|Posted by Sophia on June 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM|
THIS IS NOT AN ARTICLE TO TEACH YOU HOW TO BREED AND RAISE RABBITS. THIS IS JUST TO SHARE SOME KNOWLEDGE ABOUT RAISING RABBITS. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO BREED USING THIS ARTICLE.
Ever heard the saying 'breed like rabbits'? It doesn't just come from anywhere. A female wild rabbit can have 6-7 litters every year, averaging 8 babies per litter which adds up to 56 babies every year. That's only one rabbit - imagine all the wild rabbits there are. Now, imagine how many domestic rabbits there are. If you put them together, that's a lot of babies. Theres a harsh reality though - only about half the babies from each litter survive past 2 weeks, and even more will die during weaning.
Because of this reality, rabbits are one of the only species that is willing to breed right after giving birth - making her pregnant yet again. A rabbit's gestation period is only 30 days long, so by the time her kits (a kit is a baby rabbit) are about 4 weeks old, she will be shooing them off to raise her next litter. This is why if you have a male and female rabbits living together, seperate them right away. Chances are she's pregnant and once she has them, she will be pregnant again, right away.
That leads me to another point - will a male rabbit eat their own young? The answer is no. This might surprise you, but it is just a myth that they will eat the kits. A male animal will only eat his babies to get them out of the way to breed again with the mother. If a mother animal has no babies, she can breed again. In the rabbit world, the doe is willing to breed again so he doesn't need to harm the babies. A male rabbit will mostly ignore the kits as if they aren't there and do his business with the doe right after breeding - if he's even around when the babies are born.
In captivity, all you need to do is put the doe in the bucks cage and they will most likely breed. Please do not breed your rabbits at home unless you know exactly what you are doing and are prepared with homes for each of the babies. Always spay and neuter your pet rabbits.
Domestic and wild rabbits prepare for their young is the same ways. For most of their pregnancy they will act the same. Rabbits rarely show signs of pregnancy until they are close to giving birth. This isn't the same with all rabbits though and if some rabbits will show the following signs:
- A rabbit that was once your best friend could be antisocial or aggressive. Don't worry, she will return to normal right after the babies are born.
- Your rabbit may be gaining a very small amount of weight each day (ex 1 ounce per day.)
- You may feel babies inside her belly using a techniqe called palpation.
- She may drink more.