Calculating And Recording the Date Your Doe Will Give Birth
The gestation period of rabbits is 31 days. Bunny Mommas usually give birth right on target at 31 days after breeding, but can often go a few days early or late without problems.
Now that you know which bucks and does to breed together, it is time to consult the calendar. Count forward 28 days. Will you be around to put in a nest box or do you have a substitute that can do it for you? Look at the period 29 to 33 days. Will you be around to welcome the new little ones into the barn? Do you want babies born while you are at a show or when you are having company? I have failed to check the calendar and have lived to regret it. Having babies due when my mom is my substitute is not a good idea. I’ve also have 17 does due on a day I also had company. Not good planning!
Some folks also count ahead even further to see when the litter would be shown as juniors to make sure that there are shows in that timeframe. Moving the date forward or backward a bit might mean having an older junior at your favorite show of the year. Or you may not want a lot of juniors at their prime showing age during your summer break or at Christmas.
Rabbit Breeding Record-Keeping And Labeling
You may think this is backwards, but I think it is best to first write down which rabbits you are breeding, rather than recording it once it is done. I make a list of planned breedings and modify the list as needed. But at least when I get busy in the barn, I have some written records of what was done. I don’t ever want to ask myself, “Now who did I breed her to?”
After I breed a doe, then I put a “bred” magnet on her feeder along with the numbers for the month and day she is due. The due date is something I added to my magnet system after I initially developed it and I love it. Everyday as I feed and care for my bunnies, I am reminded of the upcoming due dates. You may prefer to write your due dates on a calendar either in the house or in the barn or both. Also, I enter breedings in my rabbitry management software.