Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

Pregnant, nursing, and infant rabbits require very special care. This category is for all questions about rabbit breeding, pregnancy, birth, fertility, mating habits, and the care and behavior of pregnant rabbits and their nursing babies.

2,786 Questions
Farm Animals
Rabbits and Hares
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

How many times can a buck rabbit breed in a day?

Three or Four.

Care of Rabbits
Rabbits and Hares
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

How often do bunnies have babies?

As often as they are bred. It takes approx. 30 days to have babies and a doe CAN be rebred the same day she kindles. (This is not a good practice besides having tons of babies it will shorten the life of your doe.) A more realistic breeding program is breed doe, kindle in 30 days, start weaning babies at 6 weeks, rebreed doe between 7th and 8th week. Wean all babies by 8th week and the doe will have babies again 30 days from the day you bred her.

Care of Rabbits
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

What time of day do you want to breed rabbits?

Rabbits tend to be the most active when it gets dark out. We have always had the most success by breeding our rabbits during the evening hours.

Care of Rabbits
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

How long does it take for a rabbit to give birth after she has started nesting?

A rabbit will start to build a nest at 26 to 27 days after conception. They will give birth at 28 to 31 days after conception. So be sure you put a nest box in by the 25 to 26th day.

Care of Rabbits
Rabbits and Hares
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

Do wild rabbits breed with domestic rabbits?

No you cannot breed an American wild rabbit with a domestic rabbit.

American wild rabbit Genus: Sylvilagus (species name varies)

Domestic rabbit Genus and species: Oryctolagus cuniculus \

EUROPEAN wild rabbit Genus and species: Oryctolagus cuniculus / Notice anything?

As you can see above the American wild rabbit is not of the same genus so it is impossible for them to breed.

Care of Rabbits
Rabbits and Hares
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

Do rabbits kill their young?

Some does will by accident and on purpose. First time mothers may not build an adequate nest, or simply don't use the nest, and the kits may die of exposure. Some mothers will abandon their litters and again the kits will die from exposure or starvation. And yet other mothers may eat their young. This may happen for various reason as well, but the most common is because the doe is not getting enough nutrients and must eat the kits to stay healthy.

Blood Types
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

How soon after giving birth can you become pregnant?

You can pregnant as soon as you ovulate. Some women ovulate four to six weeks after delivery. Others (particularly breast feeding moms) may have their first ovulation much later. How can you tell if you've ovulated? If you have a period. Unfortunately, this is not a good way to predict when you will need contraception. To avoid pregnancy soon after birth: 1. Avoid sexual intercourse for 6 weeks after delivery. This will also allow the uterus to involute properly, the vaginal tissues to heal, and decrease the risk of a uterine infection. 2. Discuss contraception with your doctor before you leave the hospital. If you plan to go on the pill, a prescription can be given to you at this time and you can start it at the appropriate time. If you plan to use depoprovera or get an IUD, let your doctor know so he or she can discuss timing with you. 3. DO NOT DEPEND on breast feeding for contraception. Unless you are breast feeding around the clock without supplementation, you probably won't get a protective effect. Even then, you can still ovulate and conceive at any time. 4. Use condoms if there's any possibility of conceiving.

Care of Rabbits
Rabbits and Hares
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

Can you give cow milk to your new born rabbit?

No, the fat content is too low. Why are you feeding a new born rabbit, that is it's mother's job. Did she die during the kindling process or abandon her babies? You can get kitten replacer milk at pet stores and feed stores OR feed canned goat milk.

Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

Why does the gland below the jaw swell when eating solid food?

You give very little detail so I cannot be certain what is happening here. Oral Health is a very important matter and should not be ignored. Infections of the mouth and gums can cause severe complications, so consult a professional. There are Salivary glands under your jaw with openings into the mouth. These openings need to be kept clear to allow the passage of saliva into the oral cavity. Smelling and eating food stimulates the production of saliva which contains enzymes to digest food in the mouth. The glands are at their maximum output during eating. Should the openings of these glands be blocked or damaged by infection in the mouth, the Saliva will build up in the gland causing it to swell, if only temporarily. Get your Oral Health checked out and maintain a good Oral hygiene regime. You may have an infection which could spread into the glands causing more prolonged swelling and pain. Chlorhexidine Gluconate Mouthwash is very good for clearing up most infections. If you prefer a Herbal mouthwash, try One drop of Tea Tree or Thyme Essential oil whisked into a glass of warm water and use to garle too. You may have a stone in one of the ducts of your salivary gland. You need to see your doctor to have it evaluated. Sometimes you can pass the stone yourself, if not, you'll need to see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. The buildup of saliva could possibly cause an infection due to bacteria multiplying. Try sucking on lemon drops and/or sweet tarts to build up the pressure and see if you can force anything out of the gland. You still need to see a doctor.

Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

How old do baby rabbits have to be before you handle them?

Baby rabbits should be checked as soon as they are born to make sure that there were no dead babies born in the litter. The dead ones should be removed immediately. Then the babies (kits) should be checked briefly every day to make sure they are all alive and their nest is dry and clean. When they are about 10 days old they will start popping up out of the nesting material to see what is going on because their eyes will now be open. At about 2 weeks you can start holding them for a few minutes of time, this will get them used to you and tame them down if you are planning on selling them as pets. When you go to check your newborn babies or hold them when they are older make sure your hands are clean and don't smell like soap, lotion, dogs or cats. This might offend the mothers sense of smell and cause her to abandon them. But if you use common sense and clean dry hands it is safe to check them once a day.

Child Health
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

Is it harmful for babies to eat lavender?

Yes its poisonous

Care of Rabbits
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

How many babies do bunnies have at one time?

It depends greatly on several factors, but the #1 factor is size.

1-16 babies per litter:

Dwarf breeds: 1-4.

Small breeds: 3-6.

medium breeds: 5-9.

Giant breeds:7-15 or (rarely) more.

Older rabbits and first time mothers have fewer kits. Also, overweight and sick rabbits will have smaller litters

Care of Rabbits
Rabbits and Hares
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

How can you tell if your pet rabbit is pregnant?

If you hover over a rabbit (who is not obese and gets out of its cage a lot) then you'll find that a rabbit is more pear shaped. If you look at the belly and it comes out more rounder, then there is a possibility your rabbit could be pregnant. I'm sure there are other ways to tell but my bunny has never been pregnant. You may also find that your rabbit is more protective of her stomach, when you put your hand down to touch her. If you want to know ahead of time or find out more so you're prepared, I would suggest maybe going to the vet.

If you can, very carefully feel the rabbit's stomach area. If you feel lumps they might be babies. Also, the doe will become a bit more feisty and aggressive but that is normal. A doe will be pregnant for 31 days tops. and towards the end of the pregnancy, the doe will pull loose fur from her stomach to create a nest. Try to keep the male away from the female if she is pregnant.

she will start drinking and eating alot more she will also start making a nest and start ripping her fur out to make her nest warm and soft for the baby bunny's she also might start getting a little bit grumpy. animals are just like humans the mummy bunny will kinda act like a human mummy hope i helped you oh and if your bunny is doing all of this the best thing to do is to feed her and give her time to herself. and if the male is still in the cage with her get him out of there. it will be a blood bath

