Rabbit Breeding Behaviour
by Mrs M.S.Anthony
I have 2 Netherland Dwarf rabbits. I don't know if my female wants the male around. The male keeps humping on her back, and the female is crying. I don't know what to do. They are 18 weeks old. Please help. And must I cover the cage at night. They don't let me sleep.
Cage-covering works for parakeets but not for rabbits.
The buck is being a wild teenager, and the doe is very unhappy with him. A bonded pair in the wild breeds frequently, including the day after having babies. The doe, if unhappy, can just run away or tell the buck to get lost for awhile. But your doe is captive in a cage and can't escape. (The problem is not the cage, it is the buck's drive to hump.)
It's high time to provide a second cage. Give the doe the biggest one. At 4 1/2 months old, there's a significant chance she's already pregnant, and she's fed up with the buck. (Be prepared to give her a nest box early, since you may not know when exactly she was bred. And BTW, Netherland Dwarfs aren't considered adult until roughly 6 months old...just for the record.)
Lastly, in case you feel sad about permanently separating the two rabbtis, it's always best to not put people-thoughts into the heads of rabbits. They don't think like we do, and they don't require each other's company nearly as much as some might imagine. (The buck might beg to differ, but then, he's part of the problem!)
Hope this helps, and God bless you...