How to determine the sex of a rabbit

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

Unlike other animals, female and male rabbits aren’t too different physically. This can make it hard for many pet companions to know the sex of their rabbit, especially a newborn. So they will often need to go for a professional to know the gender of their rabbit.

In this AnimalWised article, we will help you tell the sex of your rabbit. Keep reading to find out how to know if your rabbit is male or female.

  1. How old does a rabbit have to be to tell the sex?
  2. How to know if your rabbit is male
  3. How to know if your rabbit is female
  4. Difference between male and female rabbits
  5. Fun facts about rabbits

How old does a rabbit have to be to tell the sex?

Many pet companions want to know the gender of their bunnies as soon as they’re born, unfortunately this is nearly impossible even for professionals. So, how old does a rabbit have to be to tell their sex?

Depending on the size of your bunny, you should be able to identify their sex by the time they are around 6 weeks old. However, if you’re still not sure, wait until they are around 9 weeks old to check again. Once they are 3 months old, it will be much easier to tell if your rabbit is male or female. This is because their genitalia will be more developed and therefore easier to identify.

There’s a strange belief that rabbits can change genders. However, this is simply incorrect. Rabbits do not fall into the category of animals that can change genders. If you believe your rabbit has changed genders, that simply means they were mis-sexed by the breeder or veterinarian. It’s understandable as it’s very difficult to tell rabbit gender apart when they are newborn bunnies.

How to know if your rabbit is male

To know if your rabbit is male, follow the simple steps below. Remember to handle your bunny with care as they are easily scared and it will not be a normal position for them to be in.

  1. Place them on your lap or a table, belly facing up. You will see their abdomen and then their tail hiding their genitalia.
  2. Hold them firmly but with care, we don’t want to scare them.
  3. Observe their genitalia area. Their anus will be very close to their tail. In males, their penis and anus are more far apart than females’ vagina and anus.
  4. Their penis is a cylinder shape that slightly sticks out.
  5. Optional: you can also gently press around their penis to make sure it is indeed a penis. If it is, their penis will come out and you will see the full size of it.

Once your rabbit is 3 or 4 months old it will be much easier to tell if they are male as you will most likely be able to see their testicles. However, in some cases their testicles may lower down and you will only be able to see their penis. If you’re still having trouble recognising their genitalia, it’s best you ask your veterinarian to have a look.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

How to know if your rabbit is female

The beginning of this process is the same as for males. To know if your rabbit is female, follow the simple steps below. Remember to handle your bunny with care as they are easily scared and it will not be a normal position for them to be in.

  1. Place them on your lap or a table, belly facing up. You will see their abdomen and then their tail hiding their genitalia.
  2. Hold them firmly but with care, we don’t want to scare them.
  3. Observe their genitalia area. The anus will be close to her tail, and then you will see her vulva. The shape is more oval than circular (as in males).
  4. By gently pressing around the area, you will see her puffy vulva and a slit in the middle. If this is what you observe, then she is a female bunny.

If your bunny is already 3 months old and you are having trouble knowing her sex, visit your veterinarian so that they can observe your bunny.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

Difference between male and female rabbits

Other than their genitals, male and female rabbits are different in character. Here are some of the main differences in the character of male and female rabbits:

  • Female rabbits are less territorial than male rabbits: However they do tend to be territorial with people and their community rabbits. Unspayed female rabbits will dig to create breeding dens and will protect those holes by kicking, biting and scratching.
  • Male rabbits urinate to mark their territory: They will not only urinate on areas to mark their territory but also on the female they’re mating with when having sexual intercourse.
  • High sex drive: although both sexes of rabbits have a high sex drive, unspayed male rabbits are likely to hump toys, sweaters or cushions.
  • Males defecate more: unspayed male rabbits also defecate more than females.
  • Males are more affectionate: contrary to popular belief, male rabbits tend to be more affectionate than female rabbits.
  • Males are calmer than females: male rabbits are known to be more calm than female rabbits, however this can vary as each rabbit has their own personality.
  • Females are larger than males: male and female rabbits are quite similar in physical appearance, making it difficult to differentiate them by a simple glance. However, a small clue that can help us is the fact that females are comparatively larger than a male rabbit of the same age and breed.
  • Faces: another female physical trait is their face. Female rabbits have a rounder face than male rabbits that look more rectangular.
  • Dewlaps: old females have dewlaps but males do not.

With all of this being said, both genders are great, there is not one better than the other. They have their own character due to their sex and personality. However, it would be wise to spay or neuter your rabbits to stop unwanted pregnancies. Be mindful that it will take a few months for the hormones to settle down. To learn more about spraying your rabbit, consult with your veterinarian.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

Want to determine the sex of the rabbit(s)? You should.

Whether you have one rabbit or a group of rabbits, gender knowledge will not only help you in setting the appropriate names but will also guide you about the unwanted normal or false pregnancy risks. Sometimes you need to spay the female to avoid the potential danger of uterine cancers. All this can be only done if you exactly know what is the gender of your rabbit.

This article will guide you in detail on how to determine the sex of the rabbit. Without further ado, let’s dive straight in.

Check the age of your rabbit

The rabbits start breeding at the age of 12. So, if your rabbit kits are living in the combined groups, make sure to separate them around the age of 3 months.

It is not possible to determine the sex of a newborn rabbit, so wait for at least 4 weeks before starting the gender analysis.

Already have an adult rabbit? Start with it!

If it’s your first time, you won’t be able to determine the sex of kits. But don’t worry, the presence of an adult rabbit in the group can give you a clue.

Closely look at the adult parents and check to whom the kit resembles . If it is more closely related to the mother, it can be a female rabbit and vice versa.

Although it is not the surest way to find gender, it can help you when you don’t have any other knowledge.

Check the rabbit genitals

Just as we know the rabbit’s genitals are present between its back two legs. So you may take the help of another person to check the gender. Once you have another person to help you, cover your lap with the towel (to prevent rabbit urination) and lay the rabbit with its legs in the upward direction. Now check the shape and structure of the rabbit genitals.

It is advised to use the gloves to prevent any infections that you may get by directly touching the rabbit’s genitals. A similar checkup is done by the veterinarian to check the genital infection of the bunnies.

Identifying the sex of the rabbit

All you need to do is to closely look at the external genitalia of the rabbit. The first step is to part the fur and while holding him softly. A slight hard touch can cause your bunny to scream, so it is necessary to handle it with extra softness.

You can take the help of another person who should gently soothe him if he squirms uncontrollably. The rabbit does this because he may feel that you are going to hurt him. So, be very friendly and kind while handling his private parts.

Find the testicles

Male rabbits have narrow and long testicles. You can easily see the testicles on the external portion of the body. So, if you have successfully found them, it means the rabbit you are currently handling is male. So what should you check further?

There are two torpedo-shaped bulges below the skin in the groin region that are covered with fur and mostly have purple color.

The scrotum is very fluffy and invisible due to thick fur. So if you are having difficulty in examining the scrotum, dip the rabbit in the water, so the fur will get wet and you’ll have a clear structure in front of you.

The scrotum is an even more clearer sign than the penis. But if your rabbit is less than 10 weeks old, you won’t be able to find the clear scrotum. In the mature rabbit, testicles can be seen very easily.

But what if you don’t find any of these structures? Look again. Still can’t? Then, look for the female signs.

Look for the openings

Now it’s time to finally look and check whether your rabbit has a vulva or a penis. This can be easily done if you gently press the whole genital area. One side will have an anal opening, then comes the reproductive tract, and if you see another opening instead of the penis, it is a genital opening.

Genital opening is somehow far from the tail. Female rabbits have an I-shaped opening. You can enter your finger in the vagina if you put some pressure on the slit-like structure.

Summing up, the opening near the tail is the anal opening while the one farther from the tail is the genital opening.

There is another key difference in both openings. The anal opening is surrounded by a fixed anal ring and is slightly harder than the genital hole.

Identified gender? It’s time to double-check

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

Have you found the vulva or the penis? Either way, double-check your findings. Sometimes, the penis seems more tube-like and clear.

If your analysis shows that your rabbit is female, then look again for the lips. Even if you find the petal-shape structure, it shows the presence of a vulva.

Relying merely on physical characteristics is not enough

Some people say that you can judge the sex of the rabbit if you keenly observe the habits and physical appearance o the rabbit. But as a matter of fact, this is not the right approach.

Rabbits vary greatly in their shapes and sizes, so if you want to be completely sure of the sex, you should not merely rely on the physical characteristics.

Visit the vet for final verification

Although, you can easily check the gender of your rabbit at home, if you are not an expert at it, you should visit the veterinarian for the final answer. It is highly recommended to take final verification from your vet if you want to know this for breeding purposes.

Final thoughts

Now you have gone through is the ultimate guide for gender help. Do you have any additional ideas, tips, or tricks to share with us? If you can help us by sharing your experiences about the relevant topic or have some unique techniques to find the gender of the rabbit, you are welcomed.

For some pets, gender is very easy to determine. Not so with rabbits; rabbits with different genders do not look very different from each other even as adults.

What’s more, if the rabbits are still kits, sexing them could be real work. In fact, I have heard of stories of people who thought they had brought home 2 male rabbits only to end up with a litter of rabbits a few weeks later.

Funny, right? While it can easily be jotted down to an innocent mistake, you, of course, wouldn’t want to end up with a litter of rabbits unexpectedly.

There is a way, however, to determine if your rabbit is a girl or a boy. All you need is the proper knowledge and technique to determine how to identify them.

This article aims to guide you through finding the correct gender of your rabbits. Aside from avoiding unexpected pregnancies, it is also beneficial to you as an owner to know your rabbit’s gender as they have some behavioral differences as they grow up.

I will go through some of these behavioral differences in this article but you should remember that gender alone does not determine a rabbit’s behavior.

A lot of factors can contribute to your rabbit’s temperament. Also, one rabbit’s personality can easily differ from another regardless of sex.

How to know if your rabbit is a boy or a girl?

Rabbits do not have any obvious physical differences per gender, the only sure way to find out whether a rabbit is a boy or a girl is to look at its genitals. Easier said than done, for really small rabbits and kits it’s hard to determine the gender so you really have to know what you’re looking for.

A rabbit has a vent that is actually composed of the rabbit’s genitals and its anus. This can be found between their hind legs. The part of the vent that is very close to the tail is the anus and the other part consists of a slit that hides the genitals.

The vent for a female rabbit will be shaped like the letter I while that of male rabbits will be shaped like the letter O. Again, this could be hard to see.

If you’re lucky and your rabbit is already ten weeks old, then finding their sex would be easier for you. Just look for the testicles. Rabbit testicles are 2 oblong shapes, purple “balls” that sit on either side of the rabbit vent.

Younger male rabbits won’t have this yet as the testicles wouldn’t be fully developed yet. In this case, it would be better if you try to just identify the penis.

To find the rabbit’s vulva and penis, you have to get your rabbit into a position wherein their tummies are facing upward, hence they should be lying on their backs on your lap. This could be difficult especially if your rabbit is not yet familiar with you.