There is no guaranteed way of telling. Palpating (feeling for young) is not 100% reliable. Does may kindle (give birth) anywhere from 28-34 days after breeding. The average is 31. You may re-breed her if she does not kindle by the 35th day. In the mean time, give her peace and quiet, and check on her nestbox morning and night. If she starts to build a nest on the floor, pick it up and place it in a hollow at the back of the nest box. That will dicourage her from birthing her kits on the wire. If you see her in the nest box, do not come near her cage. Check again in half an hour. If the doe is in the nest with kits and you try to check, she may squash them by accident. A normal birth only takes about fifteen minutes, but some does will be in labour for more than twelve hours. When she kindles, quietly and calmly check the kits to ensure that there are not dead babies or birthing debris. If she births her litter on the floor, SHE WILL NOT MOVE THEM. Rabbits do not pick up their kits for ANY reason. Pick up any that are alive, warm them up, and place them in the box, She will find them. The same can be done for any kits that are found outside the box within the first few weeks. Warm newborns by dipping their bodies (don't submerse their heads!!!) in warm water and then drying them; Warm older kits with hot water bottles and warm hands- don't get their fur wet. If She will not kill the kits if you touch them, though she may try to bite you. A few greens placed well away from the nest box will distract her long enough for you to check. Don't startle her. Check on them daily to ensure that they are alive, warm, and have full stomachs. It is quite common to lose one or two, so don't be discouraged. If the doe loses her litter, you may rebreed her four days after the litter was born- no matter if she loses them on the first or fourth day. Before you re-breed her, check that she is in condition. If she is underweight, wait to breed her again. NEVER re-breed a doe mid-way through her pregnancy. Many people will tell you that if the doe does not refuse the buck, she was not pregnant, but this is NOT true. Rabbits have two uteres horns, and sometimes they will only get pregnant in one. A re-bred doe may find herself carrying two different litters of completely different ages. The second litter may die after the first one is born, and that decomposition will kill the doe.
When a rabbit is pregnant she will increase the amount of water that she drinks. also, after about two or three weeks, you can flip your rabbit over on her back and hold her like you would a baby. then place your fingers on her stomach closer to her back legs. apply a small amount of pressure and rub. if she is pregnant you will feel small round balls.
We had bunnies before. If you put them all in the same cage, they make many babies very quickly. My mom says that bunnies are always pregnant, and I believe her. But you have to watch out because sometimes, bunnies like to eat baby bunnies. I don't know why, because when they're small, there's hardly any meat on their bones. I would rather eat a full grown bunny than a little tiny baby bunny.

Care of Rabbits
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

Can a regular bunny and a dwarf bunny have babies?

Yes, you can breed any breed of rabbit to any other breed, but it is not recommended. If you plan on cross breeding, always ensure the doe is bigger than the buck, or that they are about the same size. A very large buck bred to a dwarf doe can lead to large kits which the doe may have trouble kindling and can result in the kits or the mother dying.

Care of Rabbits
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

Can you give your pet rabbit a bath?

No, you shouldn't give your rabbit a bath. See the links below for more information.

Healthy rabbits bathe themselves, although you should brush them regularly so that they don't consume a lot of fur (fur balls can be deadly for rabbits). If your rabbit needs a bath, something is wrong! You should find out what's wrong and treat it, otherwise the problem will return. Bring your bunny to a vet who has experience and knowledge in rabbits.

If you wash the rabbit/bunny, it could get very sick and can cause disabilities or death. Bathing a bunny can be dangerous! Risks include:

  • You can upset and stress her, causing her to panic and injure herself or go into shock
  • Soaps and shampoos can irritate her skin, leading to infection
  • Water in the ears can lead to infection
  • The fur will take a long time to dry, which could lead to hypothermia in cold/windy weather
  • You can burn her skin with a hair dryer

If bathing is necessary, treat the cause:

If the problem is environmental (the rabbit got into something), put up some defences and make sure it doesn't happen again. You have to control your bunny's environment with rabbit proofing. (See below for related link.)

If the rabbit is making its own mess (poor grooming, diarrhoea, etc.) or you don't know where the mess came from, bring him/her to a rabbit-savvy vet.

Try a dry spot-bath first. This involves rubbing unscented baby cornstarch powder into the messy area and working out the messy bits. (Read more in the related link below, "Bunny Butt Bath.") Do not use commercial dry pet baths or leave-in cleansers/conditioners, or baby powder or anything with talc.

Try wet spot-bathing extremely dirty areas next (feet, scut, etc.). If you use a hair dryer, use it on low heat so you don't overheat the bunny, and keep it at least 12 inches from her body. Don't use it on her head, ears or privates.

For serious messes: In these cases, do it in a small sink in warm water, so long as the tap isn't in the way (this could easily cause an injury if the rabbit panics). Or you can use a baby bath or something similar. A regular bathtub is not a good idea: the large size and slippery surface can panic a rabbit, and the tall sides prevent you from holding the rabbit securely. DO NOT EVER immerse the entire bunny in water; the water level should never be higher than belly level. Instead, let bunny stand on hind feet while you support her upper body from the front. Slowly let her put all four paws into water. Use a cup to soak and rinse body. Rinse thoroughly. This information came from the related link below.

The hair dryer can also be dangerous: it can burn the rabbit, stress your bunny out and put her into shock. Towel drying your rabbit is much preferred to a hair dryer.

