My Best Tips for New Breeders

My best tips to new breeders, is cull hard and have an outlet for your culls!!! Culling is not always fun, but it’s important to remove the undesirable traits from your herd. When I first started, any of my Dutch that were show marked I kept. I had a lot to learn about body type. After doing a lot of learning I realized I had long, low shoulders and pinched hindquarters in my herd. So now I cull heavily for those traits, but still would like to see a bit more improvement. I currently have a “good” problem in my culling endeavors. Nothing that I have is obvious junk. So it’s time to raise my standards again. For example this doe…

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There’s nothing terribly wrong with her. Her body is decent but her ears are just way too long. I feel my polish are getting a bit racey. Just look at the skis on her!

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Not what I’m looking for. Then I have this doe, her head and ears are much better but her body is crap.

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At one time I would have picked one or the other, but in an effort to cull harder and get to the next level, I’m culling both of them.

It’s also import to have a reliable outlet for culls. Do not expect to sell all your culls as pets. Eventually all your friends that want bunnies will have bunnies from you. This usually only takes one or two litters. After that you might think, “I’ll just place an ad”. Well I’ll tell you, that market is pretty seasonal and if you’re breeding enough to be competitive you’re supply will far surpass the demand. I personally don’t sell pets anymore. After selling several, I got uncomfortable having strangers come to my home after all the Craigslist crimes that were happening. I also regretted selling several of the bunnies when several days later I find out the bunny is already dead. Usually from heat stroke (some people just don’t listen) or I even had one choke on the “rabbit food” they bought at the pet store. Plus $15 was not worth my time. I usually spent several hours educating the new owners. I will sell a pet occiasionally at a rabbit show to responsible people, but I just really don’t like my animals to suffer and that’s what was happening selling them to the public. I decided a long time ago, that a painless death beats a poor quality of life. So the majority of my culls these days end up as snake food (they are humanly eauthanised first). But my main point is to find this outlet before you have tons of culls to get rid of. I stress this point because it takes time and connections to get a reliable outlet. I’ve been raising bunnies for over 5 years and don’t have my own dedicated outlet but through networking with other breeders I’ve got several outlets available to me. However, I know there’s a seniority system in place, so I often have more culls than the open spots available. I need to take a bit of my own advice too… I just looked over my receipts and noticed I’m spending $130 a month on rabbit feed!!!! Holy cow, that’s more than it costs to feed my horse for the month!

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