Rabbits, notoriously prolific breeders, can bring numerous litters into the world annually, each litter consisting of many youngsters. Females can get pregnant while nursing, so it's smart to remove male rabbits from female rabbits about to give birth.
Keeping Males Away
Keep male rabbits away from female rabbits during parturition. Males can be disruptive -- and irritating -- to female rabbits, as they try to mate with with mom while she's busy looking after newborn bunnies. The mating attempts can be bothersome, not to mention can cause nursing female rabbits to become instantly pregnant again. It isn't unheard of for female rabbits to get pregnant literally on the exact day their young were born.
Getting pregnant immediately after birthing can trigger unnecessary burdens on a nursing rabbit. While rabbit mothers are occupied with looking after their bunnies, it's not beneficial to allow them to get pregnant again too soon afterward. Pregnancy can be extremely physically taxing on does' bodies. If you combine the demands of nursing offspring with back-to-back gestational periods, you might have a severely frustrated and exhausted mother bunny on your hands.
Males Harming Youngsters Is Rare
You might be concerned about males harming the babies. While it's possible, it's also pretty rare. What isn't too rare, however, is females lashing out at bucks who try to repeatedly mate with them. For safety purposes, male and female rabbits don't belong together during or after birth.
If you're worried about a male rabbit becoming a problem for a new rabbit mama and her offspring, consider getting the little guy neutered. Male rabbits are frequently fixed as young as 3 to 4 months of age. This is helpful not only for stopping the mothers from getting pregnant but also for keeping the babies from getting pregnant soon down the line. It's not uncommon for male rabbits to reproduce with their offspring. Discuss with your vet the possibility of neutering your male rabbit. If you have rabbits of mixed gender and don't wish to see them breed, neutering and spaying procedures are sensible. The females are, in many cases, ready to be spayed when they're in the same age range as the males. Your vet can give you an appropriate time frame.
- House Rabbit Society: Domestic Baby Bunnies and Their Mom
- House Rabbit Society: Why We Shouldn't Breed Rabbits
- Carolina Pet Rescue: Rabbits
- University of Minnesota Extension Youth Development: Having Baby Bunnies
- Ontario Rabbit Education Organization: Spaying/Neutering
- People's Dispensary for Sick Animals: Rabbits - Health
- Exotic Animal Care Center: Facts Every Bunny Parent (or Parent-to-be) Should Know
- Goose Creek Veterinary Clinic: Rabbits
- Rabbit Rehome: Do I Really Want to or Need to Breed My Rabbit?
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images