Make sure you rinse all the shampoo out of your rabbit's coat and dry it thoroughly before returning it to its cage. This is an excellent opportunity to cuddle. Do not use shampoo meant for humans: even baby shampoo can harm a rabbit's sensitive skin! Use only good quality shampoos made for rabbits or, failing that, cats. Oatmeal shampoos can be good. Look for natural ingredients. (See related link "Rabbit Butt Bath" below.)

Flea baths are not necessary unless your rabbit has been outside in an infected area or around other animals with fleas. If a flea bath is necessary, it should be administered by a vet.Some products that are safe for cats and dogs are toxic to rabbits, so you shouldn't just buy something from the store and use it on your bunny.

More Answers

Some rabbits are fine with baths, but others can die hours after a first bath because it's so traumatic for them.

If your rabbit is a bit stinky, try cleaning his cage more often. The problem could also be medical (as discussed above).

Some rabbits enjoy baths, especially on hot days, and they don't have any problems with them. The key, as always, is to know your rabbit.

you can, but you need a special shampoo that you get from the vet. my experince: bunny lost her hair but then got the special bunny shampoo and she did not lose any more hair. my bunny grew back the lost hair too.

yes you can give a bunny a bath but you have to have special soap it cost about $25 and if you dont have that kind of money to spend on bunny saop then you can just rinse the bunny with some soap but you have to dry off the bunny off really good or it can die from the coldness

Only bathe a Rabbit that cannot bathe itself.

You can bathe your bunny by using baby bath or cat or puppy wash. You must make sure that all soap is rinsed out VERY well. Do not put bunny outside until you are sure it is completely DRY. You must always hold the bunny's head above water and don't get soap in its eyes or ears.

yes, you can give a bunny a bath. But if your talking about giving a baby, or young bunny a bath, then no. I suggest giving an adult bunny one. The best place to bathe a bunny is probably a laundry sink. Use a small hose connected to the sinks's spout. Then use some rabbit shampoo if that exists, or you can try using some gentle dog shampoo. Then, thouroly dry them with a soft thin towel, or a small blowdryer set on low.

If you have a really calm and good natured bunny it is okay. My bunny is really calm, but this is what I did: I just got a washo cloth wet and wiped her down with that. Then (this is the most imortanat part) you have to rub her down with a towel to get some of the wetness off. Then, you a haird dryer (ON LOW, COOL HEAT) and get the bunny completely dry. Actyally to be honest, it's not really necesary to give the bunny a bath unless he/she is super dirty. in fact, i would not recommend it.

Yes it helps to get all of the loose fur off of them and it makes them more comfortable. Just make sure you have a warm place to put them while their fur dries. Don't use a blow dryer because it can dry out their skin and cause them to scratch it open.


Yes they can get baths but you have to be carefully they go crazy. Remove evrything you have on your bath tub. Also buy them shampoo at the PETSTORE not your shampoo because if it gets into their eyes it could really burn because they don't have any tear duks. At the PETSTORE ask them for bunny shampoo and they will give you a bottle with a bunny on it , and it has to say "Safe for Rabbit/Bunny" and you are good to go.

Yes you can give rabbits baths. You just have to make sure the water is not too cold or too warm. Also, you have to make sure you dry them decently.


no you can't

No.. you cannot bath them as you would do to a dog. They are very sensitive like cats. Most bunnys hate water, like cats. I know my bunny is terrified of water. It is no use to bathe them they clean themselves by grooming. They are one of the most cleanest house pets i could imagine, right below a cat.

i would not bath rabbits in winter and i would not bath them as they bathe them self :)

Yes but you really don't have to because rabbits bathe themselves.

No. They lick themselves and get clean.

NO!!! never give a rabbit a bath!! if u do the rabbits fer will

get re-ct and mess itself up because of the wet water and sope

[hope this helps] =]
I don't think you do, but if they do sorry about that.
Yes you can bath bunnies, you should bath them at least once a month and it's very simple to bath bunnies but you have got to be careful that no water or shampoo gets in their eyes if this does happen they will show their teeth as this is a sign of anger and they will soon calm down after being stroked and talked to off a familiar face/scent.

Care of Rabbits
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

Can rabbits determined their siblings and not try to breed?

No, at 12 to 16 weeks of age commercial rabbit breeds enter "puberty" and can become sexually active. It is not uncommon for siblings who are not sorted by gender by this time to breed and it can result in offspring. However, regardless of gender, rabbits will mount each other to display dominance.

