Care of Rabbits

Rabbits have been raised by man for many centuries, both as companions and as a food source. The number of breeds designed specifically for companionship is diverse and growing. Hop into this category to explore the wonderful world of pet rabbits.

19,110 Questions
Care of Rabbits

How can you tell if a rabbit is male or female?

The only sure way to know if a rabbit is male or female is to examine the genitalia. Unless you are very familiar with rabbits, this may be a difficult procedure.

Looking at other parts of a rabbit's appearance won't tell you its gender for sure. Both male and female rabbits have nipples. Both male and female rabbits sometimes "mount" other rabbits. Both males and females have dewlaps (although usually it's more pronounced on females, but it can be pretty big on an overweight male as well). Often, female rabbits have rounder faces than males, and males are more aggressive than females, but rabbits are individuals just like humans -- some males are more feminine than others, while some females are more masculine than others.

If you see testicles on your rabbit, then you know it's a male. The testicles are furless, flesh-coloured balls near the genital opening. Each testicle has its own scrotum. Fur often hides the testicles, so feel with your fingers and push the fur out of the way. On babies, the testicles don't show because they're hidden in the abdomen. The testicles descend anywhere from 9 to 20 weeks of age.

However, if you don't see testicles, this doesn't mean it's necessarily a female: it could be a neutered adult male, a frightened adult male (they can retract their testicles into their abdomen as a self-defence), or a juvevnile male (male rabbit's testicles descend anywhere from 9 to 20 weeks of age). You could try looking for the empty scrotums (skin sacs), which you might find if the male as retracted his testicles or if the male is recently neutered, but these can be hard to find when they're empty and they generally wither away once the male has been neutered for awhile.

How to examine the rabbit's genitalia

To examine the genitals, you have to turn your rabbit upside down. Sometimes this "trances" the rabbit; however, some rabbits don't trance well, so don't assume they will. Rabbits don't like this very much, so be very cautious. Be gentle, firm, and in a safe position so if the rabbit struggles, you can safely turn her right and put her down. A struggling rabbit can seriously injure itself! You should have someone with you who can hold the rabbit securely while you examine the genitals. If you're not experienced or comfortable handling rabbits, have your vet do it instead.

Both males and females have genitals that "pop out," so they can be easily confused. The opening closest to the tail is the anus. The opening closest to the belly is the genitals. Gently place a finger to each side and lightly apply pressure down. Examine what pops up. Sometimes the penis pops right out. Other times, the penis does not appear, but you see a tube with a small opening at the top. This is a boy. Girls have a slit this is an opening that starts at the high point and ends where the genitals meet the body, near the anus. Sometimes the area appears to have some dark red coloring, and other times it is pink. What sometimes confuses people is that "something"- the vulva, pops out and there can be some height. Don't let this confuse you: if there is a slit you have a girl.

See the related links below for more detailed info and pictures about the appearance of the genitals.

Other friendus

To check the sex of a rabit, hold it upside down on its back. Right below its belly will be a little flap. If you gently separate it, part will stick out -- a male has a tube and testicles, a female has a vulva with a central slit. (A female rabbit's vagina pushes out and may closely resemble a penis.)

A male rabbit's testicles will drop at about 4 months of age, but they can retract them into their body. If the rabbit is neutered then it becomes more difficult to identify gender.

It is nearly impossible to tell the difference between male and female rabbits until they are about 4-6 months old and are maturing. If you cannot tell the difference wait a couple of weeks, and keep an eye out for testicles.

One easy way is to hold your rabbit in your lap on its back. Most males have "sacs"

Hold it upside-down. Girls generally don't grow scrotums.
first of all you have to look very good around the area where it pees. if you find yourself looking at "balls" next to the pee specifically two then you my friend have a boy. if you don't see anything around the pee area then its a girl. first of all you have to look very good around the area where it pees. if you find yourself looking at "balls" next to the pee specifically two then you my friend have a boy. if you don't see anything around the pee area then its a girl. first of all you have to look very good around the area where it pees. if you find yourself looking at "balls" next to the pee specifically two then you my friend have a boy. if you don't see anything around the pee area then its a girl.
a female baby can be hard to tell when young. once a rabbit reaches around 4-5 months old you can tell better. when you push down & pull back the area of the genitals if you see a thingy pop out its a boy. a males will be also rounded more than a female & the female will only have a hole nothing comes out.
flip them over and spread out there legs at the bottom thats how you tell your bunny is a buck or doe
hi better to watch the genital area and push the area just behind the ureter at that time il will expose if the exposing area is in oval shape we have to conform it is female,its like in cylendrical we have to confirm it is male.
You have to look at their genitals. Males will have small testicles hidden by fur and females won't. This website will help explain how to do this. See Related Links
Flip the bunny over, take your hand and out your thumb on it's tail and your index finger abouve the genital area and push gently to make the genitals pop out slightly. If it looks like a tube=boy if there is a slight slit in the middle= girl. If you can't do it this way and the bunny is old enough look on either side of the genitals to see if you see small pea sized testicals covered with pink skin which would give you a boy.

