Every rabbit keeper should think twice before any rabbit is allowed to breed. Unless good homes can definitely be found for the offspring, it is irresponsible to breed from pet rabbits.
The onset of puberty depends on the breed but is at around 4 months in the female and 5 – 8 months in the male. From this age, does can become pregnant up to ten times a year!! As such, if is impossible to let the sexes run together without risk of breeding.
Ovariohysterectomy or ‘spaying’ can be performed on does from 4 months of age onwards. In addition to preventing unwanted pregnancies, spaying also greatly reduces the risk of uterine infections and tumours (90% of un-neutered does develop cancer of the uterus), and may improve the temperament of aggressive or territorial females.
Castration can be performed in male rabbits
over 4 months of age, and is strongly advised if 2 or more male rabbits are
to be housed together, to reduce aggression.
Again, in addition to preventing breeding, castration also prevents testicular
tumours and assists with behavioural problems, such as urine marking and
© Darwin Veterinary Centre Limited 2002-2006. All rights reserved.