How to determine the gender of a rabbit
Until the rabbits have reached adulthood, it is very difficult to distinguish where the boys are and where the girls are. Since rabbits begin to breed early, it is very important for a rabbit breeder to carry out a gender separation in time and to plant females and males in different cells. In this article, we will look at how to distinguish the sex of a rabbit and not expose the animals to additional stress.
At what age can you determine the gender of a rabbit
Shortly after the birth of the young rabbit’s rabbits, not too experienced breeders ask themselves how many months rabbits should be separated by sex. Rabbits of the same litter taken from the mother should remain together for 3-4 months of life. Little rabbits have a strong herd instinct, and the closeness of brothers and sisters is very important for their well-being and proper development.
Important! Rabbits males should be divided into different cells due to aggression against each other, and females from the same litter usually tolerate each other and can live peacefully together for life.
When the rabbits get older, you will notice other sex differences between them. Males tend to be smaller than females of the same breed, and their heads are more rectangular in shape. Females of many medium and large breeds have a large fold of skin below the chin, which is laid on the chest with a roller. Only in rabbits two rows of nipples are visible, they are especially noticeable in giving birth to females.
According to primary signs
After the initial check on gender, after some time it is necessary to re-check. This is done in order to verify the correctness of the initial selection. For this, the rabbit breeder will have to check each individual again by visual inspection of the genitals.
- significant distance between the anus and the hole for the hidden penis;
- testicles in the form of two oblong swelling in the lower abdomen.
- holes of the anus and vagina located as close as possible to each other;
- vagina in the form of an elongated slot.
- large head of a rectangular shape;
- medium-sized, muscular body;
- Nipples on the abdomen are almost invisible.
- a head of a more elegant design than that of males;
- large body;
- two rows clearly visible through the fur of the nipples;
- fat fold under the neck, almost on the chest (in some breeds).
Also, experienced breeders quite easily notice the sex of animals according to their behavior, males and females behave differently.
- The temperament of males differs from the calm temperament of rabbits, boys are usually quite lively, move a lot, with pleasure and curiosity master all the space available to them.
- Rabbits with a couple or harem have a tendency to urinate their territory, but neutered males (or living alone) almost never do this.
- Rabbits-boys by nature are attentive, affectionate and very curious, therefore they are willingly kept as pets for children.
- The temperament of the female rabbit is quite calm animals, like to hide in a corner and sit there quietly. They do not like to attract too much attention.
- Uncastrated females can also spray a secret if they feel the need to attract a male, so it’s best to castrate the entire rabbit stock if you don’t breed them, or keep the long-eared as pets without a pair.
- Rabbits often dig a lot, this affects the instinct of nesting, during this period they can become aggressive, especially if they feel that their nest is in danger. This protective behavior may include grunting, growling, or aggression toward the hosts and males.
- Females can also be kept as tame pets, but it is better if they are sterilized, this makes animals more obedient and friendly. Rabbits are playful, sociable and very smart, which makes them fun companions regardless of gender.
How to distinguish a rabbit from a rabbit
You can distinguish the sex of animals by visual inspection of their genitals. It is desirable to carry out this procedure so as to frighten and injure long-eared pets as little as possible.
Step One: Safely Capture the Animal
Rabbits do not like to be caught and raised, so checking the floor should be effective and calm. The rabbit breeder begins the procedure, stroking the animal and talking to him in a calm and gentle voice. Then the breeder grabs the skin on the back of the rabbit’s neck with one hand and holds it under the croup with the other hand.
Important! In no case should you raise the rabbits with one hand, especially holding them by the ears. This causes animals pain and discomfort, as well as stress from a frightening situation.
If the animal is calm, it can be put on its back, this pose is most convenient for examination. If the animal panics and tries to beat its paws in the air, then instead of turning it on its back, it is recommended to turn the rabbit on its stomach (in its usual position), this will calm him down. In this position, a person supports the rabbit with his hand under the front paws, and with the other hand clears the fur in the perineum until the anus and external genitalia appear.
Video: How to determine the gender of rabbits at an early age
Step Two: Gender Identification
To determine the gender of the rabbit, the rabbit breeder gently stretches the skin of the pet with his fingers in the genitals and anus. In males, a small process resembling a cone-shaped tube is visible; in females, a hole with a Y-shaped recess will be visible at a very small distance from the anus. If the rabbit breeder is not sure that he correctly determined the sex of the animals, it is worth comparing what he saw with the anatomy of adult, fully developed rabbits.
Read about how to catch a runaway rabbit.
In 1 month
At the age of four weeks of life, it is very difficult to know the gender and distinguish boys from girls among rabbits. You can try to make a separation, but the probability of error is very high. At a young age, the genitals of animals are very tiny and poorly visible with the naked eye. Inexperienced rabbit breeders are best served by a veterinarian or a more experienced colleague.
At 2 months
From 2 months of age, identification by gender is a little easier. With a light finger touch, the penis in the form of swelling will appear near the area of the genital opening in boys, and in girls - an oblong hole in the form of a gap. In males of large breeds of rabbits at this age, testicles are already palpable, if the rabbit breeder has found them, then there can be no doubt, this is a boy.
Did you know? Rabbit ears can grow up to 10 cm long. This length allows them to better hear approaching predators. The long auricles serve in some ways as coolers and allow animals to escape from heat stroke in hot climates. Additional body heat is released through the blood vessels located in the ears.
At 3 months
At this age, the female from the male can easily be distinguished by visually noticeable testicles in the male and a rather large penis. At the age of 3 months, the rabbit develops a secretion of pink secretion in the area of the genital gap. In addition, the size of the genitals in animals is much larger than it was during the first tests at the age of one or two months, so it is almost impossible to make a mistake.
The older the animal, the easier it is to determine its gender. Males within six months after birth are already in full sexual maturity, their genitals are fully formed. Their testicles consist of two sacs, spaced apart from each other by a small distance, and not paired, as in other animals. The testicles are not covered with fur and look like bald pink swollen areas on the abdomen near the anus.
Did you know? The device of rabbit eyes contributes to the safety of animals, since each eye can rotate 360 degrees. This allows the animals to inspect the territory located behind the back of the head without turning their heads. Biologists say that the rabbits' vision is two-color, they see the world around them only in green and blue.
Features of sex differences in decorative rabbits
The anatomy of ornamental rabbits is absolutely identical to the anatomy of their cousins belonging to a meat or down breed. But decorative long-eared have a small size, and sometimes a very long pile (in the Angora breed, the length of the hair reaches 10 cm). It is these properties of decorative breeds that usually interfere with the fact that the owner correctly determines the gender of the animal. In this case, it is most reliable to seek the advice of a veterinarian, who will say with absolute accuracy whether this individual is female or male.
Why is it important to know the gender of the rabbit
Unrelated crossbreeding between animals is undesirable. The breeder is interested in preventing such unwanted coatings. An important disadvantage of mating between brothers and sisters is the inbreeding of depression, this phenomenon leads to high mortality of the offspring, low fertility and fertility of surviving rabbits. Animals from inbreeding should not breed at all because of the high risk of lethal genes in subsequent generations.
Did you know? Today, more than 20 million rabbits live in Australia. It would seem a monstrously huge figure, but not too long ago, Australian land was inhabited by a rabbit population of 60 million individuals.
It is very important for breeders breeding rabbits to determine the sex of their pets as early as possible and to isolate the females from males no later than three months after birth. These animals reach puberty early, and if seeding on individual cells is not done, then closely related crosses will occur, and as a result, sick or non-viable offspring will be born.