has ovulated, the breeder will return her to her cage, and the breeding will stop. The doe’s reproductive life varies by breed, but in general, does are expected to produce litter once every five to six years.
Bucks and doe rabbits have no natural estrous cycles and ovulate after mating. Although domestic rabbits do not experience a regular estrus cycle, they have periods of receptivity every four to 17 days. The most common breeding system is simple pairing, with mating occurring when the doe is receptive. When a female is receptive, she has a congested or purplish vulva. If the doe is not fertilized, the follicles remain active in the ovary for 12 to 16 days.
The New Zealand Rabbit is one of the most popular breeds of rabbits. It is friendly and calm and makes an excellent pet. This breed is also a great option for farmers looking for meat and fur. It does not get sick often and requires little care and space.

Are Male New Zealand Rabbits the Key to Successful Breeding?

Are Male New Zealand Rabbits the Key to Successful Breeding?

Is Neutering the Key to Preventing Uterine Cancer in New Zealand Rabbits?

Research has shown that spaying and neutering rabbits significantly reduces the incidence of uterine cancer. Spaying prevents uterine cancer in 80% of unneutered female rabbits, and the procedure also prevents uterine cancer from spreading. While it was once considered a risky procedure, today, spaying is an easy, safe procedure performed at a veterinarian’s office.
The symptoms of uterine cancer do not become apparent until it has spread to other organs. The disease is curable when caught early, but once it has spread to other organs, the patient will die. The average survival time for a rabbit with uterine cancer is only about 18 months. If the tumor has spread to other organs, treatment is limited to removing the uterus and ovaries.

Is Neutering the Key to Preventing Uterine Cancer in New Zealand Rabbits?

Is Neutering the Key to Preventing Uterine Cancer in New Zealand Rabbits?

What Causes Cannibalism in New Zealand Rabbit Breeders?

While cannibalism is common among humans, it’s rare among rabbits. Although it may provide some nutrition, animals usually don’t practice it. It can also spread disease. Some animals engage in cannibalism during mating or during pregnancy.
Good herd health management incorporates practices to maximize rabbit welfare and health. Many rabbit health problems can be addressed with preventative measures, including biosecurity and sanitation. Good herd health management also evaluates the effectiveness of these strategies to ensure the health and welfare of the rabbits.
Although New Zealand rabbits originated in California, the breed now exists in a variety of colors. While five colors are recognized by the ARBA, crossbreeding produces many other colors. They range in size from ten to twelve pounds and are bred for meat, pelts, and shows.
The Code Development Committee wishes to thank Caroline Ramsay for serving as Code Manager and the members of its Scientific Committee and Research Writer. It would also like to acknowledge the contributions of Joe Abate, Karen Potvin, and Armand Plourde. The committee also appreciates the comments submitted by the public during the public comment period.

What Causes Cannibalism in New Zealand Rabbit Breeders?

What Causes Cannibalism in New Zealand Rabbit Breeders?

Be sure to read our other related stories at BackyardBunnyNews to learn more about raising bunnies and rabbits.