When do rabbits happen? From what time do rabbits start to mate? This question is of interest to rabbit breeders starting to breed agricultural and ornamental rabbits who do not have special knowledge in this matter.
Sexual and physiological maturity of rabbits
Like all living creatures on earth, rabbits begin to age the formation of secondary sexual characteristics – this is the age of puberty, this age is followed by the time of true maturation. Earlier on the stages of rabbit maturity have already been told, see reproduction.
A photo. Rabbits start to mate early
The age of rabbits is the first indicator of mating readiness
We remind you that the first signs of maturation in rabbits appear in 3.0–4.0 months, and final maturation after 4.5–8 months.
Therefore, at what age rabbits can be (cheated), the answer is unequivocal – after 5-8 months, although there are pedigree differences, see below for text
Rabbit weight – the second indicator of readiness for the first mating
An important indicator of mating readiness is the weight of the rabbit. It should not be lower than 3.5-4 kg. Other indicators of readiness for mating is a good physique, the development of the genital organs.
Crossbreeding of rabbits immediately after the appearance of secondary sexual characteristics is certainly possible. After all, there are known cases of early pregnancy in both humans and wild animals. However, early mating of any mammals is unacceptable: from an ethical point of view in humans, in terms of productivity in animals.
Let us demonstrate why rabbit breeders indicate these criteria as reference points in answer to the question: when and why should you start to mate rabbits?
All rabbit readiness indicators for the first mating
The main criteria for determining how many months it is better to have rabbits include four key indicators.
- Animal age (minimum physiologically based criteria are proved)
- Rabbit weight (animals of insufficient weight do not bring quality offspring)
- Body type.
- Condition, development of the genitals in rabbits.
For adult rabbits only! Already experienced in mating males and females, they are additionally evaluated by the quality of their descendants. Females by milk production, multiplicity, number of rabbits when weaned from the nest. Males on the stability of transmission of pedigree characters to descendants. Assessment is carried out in November-December.
Methods and sequence of breeding evaluation of young animals
On the farms, young rabbits are examined for the first time at three months for the rabbit’s readiness to mate with a rabbit, and the females are evaluated for their mating ability, mating, and abstain from mating.
A photo. Assessment of rabbits for their willingness to start mating is checked in several stages. First time at a young age
At home, rabbits do the first inspection a little later. It is possible, at the age of five months, to determine the first signs of a rabbit’s readiness to happen to females.
The willingness of a young rabbit, when he can be allowed to mate, is determined by:
- external inspection;
- instrumental measurements (weighing).
When examining adult rabbits and young animals (improvised scoring) at home, pay attention to the following signs:
- compliance with the characteristics of the breed bred in the compound;
- rabbit live weight is taken into account with an error of up to 0.1 kg;
- physique, lack of malformations;
- the condition of the hairline of the rabbit on the legs;
- quality of down (for downy breeds);
- coat color (meets or does not meet breed requirements).
The color of the fur is a breed trait genetically fixed by the male, the correct color is one of the signs of the purity of the breed, so you should pay attention to it when assessing the producers, especially when thoroughbred.
Boning of young animals in order to determine at what age can begin to mate a young rabbit begins with weighing. Below are the indicators of weight common in rabbit breeds. Data taken from rabbit scoring tables.
Rabbit Mating Age California and New Zealand White and Pannon
California and New Zealand White Rabbit (NZB). Young animals of these breeds at five months on control weighing weigh at least 2.3 kg, a maximum of 3.7. At six months, the weight is not lower than 2.5 kg, maximum 4.0 kg and more. At the age over seven months, the main stock of young rabbits of these breeds weighs from 3 to 5 kg. Over eight months old, they reach a weight of more than 5 kg. The earliest californian rabbits and pannon are ready to mate females from the age of five months.
Californians and New Zealand rabbits (NZB), pannon – mating age from 5-7 months
Burgundy Rabbits Mating Age
Burgundy rabbit is considered to be a meat-and-pellet breed. Rabbits are early. At the age of 3-4 months, reach 3.0 kg. Adult rabbits of standard weight from 3.5 to 5.0 kg. The optimal weight is from 4.0-4.5 kg. By early maturity they compete with the Californians and the White New Zealanders.
The mating age of burgundy rabbits starts from 5-6 months
Age of mating rabbit White giant
White giant. This refers to Russian selection. At five months, the rabbit should weigh from 2.6 to 3.9 kg, at six months from 3.0 to 4.5 kg, at seven months from 3.3 kg to 5.8 kg. In eight months, from 3.6 to 5.3 kg. At nine months and over 3.9 to 5.5 kg.
At the age of 5-6 months, rabbits of the breed white giant (domestic selection) can be allowed to mate.
Age of Mating Gray Giant, Owl Chinchilla, Black Brown, Silver
At five months, the rabbit should weigh from 2.5 to 3.8 kg, at six months from 2.8 to 4.3 kg, at seven months from 3.1 to 4.8 kg. In eight months, from 3.4 to 5.1 kg. At nine months and older, from 3.7 to 5.5 kg. Rabbits of the corresponding breed age weigh about the same: Soviet chinchilla, Black-brown; Silvery.