Animals in general, do not like having their bellies exposed because this is a sensitive part of their body. That’s why we often say that once your animal exposes their bellies to you then it means that it fully trust you.

Therefore, it’s important to keep your rabbit calm. Give them treats, or maybe better ask someone to hold them in place just in case they kick or start struggling. Rabbits can be strong kickers and you don’t want them falling in the process.

Once they’re already in the proper position find the vent and the slit. Apply gentle pressure on either side of the slit. If a tubular part sticks out then congratulations, your bunny is a boy. The vulva tends to spread out rather than stick out so it would then be obvious that your bunny is a girl.

Why is it important to tell the gender of a rabbit?

Knowing the rabbit of gender is important because gender plays an important role when it comes to rabbit ownership. You don’t want to put two unneutered and unspayed rabbits together in one cage you are almost immediately setting yourself up for trouble.

Rabbit fertility does not operate on a cycle like other animals. Rabbits produce eggs after intercourse. This is the reason why rabbits tend to reproduce faster and then, they also produce lots of kits in a litter.

Besides, taking care of bunnies is not a walk in a park. Bunny ownership could be costly, so you’d like to make sure that your bunnies do not get into unwanted pregnancies.

Rabbit gender also is important for neutering and spaying procedures. Neutering is for male rabbits while spaying is for female rabbits.

Also, neutering is cheaper than spaying as it is less invasive and requires less postoperative care than spaying. Thus, knowing your rabbit’s gender will make it easier to factor in the cost of this recommended procedure to your expenses.

Rabbit gender is also very important as it helps set your expectations when it comes to bonding with your rabbits. Rabbits are generally laid-back and chill animals but general differences have been observed based on their genders.

Female rabbits are more stand-offish than male rabbits. For first-time pet owners, male rabbits are often more recommended as they tend to be more outgoing, friendly, and generally easier to bond with than female rabbits.

Females tend to be more of an expert in ignoring their owners so you would really have to put in the work, patience, and consistency for you to be able to form a bond with them.

Also, female rabbits tend to be more territorial than male rabbits. This is because wild females are the ones who burrow and stay behind while the male rabbits forage. Females also build nests and burrows so they’re more likely to chew things and dig on your favorite carpet or garden than male rabbits.

This is not to say however, that male rabbits won’t ever exhibit these types of behavior. Only that the likelihood is bigger for female rabbits.


This article might be short but I hope it has enlightened you, even just a little bit on how to properly gender your rabbits.

Rabbit ownership is a joy and efforts will always pay off when it comes to bonding with them. It doesn’t matter whatever their gender, once rabbits decide that they love you, that stays constant throughout their lifetime.

The physical appearance of a rabbit can help you determine its sex. During the first few months, the genital openings of a rabbit are almost identical to those of a male rabbit. However, some rabbits remain ambiguous, particularly if they are young. If you’re unsure of the gender of your rabbit, try this simple method. It’s also a good idea to have a professional test your rabbit to be sure.

If you don’t want to test your rabbit yourself, you can also ask a veterinarian to check for genital openings. A male rabbit has a penis, while a female rabbit will have a small dot in the anus. You can also determine the sex of a rabbit by pressing firmly on its anus. The genitals are less distinct in young rabbits, so be careful when handling them.

Young rabbits may be difficult to identify because their genitals are not fully mature. This means that sex cannot be determined until the rabbit is about six to eight weeks old. Handling a younger rabbit can lead to the rejection of its mother. Fortunately, this problem is eliminated once the rabbit has been weaned. After the age of weaning, it’s easier to determine the sex of your rabbit.

Another simple way to determine a rabbit’s sex is to examine the genital opening. To do this, place a finger on each side of the rabbit’s genital opening and gently roll it outwards. The point of a male rabbit’s penis should poke out through the prepuce opening. On the other hand, a female rabbit’s vagina should be the shape of an oval.

Once a rabbit reaches sexual maturity, it is easy to see which is which. If you have more than one rabbit, it is best to neuter, sex them, or separate them. During the first three months, it’s best to keep male and female rabbits separate. And keep in mind that males should never live with females. And don’t forget to re-sex your rabbit if you’re unsure of their sex.

A pink protrusion near the vent area of a male rabbit is an indication that he’s female. This protrusion is typically oval or slanted, and is visible in mature male rabbits. A male rabbit’s protruding tip may also make it easy to identify. If you don’t want to risk sexing your rabbit, try observing how he or she interacts with others.

While a male rabbit’s penis is visible on its bottom, its testicle hangs out from the groin area. The prepuce is a pink-colored, pointy structure in the center of this patch of fur. However, female rabbits may have a slit in the anus. If this is the case, you’ll probably need to wait until the rabbit reaches sexual maturity.

It is easier to determine the sex of a rabbit when the animal is an adult. An adult rabbit, on the other hand, can easily be identified by comparing the hind ends. When comparing a male with a female, the hind end of the buck is pointing away from the doe and vice versa. It’s also easier to identify the sex of a male rabbit if the rabbit is frightened and confused.

Welcome to my blog. My name is Johnson, a graduate of Zoology from Cornell University before I proceed to do my master’s at Colorado state university where I bagged MSc in Animal Science. I am generally a lover of animals of all kinds and this blog is mainly to educate the world about what I know about animals.

When can you tell the gender of a baby bunny?

Depending on the size of your bunnies, you may be able to identify the sexes by the time they are about 6 weeks old. If you aren’t sure, wait until they are 8 or 9 weeks old and check again.

Are boy or girl rabbits friendlier?

Male and female rabbits are distinctly different from each other, even after de-sexing. Males tend to be more easy going and relaxed while females are usually “the boss” of any household.

Can rabbits change gender?

1 Answer. As stated here, they don’t change gender. Rabbits are one of those species whose gender is difficult to tell, especially in young animals, and therefore are regularly misidentified.

Do female rabbits have periods?

Rabbits do not menstruate. If unspayed females start passing blood, they can bleed to death within a few days.

Do girl rabbits hump things?

As it turns out, females frequently hump one another at the time that they reach puberty; it is their way of asserting dominance without any bloody battles. If your female rabbit has begun humping another doe, it’s likely that they’re simply involved in a mild argument over territory or dominance.

Do bunnies need shots?

Although pet rabbits in the United States do not require any vaccinations, veterinarians in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe routinely inoculate for two fatal viruses common to the continent’s wild rabbits: Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD).

What is the friendliest bunny breed?

With this in mind, the friendliest breeds of rabbit that are ideal for any home include the following:

  • Jersey Wooly Rabbit.
  • Dutch Rabbit.
  • Mini Lop Rabbit.
  • Chinchilla Rabbit.
  • Polish Rabbit.
  • Lionhead Rabbit.
  • Californian Rabbit.
  • Himalayan Rabbit.

Can 2 male rabbits live together?

Two male rabbits can get along together, but this is usually the least successful pairing. For a male – male pairing to work, one rabbit needs to be much more submissive than the other. They also must be neutered. Neutered males tend to be calmer and more likely to get along.

How do I pick the right rabbit?

What should you look for in a healthy rabbit? When choosing a rabbit, it is always best to see all the rabbits in the litter, if possible. Each animal should be bright, alert, and active. They should all have shiny, lush fur and be plump and well-fed.

How fast do rabbits multiply?

Rabbits are able to become pregnant early in life, with some smaller breeds starting their reproductive life stage as early as 4 months of age. A female rabbit is fertile for all but about 3 days per month, but will only produce an egg for insemination when mated by a male rabbit in sexual intercourse.

Can female chickens turn into males?

Normally, female chickens have just one functional ovary, on their left side. This transition is limited to making the bird phenotypically male, meaning that although the hen will develop physical characteristics that will make her look male, she will remain genetically female.

What animal is both male and female?

A hermaphrodite is an organism that has both male and female reproductive organs and can perform both the male and female parts of reproduction. In some hermaphrodites, the animal starts out as one sex and switches to the other sex later in its life.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

Even if you live in a larger city, chances are you’ve come across wild rabbits in your day-to-day life. While the fully-grown ones are completely capable of taking care of themselves, you may be wondering what you can do if you find an adolescent or baby wild rabbit.

Different from domestic breeds, Cottontail rabbits are the ones you are most likely to find in the wild. They reproduce quickly and grow to almost full maturity in a short six weeks.

Because cottontail mothers have been known to put their nests in some particularly strange places, you may one day find a litter that has been left to fend for themselves from too young an age. In this case, you’ll need a clear guide to determine just how old these wild rabbits are — and what you can do to help.

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to determine a wild rabbit’s age, as well as how to tell if a mother has abandoned her babies. Then, we’ll cover some basic care tips and resources for making sure the rabbits are safe.

Let’s get started!

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

Less Than 3 Days Old

Less than 2 inches long, newborn Cottontails will have a dark body with an almost transparent belly. They rely on their mother’s milk to survive, and will still have their eyes closed. Do not handle rabbits this small unless you’re absolutely sure their mother has abandoned them (more on this later).

3-9 Days Old

After about 3 days, wild rabbits will begin to develop a more “natural” color of fur that will stick out slightly from their bodies. Though their eyes will remain closed, their ears are beginning to come away from their bodies (but don’t yet allow them to hear). At between 2 and 3 inches long, they are still completely dependent on their mother’s milk to survive.

At around 7 days, the ear canal will open, allowing the baby rabbit to begin to hear. Though their fur is mostly still pressed firmly against their bodies, they are developing enough of a coat to begin to keep themselves warm.

10-14 Days Old

The baby cottontail’s eyes and ears will finally open after nearly a week and a half, allowing them to begin wandering around their nest even without their mothers present. Quickly growing to over 3 inches in length, their fur will take on more of a natural “agouti” color as their true coat comes in. They’ll still be dependent on mother’s milk until the end of two weeks but will also begin snacking on hay and dried grasses around the nest.

2-3 Weeks Old

Growing ever more quickly now, the wild rabbit’s fur will fill out and begin to look much fluffier. Upwards of 4 inches long, they will start developing more supportive musculature that allows them to hop around in search of hay, grass, and edible weeds. To do so, they’ll begin to leave the nest in short bursts, but still return to the nest at night.

3-5 Weeks Old

Most noticeable at this age from their ears standing fully erect, wild rabbits will continue to fill out and develop a plush coat of warm, insulating fur. Their searching and alert eyes are becoming trained to the presence of predators, meaning that they can be released back into the wild around this age.

Once they reach a size of 5 to 7 inches long, they’ll look very much like a somewhat smaller version of an adult rabbit. Though often weighing less than a pound at this point, their instincts will begin to keep them safe in the wild as they rely solely on whatever food sources they can forage.

