Desexing your Rabbit

Neutering or Speying your Rabbit


by Dr. Francesca Matthews

The old saying "Breed like Rabbits" is very true. If you put a male and female rabbit together that have not been desexed, they will breed at a phenomenal rate.

Rabbits reach sexual maturity between 16 and 24 weeks of age (3.5 - 5 months), have a gestation period of 30 - 33 days (approximately 1 month), and have a litter size averaging 7 (range 4 - 12). The litter is weaned at about 7 - 8 weeks and the cycle begins again. Get your calculator out and have a go at doing some calculations and see what number you come up with!

If you wish to have more than one rabbit and would like a male and female then it is essential that at least one, if not both of them are desexed. It is also not unheard of for your female rabbit to be mated by a wild rabbit passing through your section, while your rabbit is having free roaming time or through the cage wire.

 

Image source wikimedia commons
 


Because these matings are unplanned, often your first knowledge of it is a litter of rabbits in your rabbit hutch that look distinctly like wild rabbits. If you live in an area where wild rabbits are found nearby, this is of particular importance.

 

Castration of male rabbits is also used to reduce aggression where there is more than one male in the hutch. Both males would need to be desexed to reduce the incidence of the aggression. This should be done early before the aggressive behaviour starts.

Like cats and dogs, it is possible to anaesthetise a rabbit and spey females and castrate males. The anaesthetic is slightly more complicated and the surgery is slightly more involved than speying or neutering a cat, so the costs are higher. It is also possible to desex other pocket pets.

Contact us for a current price for the procedure and details of desexing procedures on other pocket pets.

 

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