So, you want to breed your bunny. First let me ask why you want to breed her. Do you want your children to learn about birth? Do you just want to get pet quality babies? Do you want to get showable offspring?
If you want to breed her just so that your children can learn about birth, I would generally say do not. You will have to find homes for the offspring, resulting in your children being upset that "Fluffy" and "Ginger" have to go. If the babies die, how will your children handle it? Also, their normally sweet bunny might get grumpy and not want to be handled while she is pregnant or has babies. She may even begin biting. If you still want to breed her, make sure you have homes for the babies ahead of time. Remember that rabbits often have 6 or more babies per litter. If you have a purebred doe, it is best to breed her to a male of the same breed. It will make it easier to find homes for the offspring. Keep in mind that there is even a chance the rabbit could die due to the pregnancy or birth. There is a condition called pregnancy toxemia where a pregnant doe will die shortly before she is due to give birth. She could also have complications with the birth, and die due to a kit getting stuck.
If you just want babies for yourself, I would highly suggest just buying a new baby bunny from a reputable breeder or adopting one from a rescue. It can save you a lot of trouble, plus then you get to pick out how your rabbit will look and act. When you breed, there are no guarantees that you will get a baby that looks and act the way you want it to. They might not even look anything like the parents.
If you just want pet quality babies, again make sure you have homes already lined up for the babies. Pet shops do not always take good care of their pets, and often times rabbits end up as snake food. If you are okay with that, go ahead and sell to a pet shop, but if you would rather see the babies you raised go to a good home (and who doesn't?), sell direct to a buyer. If the doe is purebred, I recommend breeding to a male of the same breed.
If you are looking to produce show quality babies, there are many more considerations than there were with the first two reasons for breeding. First, is your doe good enough to breed for show quality babies? Does she have a pedigree? If you answered no to either question, it would be better to get a different rabbit to breed. Go to a show and find a reputable breeder who will sell you a pedigreed, show or breeding quality rabbit. If the answers were yes, you are ready to find a boy bunny! If you already have a pedigreed, show or breeding quality buck for your doe, you are set. If not, you will either have to purchase one or find someone who will let you use there buck as a stud. Either way, make sure he is healthy, of good show or breeding quality, and has a pedigree.
You have the doe, you have the buck, and you are ready to breed them. Now what? First check over both rabbits to make sure they are healthy and in good condition. If they are a even a little thin, do not breed them. Breeding is stressful, and a slightly thin rabbit can become dangerously thin from the stress of breeding. Also, make sure the doe is not too fat. If she is, she might not get pregnant or she may have trouble when it comes time to give birth. If all that checks out, see if the doe is ready to breed. Look at the vent area (the "privates"). If it is dark pink or red, she is ready to breed. If not, she will probably not accept the buck.
Now place the doe in the buck's cage. Doing so will keep the doe from being territorial, and it will mean that the buck is in familiar territory so he will be less likely to be shy or nervous. The buck will mount the doe (It may take a while. He may want to sniff her first.), and if the doe is ready to breed she will lift her tail. The buck will fall off and grunt or scream a little when the actual mating has taken place. Likely, the buck will walk a little oddly and will make funny sounds for a while. This is normal.
Some does that are very ready to breed or that are very aggressive will chase and mount the buck. So long as she is not hurting him, do not worry about it. Eventually the buck will make it on top, and he will do his job.
If the doe is not ready to breed, take her out of the cage and try again later. Sometimes all it takes for her to be ready is one day.
If the mating was successfull, the doe will have babies in 28 to 32 days. Make sure to mark your calander. DO NOT RELY ON MEMORY. The nestbox should go in by the 26th to the 28th day.
Authour: Sarah Giers