Sexing Rabbits

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.


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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,

--Their equipment hasn’t descended, and
--Without sufficient pressure, the penile sheath does not protrude enough for you to tell the difference between buck and doe.

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.

How to Tell the Gender of a Rabbit

Place the kit in your lap bottom side up. I place the head against my tummy and the tail towards my 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!

Sexing rabbits - This happens to be a male bunny, but you can't tell, can you?!
Sexing rabbits - This happens to be a female bunny, but you can't tell, can you?!

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.


Benjamin Smith, Lead Instructional Designer at Bendigo TAFE and Kangan Institute, in Melbourne, Australia, requested and was granted permission to use these Raising-Rabbits images to instruct students studying animal care and management about sexing rabbits. Thank you, Professor Smith! (February 2023)

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.

What do you know?! This is a male 6 week old bunny.What do you know?! This youngster is a boy.
Yep, this 6 week old bunny is a girl.Yep, this 6 week old bunny is a girl.

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 belong to 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 belong to does. 

Common online descriptions include the term "burrito" for bucklings, and "taco" for doelings. Now you can see why!

Here's the Key to Sexing Rabbits Correctly

Here is the simple 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 is the boy bunny.The protruding circle is the boy bunny.
The flatter slit is the girl bunny.The flatter slit is the girl bunny.

Here’s how I hold them - bottoms-up in my lap, head against the stomach and hind end towards the knees. In photo #5 above, you see that the tail is clasped between two fingers, and the thumb is pushing down fairly firmly on the vent area.

Photo #7 below shows you the entire bunny in my lap. There is more than one way to hold the bunny, but this is an easy way...

Sexing rabbits - little buckling

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Sexing Rabbits when Adults

The gender of adult rabbits is very easy 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.

Sexing rabbits - adult buck
Sexing rabbits - adult doe
Sexing rabbits - adult buck

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:

Picture #10 is a buck. 

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. 

Sexing rabbits - adult doe

Picture #11 is a doe.

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 about the weaning process see Rabbit Raising Problem Solver, pages 148-149, and Chapter 9, Managing the Nursery (starting on page 190),

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