Oct. Mini Plush Lop Breeding Has Begun!
Updated: Aug 10, 2018
If you want a litter of rabbits ready to go home in October, it means you have to start breeding in August! You definitely have to plan ahead when your a breeder. I've had my fair share of miscalculations and ended up with really early or really late babies...I've learned from my mistakes and haven't had any oopsies in a while!
Sometimes in all the chaos of taking care of dozens of rabbits, I would misplace my notebook where I kept all my breeding notes and rabbit pairing list. If I didn't loose it, somehow a rabbit would manage to snag it through the wire or it would end up wet. To save myself some grief, I created a breeding chart template and clipped it to a clipboard. This has been a life savor and something I'm not sure how I managed to live without for so long.
It may be a bit non-traditional, but I breed my rabbits for 8 days straight. There are many reasons and theories as to why, but it seems to work really well for me - and when you have a waiting list for Mini Plush Lops, there is no room for error! Below is a photo of my breeding chart.
I usually spend a lot of time in the rabbit house the day before I plan to start the breeding marathon. I look over the results of past litters and contemplate doing the same pairings that turned out well last time or switch it up to see the outcome of another combination. With Mini Plush Lops especially, I am always so indecisive because I feel a lot of pressure to make the very best decision - the breed depends on it! I'm always excited when a young doe I have kept from a previous litter is finally old enough for her first breeding. I always pair the new girls up with the boys first so I can make sure they get the best pairing possible. I have far more doe's than bucks, so I can really only pair a buck with 2 girls. This allows me to do a breeding to a single buck in the morning and another breeding with a different doe in the evening.
I have noticed that Mini Plush Lops tend to be a lot more finicky when it comes to successful breeding than any of the other breed I have. Sometimes they do not take, if they take I feel they often absorb a litter a few weeks later. Then, if they do give birth, because they do carry the dwarf gene, they often times end up with peanuts in the litter that don't make it. Then, if I'm lucky enough to have some that survive, I dont get my hopes up until their about 3 weeks old. Then I know they are probably out of the woods.
If I breed a Holland, English Angora or Lionhead it always seem to go smoothly and I can depend on the moms to be decent parents. But, that's not so for the Mini Plush Lops. Lucky for them, they are too beautiful and sweet to give up - so on goes the October breeding!