Well it is kind of obvious...you check in *the spot*.

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Care of Rabbits

What age can baby rabbits start to eat fruits and vegetables?

Most fruits and vegetables shouldn't be offered to rabbits until they're 6 or 7 months old. The exception is dark-coloured, fresh, leafy greens (like Romaine, dandelion, basil, carrot tops) -- these can be introduced (one at a time, in very small portions) at about 12 weeks old.

More Information:

Domestic rabbits can start to eat solids when they are 11 to 14 days old. They will still need their mothers milk at this point and should not be weened until they are at least 6 weeks old. Many good breeders do not ween until 8 weeks. When they start to eat solid foods, the food should be hay and pellets -- baby rabbits should have unlimited access to fresh water, high-quality pellets, and alfalfa hay.

  • 12 weeks old: rabbits can start eating certain dark-coloured leafy greens (like Romaine lettuce, dandelion, carrot tops, basil). These veggies shouldn't be a big part of the rabbit's diet yet, though.
  • 6 months old: rabbits can start eating certain fruits and vegetables as a treat (like carrot, apple, zucchini, berries).
  • 7 months to 1 year: gradually transition the rabbit to an adult diet (limited pellets and more greens -- see related question below for details).

New foods should always be introduced carefully:

  • One at a time (this way, if something goes wrong, you'll know which food it was; also, lots of new foods at once can be overwhelming for the digestive system)
  • In small amounts, gradually increasing size
  • Watch for signs of illness (like gas or diarrhea -- see related question below for details)

Too many treats can make a rabbit sick. The House Rabbit Society recommends no more than 2 tablespoons per day for a healthy, normal 6 pound rabbit.

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Care of Rabbits

Why do rabbits urinate on each other?

Rabbits will spray and mark each other as a sign of dominance. This is most common with intact rabbits that have gone through puberty and have plenty of hormones active in their systems.

If you seek to stop this behavior of spraying, neuter your rabbits. More information can be found in the related links.

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Care of Mice and Rats
Care of Rabbits

Why does my bunny bite her cage bars and shake them?

rabbits do not belong in cages they need to stay in a 4by4 playpen or large or freeroam in your bunny proofed home

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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.

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Care of Rabbits
Gerbils

Can you put gerbils in a rabbit cage?

No, they are best kept in a large fish tank with a wire lid as they love to dig and chew.

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Health
Care of Rabbits
Human and Animal Interaction

Will rabbits go blind if left in the dark too long?

Would you go blind if left in the dark for too long?

The answer is no.

Actually, yes. So can humans. It must me total darkness though. And for many months. It would have to be room with no windows. Humans kept in total darkness go blind because the cells involved with their rods and cones die off from lack of use.

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Care of Rabbits
Chickens and Roosters

Can chickens eat rabbit pellets?

Rabbit food pellets don't have the correct nutritional balance that a chicken needs. Though they can survive on rabbit food if absolutely necessary, I highly advise against it. It is best to feed chickens a food the is specially formulated for them as rabbit food tends to have too high of a protein content which often make the chicken's feathers coarse, also, rabbit food tends to lack the correct calcium content that is essential in egg production. Granted these are only a couple examples, there are many more things in rabbit food that are not fit to feed chickens. Again, I highly recommend feeding chickens a food formulated for them at all times.

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Care of Rabbits

What does it mean when your bunny is acting strange.mine is making a lot of noise inside her cage and when she tries to lay down she jumps right back up and starts freaking outshes uncomfortable?

If your rabbit is acting like that, you should take her to the vet. If she's freaking out every time she lays down, that could be a sign of a serious problem. Make an appointment with your local vet.

Check out the related link on how to find one if you do not already have one chosen already.

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Care of Rabbits

Why does the father rabbit kill the baby rabbits?

I breed Netherland Dwarf rabbits, so the buck will kill the kits (babies) because he wants to keep breeding. The mom doesn't want to breed if she has babies, so he'll kill the babies to get what he wants.

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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.

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Holidays and Traditions
Easter
Care of Rabbits

What do bunnies and eggs have to do with Easter or the resurrection of Christ?

Nothing, actually.

People have been celebrating spring for as long as weather got cold in the winter, and food supplies dwindled. Birds usually lay their eggs in the spring, so eggs were a natural symbol for spring, rebirth, and new life. Rabbits are very fertile animals whose babies scampered about in spring, so they also became symbols of spring. Many ancient cultures celebrated the coming of spring with religious ceremonies.

