You see your cute little bunny in her cage and wonder, would rabbit babies be a good addition to my life? Or maybe you have some friends who would like to adopt a rabbit but don't have a local shelter to adopt from.
No matter the reason, if you're thinking you'd like to start rabbit breeding, here are are a few things you need to consider first.
Bunny breeding takes time and can be hard work. Having kits (babies) can take a toll on the mother (doe) while putting yourself in financial and emotional risk if something goes wrong with the birth. But if you decide that it is worth the risk, here are some tips on how to breed responsibly.
How Old Should The Rabbits Be For Mating?
Depending on the breed of your rabbit, along with their size and weight, the age of sexual maturity varies. Here's a guide on the when certain breeds reach their age of sexual maturity. The general opinion is that does (female) reach theirs at 5 to 6 months of age. After the age of your doe has been determined, she can mate at anytime of the year as they do not go into heat as other animals do.
It is important that the doe rabbit isn’t too much smaller than the buck (male) because then there might be some complications when kindling (birth) happens. Her weight and her being healthy are keys to a successful kindling.
Where Should The Rabbits Mate?
The fertile bunnies should be put in the male’s hutch or cage. This is done to prevent the female getting defensive of her territory. The male rabbit would also focus on smelling her cage than actually mating.
How Long Should This Process Take?
Leave the rabbits together for 5-10 minutes. Make sure that you stay and watch the process. If the female becomes aggressive or anxious, take her out of his cage right away. Basic rabbit care teaches you that you don’t want stressed out buns! Once the process is done, remove the doe from the buck's cage and place her back into her own cage.
Also, females can get pregnant twice because of the way their wombs are shaped. This can lead to a higher level of complications. This isn’t safe for the kits or the momma rabbit. You can check to see if she is pregnant before trying to mate again.
For people who are new at breeding, wait two weeks and check her abdomen gently. You should be able to feel her babies. Rabbits are only pregnant for 28-31 days. Once you think that your doe is pregnant we found a simple rabbit breeding calculator to help you plan ahead.
Note: Does can get pregnant again right after they give birth, so kept the buck away for at least 4 weeks after birth.
Other Things To Consider
If you are just wanting to add another rabbit to your family, adoption is a great option! A good time to adopt is after Easter or Christmas. Lots of people give rabbits as gifts without thinking about whether the receiver has the proper knowledge, time, or money to take care of the rabbit. There are many rabbits left in shelters, so adopting one will not only save the life of the rabbit you adopt but it'll also open up a space for another rabbit to be cared for.
If you want to breed your rabbits please do it safely and make sure that you have homes for the babies before you start breeding. This can become an expensive endeavor for providing rabbit care and potentially can be life threatening every time your female rabbit is pregnant. Make sure that she is happy and healthy. You don’t want a female rabbit that is angry and always sick. This will only breed unhealthy babies and will do damage to your momma rabbit.
We know you want the little bun in your life for a long time so please keep these breeding basics and rabbit care in mind when making these decisions.
Make sure your rabbit is receiving the proper nutrition and is healthy for breeding by feeding her quality timothy hay. Learn more by downloading the free offer below.