For some pets, gender is very easy to determine. Not so with rabbits; rabbits with different genders do not look very different from each other even as adults.
What’s more, if the rabbits are still kits, sexing them could be real work. In fact, I have heard of stories of people who thought they had brought home 2 male rabbits only to end up with a litter of rabbits a few weeks later.
Funny, right? While it can easily be jotted down to an innocent mistake, you, of course, wouldn’t want to end up with a litter of rabbits unexpectedly.
There is a way, however, to determine if your rabbit is a girl or a boy. All you need is the proper knowledge and technique to determine how to identify them.
This article aims to guide you through finding the correct gender of your rabbits. Aside from avoiding unexpected pregnancies, it is also beneficial to you as an owner to know your rabbit’s gender as they have some behavioral differences as they grow up.
I will go through some of these behavioral differences in this article but you should remember that gender alone does not determine a rabbit’s behavior.
A lot of factors can contribute to your rabbit’s temperament. Also, one rabbit’s personality can easily differ from another regardless of sex.
How to know if your rabbit is a boy or a girl?
Rabbits do not have any obvious physical differences per gender, the only sure way to find out whether a rabbit is a boy or a girl is to look at its genitals. Easier said than done, for really small rabbits and kits it’s hard to determine the gender so you really have to know what you’re looking for.
A rabbit has a vent that is actually composed of the rabbit’s genitals and its anus. This can be found between their hind legs. The part of the vent that is very close to the tail is the anus and the other part consists of a slit that hides the genitals.
The vent for a female rabbit will be shaped like the letter I while that of male rabbits will be shaped like the letter O. Again, this could be hard to see.
If you’re lucky and your rabbit is already ten weeks old, then finding their sex would be easier for you. Just look for the testicles. Rabbit testicles are 2 oblong shapes, purple “balls” that sit on either side of the rabbit vent.
Younger male rabbits won’t have this yet as the testicles wouldn’t be fully developed yet. In this case, it would be better if you try to just identify the penis.
To find the rabbit’s vulva and penis, you have to get your rabbit into a position wherein their tummies are facing upward, hence they should be lying on their backs on your lap. This could be difficult especially if your rabbit is not yet familiar with you.
Animals in general, do not like having their bellies exposed because this is a sensitive part of their body. That’s why we often say that once your animal exposes their bellies to you then it means that it fully trust you.
Therefore, it’s important to keep your rabbit calm. Give them treats, or maybe better ask someone to hold them in place just in case they kick or start struggling. Rabbits can be strong kickers and you don’t want them falling in the process.
Once they’re already in the proper position find the vent and the slit. Apply gentle pressure on either side of the slit. If a tubular part sticks out then congratulations, your bunny is a boy. The vulva tends to spread out rather than stick out so it would then be obvious that your bunny is a girl.
Why is it important to tell the gender of a rabbit?
Knowing the rabbit of gender is important because gender plays an important role when it comes to rabbit ownership. You don’t want to put two unneutered and unspayed rabbits together in one cage you are almost immediately setting yourself up for trouble.
Rabbit fertility does not operate on a cycle like other animals. Rabbits produce eggs after intercourse. This is the reason why rabbits tend to reproduce faster and then, they also produce lots of kits in a litter.
Besides, taking care of bunnies is not a walk in a park. Bunny ownership could be costly, so you’d like to make sure that your bunnies do not get into unwanted pregnancies.
Rabbit gender also is important for neutering and spaying procedures. Neutering is for male rabbits while spaying is for female rabbits.
Also, neutering is cheaper than spaying as it is less invasive and requires less postoperative care than spaying. Thus, knowing your rabbit’s gender will make it easier to factor in the cost of this recommended procedure to your expenses.
Rabbit gender is also very important as it helps set your expectations when it comes to bonding with your rabbits. Rabbits are generally laid-back and chill animals but general differences have been observed based on their genders.
Female rabbits are more stand-offish than male rabbits. For first-time pet owners, male rabbits are often more recommended as they tend to be more outgoing, friendly, and generally easier to bond with than female rabbits.
Females tend to be more of an expert in ignoring their owners so you would really have to put in the work, patience, and consistency for you to be able to form a bond with them.
Also, female rabbits tend to be more territorial than male rabbits. This is because wild females are the ones who burrow and stay behind while the male rabbits forage. Females also build nests and burrows so they’re more likely to chew things and dig on your favorite carpet or garden than male rabbits.
This is not to say however, that male rabbits won’t ever exhibit these types of behavior. Only that the likelihood is bigger for female rabbits.
This article might be short but I hope it has enlightened you, even just a little bit on how to properly gender your rabbits.
Rabbit ownership is a joy and efforts will always pay off when it comes to bonding with them. It doesn’t matter whatever their gender, once rabbits decide that they love you, that stays constant throughout their lifetime.