6+ Weeks Old

One and a half months into their lives, wild rabbits are considered fully adult. It may take them another 4 to 6 weeks to fill out into their usual 2-3 pound weights as they grow to be anywhere between 12 and 20 inches long. After the age of 8 weeks, they are fully sexually mature and will often begin to reproduce.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

Image Credit: Fritz_the_cat, Pixabay

How to Tell If Wild Rabbits Have Been Abandoned

From their fragile birth until adolescence a mere 3 weeks later, wild rabbits need the care of their mother (or a trained professional) to survive. If you’ve found a nest of wild rabbits, and identified them as being less than 3 weeks of age, how can you know whether their mother is still caring for them?

Because rabbit mothers spend much of the day away from their nests foraging for food, you can easily make a mistake in judging that a litter of baby bunnies has been abandoned. Never take babies out of a nest without being absolutely sure that they have been abandoned!

To test for the mother’s presence at night, you can perform a simple check: Place two pieces of very light string in an “X” over the entrance to the nest, and check back in 24 hours. If the string has been moved even a little bit, that means mama has been home to check on and feed her babies. In this case, leave them to be nourished and grow.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

Image Credit: 753446, Pixabay

What Should I Do If the Babies Are Abandoned?

If the worst-case scenario turns out to be true, and the rabbits’ mother hasn’t returned to the nest in 24 hours, your intervention should be swift. Call your local veterinary office immediately — they’ll either be able to help guide you through the process or refer you to a rehabilitator who can.

Either way, do not attempt to feed the babies! Doing so can be harmful or fatal because they need a very particular set of nutrients from their mother’s milk. Do your best to keep them warm with soft bedding and dried grasses while you wait for further instructions from a professional.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit


Wild rabbits reproduce and grow incredibly fast, making it very likely that you’ll one day encounter a nest of babies. If you’re concerned about the health and well-being of these small creatures, follow the steps in this guide to determine whether they need your help.

Thank you to our friends at Wild Rescue Texas for their helpful guide to wild rabbits which was instrumental in researching this article.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

Q: Our children were given two rabbits, and they’d like to know each bunny’s sex before they name them. We parents would like to know, too, so we don’t end up with a house full of rabbits.

How do we tell what sex each rabbit is? If one is female and the other male, can they be neutered to prevent a household population explosion, or should we just try to keep them apart?

A: A male is called a buck, and a female is a doe. One way to determine their sexes is to look at each rabbit’s groin. [Here’s a shortcut link to an instructional video:]

A far easier way to sex your new bunnies is to schedule a physical exam with a veterinarian. If your new rabbits are not yet sexually mature, it will be particularly difficult to determine their sexes without your veterinarian’s help.

In males, the testicles descend around 10 to 12 weeks of age. Small and medium-size breeds are sexually mature at 4 to 6 months, while giant breeds don’t gain sexual maturity until around 9 months of age.

Once you learn that both rabbits are healthy, request an appointment for sterilization surgery, even if both of them are the same sex. Sterilized rabbits live longer and behave better than unsterilized rabbits. Rabbits are social creatures, and sterilization will help your two bunnies get along more harmoniously.

Females should be sterilized, or spayed, to prevent uterine cancer, which occurs in most unspayed does and is fatal. In addition, spay surgery decreases urine spraying and aggression.

Males are sterilized, or neutered, to prevent urine marking and aggression. Urine odor is also reduced after neutering.

Moreover, sterilization reduces overpopulation of pet rabbits. Bunnies are the third most common species living in animal shelters, awaiting permanent homes.

To help you and your children give your new bunnies the best possible care, consult the House Rabbit Society website at You’ll learn about diet, litter box training, finding an expert rabbit veterinarian and much more.

Q: The big box store has a sale on sago palms, and I’m thinking of buying one for my living room. However, we have a new puppy that sometimes chews outdoor plants. Will it be a problem if he chews the sago palm?

A: Yes, a deadly problem, so don’t buy this plant. The sago palm, also called a cycad palm, resembles a pineapple with large, thick, dark green spiked fronds growing from the top. These low-maintenance houseplants also thrive outdoors in warm climates.

All parts of the sago palm are poisonous — even if the dog only chews the plant but doesn’t swallow. The seeds are particularly toxic; eating just one seed has proved fatal.

Two poisons are most responsible for the sago palm’s toxicity: cycasin, which causes liver failure and other gastrointestinal toxicity, and an amino acid called beta-methylamino-L-alanine, which damages the central nervous system.

Toxic signs include regurgitation, diarrhea, anorexia, lethargy, loss of coordination, tremors, seizures and coma. Death occurs in up to half of patients, so immediate veterinary care is essential for any pet exposed to a sago palm.

So, say no to sago palms. Instead, choose pet-safe plants from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s website. Here’s a shortcut link:

Lee Pickett, VMD, practices companion animal medicine in North Carolina. Contact her at

[email protected]

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How to determine the sex of a rabbit

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So, people are always interested in how old a rabbit is especially if they’re trying to adopt a rabbit from a shelter. Unfortunately, rabbits who come into shelters don’t come with tags on them telling us how old they are and it is very hard to tell the age of a rabbit. There really is no reliable way. Some people look at their teeth, but in fact you can have a young rabbit that has pretty lousy teeth and you can have an older rabbit that has beautiful teeth just as you can with dogs.

With small breeds of dogs, you can find a young dog with lots of tartar and you can find an older dog with brilliant gleaming white teeth that look like toothpaste ads. Similar with rabbits, their teeth are not a reliable way to tell the age of a rabbit unless the rabbit is extremely young, but other than that when a rabbit comes into a shelter, how do we tell the age? Well, there’s two ways that I do.

One is when they’re being spayed or neutered, the toughness of their tissue will often give you a really big clue as to how old they are especially with males. When you’re neutering a male, the influence of testosterone over a long period of time like many years will make the tissues very tough and hard to manipulate. Even when I’m injecting the rabbit pre-surgery with his medications, it’s hard to get a needle through very tough skin. The skin become almost like a football. That’s an older rabbit.

A younger rabbit will have much softer skin and softer tissues for the veterinarian to manipulate during surgery, so that gives you a little bit of a clue. Another thing that I’ve learned through the years is that there is a relationship between the condition of the rabbits hocks or heels and his age. It’s just a personal observation, so take it for what it’s worth. I have read this in a book or a text book, anything like that, but I’ve notice it by caring for many hundreds of rabbits over a very long period of time.

When a rabbit is really young, his heels are healthy, pink, beautiful, nice skin, no problem. The heel on a rabbit is like our elbow. The bone is right up against the skin. As a rabbit gets older, the constant pressure on his heel, on his hock, by that bone against the skin starts to change the condition of the hock. So, if you’re getting a really young rabbit, you’re going to have a fully furred foot with no callous on it.

As rabbits start to get older, that one spot develops a callous on it. If the rabbit doesn’t get enough exercise and is left to sit for long periods of time, this can be either in a wire bottom cage where the wire is cutting into the foot, but it can also be in a flat bottom cage where the rabbit’s weight is just constantly on that one spot then you start to get a callous that turns a different color. It starts to get and irritated. Sometimes the flesh actually breaks and the bone starts to come through. That’s really dangerous and that opens a path for a serious infection.

So, I’m going to show you with this little guy, what his hocks look like. We know from his adopter that this rabbit is around seven years old, something like that. He’s in great shape and his heels, I think you can get a close up here. See that callous. That is a callous of an older rabbit. It is not inflammed [SP], but it is a dark pink. There’s no break in the skin. Nothing looks like it’s going to come through, but that’s a way that you can check the age of the rabbit as he gets older. When you pick up a rabbit and see that condition, you know that that weights been resting on that spot for a long time.

So, those are my best tips for aging a rabbit. If you know the rabbits age at the outset, that’s great, but don’t let that stop you. Don’t let your lack of knowledge stop you from adopting a rabbit that you really like because older rabbits need loving families too.

At what age can you tell the gender of a rabbit?

Sexing Rabbits. Sexing rabbits is not really hard to do. You can usually do a good job identifying a buck from a doe, at least from the age of 3 weeks and on. An older buck is easy to identify.

Can rabbits change gender?

1 Answer. As stated here, they don’t change gender. Rabbits are one of those species whose gender is difficult to tell, especially in young animals, and therefore are regularly misidentified.

Do female rabbits have periods?

Rabbits do not menstruate. If unspayed females start passing blood, they can bleed to death within a few days.

Are female or male rabbits friendlier?

Male rabbits are easier pets for first time rabbit caretakers. They tend to be less territorial with fewer destructive habits and are known for having calmer personalities. However, female rabbits are also great pets if you are ready to take extra precautions.

What are some cute bunny names?

Cute Boy Bunny Names

  • Bugs.
  • Thumper.
  • Peter Rabbit.
  • Snoopy.
  • Mortimer.
  • Buster.
  • Baxter.
  • Roger Rabbit.

What is a female bunny called?

The female rabbit is called a doe, giving birth is called kindling and baby rabbits are called kittens.

Do bunnies need shots?

Although pet rabbits in the United States do not require any vaccinations, veterinarians in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe routinely inoculate for two fatal viruses common to the continent’s wild rabbits: Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD).

How fast do rabbits multiply?

Rabbits are able to become pregnant early in life, with some smaller breeds starting their reproductive life stage as early as 4 months of age. A female rabbit is fertile for all but about 3 days per month, but will only produce an egg for insemination when mated by a male rabbit in sexual intercourse.

What animal is both male and female?

A hermaphrodite is an organism that has both male and female reproductive organs and can perform both the male and female parts of reproduction. In some hermaphrodites, the animal starts out as one sex and switches to the other sex later in its life.

Can female chickens turn into males?

Normally, female chickens have just one functional ovary, on their left side. This transition is limited to making the bird phenotypically male, meaning that although the hen will develop physical characteristics that will make her look male, she will remain genetically female.

How do rabbits say sorry?

Rabbits apologize by touching heads. If the rabbits groom each other after touching heads, then the apology has been officially accepted. Rabbits are usually keen to make amends, but can be stubborn about doing so. A rabbit can hold a grudge for a few hours, or even many days.

Do rabbits fart?

YES – Rabbits are described as non-ruminant herbivores, which means that while their diet consists of plant matter such as grass, flowers, as well as twigs, they do not have a specialised stomach to digest plant material. Rabbits not only can and do fart, but they need to fart.

What do rabbits like in their cage?

Put some fun toys in the cage. Rabbits love to chew so provide some sturdy branches of orchard woods (apple, pear, plum, cherry) or you can purchase commercial rabbit chews from a pet store. When choosing toys, make sure they are rabbit-safe. A good toy is a cardboard box filled with shredded paper and dry hay.

by Brenda Priddy / in Hobbies

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

The peacock that most people are familiar with is only one half of the peafowl family. The other half is the peahen — the name for the female peafowl. Identifying the gender of juvenile peachicks is known as “sexing” the chicks. According to, sexing peachicks is very difficult to do accurately without the use of a lab or blood test. However, there are some signs that you can look for to identify the differences between the sexes while the peachicks are still young. You should be able to separate most of the chicks by the time they are two months old.

  • The peacock that most people are familiar with is only one half of the peafowl family.
  • However, there are some signs that you can look for to identify the differences between the sexes while the peachicks are still young.

