The couple came on time and immediately picked up Nebula and fell completely in love with her (easy to do because she's adorable and snuggly). After some discussion I was persuaded to let her go early. I do know some other breeders remove kits at four weeks and just accept higher loss percentages. This particular couple has experience rearing orphaned kits, so I felt fairly confident with letting Nebula go. Her name will now be Pebbles. Congratulations on your new home Nebula/Pebbles!
Next breeding date is in 16 days. Gretchen and Fern are on the schedule. This squeezes Fern real close between weaning one litter and breeding for another, but from here on out the schedule allows roughly 11 days between weaning and rebreeding for each of the does. Keeping in mind that rabbits really don't stress at all being pregnant. The real stress to a doe is in nursing a litter. Show breeders have been known to breed their best rabbits and then foster them off to a less-valuable doe to nurse and raise. This will keep their show rabbits in better condition longer. And then there are the colony breeders that keep does and bucks together all the time to breed constantly. The turn over I'm told is pretty high. Meaning does don't last very long as breeders when they don't get a break from breeding and nursing constantly. But on the other hand, leaving too much time between litters could reduce overall fertility. Rabbits don't really have a long breeding life anyway, and after a couple years their litters start to dwindle. Or at least that's what I've been told. Elizabeth was full grown when we got her, and she had five kits in her litter last year, and ten in the litter this year... So I'm not entirely sure I'm buying the "production falls off" story just yet. Penelope had a litter of 10 in 2015, a litter of 8 followed by a litter of 9 in 2016, and a litter of 6 this spring. We shall see how many she has next month as she was bred back again, this time to Fabio.