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Rabbits show a lot of signs and exhibit certain kinds of behaviors when they want to breed or are ready for breeding. And as a farmer, you should be familiar and conversant with some of these signs and behaviors.
You can know if your rabbit(s) are ready to breed when they exhibit some of these signs or behaviors listed below;
You may be wondering, Do male rabbits actually go on heat before breeding? Well, they actually do and as a rabbit breeder, you should be very conversant with that.
Here are some behaviors that are shown by the male rabbit when they are ready for breeding.
- Stretching of the body with their mouth open
- The penis becomes very red
- Spilling of urine (Territorialism)
- Mounting of objects
- Biting and scratching of objects
Stretching Of the Body with Their Mouth Open
This behavior is not often common, it’s normally done when you don’t even notice or least expect.
They tend to draw their feet backward and stretch their front feet forward with their mouth wide open. These signs enable you to know that they are ready for mating or breeding.
The Penis Becomes Very Red
When close to a female, their libido (sexual urge) becomes ignited thereby leading to the erection of the penis.
When this is being noticed, it is a clear vision that your male or young male is ready for breeding and can be introduced to a female for mating.
Spilling Of Urine (Territorialism)
Territorialism is very common in most male animal breeds, aside from rabbits, and spilling of urine is another common way used for marking territory.
When male rabbits are on heat or are ready to breed, they draw their territory for other males by spilling urine (jumping and spilling) telling other males that this is my spot and my female.
When noticed, it simply means they are ready for breeding and should be introduced to a female rabbit for breeding.
Aggressiveness in this case has to do with the male being harsh and attacks anything that looks like a threat to it.
Sometimes most farmers prefer a rabbit with such behavior and quality at that moment why? Because there are some females that refuse mating (except if you are using breeding for commercial purposes) and the male rabbit becomes aggressive by forcing the female rabbit to mate without the help of the owner.
This sign can also mean your male rabbit is ready to breed.
Mounting of Objects
This behavior is most common in male rabbits; they start by mounting their fellow male rabbits, woods, and other objects present.
Once noticed, quickly introduce the male to a female rabbit because at that moment, they are very ready and their sexual urge is at the maximum.
Biting and Scratching of Objects
This can also be termed as being aggressive but the difference is that they bite their wood or wire nettings used in constructing their home be it a hutch or a cage.
Or scratching their nets, wood, or other objects available. If noticed, it simply means they are ready to breed.
And that moment, it is advisable you take them for mating.
Breeding behaviors in females are almost similar to that of males that is, their behaviors are mostly alike.
Keeping an eye on the female rabbit before and after the breeding period is quite advisable for as this will help you know when she would be ready for breeding next time.
- Raising of the Tail
- The vulva becomes reddish-brown
- Increased in consumption of feed
Raising of The Tail
When you notice your female raises her tail when close to a male, it means that she is ready to breed, and as this helps the male for easy mating without any stress when mating is been carried out.
When a female rabbit tail is not raised, it is not possible for the male rabbit to have access to her vulva.
That is why it is necessary to monitor your female rabbit breeding cycle to avoid some of these difficult situations during mating.
For as this will help save your time and also save the males energy for other females available.
Noticing your rabbit is a little bit restless; it may be as a result of her being on her oestrus and is very ready to breed and as this may result in restlessness, excessive noise, scratching of the cages or even pouring their feed away.
When noticed early, do make sure you introduce her to a male rabbit so they can mate.
Increased in Consumption of Feed
Once female rabbits are on heat, their feeding consumption usually increases. When this is most common, is when they are already in and are expecting a litter.
They usually feed more than usual before. So making sure you keep an eye on her feeding ratio will also help you notice when she is ready to breed.
Some common features of a female rabbit ready for breeding are being aggressive mostly to their fellow females.
They end up fighting each other, they do scratch when threatened by the owner or any other one. If you encounter some of these behaviors, maybe she is ready to breed.
But not in all cases that aggressive female rabbits are on heat some maybe as a result of hereditary or been gotten from the parents when littered.
FAQ’s (FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS) RELATED TO THIS ARTICLE: How to know If a Rabbit Is Ready For Breeding ( All you need to know)
How do You Force a Rabbit to Breed?
Force breeding a rabbit simply means breeding a rabbit when it is not ready to be bred.
Force breeding is mostly common with farmers who breed rabbits for commercial purposes just to meet the needs of their customers or client.
Why people force breed rabbits maybe because they are needed for meat or needed in large quantities and so on.
You can force breed a female rabbit by holding her and help to raise her tail while the male mounts her or it can also be done by tying a rope to her tail and tying it to her ears to enable the male rabbit to have easy access when mating.
Many may prefer keeping the male and female rabbits in a very little cage to avoid the female rabbit running around as this would help save the male’s energy and also increase the chances of having a successful mating.
Making use of glue to glue her tail is not really advisable for this will go as long as chopping off her hairs and may lead to skin infections, or also making use of rubber bands are not really advisable also for it also affects her skin and may cause hair entanglement.
How do You Know if a Rabbit is Having Babies?
Keeping records of your rabbit breeding cycle will help you know when she is ready to have babies or is in the process.
When a female rabbit is having babies they usually build a nest for their litter by gathering whatever they find around them that is very soft such as hay, soft clothes and the most common one is hair pulling or removal.
When female rabbits are expecting a litter, they normally pull off their hair to make the young litters very warm and help protect against cold weather conditions.
How do I know if My Rabbits Are Mating?
Long term mating, one mating that is mating just one time really is not a bad idea at all. Most farmers prefer one mating while some prefer Long term mating.
Long-term mating may take up to 3-5 days and sometimes when you are sure you keep a record of her oestrus cycle, one mating is advised.
When the male rabbit mounts the female rabbit and then she raises her tail up, these are a sure sign that they are mating and it is likely she gets pregnant.
Why do Male Rabbits Fall over When Mating?
At a point when mating I rabbits, the males fall over about 30 seconds after mounting the female rabbit.
This is possible because the female rabbit is on heat and ready to breed making it easy for the male to have easy access.
Falling over the male rabbit signifies that the mating was a good one and a successful one at that.
When the male falls over the female, it is sometimes advisable to separate them but sometimes to be sure, you may leave them and let the male fall more than two times.
Rabbits Breeding Cycle
Rabbits have what we know as a breeding cycle, it has to do with the mating of the female after every kindling.
The breeding cycle can be achieved by mating the female 21 days after kindling. The breeding cycle in rabbits takes about 65-75 days.
Their gestational period (Period of Pregnancy) takes about 29-33 days (approximately 31 days).
Making sure you keep a record of all these will help you a lot like a farmer and also help improve and sustain your rabbit’s growth.
How to Know If a Rabbit Is Ready For Breeding ( All you need to know) – Conclusion
Rabbits portray some strange and funny behaviors when they are on heat and are willing to mate.
well being conversant and aware of those behaviors is really advisable and would make you know the necessary steps to take whenever they are on heat.
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