Hold the chicks in your left hand. Turn the chicks over so their bellies are exposed. Look at the chick’s vent below the tail. This is the area where future sex organs will develop in the peachick. If the vent has a small protrusion or bump, the peachick is male. If the vent is a smooth area, the peachick is female.

Allow the peachicks to grow for two months. Male peacocks will have longer legs than the females. If you measure the legs at approximately two months of age, the males should have slightly longer legs. You can then separate the hens from the cocks with some accuracy.

  • Allow the peachicks to grow for two months.
  • Male peacocks will have longer legs than the females.

Wait a few more months for primary feathers to start to develop. If you have the standard blue and brown peafowl, you should be able to determine the difference in sexes between nine months and one year. The males will develop dark, chocolate brown primary feathers. The female will develop more muted brown, greyish primary feathers.

Listen and watch the chicks as they develop. The male chicks may show higher signs of aggression.

Consider having a blood test down on the chicks. This is the only way to tell fore sure what the sexes of the chicks are in the first year. While you can made educated guesses, it is impossible to know with finality. If you have to know the sex of each of the chicks, such as for business and sale reasons, a blood test is a worthwhile investment.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

Dr. Bartley Harrison is a veterinarian with more than 15 years of professional veterinary experience treating dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, birds, and small mammals, with a specific focus on Emergency Medicine. Dr. Harrison is part of The Spruce Pets’ veterinary review board.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

The Spruce / Kyle Fewel

Determining the sex of your new cat isn’t always an easy feat. The traits of a male cat compared to a female cat aren’t always evident to new cat owners, and it’s even more difficult to determine the sex of a kitten or a neutered male.

There are, however, telltale signs and behaviors that can make it easier to determine a cat’s sex, and read on to discover the best ways to determine the sex of your cat.

Quick Tip

Once a cat or kitten has been successfully sexed, unless the owner is a cat breeder, it’s important to find a good vet who can spay or neuter the pet.

Sexing Kittens

For those adopting a kitten, chances are the new pet is only a few weeks old. Newborn and tiny kittens are so immature that it’s nearly impossible to tell their sex. Once they’re six or eight weeks old, however, their genitalia becomes more visually obvious. The penis, however, is not normally visible in male cats, and it’s unlikely that the owner will be able to feel or see the scrotum. Thus, apparent lack of a penis or testes is not an indication that a kitten is female.

As a rule of thumb, breeders use “punctuation marks” to identify the sex of younger cats or neutered cats. To do this, raise the pet’s tail gently; start by petting gently and try scratching the cat’s lower back as he or she may raise the tail automatically as purring begins.

  • Female cats: When looking at a female cat’s genital area, the space just under her tail, it will look like an upside down exclamation point (¡) with the long slit of the vaginal area below the anus. The anus and vagina are typically only about half an inch apart. In kittens, the anus and vagina may both look like dots, and they may be even closer together.
  • Male cats: The male cat has a larger separation between the anus and the penis, with the testicles in the middle. Both of these openings look more like dots, circles, or a colon (:) than like slits or lines.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

Sexing Grown Cats

For those adopting a grown cat, use the same sexing technique as is used for kittens; this usually works well for both neutered and “whole” cats. If a pet is not spayed or neutered, however, it’ll be easier determining their sex based both on appearance and on behavior. Once cats are spayed or neutered there is no obvious behavior difference between the genders; apparent differences are likely related to individual cat temperaments.

  • “Whole” cats: Tomcats that have not been neutered have readily evident testicles and a broader jowl. They also have unique behaviors that begin as they reach maturity. Un-neutered male cats tend to be more active and aggressive. They’re also more likely to mark their territory through urine spraying than neutered toms. A female cat who hasn’t been spayed will go into heat roughly every two weeks when in season. During this time her behavior can change drastically as she attempts to find a mate. During this time, un-spayed female cats are typically more demanding of attention and vocally louder.
  • Spayed and neutered cats: Spayed female cats will still show the upside down “!,” but if she is adopted as an adult, hormonal tests can be used to determine if she is spayed. With female cats, it’s important to find out if they’ve been spayed or not before having an unplanned litter. Most neutered male cats will still show the vestigial remnants of a testicle sac, and the anus and penis will still be relatively close together. Neutered cats will not display typical male or female behaviors. Neutered males are generally more passive than “whole” males, and spayed females do not go into heat.

Sex-Based Differences in Appearance

While all cats look very similar, some colors and physical indications are unique to a particular gender.

Specifically, it is extremely rare for a male cat to have tri-colored calico or orange-and-black tortoiseshell fur. For those with a calico or tortie cat, chances are very good that the pet is a female.

It is uncommon for a female cat to have orange or ginger-colored (or orange-and-white striped) fur. For those with an orange cat, there’s a good chance that it is a male.

A cat that has given birth is far more likely to have visually obvious nipples (though both males and females do have nipples).

Females going through heat may have a small amount of mucoid vaginal discharge, and a pregnant cat will have a low-hanging, distended belly.

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Sex and age criteria are valuable in the determination of rearing success and in the dating of reproductive events. From a study of several hundred live-trapped and dead specimens in Ohio and Pennsylvania, criteria permitting the identification of sex are given for live, dressed, and frozen specimens. Age determination methods by means of size and weight changes and by changes in the ossification of the epiphyses of the lower foreleg are proposed for animals in their first year. Growth curves, tables and photographs illustrating these methods are given. Young of the year and adults can be separated on the basis of differences in the development of the sex organs and the proximal humeral epiphysis. Age differences of limited usefulness were found in the teeth and skull. Methods are described for handling live rabbits and for the collection of age ratio data. Sex ratios are apparently influenced by the weather at the time the specimens are collected and possibly also by the size of the study area. Late autumn age ratios indicate that usually about 6 young per adult, or 12 young per adult female survive until the hunting season. These data indicate an average longevity of about 1.2 years for animals surviving until the end of their first year, and an average population turnover period of less than four years. The probable birth dates of rabbits killed in November are calculated from X-rays of a collection of forepaws. A possible method for forecasting hunting success is discussed.

The American Midland Naturalist has been published for 90 years by the University of Notre Dame. The connotations of Midland and Naturalist have broadened and its geographic coverage now includes North America with occasional articles from other continents. The old image of naturalist has changed and the journal publishes what Charles Elton aptly termed “scientific natural history” including field and experimental biology. Its significance and breadth of coverage are evident in that the American Midland Naturalist is among the most frequently cited journals in publications on ecology, mammalogy, herpetology, ornithology, ichthyology, parasitology, aquatic and invertebrate biology and other biological disciplines.

Simultaneously an international center for Catholic thought, a teaching-focused liberal arts college, and a dynamic hub for research and scholarship, the College of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame provides its students with an education that fuels their passion for learning while preparing them to make a difference in the world. The largest and oldest college in the university, Arts and Letters houses the divisions of the arts, humanities, and social sciences. It encompasses 21 departments, more than 40 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and a variety of interdisciplinary centers. Approximately 2,500 undergraduates and 750 graduate students pursue degrees through Arts and Letters programs; students from throughout Notre Dame enroll in thought-provoking Arts and Letters courses.

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by Louise Lawson / in Health

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

The phrase “breeding like rabbits” isn’t just an empty statement. Rabbits are nearly always fertile, coming into their first breeding cycle as early as three months of age and giving birth only 30 days after breeding. Baby bunnies are born blind and without fur, growing soft fuzz over their entire body by the time they’re one week old. Telling the colour of baby rabbits is one of the more challenging aspects of raising rabbits.

  • The phrase “breeding like rabbits” isn’t just an empty statement.
  • Baby bunnies are born blind and without fur, growing soft fuzz over their entire body by the time they’re one week old.

Wash your hands thoroughly and gently pick up the bunny, resting it on a soft towel. Hypothermia is one of the leading causes of death in newborn bunnies, so keep the bunny covered while out of the nest.

Examine the baby rabbit’s skin colour as soon after birth as possible. Bunnies are born nearly hairless but their skin reflects the shade of their adult coats. Bunnies with light coats such as white or cream will have pink skin, while black and blue-based bunnies will have black skin.

Look for blotches in the skin indicative of broken-coated bunnies. A broken coat is defined as a solid base coat mottled with contrasting highlights. Dutch rabbits, for example, have a black base coat with strip down their noses and a white band around their shoulders. Baby Dutch bunnies will have black skin except for their shoulders and forelegs.

Check the bunnies again once they are one week old. By this time, the nearly colourless baby fuzz has been replaced by downy fur that clearly displays adult coat colours.

You may be able to predict the colour of some of the bunnies if you know the colour of both the buck and doe. Use a rabbit genotype calculator to help you determine possible outcomes.


Never keep bunnies out of the nest too long. Even wrapped in a towel, young bunnies may get too cold.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

Sometimes snake owners want to know how to sex their snake. The problem is that it’s not as simple to find out if a snake is male or female as it is in many other animals. On the outside, male and female snakes look similar. However, with a bit of experience, there are ways to differentiate between the two.

The following methods of sexing snakes should only be done by experienced caretakers or veterinary staff. If you are a beginner in snakes and want to know the sex of your snake, find an experienced reptile keeper or vet to demonstrate these methods to you. There is a risk of injury to the snake if they are done incorrectly.

Tail Characteristics

Male snakes have a pair of tube-shaped hemipenes (sex organs) that normally sit inside their bodies. They are basically two small penises that are kept safe inside the snake’s tail. Female snakes do not have hemipenes.

The hemipenes are located just below the cloacal (vent) opening and down along the tail on either side of the snake’s midline. Since these sex organs are housed inside the male snake, they may not be obvious to you at first. There are visible clues that they are there, though. You can look at the shape and length of the tail to help you decipher whether or not your snake is a male.

Males will have a tail (the portion of the snake starting after the cloacal opening) that is thicker and longer than their female counterparts. It also tapers differently—starting out thick and then suddenly thinning out to the tip. Female snakes have an overall thinner and shorter tail than a male and it tapers evenly to the tip.

While the differences can be fairly notable when comparing snakes side by side, it is more difficult to sex a snake if you don’t have a male and a female to compare. This is why the following methods are more commonly used to accurately identify a snake’s sex than looking at tail characteristics.


Probing a snake involves inserting a thin metal rod (called a snake probe) into the cloacal vent of the snake while it is awake. This special probe can be inserted further in males since they have a hemipenis on either side of the vent. The probe will drop down into one of these spaces that point towards the tip of the tail.

When probing a female snake, the probe will not drop down into the vent very far. That’s because there is no space for it to go when you are directing the probe towards the tip of the tail. Females only have small scent gland spaces.

Picture two long socks inside the tail of a male snake that open up at the vent of the snake and you are basically visualizing the hemipenes. The lubricated probe will slide into the vent in the direction of the tail and into one of the hemipenes located on either side of the snake’s tail if it is a male.

  • If it is a female, the probe will only drop in an average of one to three scales.
  • If it is a male, it will drop in an average of nine to fifteen scales.

