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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Who to breed?

All my does are coming off their R&R breaks.  They've raised their litters, they've had time to recover and be baby free- so now my thoughts are turning to who to breed.

I try not to breed too many at a time- I'll have to prioritize the does (who is hardest to get bred, getting older, the nicest animal, etc).  Are any of the does first timers? If so, I like to pair them with proven does to have the chance of fostering off a litter if the newbie doesn't want to care for her babies.

Type is a big consideration when planning my match-ups- not only do I want to "fix faults", I also want to strengthen existing attributes.  Sometimes it is a toss up between "Do I make this pairing to make the head really big, realizing that both have slightly longer ears, or do I fix the ears, but possibly lose some head mass" (or whatever the case may be).

Lines are also something I like to keep in mind- while I love to line breed, I want to make sure that I don't make my lines too tight.  Remember- line breeding brings out the best AND the worst in your line.

Finally, I consider show schedules.  Do any of the does I want to breed need a granding leg? Is there a big show coming up where I'd really like for one of them to strut her fluff on the table?  How long will the does be unavailable if I breed them now?

There is so much more that goes in to breeding than just putting this rabbit with that rabbit and waiting on babies.  It definitely takes me several days of planning before the bucks ever get to go on dates with the ladies of Keep's Rabbitry.


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