View Full Version : A question on breeding

10-05-2006, 09:49 AM
I'm thinking about letting my Flemish giant have a litter before she is neutered and I’d be very grateful for your thoughts, good and bad. I have been told that she is a rare colour and would have very pretty babies paired with the right male, :D but i also understand that there are a great deal off homeless bunnies too :cry: . Please help i would love her to have babies and i would probably end up keeping most of them myself but i don't want it to be selfish act on my behalf. :?

10-05-2006, 09:51 AM
The thing with breeding is that even if you kept all the babies, that's still homes you could have offered to rescues.
I think most people here are pro-rescuing but there are some breeders which will hopefully be able to give you some advice.
However, remember that when breeding you should breed for health and temperament, not looks. If you go ahead, make sure you go for a male which has had its and its ancestor's health monitored and given the all clear from any problems that could pass down, especially as Giants have shorter lifespans than other buns and are more prone to joint problems because of their size

10-05-2006, 09:54 AM
I wouldn't do it. Like you say, you know there are lots of homeless bunnies out there, so if you have room for more why not adopt another one or two from a rescue, rather than having a litter and keeping some.

There isn't any advantage for her in "letting" her have a litter, and I would personally strongly advise you to get her speyed and then get her a companion so she has company.

10-05-2006, 10:20 AM
Breeding rabbits is far from simple (most people assume it's quite easy). You should be prepared for possible nasties like cannibalism, stillborn babies etc. Also, have you considered the potential cost of keeping around 10 baby bunnies? That's 10 spays/castrations, 10 lots of vaccines every year, 10 lots of vets bills/insurance, 10 lots of food, hay and bedding, 10 lots of decent -sized accommodation... :?

I have two dwarf lops and they are both absolutely beautiful - I used to think they'd have beautiful babies and that I'd love to breed from them. However there are just so many reasons not to I just couldn't justify it. Now I'm glad they're both neutered and happy living with me! :)


10-05-2006, 10:25 AM
I think if you're serious about breeding and the reasons above haven't put you off, you'd be best contacting your breed club and finding a "mentor". You need to know the lines of both parents and their healthand temperament (and the health and temperament of all their relatives) or it'd be irresponsible to breed them. You also have to know that should any home fall through at any point in the babies' lives, that you have space and finances to take them back.

10-05-2006, 10:30 AM
I think you need to consider these points:
Do you intend to keep the offspring? Taking into account the finacial implications of another, say, 6-8 rabbits? That would mean another 6-8 Myxo Vaccs, 6-8 VHD Vaccs, Foodstuff, accomodation for that many BIG rabbits. Neutering to prevent further litters........etc etc
If you do not keep the babies how will you go about re- homing them?

As Karly says breeding for health not looks is ESSENTIAL. You would need to do some research into the genetics of your chosen breed, maybe speaking with an established REPUTABLE breeder.

I am personally against the breeding of rabbits. There are just too many unwanted buns stuck in rescues and I see no benefits from adding to the Rabbit population by deliberate breeding.

If you do decide to breed I hope you will do lots of research FIRST. Not only about the breeding but about the care of any off-spring and how you would go about finding GOOD homes for them.
Best wishes :D

10-05-2006, 10:47 AM
Or stick around this forum for a while. A year ago, i would've loved baby buns, but having been on here since Oct, there's no way I'd breed now.

Initially the thought of 12 buns would have put me off - but I seem to have ended up with that many anyway (Rescues/free ad buns - 11 of them neutered!!)

10-05-2006, 11:04 AM
I think if you're serious about breeding and the reasons above haven't put you off, you'd be best contacting your breed club and finding a "mentor". You need to know the lines of both parents and their healthand temperament (and the health and temperament of all their relatives) or it'd be irresponsible to breed them. You also have to know that should any home fall through at any point in the babies' lives, that you have space and finances to take them back.

Good points! I'd like to add a few things. Several of the breeders I know on another forum were discussion how to choose breedings. Their advice was to only breed if you were absolutely sure you could find good homes, you could afford the vet bills, the parents were healthy/good lineage/good personality, and the breeding would improve the breed in some way. Better body type, fixing a particular trait, etc. And they consider this for each and every time they breed their rabbits.

There's so many problems that could come up that I wouldn't recommend it.

10-05-2006, 11:24 AM
Another problem you must consider, is the loss of your existing doe.

I used to breed netherland dwarfs for show a couple of years ago.
I lost 3 does due to kindling problems (having to have them pts, mid-labour). It was gutting enough having to lose them..but to lose them because I decided I wanted them to have babies means I will always live with that guilt now :(

Breeding is certainly nothing to be taken lightly. You are risking your existing doe, not only from kindling problems, but also vents disease (which I did come across too)...so screening the buck is vital! However, some breeders do cover this up by treating with penicillin..which doesnt cure, but masks the symptoms! It's immediately passed onto your doe and any babies produced. This cannot be cured.

