How to Wean Rabbits

In the wild, a doe will have a new litter approximately every 6 weeks.
In the wild, a doe will have a new litter approximately every 6 weeks. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Rabbits are easy animals to breed because they have high sex drives. They produce litters of baby bunnies called kits. Within days after delivery, the female is normally re-bred back in the wild. Within 6 weeks, the doe will have another litter and the whole process will be repeated. Does in captivity still have those wild instincts. Within 5 to 6 weeks, they begin to get annoyed with their kits and want them weaned.

Watch the litter carefully as the kits mature. Notice which kit is the runt — the kit not getting a lot of feeding time and attention. It is the smallest and weakest of the litter.

Notice when the litter begins to irritate the doe. Wean the kits when the doe starts nipping at them or chasing them around the hutch.

Remove the doe and the runt from the hutch and place them into another hutch.

Take the runt away from the doe after 24 to 48 hours and return it to the rest of the litter. Keep the litter in the same hutch to eliminate some stress from the weaning process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Putting the doe and the runt in a hutch by themselves ensures the runt will get a little more milk and help take some pressure off of the doe's teats while she gets used to not nursing.

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