At the age of 7 months, rabbits are a gray giant, Soviet chinchilla, black-brown (black rabbit), silver ready to start breeding
Viennese Blue Rabbit Mating Age
Viennese blue rabbits in five months reach a weight of 2.3 to 3.5 kg, in six months from 2.5 to 4.7 kg, in seven months from 2.9 to 4.4 kg. At eight months, 3.2-4.7 kg. At nine months and older, from 3.4 to 4.9 kg.
The rabbits corresponding to the weight characteristics of the breeds, Vienna Blue begin to happen from eight months and older.
Age of rabbit mating: White Down and Giant Angora
Rabbits of this breed in five months should weigh from 1.9 to 3.2 kg, in six months from 2.1 to 3.7 kg, in seven months from 2.3 to 4.1 kg. In eight months, from 2.4 to 4.4 kg. At nine months and older, from 2.5 to 4.6 kg. The weight of a giant angora is up to 5.5 kg. Rabbits that meet the standards of the breed White Down, at different age intervals, reach weight when they begin to allow rabbits to mate with females. Downy breeds, in particular the Giant Angora rabbit, are characterized by late maturation.
The age of readiness for mating may be insufficient at nine months. Optimal females after a year, males in 1 year 6 months
Rabbit physique assessment methodology
The second thing that attention is paid when scoring young rabbits is their physique. For example, according to the physique, the presence of probable metabolic disturbances in the animal organism is assessed. By these signs, it is possible to determine quite accurately the readiness of the rabbits of males and females for the first mating.
A photo. Visual Assessment of Californian Rabbit Build
Preliminary scoring with a high degree of certainty reveals defects that rabbits acquired at the stages of embryonic development and after birth. Defects in the physique usually impede the rabbit’s readiness to start mating, sometimes pointing out the reasons for the inability to determine when rabbits can be seen. Body check is carried out by an external examination, if necessary, make measurements or determine the width and girth of the chest by eye. Assess the size of the head (shape, size, ratio to the body). Pay attention to the lines of the body, including the back, croup. By the correctness of the setting of the limbs, they give a conclusion about the absence or presence of rickets.
A photo. Landmarks on the body of a rabbit. 1- head, 2- neck, 3- ears, 4-neck, 5-shoulder, 6-side, 7- back, 8- croup, 9- tail, 10-ankle joint, 11-thigh, 12-hind limb, 13-abdomen, 14-front limb, 15-chest, 16-claws, 17-breasts
The sequence of inspection and measurements is as follows:
- The head is proportional to the body, without deformation, massive in males, tender in females.
- The ears of the main agricultural species are erect.
- The neck is proportional, holds correctly in relation to the body, there are no curvatures.
- The chest is well developed, the respiratory movements are rhythmic, deformations, thickenings on the ribs are not felt.
- Back without distortion in the vertical and horizontal direction.
- The croup is round, sensitivity is normal.
- The limbs are set correctly in relation to the torso.
- Muscle tissue is dense, embossed, fat is not felt.
- The hairline is smooth, shiny, meets breed standards.
Assessment of the physique of rabbits of decorative (dwarf) breeds to determine readiness for mating is approximately the same as for productive rabbits.
Examination and evaluation of the genitals of female and male rabbits
In rabbit breeding, an examination of the genital organs of females and males is carried out in order to determine when at what age rabbits are ready and can begin to breed.
- The genitals of the male. A feature of the rabbit is its wide inguinal rings. This means that the rabbit’s testes are freely drawn into the abdominal cavity and extended back. To exclude cryptorchidism in a rabbit, it is necessary to move the testes with your hands, running your hands along the stomach in the direction of the hind limbs, from the abdominal cavity. During external examination and palpation of the rabbit’s penis, defects, curvature, and signs of hermaphroditism (female and male genital organs) are not detected.
- The genitals of the female. Inspection and palpation of the study accessible to the external genital organs of a female rabbit. The mucous membranes of the vulva (loop) are pink, smooth, shiny. Deviations are not allowed. During the period of sexual hunting (estrus), hyperemia of the mucous membranes is possible, combined with the anxiety of the female. Feeling (palpation) of the sides of the rabbit does not reveal pain, the uterus is not sensitive. The sensitivity of individual zones on the body of a rabbit during hunting is allowed.
Simple, affordable methods – such as external examination, weighing, you can easily determine the individual signs of a rabbit’s readiness for mating. It is easy to determine at what age and when rabbits should be covered for the first time, how much time is left until the time when the rabbit can be mated with a male for successful breeding.
When decorative rabbits are ready for mating and giving birth
Rabbits of decorative, dwarf breeds grow up in much the same way as their rural counterparts. There are no breed recommendations, but I think that age over 7 months is the minimum age for breeding readiness. But if not in a hurry, then optimally from the year the males and females of the rabbit will be good parents.
The phenomenon of cryptorchidism in rabbits is extremely rare. However, there are many reports on the Internet that the rabbit is cryptorch, what should I do? The rabbit is not for nothing called a coward, its physiological feature is to draw the testes into the abdominal cavity with any threat. If a person takes a rabbit in his arms in order to examine the inguinal region, and there is not what men have, then panic begins. Try moving the palm along the lower abdomen from head to tail to squeeze the testes out.
Cryptorchidism in rabbits is extremely rare due to the structural features of the inguinal rings in males. Cryptorchae animals are unambiguously rejected from among the breeding animals