Then there's rehoming the few healthy babies you might have. I had some horrible experiences of people visiting my home to view/collect babies. You have to be tough who you're going to rehome to. Some people might not be happy with your views.
Are you happy having strangers come over to your house and handle your babies/pets?
Some people think it's a day out and bring the whole family, and make themselves feel very much at home! :? :x

I could go on and on, as I've had first hand experience. I'm don't mind sharing my experiences at all (as upsetting as they still are).

I'm perfectly..in fact more happy than i've ever been keeping my pets/rescues :D
I spend my time providing them the best lifes and care possible...and I've never been happier :D

10-05-2006, 11:25 AM
I have been told that she is a rare colour and would have very pretty babies paired with the right male

Who told you that? Colour has a lot to do with genetic history, just because she's pretty doesn't mean she won't have a litter full of normal coloured babies.

There is a risk to the doe with any pregnancy - I think that's something a lot of pet owners forget. Neutering has a small risk and big health benefits. It depends whether you think that having babies out weighs the risk to the mother.

10-05-2006, 11:44 AM
A short and sweet answer............... :roll:

NO :!:

Just don't do it. if you have room for up to 10 babies, do yourself and your bun a favor, ADOPT.

10-05-2006, 11:51 AM
from my signature you'll see I run a rehoming centre....so the answer is do not breed......visit your nearest rescue, look at all the desperately in need of a loving home rabbits, and then ask yourself why you want to add to the bunny population......if you want another rabbit adopt a rescue one.

10-05-2006, 11:57 AM
I breed, I'd say no. Can you handle the possible death of your doe or the babies? It's terribly painful for both you and the doe if the babies die.
Also flemish rabbits don't sell well. I've seen tonnes of people selling them, then giving them away as they don't sell, they'll need special homes.

If you are serious about it, read up as much as you can about it. If you are going to keep the babies bear in mind flemish are giants and can have up to 12 babies!!!! If not more. I can understand you're being sensible by saying you'll keep them etc and chances are you had no intention of taking on other rabbits anyway so would not be taking up spaces that you could be devoting to rescues.

It's an amasing thing to witness new life and how it grows, but can also result in awful heartache. If you're serious, don't be put off, but be aware of what can go wrong. PM me if you need any advice or have any questions :)

10-05-2006, 12:40 PM
The loss of the doe is something I didn't comment on because my small experience is with rats, not rabbits. However, it's a very valid point.

I mated up a rat doe following ALL the rules and doing my research - I had a mentor, I thought I had good knowledge of the lines (as did the mentor), etc. We lost Rosie after an emergency section - she had a genetic problem that only showed itself when she was opened up, and her body didn't cope with the anaesthetic. She had two babies inside her that were deformed. Some of her babies survived past her death, but died without her as there was no surrogate mum for them and they didn't take to handrearing. It was one of the most devastating experiences we've ever been through, and it was MY responsibility. I have to live with that, and believe me it's not a choice I'd make again (obviously that was our first and last attempt at breeding).

10-05-2006, 01:07 PM
Thank you so much for all of your replies.

i think that you have confirmed what my head has been telling me all along - not to do it.
It was the breeder who originally suggested it to me she has a long history of all her Flemish giants, and informed me of her colour. She also said she would be able to get me a buck to mate her with.
To be honest i had only just started thinking about it has she is still to young at the moment. I wanted to know what you guys thought as you seem to know your stuff :D I knew there was a risk but not to the extend of death, I’d hate that - she’s may baby!
I think that i will get her to the vets and go find a little giant boy to re-home instead.

Thank you for your help and convincing me not to make a big mistake.


10-05-2006, 01:42 PM
Can we have a piccie of your big girlie please!! :D :D


10-05-2006, 02:29 PM
Here she is at 18 weeks which was back at Easter. you can't really tell in this picture but now shes getting older (currently 22 weeks)she has more orange in the fur.

10-05-2006, 02:31 PM
AWWW!! She's so gorgeous!! And well done for going to a breeder and not a pet shop. :) Glad to hear you'll be getting her spayed and then pairing her up with a castrated male - she'll be a lovely spolit big bunny by the sounds of things! :D

Once again welcome to the forum! :wave:


10-05-2006, 02:48 PM
awwww! look at those ears! :love: what a lovely bunny! :D

10-05-2006, 03:08 PM
What a STUNNER!! :D :D
I am sure you will find a lovely Rescue Bun as a friend for her if you feel able to take on another Bun.

10-05-2006, 04:04 PM
she is gorgeous!

10-05-2006, 06:13 PM
Beautiful! It's those big ears :love: