Keywords: buck, doe, kit, lactation, ovulation, puberty, uterine adenocarcinoma

Key Points

over there is truth to the expression “breed choose rabbits”.Male rabbit are likewise known together “bucks”.Female hare are likewise known together “does”.The doe is lugged to the buck when reproduction rabbits.Rabbits have actually a relatively short gestation period.Parturition in the hare is better known as “kindling”.The newborn hare or “kit” is altricial.Rabbit milk is exceptionally rich.Weanling rabbits are delicate to illness.Juvenile rabbits with puberty just after they experience a maximal price of growth.Sexual behavior frequently manifests as territoriality.Endometrial adenocarcinoma is the most common neoplasia of female rabbits.

You are watching: Do rabbits have periods and bleed


Even in the neutered pet, rabbit draw very little distinction between sexual behavior and social behavior (Harriman 1995). Normal actions choose territoriality, attention-seeking behaviors like honking and circling, and also nesting habits such together digging and chewing, room all intimately tied come the instinctive drive to reproduce.

If girlfriend are reading this short article as part of the an easy Rabbit care Teaching Module, please go to the part on masculine rabbits, woman rabbits, child rabbit, and rabbit milk. Then take the short quiz come test your knowledge.

“Breed like rabbits”

The prolific nature that the rabbit has attached them through fertility and the bicycle of life and death since old times. In fact the idea of the Easter hare probably occurred from the medieval id that rabbits, as a creator the life, introduced the dawn (Fig 1) (Mayer 2003).


Figure 1. Rabbits have actually been connected with fertility and the bicycle of life since old times. Photograph credit: Elliott Brown via Flickr creative Commons. Click photo to enlarge.

One mrs rabbit can potentially provide up come 60 young per year. Therefore fecundity, at an early stage explorers carried rabbits as a food resource and rabbits were even released on remote islands. Regrettably the lack of predators allowed rabbit populations to promptly reach insect numbers on some islands like brand-new Zealand (O’Malley 2005).

Male rabbits

The head and body of the intact, adult, male rabbit is generally more thickset 보다 the doe (Richardson 2000). The penile sheath is cylindrical and the cock can be quickly extruded in rabbits end 2 months of age. The scrotal sacs sit craniolateral come the penis (Fig 2). The scrotum is oblong and partially hairless, and the testicles are relatively huge with prominent epididymal fat pads (O’Malley 2005).


Figure 2. The oblong, partly hairless scrotal sacs sit craniolateral come the cylindrical penis. Photograph credit: Dr. Matt Rosenbaum. Click picture to enlarge.

The testicles descend sometime in between 10 come 14 mainly of age. The very first appearance have the right to vary with the individual, the breed, and environmental temperature. The adult rabbit can retract the testes earlier up into the abdomen v the open up inguinal ring as soon as stressed or to manage testicular temperature. Testes descend further on hot days and also are brought closer come the body on cool days. This phenomenon can be identified from a true cryptorchid male by the lack of scrotal sac(s) (O’Malley 2005, Richardson 2000).

Prior come castration of the male rabbit, key of the hindquarters or gentle press on the caudal abdomen will cause testicles come fall ago into the scrotum. A closeup of the door castration method is wanted to minimize the risk of post-operative inguinal hernia. If an open surgical technique is performed, the large, superficial inguinal ring have to be closed.

Female rabbits

Adult females, specifically medium and huge breed does, often build a dewlap or wrinkles of skin beneath the chin. Enlarge does often tend to be bigger than bucks of the same breed (Richardson 2000).

The ovaries room elongated, and are located reasonably caudal in the rabbit. The oviducts are an extremely long and also coiled. The duplex uterus is composed of two separate uterine horns separated follow me its length. There is no uterine body. The mesometrium is a site of far-ranging fat storage in the rabbit, proportionally much higher than in various other companion animals. The 2 uterine horns communicate with 2 cervices, which sign up with to form a usual vagina (O’Malley 2005). The hare vagina is relatively long and saccular (Vella 2012). The urethra start the dorsal wall of the vagina; the clitoris sit on the ventral surface. The vulva appears triangular with a slit-like opening, and also the illustration of this cleft is used to distinguish juvenile females indigenous juvenile male rabbits.