On the probe’s scale, the difference between the sexes is quite dramatic. With larger snakes, the probe is actually dropped into more of a pocket.

Probing a snake should only be done if you have someone to hold your snake still, have appropriately sized snake probes, and the confidence to do this carefully and correctly. You do not want to harm your snake. If you are unsure how to safely perform this procedure then you should not attempt it.

Popping Hemipenes

If you don’t know what it means to “pop” a hemipenis, then the term may frighten you. Technically, it means temporarily reverting them so they are visible outside the tail (this is what happens when hemipenes prolapse). To do this, pressure is firmly but gently applied with a finger on the snake below their vent where the hemipenis would come out. If it is done correctly, a hemipenis will pop out.

This method can typically only be done on smaller snakes like ball pythons, and it can cause a lot of trauma if done incorrectly. This is not the preferred manner of determining the sex of a snake since it is difficult to do. Also, you may not know if you were simply unable to pop the hemipenes or if the snake doesn’t have hemipenes (is female), to begin with.

If you’re wondering how to tell the age of a peacock, there are some physical characteristics that will help you get a good idea of their age.

If the bird is less than one year old, it’ll have almost no tail feathers. Between 1-3 years old, it’ll have some tail feathers in their trains. When 3 years and older, peacocks have full developed tail feathers.

Here’s a more detailed look at these key stages:

Table of Contents

Up to 1 Year Old

When peachicks first hatch, unless removed they will spend about 2 months being closely cared for by their mothers.

By around 2 months of age, they will have developed a decent coat of feathers and be able to fend for themselves for the most part.

They are mostly brown at this stage and it’s hard to tell the females from the males. In fact, without knowing how to sex peafowl by inspecting them, it’s impossible to tell them apart until they start developing their adult feathers.

When a peacock is approaching a year old, it will start developing some length on its tail feathers. But they will still be brown for the most part and you will not see any eye feathers.

Between 1 and 3 Years of Age

Peacocks between the age of 1 and 3 years look very different physically. Most peacocks are fully grown in size and weight when they’re approaching 24 months old.

They will start to develop their distinctive eye patterns on their feathers at some point between the age of 1 and 2 years. With the number of feathers increasing as they approach 3 years old.

Even by two years, however, their train of feathers will still be visibly underdeveloped. It depends on the bird as they all develop their feathers at a different pace, but as a general rule of thumb, a handful of eye feathers indicates they are around 2 years old.

3 Years and Older

Three years of age is the major turning point for a peacock. A peacock will typically have fully developed tail feathers by the time they are three years old.

Exactly how old they are after this point is where it gets difficult, or almost impossible for the most part.

Peacocks typically live around 15-20 years in captivity. Once they’re fully mature adults and older than three, it becomes almost impossible to tell how old they are just by looking at them.

For this reason, a lot of owners tag them with their age or keep written documentation. In the wild, however, it’s anyone’s guess.

Peacock Growth Stages

Another way to explain this that may help you get a better guess of how old a peacock is by looking at growth stages peacocks go through.

This is roughly outlined as follows:

  • Hatching to 2 months – They are baby chicks being cared for by their mothers weighing less than 1 lb.
  • 2 to 12 months – They are starting to develop some tail feathers but without eye patterns or colors and will weigh around 4-6 lbs.
  • 12 to 24 months – By the time they are 24 months old a peak will start developing eye pattern feathers and may weigh as much as 9-13 lbs.
  • 24 to 36 months – By the time they are 36 months old, peacocks will have reached sexual maturity and their full size. Peacocks typically weigh anywhere between 10-13 lbs.

Life Expectancy of Peacocks

In the wild, peacocks typically live around 20 years. Obviously, there are natural predators in the wild, so not all of them will get to the end of their natural lives.

Therefore, they do have a longer average life expectancy when kept in captivity. Most owners say their peafowl live around 15-20 years.

Although, while researching this I did find several accounts from owners that said they have peacocks living as long as 40 years!

As long as you’re able to provide quality nutrition and stress-free living conditions, there’s no reason why your backyard peacocks will not live a long and healthy life.

They’re not known for many illnesses or other hereditary health conditions. The most common type, the Indian Blue Peacock does prefer warmer climates, but they’re hardy birds.

In Summary

If you have the opportunity to see peachicks growing up, it’s a truly magical experience.

You’ll see them changing a great deal over the first few years of their lives as they mature and start to grow their tail feathers.

It’s a peacock’s tail feathers that are the best indication of how old they are. After they turn three years old and their eye feathers are fully developed, however, it’s not really possible to pinpoint how old they are.


Image credits – Photo by Andrew Ek on Unsplash

Rabbit personality is influenced by age, breed, gender, sex and living conditions. Discovering your rabbit’s own unique personality is one of the great joys of rabbit ownership.

Certain factors such as gender, age, breed and living conditions greatly influence a rabbit’s personality. Within this, every rabbit has its own unique personality and this is one of the great joys of rabbit ownership, one which often leads to rabbit owners feeling a very close personal bond with their rabbits. The extent to which a rabbit feels secure in its home and how much freedom they are allowed has a huge effect on how much of their personality they will exhibit.

Unaltered rabbits

Generally speaking, rabbits who have not been neutered or spayed have one thing, and one thing only, on their minds – sex. It is such a driving force that it practically obliterates more subtle personality traits. More importantly though, it is very stressful for the rabbit and causes a lot of frustration and suffering. Females in particular suffer an 80% risk of uterine cancer by the age of 5 if left unspayed. It is much better for rabbits and their owners if rabbits are de-sexed.


Male and female rabbits are distinctly different from each other, even after de-sexing. Males tend to be more easy going and relaxed while females are usually “the boss” of any household. In the wild, rabbits pair up into couples with the female digging their burrow and the male defending her and the burrow against intruders. This behaviour can still be seen in domestic rabbits, with the female being the territorial homemaker and the male taking a more protective role and standing guard over the female.


Rabbits often go through a “stroppy teenager” phase which can last up to the age of about two years old. They may be less willing to be stroked and handled, more aggressive and withdrawn. In the wild, young rabbits who have not yet paired up tend to live on the outskirts of the warren, effectively sleeping rough in the open. This is the age when they prove themselves and establish their place in the hierarchy.


Breed probably has the biggest influence on a domestic rabbit’s personality. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the rabbit the more laid back it will be. Large and giant breeds have a shorter lifespan of around 5 to 6 years while small and dwarf breeds may live for up to 12 years or more. Small breeds tend to be more highly strung, energetic and are more difficult to handle. Please refer to our Breeds section for detailed information on individual rabbit breeds.


  • 1 Department of Animal Reproduction Biotechnology and Environmental Hygiene, Faculty of Biotechnology and Animal Husbandry, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin, Poland.
  • 2 Department of Ruminant Science, Faculty of Biotechnology and Animal Husbandry, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin, Poland.
  • 3 Laboratory for Organic Production of Food of Animal Origin, Institute of Animal Breeding and Biodiversity Conservation, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland.
  • PMID: 33061241
  • PMCID: PMC7522946
  • DOI: 10.14202/vetworld.2020.1654-1660

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  • 1 Department of Animal Reproduction Biotechnology and Environmental Hygiene, Faculty of Biotechnology and Animal Husbandry, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin, Poland.
  • 2 Department of Ruminant Science, Faculty of Biotechnology and Animal Husbandry, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin, Poland.
  • 3 Laboratory for Organic Production of Food of Animal Origin, Institute of Animal Breeding and Biodiversity Conservation, University of Life Sciences in Lublin, Poland.
  • PMID: 33061241
  • PMCID: PMC7522946
  • DOI: 10.14202/vetworld.2020.1654-1660


Background and aim: The most common causes of loss and diarrhea in rabbit farming are nutritional errors and coccidiosis. The infection can spread rapidly throughout a breeding area, reducing the rabbit population, and causing heavy losses. The aim of the study was to determine the influence of the system of animal management on the extensity and intensity of infection by Eimeria of farmed rabbits, together with the effect of the sex, age, and breed of the rabbits themselves.

Materials and methods: The study included 91 rabbits (Flemish Giant, New Zealand White, French Lope, Vienna Blue, California White, and mixed breed) from eight domestic (small-scale) farms from Poland. The prevalence and intensity of coccidial infection were determined by the Willis-Schlaf and McMaster coprological methods. The species were determined based on oocyst morphology: Their shape, color, form index, the presence or absence of micropyle and cap, and the presence or absence of residual, polar, and Stiedé bodies.

Results: Seven species of Eimeria were isolated from the tested rabbits: Eimeria magna, Eimeria media, Eimeria perforans, Eimeria stiedae, Eimeria coecicola, Eimeria exigua, and Eimeria irresidua. Most infections were found to be of relatively low intensity. No significant differences in the extensity of Eimeria protozoan infection were observed with regard to sex. However, rabbit age had a significant influence on the extensity of infection by E. magna and of Eimerian protozoans combined. The greatest extensity was observed in rabbits aged below 6 months. For all species of Eimeria, greater extensity was observed among rabbits kept in groups than individually. The system of rabbit management also had a significant influence on the intensity of infection. Those kept in groups demonstrated a significantly higher mean intensity of infection of E. magna and all Eimeria species combined than those kept individually.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that Eimeria protozoa are a common occurrence on small-scale rabbit farms. As coccidiosis treatment does not always give good results, prevention is very important in the fight against this disease. It is necessary to develop a new preventive paradigm that pays special attention to the factors that promote the spread and development of infection in domestic (small-scale) farms from Poland. For example, it would be recommended to use large, dry, bright rooms with access to the sun, as these are conducive to preventing the occurrence of coccidia infections.

Keywords: Eimeria; rabbits; small-scale rabbit farms.


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This article is a complete guide to rabbit colour genetics featuring every known gene in rabbits using easy to follow instructions and pictures. As a responsible breeder, knowing your genetics can be a very good tool to have. I get so many questions in the rabbit world like “can I breed this colour to this one” or “what will I get with this pairing”. Though quality, health, and personality are more important then colour, you should still have knowledge of the colours you are working with. This way you will know how to pair colours together. By not having the knowledge required, you can actually mess up colours. Pairing rabbits that shouldn’t be paired together making unshowable colours, or ruining the colour all together. I see this all the time in the rabbit world. It is a shame when you have a quality rabbit that cannot be used just based off colour. This article will explain everything in a simple way for everyone to understand. I suggest you read the entire article as if you don’t it may seem confusing. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.

Getting Started

There are some key things you need to know about how genes work before we actually get into the colour side of it. All genes are seperated into “groups” called chromosome locations. These separate the different genes which all have different affects on coat colour. The two base colours in a rabbit’s coat are black and yellow, thats it! That is where all these genes come into play, they can make colours, turn colours off, plus all the modifying genes like rufus factors. They change how the pigments on the hairshaft express themselves. The 5 basic gene sets called locus in all rabbit colours are A, B, C, D, E. There are more as well, but we will get to those later in this article. Alleles are the variations of a specific gene, in each gene set the rabbit has 2 alleles, one of which is always passed on (they get 1 from each parent).

