Sexing Rabbits and sexing baby bunnies. How to tell male rabbits from female rabbits. It is easy, with our photos of 6 week old kits and adult rabbits and complete guidelines and tips.
It’s almost a joke - you go to the pet store or rabbit breeder, buy two of the cutest bunnies you ever did see, and the sales clerk assures you they’re both does. He even checks them for you on the spot. Yep, girls.
A couple months later, one of the rabbits is pregnant.
Sexing rabbits can be subject to operator error. The likely
cause of the misidentification of a rabbit’s gender is simply not knowing
exactly how to sex a rabbit.
It is not hard to tell male from female, but it is easy to make a mistake if you don't examine the bunnies carefully. This is because in little bucklings,
If you don’t apply enough pressure on the vent area for fear of hurting the bunny, nothing will protrude at all. That is where sexing rabbits can get tricky, but keep reading - we'll show you exactly how to determine the gender of a rabbit, whether a bunny or an adult rabbit. And we have included some great pictures to help you 'see' what to do.
Place the kit in your lap bottom side up. We place the head against our tummy and the tail towards our knees (see picture #7 below for the big view).
This is what you’ll see...
A six-week-old buck is pictured in #1.
A six-week-old doe is pictured in #2.
There’s not much difference in these pictures!
This is because the anus and the privates are normally scrunched together, like two doorways facing each other in a short hallway.
With the kits simply flipped over, you don’t see much of anything.
In these views, the vertical slit on the tail side is part of the anus, and the opening for the privates is tucked into the crevice and barely visible.
So here's what you do. Pinch the tail between the first two fingers, and place the thumb on the fur in the vent area.
Pull on the tail gently but firmly, and press downward on the vent with the thumb.
This will open up the works so you can tell what is what.
In picture #3, you can see that a tubular structure is clearly protruding, and it has a circle opening.
Yep, this is a little buck. Circle openings that protrude a
lot equal bucks.
Picture #4 shows a little doe. With a bit of firm pressure on the vent, you can see an opening that stretches to a slit without hardly protruding at all, even if you push a little harder with your thumb.
Linear openings that don't protrude hardly at all equal does.
Here is the key to getting it right:
Push with enough pressure that little boy protrusions do not stay hidden.
Do not be afraid to apply firm pressure, without pushing clear to the backbone, of course.
Here are a couple close-up pictures:
The protruding circle
The flatter slit
Here’s how we hold them - bottoms-up in our lap, head against our stomach and hind end towards the knees:
The gender of adult rabbits is much easier to identify.
A castor rex buck is pictured in #8. A chinchilla rex doe is pictured in #9.
Again, at first glance, their hind ends don’t look all that different, because the openings are still facing each other.
But on the adult buck, you can now see two long grayish areas on either side of the vent. These are thinly furred scrotal sacs - a dead giveaway to his buckhood.
Applying the same techniques as we did to the bunnies, grasp the tail between your first two fingers and apply gentle but firm pressure to the vent with the thumb.
Here’s what you’ll see:
If you happened to miss the scrotal sacs, a buck will offer an obvious protrusion from the vent.
It doesn’t take much pressure at all to reveal the privates.
With the doe, nothing actually protrudes. As you apply firm pressure, you’ll discover the same slit you found on the bunny, and it will be easier to reveal it.
If it looks like there’s a bit of a protrusion, it is only because you are pressing downward on the vent.
For more info about sexing rabbit kits, and the weaning process see Rabbit Raising Problem Solver, pages 148-149, and Chapter 9, Managing the Nursery (starting on page 190),