Rabbits are fast producers of good repute, and the phrase “breed like rabbits,” which you must have heard somewhere, isn’t enough. A female rabbit can get pregnant at about three months of age. After that, they stay pregnant for only 30 days, before they reproduce the kit, and can get pregnant again soon!
A healthy female rabbit can give birth to up to 14 rabbits during each pregnancy, with an average of six. This means that the mother rabbit, also known as the doe, can give birth to a baby every month!
However, not all of these newborns survive, despite being independent mothers. For this reason, human caretakers may have to step in to ensure that the female rabbit and her litter breed. Here’s everything you should know about rabbit breeding.
Sexually mature rabbits between the ages of 3-6 months. Female rabbits that are not spayed can start as early as 120 days old. On the other hand, the testes of a buck (or male rabbit) usually descend at 10-14 weeks of age, allowing him to impregnate a female deer at such a young age.
The female rabbit is a prolific producer and can give birth every month due to her short gestation period of only 28-31 days. This is why it is very important to separate your work from money before the female gives birth to prevent another pregnancy.
How Many Litter Survival Kits?
Most turn on late at night or early in the morning. Some baby rabbits will still be born, so hurry up and get rid of the dead baby rabbit and placenta.
Don’t be surprised to see the mother eat the carcass and the placenta. This is not due to cannibalism but the safety-first approach of the doe.
He may eat stillborn rabbits and their placentas to prevent predators from tracking their scent. Lack of body means no scent, so no predators! In addition to stillbirth, some kittens may be born weaker than others and may not survive.
Female rabbits are instinctively unmotherly and may neglect very weak and young rabbits. They often prioritize those who are more likely to survive and focus on feeding and nurturing stronger babies.
These animals have an innate drive to preserve their species, and more robust kits have a higher chance of surviving to breed in the end. For this reason, Do might separate their kit into two groups where they ignore the weak and concentrate on the stronger breeds.
It would be best to help identify the weak ones, hidden at the far end of the nest, where they can’t access milk and warmth.
Mother rabbits don’t grieve the loss of their newborn baby gear because they know they can replace it just a few days later. However, they are overprotective of their surviving offspring and may react aggressively to human caregivers trying to handle the baby.
You should give your doe a nesting box maybe on the 26th day of her pregnancy. However, you may see the mother rabbit plucking her fur and making a nest for her chicks a few days before she gives birth to them.
It would be best to offer the rabbit and its supplies with a nesting box, to prevent the babies from scattering. However, these boxes come in a variety of sizes, so it’s important to get the right size for the type of mother and baby.
The rule of thumb is to find a nest large enough for the female rabbit to turn around comfortably.
A larger cage is more comfortable for newborns to keep warm and dry. Don’t make the box too big, though, as the female rabbit can start using it as a toilet, which is unhealthy for litter.
A wooden or cardboard box no bigger than what mom can handle.
Also, remember to carve out the door so the female rabbit can enter and exit the nest comfortably.
Fill one corner of the nest with wood shavings and plenty of fresh hay where the mother and baby can rest.
It is very important to provide sufficient access to fresh hay and water for the female rabbit during mother’s days, along with regular pellet feed.
Also, keep the environment free of loud and startling noises that can frighten the doe and make her step on her droppings.
5 Factors That Affect Rabbit Poop Size
1. Female Rabbit Age
A young female rabbit that has just reached sexual maturity tends to give birth to a smaller litter size than an older rabbit. The litter size increases with age during subsequent births. However, an aging rabbit can also start giving birth with a smaller litter size, which continues to shrink until the end of the birth year.
2. Female Rabbit Size
Rabbit breeds vary in body size. Larger rabbit breeds produce larger litter sizes than dwarf rabbit breeds.
Large rabbits tend to have a litter size of up to 14 individuals, while the dwarf breed only breeds an average of only two. On the other hand, the average sized rabbit gives birth to up to 6 babies.
Large breeds that give birth to large litter sizes include:
New Zealand Whites
The Flemish Giant Rabbit
3. Order of turning on
The number of kits you get per litter also depends on the number of litters. The size of the litter of the mother rabbit for the first time tends to be smaller and grows from the second birth onwards.
The more the number of births, the more mature a doe, the more kits she produces. However, litter size begins to decrease as the female deer ages, and continues to shrink until the female rabbit reaches rabbit-bearing age.
4. Rabbit Health
A healthy doe has less risk of potential problems during pregnancy and birth, thereby improving the overall health of the cub. In addition, healthy female rabbits are less likely to ignite stillborn, weak, or emaciated cubs that may die soon after birth.
5. Rabbit Environment
The size of the litter comes down to the mating process of the mother rabbit. The mating environment, such as the cage (female rabbits are brought into the male’s cage), affects the number of times a pair mates.
The more they do, the more eggs the doe lays, the bigger the litter size. Also, where a female deer lives during pregnancy, stress levels, nutrition, hygiene, and predators play major differences in fetal development, reflecting litter size.
The size of rabbit droppings varies from rabbit to rabbit, and the overall health of the kit after they are born. Generally, it may take weeks before you get an accurate trash count as some may die in the process.
It’s best not to hold the kit for at least three weeks, and if you must do so, do so gently as the female rabbit will likely get used to your scent. If he knows your scent, he probably won’t attack you
Next on your reading list: How Long Are Rabbits Pregnant? (Pregnancy Period)
Featured Image Credit: Kassia Marie Ott, Shutterstock