The Basics

The first thing you need to know is all rabbits get 2 copies of each type of gene (allele). This goes back to the colour locus A, B, C, D, and E. In each of those groups, a rabbit gets 2 genes. It could be 2 of the same gene, or 2 different genes. They get 1 gene passed on from each parent.

Which brings us to this, each gene in a locus is either dominant, recessive, or can have incomplete dominance. And every gene in a locus is sorted out into an order of dominance. This is a key thing you need to understand which a lot of people don’t. I will use the the A locus of genes as an example, however we will get more into all the gene locus later on. The genes in A are A , at, and a. When talking about genes we capitalize genes that are dominant, and genes that are lowercase are recessive. Genes are actually really straight forward when you understand them, you cannot change the way they work, there is no guess work involved its like math.

Dominant genes: When talking about genes, all genes in their locus have a level of dominance. Genes that are completely dominant are at the top of the “pecking order”. When a gene is dominant it will always express (show) in the coat. Either the rabbit has this gene, or it does not. It cannot be hidden behind the scenes or carried. In the case of the A locus, A (agouti) is the most dominant gene.

Recessive genes: When a gene is completely recessive, it is at the very bottom of the “pecking order”. It is the least dominant gene in that locus. When a gene is totally recessive, you must have 2 copies of that gene for it to express in the coat, so each parent must pass on that gene. If you only have 1 copy of the gene, it does not express in the coat and it simply hides behind the more dominant one. When this happens we say the rabbit carries that gene. It can hide for many generations without you knowing, but always has the possibility of being passed on instead of the more dominant one (passed on at random). If a rabbit has 2 of the same gene, it is guaranteed to pass onto the off spring. In the A locus a (self) is the completely recessive gene it must have 2 copies to show visually.

Incomplete dominance: Most dominant genes fully express themselves when paired with itself or a gene lower in dominance. However in some cases a recessive gene will have an affect on the more dominant gene it is being carried by. This is called incomplete dominance. So in most cases the colour remains the same and it does not matter if a gene is paired with itself or with another gene being carried by it. But sometimes th e recessive gene can modify the expression of the more dominant gene.

Order Of Dominance: In all colour locus, there is an order of dominance with the genes within that locus. For example in every locus you have the most dominant gene which cannot be carried, and the most recessive gene which must have 2 copies to express. In between those (if there are more then 2 alleles in that locus) you have other genes in an order of how dominant they are. For example in the A locus A is most dominant, at is the second most dominant, and a is the least dominant.


A genotype is a rabbit’s “genetic code”. When talking about colours we use genotypes to identify what genes the rabbit does and does not have. Each colour has its own base genotype, then we must try to fill in the blanks by trying to figure out which genes the rabbit carries that we cannot see visually. Our colour locus are used in this. For example using all the basic colour genes the genotype of a chestnut rabbit like shown in the picture would be A_ B_ C_ D_ E_. We use a _ for the hidden genes we do not know about. We then must try to figure out how to fill in the blanks to discover a rabbit’s full genotype. For example with the rabbit in the picture, her mother was dd and ee. So I know that this rabbit carries d and e, her sire was cchdcchd so I know she carries cchd. I have now come closer to figuring out her full genotype as it is now A_ B_ Ccchd Dd Ee. The rest however is unknown, so the only way to fill in those blanks is through test breeding to figure out what hidden genes are still left.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

Differentiating a male hamster from a female is not always easy. For this reason, it is one of the first questions that tutors ask themselves when they adopt a small rodent, or when they still do not know whether to choose a male or female hamster.

To verify this, the most effective thing is to wait until the animal in question is sexually mature and examine its genital area. How? Very simple, with: delicacy, softness, care and by making sure we do not cause the animal any stress, since any inappropriate movement can lead to a bite or, in the worst case, death of the animal. Keep reading and learn how to tell a male hamster from a female, here at AnimalWised.

  1. How to recognize if a hamster is a male or female
  2. How to know if my hamster is male?
  3. How to know if my hamster is female?
  4. Should I get a male or female hamster?

How to recognize if a hamster is a male or female

Before going on to explain how to know if a hamster is female or male, it is necessary to clarify some general recommendations to avoid confusion and, above all, to guarantee a positive experience for the animal. Handling a hamster improperly, for example, can make the animal feel: insecure, uncomfortable, annoyed and even force it to react with aggression.

To know for sure if a hamster is male or female, it is necessary to wait until it reaches sexual maturity. In general, a hamster is considered sexually active after 30-50 days of life, males experiencing this later than females. Of course, the definitive period of time may vary depending on the species. Therefore, if you are having difficulties identifying the sex of the hamster, we suggest waiting a little longer or going to a veterinarian. Likewise, it should be noted that the fact of being sexually mature does not imply that they can already have offspring. In fact, pregnancy in hamsters before 10 weeks of age is discouraged.

When it comes to recognizing whether a hamster is male or female, it is necessary to ensure that there you present your hamster with a relaxed and completely stress-free environment. To do this, you can start by gently caressing the animal, offer it a piece of food and let it sit on the palm of our hand. Little by little, try to hold it, gently. When you feel that it is comfortable, turn the hamster over completely. We recommend keeping it at a diagonal, with its head facing you, as if it was sitting in your palm. Once the hamster is comfortable in this posture, you can observe its genitals.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

How to know if my hamster is male?

Recognizing whether a hamster is male or female because of its size may not be conclusive, since in some species female species are larger than males. For example, if we look at how to know if a Russian hamster is male or female, we should know that in general, the male is larger than the female. We can say the same for the Chinese hamster, but not for other hamster breeds.

To know if your hamster is male, it is best to observe the perianal area of ​​the animal, just below the tail, exerting slight pressure and separating the hair. Males are characterized by a greater distance between the genital papilla (penis) and the anus. In addition, the back of its body in correspondence with the tail, tips, due to the location of the testicles. Some hamster species have more protuberant than others, such as the Chinese hamster.

The umbilical gland can also help us distinguish if a hamster is male or female, since in males it is much more visible than in females. To see it, we must hold the animal gently and separate the hair that covers it naval.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

How to know if my hamster is female?

The body of a female hamster, in contrast to the apparent male testicles, has a rounded end. The best way to know if a hamster is female or male is through their genitals, since the females sport a very short distance between the anus and the genital papilla (vulva), featuring two holes close to each other. In addition, in females it is possible to notice the presence of nipples in the lower abdomen, although in younger specimens it is not always easy.

In short, to recognize if a hamster is male or female, one must check the perianal area, located under the tail. Secondly, you can check the distance between the anus and reproductive hole; if they are placed together, it is a female, and if they are considerably separated, it is a male. This works in most cases, provided that the animal has exceeded three weeks of life.

If you notice that these tricks and tips have not worked and you are still not sure whether your hamster is a male or female, we recommend consulting a veterinarian.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

Should I get a male or female hamster?

The answer to this depends on the individual situation, and whether you intend on having one or more hamsters. If you just want one of these adorable animals, the decision to choose a male or female hamster is totally up to you. If you want more than one hamster, here are some recommendations;

  • In general, males usually fight each other due to their territorial instinct. Therefore, it is not advisable to have two male hamsters.
  • Females, on the other hand, tend to share a peaceful coexistence.
  • Hamsters are very receptive and active animals. Since females usually go into heat every 4-5 days approximately, if you have a female and a male hamster in the same cage together, it is likely that she will fall pregnant. However, if your female hamster becomes pregnant, it is important to know that female hamsters can give birth to a litter of up to 20.
  • Some adult hamsters do not tolerate the arrival of a new hamster very well. Therefore, we advise you to adopt two hamsters at the same time.

If you want to read similar articles to How To Tell A Male Hamster From A Female, we recommend you visit our What you need to know category.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

Sexing snakes is not straightforward. They don’t present much sexual dimorphism (visual differences between the sexes). The only noticeable differences between male and female snakes are on the inside.

The best ways to sex snakes are probing and popping. Probing involves inserting a probe into the snake’s cloaca (genital cavity) and measuring the depth that the probe reaches. A greater depth suggests that the snake is male. Popping involves everting the snake’s hemipenes using your thumb. The absence of hemipenes indicates a female.

There are visual ways of identifying male and female snakes, but the differences vary between species and are not always accurate. We’ll explain the anatomical differences between male and female snakes, as well as covering the two most effective ways of sexing snakes.

How to Tell if Your Snake is Male or Female

Both male and female snakes have a cloaca, which is located on the underside of the snake at the base of the tail. The cloaca serves two main purposes: snakes urinate and defecate out of it, and it contains their sexual organs.

When ready to mate, the male’s hemipenes pop out of the cloaca and he inserts them into the female. Here’s more info on how snakes reproduce.

Sexing Snakes

Male and female cloacas look exactly the same from the outside. It’s only internally that the differences can be found, which makes like more difficult. To find out these differences, there are two main methods.

Both of these methods must only be attempted by experienced snake keepers. If you’ve never probed or popped a snake before, ask a veterinarian or herpetologist to help you.

Cloacal Probing

Probing is the most intrusive way of sexing snakes, but also the most accurate. It requires the insertion of a thin, metal “sexing probe” into the snake’s cloaca, and measuring how deep it goes. A deeper probe indicates the presence of “hemipenis pockets,” meaning that the snake is male.

  1. Get a sexing probe kit. These are available in various thicknesses depending upon the size of the snake.
  2. Lubricate the probe well, using K-Y jelly or petroleum jelly.
  3. Find the snake’s cloaca. It’s on the snake’s belly, at the base of the tail. Bend the snake’s tail to see where the two openings are located.
  4. Insert the probe into one of the two openings, going towards the tail. Slide the probe slowly. Stop sliding when you feel resistance.
  5. Place your thumb on the probe to measure how far it went, then pull it out gradually.

If the probe was able to be inserted further than the width of your snake, your snake is male. If the probe went down only two or three scales, it’s probably a female.

Cloacal Popping

Cloacal popping involves manually trying to evert the snake’s hemipenes, using your thumb. If no hemipenes are present, your snake is female.

  1. Hold your snake with its belly facing you and find the cloaca.
  2. Place your thumb on the snake’s tail, near the cloaca.
  3. Using gentle pressure, “roll” your thumb towards the snake’s cloaca. If your snake is male, the hemipenes will evert (pop out).

It sounds simple, but popping is rather tricky to get the hang of. It’s easy to apply too much pressure, not enough pressure, or pressure in the wrong place (too far from or close to the cloaca).

Many people mistakenly identify their snakes as female because they haven’t got the technique quite right.

Do Male and Female Snakes Look Different?

Some species look almost identical regardless of gender, whereas others have major differences. Here are 3 different ways that you can get an idea of your snake’s gender by looking at it:

Tail Shape

Because of the differences in male and female snake anatomy, their tails look slightly different. The difference can range from quite extreme (hognose snakes) to more subtle (ball pythons).

Male snakes tend to have longer tails than female snakes. Their tails also taper (become thinner) much more gradually. Females tend to have shorter tails that taper off abruptly after the cloaca.

