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Litter Size in Dutch


by Kevin Hooper

I recently received an e-mail from a newer breeder of Dutch. He was looking at getting some additional breeding stock. While sharing some information, he stated that his Dutch normally had TEN bunnies per litter, with some hitting thirteen! I bring this up as this seems very high. How many do most of your Dutch have in a litter?
My Dutch does average 5.5-5.7 per litter. I do occasionally get litters of nine. Shortly after talking to this new breeder, I was surprised to have a litter of ten. That was the largest litter in three years. Surprisingly, that was followed by another litter of ten, and a litter of eleven! These litters were in three different colors, out of three different bucks, which basically means they were three different lines!
Now, I don't think I am doing anything different. I am feeding the same feed and same water for the last year. The only thing that the does seem to have in common was that they were all three on their second litters. I only take the doe to the buck once. I do often get litters of three and four, but also of five, six and seven. I know they say that by taking the doe back to the buck an hour after the first mating, you can increase litter size. By averaging 5.6, that is plenty for a Dutch doe to raise, so I only breed them once.

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