Identifying the sex of the rabbit is an important task to minimize unwanted breeding and other health risks. This comprehensive guide will tell you all about how to sex a rabbit.
How to Sex a Rabbit?
Many inexperienced rabbit owners have a hard time identifying the sex of their rabbits. How many cases do the owner know that their rabbits are male or female, resulting in unwanted pregnancy?
The answer is many. There are a lot of cases where the rabbit owner does not know what sex their rabbit is.
Of course, unwanted pregnancy is one of the most noticeable results of this mishap. The other one is overpopulation. This is great if you own a farm where rabbit production is needed but a disaster if you are a domestic pet owner.
In fact, having two rabbits breed can result in a whopping 4 million rabbits in just four years. With that said, identifying their sex is very important.
Rabbits are much trickier animals to sex compared to other domestic pets. The rabbit’s genitals are primarily hidden in their abdomen and covered in fur, unlike cats and dogs, with a more prominent genital region.
The hidden genital is an evolutionary trait designed to protect them. As rabbits are foraging animals, they will get exposed to materials such as grasses and bushes, which can graze and wound their private parts. That is why you need to provide more effort to know what sex your rabbit is.
To help you understand it more, here are the steps you can keep in mind to know what sex your rabbit is.
Step 1: Identify the Age of the Rabbit
The genitals become more prominent as the rabbit increase in age. It’s recommended to sex the rabbit when they are more than ten weeks old so that you can have a more comprehensive result.
For example, male rabbits will have a more noticeable testicle in week ten than in the lower weeks.
It’s also best to don’t put rabbits together before you identify their sex to avoid unwanted pregnancy. As they reach maturity at around the third month, keep the rabbits apart.
Step 2: Gently Position the Rabbit
The rabbit’s genitals are between their legs, just like other mammals. You might need assistance when placing the rabbit in a comfortable position. You might need to offer comfort to the rabbit if it’s distressed.
You can do many types of positions to identify the sex of the rabbit. Some of them might get distressed and wiggle around. It’s essential to keep them secure and safe. They can get discomfort from their back resting flat and their belly being exposed.
The key is you need to see and have access to the genital region in their abdomen. There is no other way than to flip them around, stomach side up.
One of the example positions is to place the rabbit between your legs. You can have a good grasp by sandwiching them gently.
With that position, you can easily access their genital region. If you have a helping hand, they can gently pet and talk to the rabbit to keep them from trying to get away.
If you are doing this alone, cradling them in your arms might be the solution for you. You can position them between your elbows and arms as you do to a baby. It works the same principle with the position where they are between your legs.
With their stomach facing up, you can secure them and access the genital area. It will also provide them with more comfortable as they are being held.
Depending on the size of your rabbit, this task can be much easier or harder. Ensure to access help if needed for you and your rabbit not to get hurt.
Step 3: Find the Genital Region
Once you have positioned the Rabbit, you can now access their genital region. It’s located on the lower part of their abdomen, parallel to their tail. The genital area can also be found by using the rabbit’s anus as they are just beside each other.
If you have a mature male, you might feel their testicles on the genital region. Wetting the area can help you get better access to their genitals. Mature bucks will not have any fur in their testicles, but it can still be hard to see.
Most rabbit testicles are the size of cashew nuts, but some males can have it smaller. It does not help to protrude on their abdomen and be hidden from the naked eye. It can be a backup sign but not the best way to identify the male rabbit.
Step 4: Check the Genitals
Once you locate their genital region, you can easily find their genitals. They are hidden to protect the rabbit from grazing as they hop around plants.
To see their sex organs, you need to gently squeeze both sides of their genital regions with your thumb and pointer finger.
As you apply the pressure, their sexual organs must come out of the area on top of their anus. It can be of two types, a pink tube for males and a pink slit for females.
Step 5: Double Check with Professionals
If you are still unsure of the results, you can double-check with professionals such as rabbit breeders or veterinarians. As they have more experience and knowledge, they can sex the rabbits more accurately.
How to Identify if the Rabbit is Male?
You can identify a male rabbit with its testicles and sexual organ. Mature physical forms such as a larger skull can also be an identifier. With that said, that method is not recommended as rabbit breeds can appear almost identical regardless of their sex.
Once the genital region is accessed and pressed, the male sexual organ will come out on the area on top of the anus. The protrusion will be tubular in shape and light pink in color. The opening on top of the penis is circular in shape.
If the rabbit is mature and older than ten weeks, you can also feel their testicles on either side of their sexual organ. Although it can still be hidden, it’s not a concrete way to identify if the rabbit is male.
How to Identify if the Rabbit is Female?
Like the male rabbits, you can identify the sexual organs of the female by accessing their genital region. as you press down, the sexual organ will show.
The protrusion is more oval in shape rather than tubular, but it’s still pink in color. The opening is a direct line slit compared to the circular one with the bucks.
The adult does also develop features that most bucks do not have. For example, female rabbits will have a dewlap and more prominent nipples.
However, nipples are much harder to find if the doe does not have a litter yet. It’s still not a comprehensive way to identify the sex of the rabbit.
You can check this research to know more about the reproductive organs of rabbits.
Why It’s Important to Sex a Rabbit?
Avoid Unwanted Pregnancy
Sexing any animal is essential, especially if you have multiple of them. Not only does it help avoid unwanted pregnancies, but owners can also give the proper rabbit care with their sex identified.
Most rabbit owners can’t care for an unexpected litter, so sexing a rabbit is vital, especially if they don’t have immediate access to neutering and spaying services.
With that said, bringing the rabbit to the vet and spaying and neutering them will ensure no unwanted pregnancy.
Know Health Risks
For example, female rabbits are most likely to get uterine cancer. If you have this knowledge in mind, you can get the doe spayed or watched by the vet.
Some might have an existing condition where pregnancy is not recommended. By knowing their sex, the rabbits can have the proper procedures and care.
Knowing the Right Sex for Breeding
To successfully mate a rabbit, you will need a male and a female. Of course, identifying the sex is very important in the breeding process.
Stopping rabbit overpopulation is incredibly important, especially to rabbit sanctuaries. These organizations’ goals are to provide a home for rabbits and give them to families that will be their forever home.
Most of the rabbits that came in sanctuaries are predominantly unwanted litters.
Some of these shelters do not have the suitable funds, resulting in the euthanization of sick and elderly rabbits. This is especially prevalent when there is a surplus of rabbits being dropped in them.
By sexing and providing the rabbits with contraception. This can give them a chance to be with someone that wants them and give them a second chance to be cared for.
Sexing a rabbit is very important for a slew of reasons. It can be for breeding, avoiding unwanted pregnancy, or health reasons. We hope this comprehensive guide helps you to identify the sex of a rabbit more easily.