According to the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, tapering of the tail is due to snakes’ reproductive anatomy. Their tails need to be long to have room to store their hemipenes. A snake’s tail begins at the cloaca. To examine its tail, you need to:

  1. Hold your snake belly-up so you can see where the cloaca is located.
  2. Stretch out your snake’s tail and find the mid-point between the cloaca and the tail tip.
  3. Examine the thickness of this midpoint. If the circumference of the snake at this point is less than half of the snake’s circumference at the cloaca, it’s likely to be a female. If it’s more than half, it’s a male.
  4. You can also count how many subcaudal scales there are before the tail starts to get thinner. If it’s more than six scales, it’s probably male.

Pelvic Spurs

Pelvic spurs are small protruding pieces of bone that are located near a snake’s cloaca. They are the vestigial remnants of legs. Spurs are not present in all species but can be found in most species of boa and python.

In species with spurs, particularly boas, you can tell the gender by the size of these spurs. Boa constrictor males have much larger, more prominent spurs than females. Female boas sometimes lack spurs altogether.

However, in some species, it’s not possible to determine gender by examining the spurs. Some female ball pythons, for example, have spurs that are just as big as male snakes.

Female snakes tend to be larger than male snakes, according to Animal Behavior. Scientists believe that this is because larger females can grow larger eggs/babies. Larger juvenile snakes have higher rates of survival.

Ball pythons and boas have sexual size dimorphism. Though their babies are the same size, females tend to grow much larger during adulthood.

Sex Ball Python Boa Constrictor
Male 2-3 feet 3-5 feet
Female 6-8 feet 7-10 feet

Measuring the snake might give you some idea of whether it’s male or female. This doesn’t work for every snake.

In some species of snake, such as colubrids, males and females are equal in size. In others, such as rattlesnakes, the males grow larger than females.

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

How to determine the sex of a rabbit

This is the time of year when people are asking a lot of turkey-related questions, like what size turkey will feed my family? and how long does it take to cook one? If you’ve only dealt with turkeys at the supermarket, how to determine the sex of the bird is a question you may have never thought to ask. You may not need the information in real life, but the answer does make for an interesting Thanksgiving conversation topic—just wait until after dinner to bring it up.

According to Discover Magazine, you can tell male and female wild turkeys apart by looking at their poop. This is a byproduct of the bird’s cloaca, or the multipurpose orifice used for both waste disposal and reproduction.

In female turkeys, this tract is stretchy and spacious to accommodate any eggs that pass through it. When females expel their droppings (which contain both urine and feces), the matter has room to swirl into a coil shape.

The size and shape of the male cloaca is a bit different. Because they don’t need to lay eggs, the tract is more confined. There’s also a phallus near the end of the cloaca that makes the space an even tighter fit for any passing waste. Without the extra room to coil, male turkey poop comes out in a longer J shape.

There are other ways to tell male and female turkeys apart. Males are larger with more colorful feathers and can be distinguished by their gobbling sounds. But if you want to know what kind of turkeys are living in your backyard without getting up close and personal with them, learn to recognize their poop.

Bunnies can enter your life in many ways, and if you didn’t adopt your little fluffball from a rabbit breeder, you might wonder about your rabbit’s breed. Of course you love your rabbit no matter the breed or breeds in his or her ancestry. Knowing your rabbit’s breed is crucial if you plan to enter your pal in a breed show, but if shows aren’t in your future it still can be fun to get to know your rabbit more by making an educated guess about his or her lineage. How do you do that? It’s mostly based on appearance. Take a look at the features of your rabbit to zero in on what breeds make up your companion.

Dwarf, Standard, Or Giant?

These terms don’t refer to new drink sizes at the local coffeehouse. They offer a rough guideline of rabbit sizes. The American Rabbit Breeders Association currently recognizes 49 rabbit breeds, and a chart on its website shows breed images with the weight range or maximum weight for each. The Netherland Dwarf and Britannia Petite are the smallest at 2.5 pounds. The 5.5-pound Dutch and 6.5-pound Mini Lop are among the middle-sized. The giant rabbits include the Flemish Giant and Checkered Giant, both of which have no maximum weight, and 16-pound Giant Chinchilla.

How to determine the sex of a rabbitThis rabbit seems to have a mix of Holland Lop and one of the wool breeds. Hans/

Smooth, Fluffy, Plush, Or Shiny?

Your rabbit’s fur is another big clue to breed type. Most of the ARBA-recognized breeds have short, smooth fur. This is likely what most people picture when they think of a rabbit. Stroke your rabbit from tail to head to determine if your furry friend has flyback, rollback, or standing fur. Flyback fur will almost immediately return to its normal position after being stroked backward. The Dutch, Himalayan, English Lop, Polish, and New Zealand are examples of flyback fur breeds. If the fur returns more slowly to its normal position, it’s called rollback fur. Dwarf Hotots, Holland Lops, Flemish Giants, and Mini Lops are some of the rollback fur breeds. The Silver Fox breed has unique standing fur. When stroked backward, the fur remains standing until brushed back into place.

Rabbit breeds with long, fluffy fur have wool coats, which feels and looks distinctly different from the short, smooth coats. Wool breeds include the American Fuzzy Lop, the four types of Angora, the Jersey Wooly, and the Lionhead.

Have you ever touched a stuffed animal toy that had dense, velvety fur? That somewhat describes the coat of the Rex and Mini Rex rabbit breeds. The fur is completely different from other rabbit fur because it is so dense and it stands upright. The ideal length of the fur is just under an inch, but that’s a lot of plush to touch. This type of fur is an easy way to identify the Rex and Mini Rex breeds.

Only three breeds have satin fur: Satin, Mini Satin, and Satin Angora. What is Satin? The fur is finer and more translucent than usual fur, so it creates a sheen that makes the fur shiny.

Lop Or Not? Big Or Small?

Another obvious characteristic to help determine breed is a rabbit’s ears. Here the questions are simple: Are the ears up or down? Big or small? If the ears normally lay along the side of the head, compare your rabbit to the Mini Lop, American Fuzzy Lop, Holland Lop, English Lop, or French Lop. Either your rabbit is one of these or is a mix with one or more of these. The English Lop has the largest ears of all the breeds, while the Netherland Dwarf and Britannia Petite have the smallest.

Profiling Your Bunny

Take a look at your rabbit’s profile when he or she is sitting and relaxed. The American Rabbit Breeders Association breaks breeds up into five body type groups: semi-arch, compact, commercial, cylindrical, and full arch. Semi-arch includes breeds like the English Lop and Flemish Giant, which have a longer body and arch shape that reaches its peak at the top of the hips. Compact breeds like the Dutch, American Fuzzy Lop, and Netherland Dwarf have less slope to the arch of their back. The Californian, New Zealand, and Rex have the commercial body type, which has a full body that is a bit longer than the compact type and an arch that peaks above the hips. Only one breed is cylindrical: the Himalayan. As you might guess, the shape is straight and “tubular” with no arch. Rabbits with a full arch have a distinct arched look, and examples include the Belgian Hare and Checkered Giant.

How to determine the sex of a rabbitMarkings are one way you can try to identify your rabbit’s breed. FitMum/

Spots, Patterns, And More

A rabbit’s coat color or pattern offers another clue in your breed quest. The fiery orange-red Thrianta breed is known for its distinct color. The Dutch has a unique saddle pattern. English Spots and Rhinelanders have special markings. Some breeds come in numerous colors, such as the Holland Lop and Netherland Dwarf, while others only have one recognized color, such as the Giant Angora, Californian, Florida White and Cinnamon.

Once you decide what key characteristics match your rabbit, you’re well on your way to determining the breed or breeds that created your little buddy. Research the breeds and delve into those that look most like your rabbit. The ARBA-recognized breeds are an excellent place to start for people in North America, but know that the history of rabbit breeds worldwide is complex. Many other breeds are recognized around the world, and some rabbit breeds have gone extinct while new rabbit breeds are still emerging. Good luck!

4 thoughts on “ What Breed Is My Rabbit? ”

Can we seed you a picture of our rabbit to tell us what breed we have thank you

Hello Judy,
Thanks for your inquiry! For those of you wondering what breed your rabbit is, below are a few pointers.

Things to consider:
Ear position: Helps you determine if it’s Lop breed or not.
Fur type: Helps you determine if you should consider it normal fur, or a Rex, Satin, or Wooly breed.
Markings or colors: Some breeds have distinctive markings or colors, which can help narrow the possibilities.
Head shape: Mostly helps for considering whether a dwarf breed or not. A small head and ears in relation to the body might mean it’s a dwarf.
Body size/weight: This can narrow down the possibilities a lot.

Once you answer these questions, you’ll hopefully only have a handful of breeds to consider. Then it’s time to go to the American Rabbit Breeders Association website to see its chart of all the breeds it recognizes, Note that some breeds are more rare than others, and the image shown is only one example. Many breeds also come in other colors. If you click on an image, it takes you to the breed club for that rabbit, which can offer more information about the breed.

If you have a mixed breed, it might show characteristics of two or more breeds.

This was very helpful! I found that I have a HOLLAND LOP! Thank you so much! I’m so in love with my LOPPANY!

Hi Cheryl,
So glad to hear that it helped! All the best to you and your bunny!

by Guen Bradbury, Rabbiting On Veterinary Adviser

At RWAF, we advise that all rabbits should be neutered to prevent unwanted litters and unwanted sexual behaviour, such as mounting and spraying. However, even after neutering, many male rabbits will still mount their companions and many female rabbits will continue to dig large holes (some males also). Owners often worry that the rabbit wasn’t neutered successfully, but these behaviours are not just driven by hormones from the ovaries or testicles. In this article, I’ll explain what sex-specific behaviours are, when they start and why they happen. I’ll describe what neutering does and why it doesn’t prevent all of these behaviours. Finally, I’ll advise on how to manage these behaviours.

What are sex-specific behaviours?

Sex-specific behaviours include scent-marking behaviours, such as spraying urine on other rabbits, people, or objects and leaving dry faecal pellets around their enclosure to mark territory. They also include courtship behaviours, such as circling around people or rabbits and making a humming sound. Finally, they include mating behaviours – mounting rabbits or people.

When do sex-specific behaviours start?

Sex-specific behaviours start at puberty. The testicles of male rabbits descend around 10–12 weeks of age (female rabbits reach sexual maturity around a month later), and both sexes start to show sexual behaviours.

What drives sex-specific behaviours?

These behaviours are driven by the sex hormones oestrogen and testosterone. When an animal reaches puberty, the part of the brain called the hypothalamus starts producing more of a hormone called gonadotrophin-releasing hormone. These gonadotrophin-releasing hormones tell another part of the brain, the pituitary gland, to release hormones called gonadotrophins. These gonadotrophins then act on the ovaries or testes (the gonads) and make them produce more oestrogen or testosterone. Rabbits are seasonal breeders – when the days start to get longer in spring, their brains start to produce more gonadotrophin-releasing hormones, and this seasonal rhythm drives seasonal sexual behaviour.