If the urinary bladder is expressed if the hare is in dorsal recumbency, the reasonably flaccid vagina deserve to potentially fill with urine. To minimization the danger of contamination throughout ovariohysterectomy, the bladder is expressed ~ the patience is anesthetized but before the pet is placed on its back (Jenkins 2012). The suspensory ligaments are relatively long, making exteriorization that the uterus relatively easy, yet the big amount the fat in the wide ligament still makes rabbit spays relatively an overwhelming procedures, also in young does. The double cervices room not regularly removed throughout ovariohysterectomy, however removal is shown for patients with cervicitis, neoplasia, or endometriosis (Jenkins 2012, O’Malley 2005).

The female rabbit is an induced ovulator. Over there is no continual estrous cycle, instead ovulation occurs after mating. If coitus does no occur, the doe will vary in receptivity as ovarian follicles regress and brand-new follicles mature. Durations of receptivity last all over from 5 come 14 days and also are adhered to by one to two days in which the doe will certainly refuse come mate. This bike repeats until conception occurs, return ovarian activity decreases as photoperiod decreases throughout the so late summer come winter months (Vella 2012, Klaphake 2012, O’Malley 2005).

Vaginal smear cytology is not helpful for identification of doe receptivity (O’Malley 2005), however the illustration of the vulva can carry out a useful clue. As soon as the doe is receptive, the vulva is an ext swollen and also is frequently a pink-purple or reddish-purple color (Klaphake 2012, O’Malley 2005). Throughout anestrus the vulva shows up narrow and pale (O’Malley 2005).

Breeding rabbits

Both male and also female rabbits have the right to be fairly territorial, and mating is best achieved if the doe is placed in the buck’s enclosure or if the pair are introduced in neutral territory (Bays 2006, Richardson 2000).

Upon introduction, the buck complies with the doe around, easy humming when sniffing and also licking she for around 30 secs (Vella 2012, Bays 2006). He may also spray the female with urine (Bays 2006). The receptive female will hop about in one or flatten come the floor (Bays 2006). Lordosis is observed when pressure is applied to her ago (Bays 2006), when the non-receptive doe will run away from the buck, and if cornered she may vocalize or even bite. Energetic mating starts when the buck grasps the female by the nape v his teeth. He then mounts the female rabbit, thrusting vigorously till ejaculation occurs relatively quickly. After that the male emits a sharp cry or squeak, before falling onto his earlier or next while the doe either operation away or starts to bite and also kick the male (Video 1)(Bays 2006, Richardson 2000).

Video 1. Rabbit breeding is a quick affair

Ovulation wake up 10 come 13 hours after mating (Vella 2012, O’ Malley 2005, Richardson 2000). Although a solitary mating is often adequate stimulus to stimulate ovulation, breeders often permit mating to happen several times over a 30-minute duration before returning the doe to she enclosure. Despite her fecundity, the doe should have no an ext than three litters in one year (Richardson 2000). Reproductive life varies through the breed, however bucks are generally bred for 5 come 6 years and also does for around 3 years (Vella 3012).


When compared to hares v their 40 come 50 work pregnancy, rabbits have a fairly short gestation duration averaging 31 days. Gestation can variety from 28 come 35 days (Vella 2012, Bays 2006, O’Malley 2005), yet the hazard of stillbirth boosts by day 32 (O’Malley 2005). Litter size varieties from 4 to 12 kit (Vella 2012, Bays 2006). Little breed rabbits have tendency to produce smaller litters that space born after ~ a fairly long gestation duration (Vella 2012). Larger litters are generally born after ~ a much shorter gestation duration (O’Malley 2005). The fetus is palpable by job 12 to 14 (Richardson 2000).

Despite their high fertility rates, rabbits have tendency to experience from a high incidence of embryonic mortality. Over there are plenty of potential factors for this problem including infection, heredity, trauma, medicine use, poor nutrition, and social or ecological stress. Fetal death and resorption is most likely to occur in subordinate does (Vella 2012, Klaphake 2012). The fetus is also at increased risk on day 13, when placentation alters from yolk sac come hemochorial, and on work 21 when there is a short-lived reduction in blood flow as the fetus transforms in shape and size (Klaphake 2012, O’Malley 2005).

See more: Write The Decimal 0.006 As A Fraction, Convert Decimal 0


The doe starts to swarm several days to a couple of hours before parturition. Hair epilates much more easily as estrogen level rise and progesterone level fall, and the doe plucks hair from her abdomen, sides, and dewlap. She then provides the hair to line her swarm of hay and straw (Fig 3) (Vella 2012, O’Malley 2005).