When the Romans were spreading across Europe, there were a lot of different religions, and assimilating people to Christianity was a challenge. Instead of simply forcing a whole new religion on people, they simply 'adopted' traditional dates and celebrated the Christian holidays on those same dates. Christmas also falls on around the time of pagan holidays that were celebrated during the winter solstice (Saturnalia, Yule, Rizdvo). Rabbits and eggs were both symbols of fertility and part of traditional pagan spring celebration of Ostara. They were incorporated into Christian Easter by a process of religious syncretism.

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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.

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Care of Rabbits
Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate)

Can you put baking soda in a rabbits litterbox to not make it smell?

No, baking soda is not safe for rabbits! Baking soda can lead to serious illness (e.g. respiratory problems and gastric problems -- see the related link below).

Also, baking soda just isn't a good way to reduce bad rabbit smells:

(1) It might mask the smell a bit, but it won't remove the ammonia -- and ammonia is toxic: it can lead to respiratory problems.

(2) It won't work as well as white vinegar. Scoop the litter box every day or two, and clean it with vinegar once every month or two. Vinegar works best for cleaning up dried urine, and it also kills bacteria and eliminates the smell of rabbit urine and hormones. If there's a lot of dried urine build-up, soak the litter box in vinegar for a few hours and then wash it in hot water.

Spaying/neutering also usually leads to limiting smells in your rabbit, and some litter materials (like aspen wood chips) work better at limiting smells than others (like newspaper).

Rabbits don't smell as bad as cats, so just change the litter more often and the litter won't smell anymore.

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Care of Rabbits
Fruits and Vegetables

Can rabbits eat brussels sprouts?

Yes, brussels sprouts are quite nutritious for rabbits in moderation (also hamsters, guinea pigs, humans, etc.). The dark-coloured outside leaves are especially healthy. The inner white/light leaves are low in nutritonal value, might make your rabbit sick.

Like all cruciferous vegetables, brussels sprouts can cause gas. Gas can lead to serious illness in rabbits, so brussels sprouts shouldn't be a staple in your rabbit's diet. Some bunnies are more sensitive to gas than others; very sensitive bunnies shouldn't have brussel sprouts at all. It's important to pay attention to your individual rabbits so that you know how they react to certain foods!

Feed rabbits vegetables often if you want a healthy rabbit! Not cold, but room temperature vegetables. A healthy rabbit diet includes a daily "salad" of mixed leafy dark greens. Brussel sprout leaves can be included in the rabbit's salad. Other vegetables (like carrot, squash) should be considered treats (same as fruit) and strictly limited.

See the related question below for more info about the rabbit diet.

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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.

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Care of Rabbits
Rabbits and Hares

What kind of climate does a rabbit need to survive?

Rabbits can survive in a wide range of climates, they will adapt. I will go so far as to assume you want to know what temperature range they can survive in? The perfect range in temp for a rabbit is 40 degrees to 75 degrees. They can survive in higher and they can survive in lower with proper housing and protection from the elements.

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Care of Rabbits
Rabbits and Hares

Do any rabbits have long tails?

Petco on Chenal Blvd. in Little Rock, AR. has a rabbit that appears Siamese in coloring with a rather long tail. The tail appears to be about four inches long...not fluffy....but rather like a docked dogs tail.

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Care of Rabbits
Rabbits and Hares

Is an angora rabbit a prey?

The Angora Rabbit is a domestic breed of rabbit, usually raised for their wool. They are not a predator, and are herbivorous. So, they could be considered "prey". But they are not wild, so they are not naturally hunted by any wild predators, as a wild rabbit would be. For more details, please see the sites listed below.

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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.

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Medication and Drugs
Care of Rabbits

Can you give a rabbit sleeping pills?

Why would you do that? NO!!

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Care of Rabbits
Rabbits and Hares

What do wild angora rabbits eat?

There is no such things as wild angora rabbits. They were created in captivity and can only be pets. To feed your pet angora rabbit give it, rabbit pellets, veggies, fruits, and unlimited hay!

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Care of Rabbits
Rabbits and Hares

What is a rabbit's nose called?

snout

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Care of Rabbits
Dog Health

Can dogs get the snuffles from rabbits?

No, i don't think that dogs can get the snuffles from a rabbit-I mean we can't get snuffles from a dog!

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Care of Rabbits
English Spelling and Pronunciation

How do you spell the sound a rabbit makes?

A happy rabbit will make clicking noises "kip-kip-kip-kip".

A mad rabbit will growl "Mmmmmmmrrrrrrmmmmrrrrrr"

They also make "oinking" noises when they are ready to mate. "Mmmmfffff mmmfff"

if you want their frightened screech its sort of a "screeeeeeeeep"

Here's another answer:

A slight correction to the above information. Happy rabbits don't make noise they may however grind their teeth. There are no mating noises either, however, the male may growl at the female to get her to move. The growl may sound similar to "mmmmmmmmrrrrrrrr" or "mmmmmmmmmmmffffffffffffff". And the "screeeeeeep" sound that they make can be interpreted into either fear or pain. It is most likely to be fear though.

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