But these gonadotrophins don’t only act on the ovaries or testes – they also act on the adrenal gland (the gland that most people know produces adrenaline). The adrenal gland releases a variety of different hormones, two of which are oestrogen and testosterone. This means that these hormones don’t just come from the ovaries and testes.

What happens when we neuter a rabbit?

When we neuter a rabbit, we remove the sperm and egg-producing organs. When a vet neuters a male rabbit, they make an incision in the scrotum and remove both testicles, the blood supply, and some of the spermatic cord (though not all of it, which is why male rabbits may still be fertile for 4-6 weeks after neutering). When a vet neuters a female rabbit, they make an incision in the abdomen and take out both ovaries. Some vets will remove the uterus as well, though the benefits of this are debated. In the UK, most older vets will try to do ovariohysterectomy but it can be hard to get right down to the cervix, so in practice, many are ovariectomies. Additionally, given the adhesion risk in rabbits, the increased pain with a more complex surgery, and the increased surgical time, many sources now recommend ovariectomy rather than ovariohysterectomy in companion animal species – providing the ovaries are removed, there is no increased risk of stump pyometra.

Why do some behaviours persist after neutering?

Not all sex hormones are produced by the ovaries and testes, so when we remove these, the adrenal gland will continue to produce some. Although the rabbit cannot produce sperm or egg cells, the adrenal gland can still produce some sex hormones – especially during the spring. Some rabbits will show more sexual behaviours than others – this seems to be because some adrenal glands produce more testosterone than others, and in some rabbits, the adrenal glands may increase production of testosterone when the testes are removed. Neutered rabbits have higher levels of sex hormones than neutered animals of other species (like ferrets, cats, and horses) – this would indicate that the adrenal gland produces a fairly substantial amount of sex hormones (House Rabbit Society, 2004).

These persistent levels of sex hormones in neutered rabbits explain the sex-specific behaviours that we see. This may also explain why male–female pairs are easier to bond and less likely to fight than single-sex pairs – the sex hormones cause different motivations and need for resources between male and female rabbits, and so there is less competitiveness between rabbits of the opposite sex.

Neutered rabbits may show social, sexual, or even mild aggressive behaviours in the spring. Females may dig new burrows. Rabbits may become more aggressive to their companion rabbit or to people – they may chase and mount them more and may ‘chin’ to mark their territory more frequently.

Very rarely, sex-specific behaviours may indicate incomplete removal of the ovaries or testicles. Neutering of a male rabbit is a simple procedure and it is extremely unlikely that part of the testicle is left behind. If the rabbit has a retained testicle (it has not descended into the scrotum), then the vet will discuss this with you. Sometimes, a bit of ovarian tissue may be left behind in a female rabbit – speak to your vet if you see behaviours such as fur-plucking from the dewlap in your neutered female rabbit.

What can we do about sex-specific behaviours?

Sex-specific behaviours in neutered rabbits rarely cause a serious problem. Many bonded pairs may have more disagreements in spring and early summer. There will be more mounting and chasing but as long as there is no fighting this should settle down in a few weeks. If serious fighting breaks out, they’ll need to be separated, given time to calm down and then carefully reintroduced once their hormones have settled down. This may take several weeks. Try not to bond new rabbits at this time of year as there is a higher chance that they may fight – if you need to, then keep a closer eye on them than usual.

Keep a close eye on your rabbits at this time and act immediately if you see any fighting or signs that a fight may have happened (scattering of fur, blood or wounds on one or both rabbits). Give them plenty to do in their home to keep mentally and physically active. Allow them the freedom to express their normal behaviours of digging, foraging, running and jumping.


In conclusion, the majority of neutered rabbits will continue to show some sex-specific behaviours because neutering doesn’t remove all of the sources of these hormones. Neutering can reduce the severity of unwanted behaviours and prevents unwanted litters. The remaining sex-specific behaviours give your rabbit some of her or his unique personality!

, DVM, PhD, DACLAM, Animal Resource Center Veterinary Services

  • Care of Newborns
  • For More Information

Rabbit breeds of medium to large size are sexually mature at 4 to 4.5 months, giant breeds at 6 to 9 months, and small breeds (such as the Polish Dwarf and Dutch) at 3.5 to 4 months of age. The release of eggs in female rabbits is triggered by sexual intercourse, not by a cycle of hormones as in humans. The rabbit has a cycle of mating receptivity; rabbits are receptive to mating about 14 of every 16 days. A doe is most receptive when the vagina is red and moist. Does that are not receptive have a whitish pink vaginal color with little or no moisture. A veterinarian may be able to feel fetuses in a pregnant doe’s abdomen 12 days after breeding. False pregnancy, during which the rabbit shows signs of pregnancy but is not actually pregnant, is common in rabbits.

Pregnancy lasts about 31 to 33 days. Does with a small litter (usually 4 or fewer kits) seem to have longer pregnancies than those that produce larger litters. If a doe has not given birth by day 32 of her pregnancy, your veterinarian may induce labor; otherwise, a dead litter may be delivered sometime after day 34. Occasionally, pregnant does abort or reabsorb the fetuses because of nutritional deficiencies or disease.

Nest boxes should be added to the cage 28 to 29 days after breeding. If boxes are added too soon, they become contaminated with urine and feces. A day or so before giving birth, the doe pulls fur from her body and builds a nest in the nest box.

Care of Newborns

Rabbit kits are born naked, blind, and deaf. They begin to show hair a few days after birth, and their eyes and ears are open by day 10. Newborn rabbits are unable to regulate their own body temperature until about day 7. The doe can become pregnant again 24 hours after giving birth. Most people raising rabbits for show or as pets rebreed does 35 to 42 days after the birth of a litter.

Most medium- to large-sized female rabbits have 8 to 10 nipples, and many give birth to 12 or more young. If a doe is unable to nurse all the kits effectively, kits may be fostered by removing them from the nest box during the first 3 days and giving them to a doe of about the same age with a smaller litter. If the fostered kits are mixed with the doe’s own kits and covered with hair of the doe, they are generally accepted. Moving the larger kits instead of the smaller kits to the new litter increases the chance of success. Does nurse only once or twice daily, and kits nurse for less than 3 minutes at a time. Kits are weaned around 4 to 5 weeks of age.

Kits can be reared by hand, but the death rate is high. They should be kept warm, dry, and quiet. If a lactating doe is not available to foster the kits, they can be given kitten milk replacer twice a day. Feedings vary from ½ teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, depending on the age and breed of the kits. Domestic rabbit kits are weaned at about 6 weeks old.

Young does may kill and eat their young for a number of reasons, including nervousness, neglect (failure to nurse), and severe cold. Dogs or predators entering a rabbitry often cause nervous does to kill and eat the young. Cannibalism of the dead young occurs as a natural nest-cleaning instinct. If all management practices are proper and the doe kills 2 litters in a row, she should not be used for breeding.

For More Information

Also see professional content regarding management of rabbits Management of Rabbits Management of rabbits for meat, fur, or wool production is quite different from maintenance of a pet or house rabbit. The American Rabbit Breeders Association ( provides guidance. read more How to determine the sex of a rabbit .

Lucky Things

Unlucky Things

Monthly Chinese Horoscope For Rabbit

2022 Chinese Horoscope For Rabbit

Years of the Rabbit

Start Date End Date Associated Element Heavenly Branch
02/02/1927 01/22/1928 Yin Fire Ding Mao
02/19/1939 02/08/1940 Yin Earth Ji Mao
02/06/1951 01/26/1952 Yin Metal Xin Mao
01/25/1963 02/12/1964 Yin Water Gui Mao
02/11/1975 01/30/1976 Yin Wood Yi Mao
01/29/1987 02/16/1988 Yin Fire Ding Mao
02/16/1999 02/04/2000 Yin Earth Ji Mao
02/03/2011 01/22/2012 Yin Metal Xin Mao
01/22/2023 02/09/2024 Yin Water Gui Mao

Personality of the Rabbit

Rabbit People’s Personality by Blood Types
Rabbit People with Blood Type O Rabbit People with Blood Type A Rabbit People with Blood Type B Rabbit People with Blood Type AB
The rabbit is a kind of docile animals. They are silent and lovely with no fighting force. They like to lie down silently at most of the time which looks lazy and weak. While, once running, they act very swiftly. It is the same as the people under the sign of the rabbit. When silent, they appear to be very quiet; when move, they are very vigorous and active. Once there are disagreements, they would not attack or offend others but doing their affairs peacefully. Not like the tiger people, there will no big ups and downs for the fate of the people born in the year of the rabbit. Their fortune can reach the summit during the middle ages and go down smoothly later.

The men under the sign of the rabbit are most family-type. They are fond of trimming the garden, interior decoration and much other housework. As they are usually quiet, the weak, steady and elegant women fit them perfectly. Too extroverted women will be hard to live with them harmoniously.

The women under the sign of the rabbit are usually perceptual, considerate and thoughtful. They have a keen sense of color and pay great attention to the emotion and atmosphere. So, they can be good secretaries, dinner hostesses and reception staffs.

Compatibility with other Animals

Each Chinese zodiac sign has compatible or incompatible signs according to their characteristics’ compatibility. If your find your signs are compatible, you could get along well in most cases. In opposite, you need to do more effort to be together harmoniously.

Following are the compatibility chart of the Rabbit with other signs.

Best Birth Dates, Months and Times

Rabbit’s Fate by Birth Time
The birth time of people plays a very important role in terms of whether the destiny is auspicious or not. People under the Rabbit sign born in different time periods will have different characters and fate. Those who were born and will be born between 05:00-07:00 and 11:00-13:00 are the most auspicious.

Rabbit’s Fate by Birth Date
Best Birth Dates: The Rabbit people born in the 1st, 10th, 17th, 22nd, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th or the 30th day in Chinese lunar calendar are usually blessed with good luck and fortune during the whole life.

Rabbit’s Fate by Birth Month
Best Birth Months: Best birth months for the Rabbits include February, March, April, May and August. They are endowed with good luck in many aspects.
February: The Rabbits born during February could get both fame and wealth during their life. They are clever and good at learning from experience. They usually could live comfortable and happily.
March: No matter women or men, the Rabbits born in March are both blessed. They are smart, lively, open-minded and courageous in character. The life for them is promising and career is brilliant. Also, they usually have great power and influence in society.
April: Fortune and chances favor the Rabbits born in April. They are mild, elegant, learned and capable. All their life will be happy, auspicious, smooth and glorious.
May: The Rabbits with the birth month of May are business-minded enough to manage their career well. In personality, they are literate, respectful and honest. The whole life for them will be safe, prosperous and lucky.
August: Riches, honor and splendor favor the Rabbit born in August. They are kind, virtuous and popular in character. Besides, their descendants could win credit for them. Therefore, they live happily for life.

Note: The dates and months here is based on the Chinese lunar calendar. Please use the Gregorian-Chinese Calendar Converter tool on Chinese calendar page to find your lunar birth date and month.