It is recommended that if you want to breed Mini Lop rabbits successfully, you should leave it to professional breeders. There are a number of reasons for this. Rabbits are born in large litters so a lot of space is required to care for them unless you already have a market for them. Also, young rabbits grow very fast and are sexually active after eight weeks, so the process continues relentlessly.
However, if you plan to breed them yourself, choose a female older than six months and use a slightly younger unrelated male. Check the bottom of their cages for evidence of diarrhea and also check the genitals for redness and swelling. Select rabbits that have a good record of reproductive productivity and strong genes, and keep strict breeding records in order to show the animals in the future. One dollar to ten females is sufficient for breeding and the male can be raised seven times a week. Only rabbits of the same breed should be raised together and the breed should be pure, going back four generations. Take the doe to the male. The breeding pair should not stay together after copulation has taken place, as the male may continue to bother the female afterward, which could lead to fighting and injury to the female. However, for a higher chance of pregnancy and a larger number of kittens, the female can be put back with the male for 1 to 12 hours after the initial copulation.
The female should be checked to see if she is pregnant 10-14 days after initial reproduction. This can be done by feeling under the doe for growths the size of small marbles. You should place the nest box next to the female 29 days after mating. The gestation period is around 31 days. Baby rabbits or kittens are born completely hairless with their eyes closed and the litter is usually between 4 and 10. Kittens should not be touched during the first week, as the female can kill them. After three months, rabbits should be kept in individual cages as they mature more quickly.
The female can be reared at 6 weeks and the kittens should be weaned between 5-7 weeks. Small breeds like Mini Lop produce around 14 kittens a year. The female’s reproductive cycle can continue until she is around 4 years old. Conceptions should be reviewed every trimester to determine which animals are reproducing and which are not. Many do not conceive from October to December during the molt. The lights in the rabbit corridor will help with this. Also, the male produces less sperm during the particularly hot summer months.
The Mini Lop rabbit’s ears are erect when hatched, but will drop over time. There are a variety of different colors in this breed, some examples are: chocolate, blue otter, cinnamon agouti, agouti, white and black butterfly, and tawny and white butterfly.
Strive to maintain a good standard by obtaining the ARBA Standard of Perfection Booklet to find out exactly what is expected of the breed.