Saying that rabbits multiply quickly is an understatement. Rabbits owners should be aware of how young their pet rabbits can breed. I suggest that you understand when your rabbit is sexually mature. Actually,I get asked by people all the time how often and how many babies their pet rabbit might have in a year.
So, how many babies can a rabbit have in a year? Female rabbits can give birth to 1 to 14 babies per litter. Since the gestation period is approximately 30 days, your female rabbit could give birth to a litter once a month or 12 times a year. If she has 14 babies in each litter, that’s 168 babies a year. That’s a lot of baby rabbits to take care of!
At What Age Can A Female Rabbit Breed?
If you have a litter of baby rabbits, you’ll want to distinguish the males from the females early on since rabbits become sexually mature at a young age. Depending upon the breed of rabbit, male rabbits are sexually mature at 3 to 4 months of age. Females are mature a bit later, they’re sexaully mature around 5 or 6 months.
How Long Is The Gestation Period For Rabbits?
Once your female rabbit is pregnant, there’s little time to prepare for the babies. Gestation period period is only 27 to 32 days depending upon the breed of your female rabbit. Here’s what to do to get ready for the litter:
- Be sure to keep all males away from your female rabbit even if she’s pregnant. She can get pregnant again with a second litter! Pregnant rabbits who encounter an unneutered male can have two litters at once though the second litter might not be fully developed.
- If your female rabbit is young, she might not know how to care for her babies. Even though rabbits instinctively care for their young, young mother rabbits can be fearful so you will need to watch her that she doesn’t injure the babies or herself. It sometimes takes a while for a female to get the hang of being a mother so be patient with her and try to minimize her stress.
- Set up a nest box, a cardboard box or wooden box works well. Your mother rabbit will pull out her own fur to line the box. You can also add hay to the box.
- Once the babies are born, make sure your mother rabbit has fresh, clean water, hay and vegetables to keep her strong and healthy. She will nurse the litter a couple times a day, usually in the early morning or late evening.
- At 8 weeks, the kits or babies should be weaned. You can take them away from their mother because by this age they’re eating regular adult rabbit food, they don’t need their mother’s milk anymore.
- Keep the unneutered males in the litter away from your female mother rabbit and all females for that matter. Males are sexually mature around 3 months of age. Your mother rabbit can get pregnant by the males in her litter if you don’t separate her early on.
- If you want to keep your female rabbit as a pet, but don’t want anymore babies have her spayed as soon as she’s had babies to prevent further pregnancies. Spay or neuter all the rabbits in the litter to protect them from having more baby rabbits.
How many babies can a female rabbit have at one time?
Mother rabbits can have anywhere from 1 to 14 babies at one time, although the average is around 6. If she has a double litter at once, she might have more than 6, but they might not survive birth or the first few months of life due to not being fully developed or weak.
Do Female Rabbits Go Into Heat?
Unlike dogs, female rabbits don’t go into heat. Basically, they can always get pregnant even if they’re pregnant! Rabbits are called “induced ovulators” which means they release their egg when approached by a male rabbit. The egg will usually take 8 hours to release. Thus, the first male might not fertilize the egg the first encounter, but a second attempt by the same male or another male 8 after hours later will result in the female getting pregnant.
What time of year do rabbits have babies
Wild rabbits usually breed from March through September.Temperature, food and sunlight are the determining factors for exact times of breeding for wild rabbits. In the wild, rabbits can breed around 3 to 6 months of age. Wild female rabbits usually have anywhere from 1 to 7 litters a year again depending upon the circumstances of food and temperature. It depends also upon the health of the female.Pet rabbits of course, if unaltered can get pregnant anytime of the year unless they’ve been altered.
So How Many Babies Can A Rabbit Have In A Year?
If a female rabbit has 12 litters a year with the maximum of 14 babies in each litter, she could have approximately 168 babies a year. An unaltered male and female along with their unspayed and unneutered offspring in one litter can produce more than 200 babies a year! This is why pet advocates are so adamant about altering your pet rabbits quickly. It’s a huge amount of responsibility to care for so many rabbits in a year unless you plan on selling them as pets.
How Do You Keep Your Rabbit From Having Babies?
If your female rabbit has babies and you don’t want more keep her away from all males that are 3 months or older. A mother rabbits can get pregnant within hours after giving birth. Separate the males and females in the litter around 8 weeks, which is when they get weaned.
Males can be neutered as soon as he his testicles descend, around 3 to 4 months of age. Females can be spayed after 4 months of age. If your rabbits run free and they aren’t neutered or spayed, you can expect to have more babies soon.
What If I Want To Breed and Sell Rabbits?
Breeding and selling rabbits is a lot of work. You need to study rabbit breeding and genetics prior to breeding rabbits. Here are some considerations you need to think about:
- Genetic issues- For instances, you can’t breed brothers and sisters. You need to understand how genetics work and inbreeding works, or your rabbits will have physical abnormalities.
- Pedigree problems- You cannot get your rabbit’s a pedigree if the ancestry isn’t correct, going back several generations.
- Don’t breed rabbits with defects-Rabbits with teeth issues, cornea problems, or skull deformities should not be bred because these defects could get passed on to the offspring.
- Follow the standards-There are certain standards followed by rabbit breeders. You’ll need to know and follow these to be able to sell your baby rabbits.
It’s no secret that rabbits breed quickly. An unaltered female is apt to get pregnant if she hangs out with unaltered males. The gestation period is only 30 days, so there’s not much time to prepare for the litter. Of course, once the litter arrives, you immediately need to protect the mother rabbit from getting pregnant again. Plus, within a couple of months, the rabbits in the litter can breed with one another. It’s estimated that a female rabbit can have 12 litters a year with the possibility of 14 babies in each litter. That’s 168 babies a year.