Stock should be mated until full maturity at 8 10 months old, and mating should be avoided while rabbits are heavily in moult.
A doe should always be clipped just prior to mating as this will mean the coat is just the right length to line her nest. If the coat is too long babies can become entwined in it and be either damaged or strangled.
If the doe is reluctant to mate remove her and try again the next day. Record the day of mating so that the approximate day the litter is due is known. Gestation is 31 or 32 days but it can be a day earlier or a few days later.
The best time to breed is during late winter to early summer, this ensures a nice thick coat and short ears on the youngsters. The summer heat can make the coat thin and limp and the ears long and droopy.
Feed the doe normally until the 21st day after mating then increase the ration during the last ten days. However, the doe might go off her food completely during the last week or so but give her titbits of things she likes to tempt her i.e digestive or rich tea biscuits, greens etc.
About 4 days before the date due for kindling, clean out the hutch and give plenty of soft straw and hay for nesting material. When the doe has kindled, remove her from the hutch and quickly examine the nest removing any dead, mutilated or mis-marked babies before returning the doe to the hutch.
If all appears well leave them alone until the 4th or 5th day. It is absolutely necessary to reduce the size of the litter in order and maintain quality stock with good size and coats.
For exhibition purposes the doe should not be allowed to rear more than 2 3 babies in a litter. Babies are weaned at 8 9 weeks old by removing the doe, leaving the babies in the hutch to which they are accustomed.
The coloured angoras have been carefully bred over many years so they should not be mixed indiscriminately when breeding, other wise all work on maintaining good solid colour will be ruined.
If your need to mix colours due to in breeding or lack of stock, then seek advice from a reputable breeder as some colours can be crossed, others definitely cannot.
Do not mix imported stock with English angoras, as it will spoil many years work put in by dedicated people to keep the standard high, and the quality good.
Any stock purchased from abroad should be bred amongst themselves, as they will be also to a different standard from our own English angora.