Care of Rabbits
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

How old are bunnies before they can reproduce?

Small breeds (such as dwarfs, holland lops, mini rex, etc) become sexually mature between 4-6 months.

Medium breeds (such as most meat breeds) between 6-8 months.

Giant breeds (such as flemish giants, checkered giants, etc) between 8-10 months.

Rabbits and Hares
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

What is the term for a baby rabbit?

A single baby rabbit is called a "kit", several are "kits". "Kit" is short for "kitten"

Animal Behavior
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

Does the male animal mate with a female then mate again with another female?

In animals that live in groups, a single dominant male will often lead the group and mate with all the females, polygamously. The male's instinctive role is to spread its seed, its own specific DNA, as much as it possibly can to keep it's DNA chain going. In other animals, mating is less restrictive within a group. And there are some animals that mate only with a single partner with whom they are paired for life.

In some pair bonds, the male leaves the female after the cub is born or matured.

Care of Rabbits
Rabbits and Hares
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

Can a baby rabbit be 9 weeks old?

Rabbits aren't adults until they're one year old. A 9-week-old rabbit is still a baby (although some people might use the word "juvenile" instead of "baby"). A 9-week-old rabbit should still be eating a baby rabbit's diet of unlimited pellets and hay only -- no fruits or vegetables yet!

Care of Rabbits
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

When do rabbits stop nursing?

Kits nurse for about 6 to 8 weeks. My doe let me know when she was ready to leave her kits. You can see she tolerates their size and relentless attempts until she is certain they are ready to be fully weaned. Although I knew they were weaned, I still put the mother in with the kits daily. She helped to orient them to litter training and proper socialization. Be certain to keep hay and water available at all times so that as the kits are able, they may begin to eat and drink as an adult.

Care of Rabbits
Rabbits and Hares
The Difference Between
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

What is the difference between a bunny and a rabbit?

"Bunny" is just a nickname for "rabbit": it derives from the old word for rabbit, "coney" (pronounced with a soft 'o' like "honey" -- it rhymes with "bunny").

Common Usage:

The word "bunny" is used in cartoons instead of rabbit, also "Furries" use it for their character names if rabbitd, and many people incorrectly use it to mean baby rabbits.

Bunnys are baby rabbits, and rabbits are adults.

lol. Well a bunny is just a smaller, younger, not as wiser version of a rabbit. It is the rabbits baby.

There's no difference between a rabbit and a bunny. Rabbit is the type of animal it is; bunny is simply an affectionate or whimsical way of referring to a rabbit. Some people go further and call the creatures bunny-rabbits.

Care of Mice and Rats
Care of Rabbits
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

How old are rabbits when they start having babies?

You can start breeding bucks (males) at 6 months and does at 5 months the you can sell the babies when they are 8 weeks

Supposedly, a rabbit can be bred as early as 5 months for small breeds and 7 month for large breeds.

Make sure all does(females) are bred before the age of 1 please.

It all depends on the breed (or size) of your rabbits. Small breeds will reach sexual maturity at 4-6 months. Larger breeds will take 6-8 months, and some giant breeds may take a little longer than 8 months.

Baby does (female rabbits) can start mating at about 6 months; baby bucks (male rabbits) can start at about 7 months. Rabbit pregnancies last about 30 days, and the doe can become pregnant again as soon as she's given birth (although this is not healthy for the doe).

Care of Rabbits
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

Why would a mother rabbit kill her newborn babies?

PROTECTION! believe it or not if the babies are in danger or she thinks they are she will eat them .. of course there's other reasons too but i think this one is the main reason.

Why a Female Rabbit Would Kill Her Young.Well, when a female rabbit kills her young, it normally means she's been scared by something, or someone, and she believe the only way to protect them is to kill them herself, so they may not be eaten by anything else.

When a rabbit has just had babies, the only thing you should do for them, is provide them with plenty of hay, change their water once every three days, and give them food everyday, and provide more food then you normally would.

You have to be very careful when doing this, because if you were to scare her, it could lead to her killing her young. :( So, slow moves, and don't get too close.

Care of Rabbits
Rabbit Breeding & Reproduction

Could your female rabbit get pregnant before she's 13 weeks old?

No, does (female rabbits) become sexually mature at about 6 months of age (that's about 24 weeks).


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