Sex determination in rabbits

Sex determination in rabbits

Hardly anything causes as many problems as the sex determination of domestic rabbits. It is best to have the sex of your rabbit determined by two independent people with experience and then check again yourself (e.g. from the breeder or animal shelter from which the rabbit came and additionally from the veterinarian).

If mistakes are made in sex determination, this has fatal consequences, because then there are almost always incompatibilities (e.g. fierce fights with uncastrated ramblers, who can also be seriously injured) or unwanted offspring, often even with related rabbits (e.g. siblings), which results in uncontrolled inbreeding.

The best way to determine the sex is to reach under the chest of the rabbit and under the back of the rabbit with the other hand, turn the rabbit on its back, place it on its lap and fix the front legs with the hand that was previously on the chest. A second person should now be able to see the sex well.

Experts can sometimes determine the sex on the first day after birth, but this is very stressful for newborns and therefore not recommended. Afterwards the sex determination is only possible again later (between the third and fourth week of life), the sex of adult rabbits is easier to determine than that of a young rabbit.

No matter if male or female: In both animals, it is necessary to press a finger gently over the genitals so that the sex can be recognized. With the other hand it is best to pull under the sex area towards the flower.

The furless skin in the fold to the right and left of the genitals are the genital corners, which are often soiled with secretion, so you should clean them carefully. The testicles lie parallel to the genital corners.

Due to the gentle pressure above the sex opening, the female’s genital area is turned out above the anal opening. Many laymen confuse this cuffing with the penis of a buck, but the slit reveals that it is a female. The photo shows a female shortly before sexual maturity.

The buck, on the other hand, has a penis that does not have such a long slit (exceptions are rabbits with congenital malformations, the so-called split penis). The photo shows a rabbit with eleven weeks.

Young raptors have no testicles (right and left of the genitals). In castrated ramblers the testicles are clearly less pronounced (or regress after castration) than in uncastrated rabbitbuck testes. All bucks can retract the testicles (especially if they are raised), therefore it is valid:

  • Rabbits with testicles are certainly bucks
  • Rabbits without testicles can be male or female rabbits.

More highly recommended photos for sex determination at .

Sexually mature

The sexually maturity occurs with the male rabbit with three to four months with small races, five to seven months with middle and approximately seven to twelve months with the big races.

For females it is somewhat more difficult, the females born in autumn are supposed to mature at about 5 months, the spring females at 8.5 months, but there are no reliable numbers, sexual maturity is subject to strong fluctuations. Therefore one should assume a sexual maturity with 14-16 weeks with the female for safety’s sake.

The Aufreiten of the Rammlers is no sign for the sexually maturity, because it occurs usually already before the sexually maturity. To the one as rank-order-behavior, to the other also “to the exercise”, then it cannot come to a fertilization, however, yet.

With 12 weeks rabbits should be separated according to sex to avoid unwanted offspring!

Alternatively, the males can be castrated before the 12th week (early castration), then they can remain with the females.