How welcome the longer days of spring are!
The birds are pairing up and nesting. Bulbs and blossom are out, and the sap is rising.
This includes our pet rabbits, of course.
Spring is the time of year when unneutered young female rabbits start thinking of lining their
nests for the first time. Sometimes they can make themselves bald on their dewlaps with
their enthusiasm to prepare the perfect home for babies that may never come. They can also
become aggressive, and reluctant to be petted.
But if your young female rabbit does live with an entire boy, be aware, they can start a family
from as young as three months old!
And, if she gives birth whilst her boyfriend is around, he will mate her again shortly after
birthing, starting another litter that will arrive less than five weeks later.
They will continue to breed like this all year round.
Hence the expression ‘to breed like rabbits’!
Rabbits will breed with their own litter mates, or even their own offspring. So if you own two
of the opposite sex, do not assume they won’t fancy each other if they are closely related.
They are also notoriously difficult to sex at the age of weaning when they generally move
from their breeder’s home to their forever home. This means accidental mating’s can easily
occur, if two little sisters sent to a new home together turn out to be a brother and a sister.
It is not healthy for a lady bunny to give birth so frequently, and the problem of finding good
homes for lots of baby bunnies can be a burden. So preventing unwanted pregnancies is
Get the sex of your pair of baby rabbits checked by a professional.
Keep only the same sex together, or get one or both of a pair neutered. Then they will
hopefully live long contented lives together.
But never keep a rabbit alone, if you can possibly help it, unless you can lavish many hours
of attention on them.
Neutering is also recommended for female rabbits that become unduly hormonal at intervals,
or overpluck themselves.