Determining the sex of an animal is not always an easy task, even for an experienced farmer. In certain situations, breeding becomes impossible without exact knowledge of the sex of individuals. Today we will take a closer look at how you can determine the gender of rabbits, based on various signs.
Why do you need to know the gender?
Any rabbit breeder knows that it is necessary to determine the sex of these animals as early as possible. You should know exactly the sex of the rabbits at the stage of their purchase. This criterion is especially important when it comes to purchasing expensive pedigree specimens, which are selected specifically for further breeding. It is very important to choose animals of the right sex so that you do not face various problems in the future.
Experienced breeders advise buying a female and a male from different breeders. Thus, the farmer will be able to exclude closely related relationships, due to which the offspring will be healthier and more productive in the future. However, in no case should you rely only on the seller's assurances about the sex of the rabbits. One must be able to independently determine this feature of the selected animals.
It is very important to be able to determine the sex of rabbits also for the reason that females and males of these individuals must be kept separately. It is a boy or a girl, it is desirable to identify in the early stages, while the rabbit is still small. Until the animals reach puberty, they will need to be kept in separate cages, otherwise unwanted mating can be provoked. In addition, females and males kept in one small area inevitably begin to fight with each other.
And this is not only about the struggle of males for females - the latter also often enter into fights and conflicts with their own kind.
From what age can you tell?
Many breeders are interested in at what age it is possible to accurately determine the sex of a rabbit. You should not try to find out the sex of an animal immediately after birth. During such a period, it will be impossible to do this, since all the organs are not yet fully developed, which is why it will be almost impossible to distinguish them outwardly. Even a very experienced rabbit breeder who has been raising and breeding these animals for many years will not be able to determine their sex before they reach 14-16 days of age. Even at this time, the accuracy of the clarified results will reach no more than 90%.
The older the animal becomes, the more accurate the result will be. However, in this case only a visual and thorough examination of the rabbit is meant. Finding out what his gender is by looking at the photo is not the best idea.
It is recommended to identify these animals with the onset of 1 month. Experts do not advise selling small rabbits that are not even 30 days old. During this period, babies will not have time to drink enough of their mother's milk, which contains all the necessary vitamins and microelements. As a result, this can lead to the fact that the animals will often get sick for a long time. Often, too early, the bunnies, cut off from the rabbit, die altogether.
It is very important to accurately determine the sex of the rabbits within 1-2 months from their birthday. Just at this time, the puberty of the ears occurs. If rabbits and rabbits are not quickly transplanted into separate areas within the next 3-4 months, inbreeding may occur. Such intercourse invariably leads to the provocation of serious diseases, mutations, feralism, and even extinction of the species.
Not only family ties, but also incompletely formed genitals will affect the health of rabbits. In males, the corresponding natural instinct is activated. Because of the fragile nervous system, these animals can fight with their own kind. So they will demonstrate their superiority over rabbits. Because of the fights, animals will begin to receive a lot of injuries, which will also have a bad effect on their health.
It is advisable to seat rabbits of different sexes from the age of one and a half months.
As mentioned earlier, understanding the sex of rabbits (like many other animals on the farm) can be difficult, especially for a novice farmer. There are two main ways in which you can tell the gender of rabbits. Let's consider them in detail.
Sexual characteristics are primary and secondary. The external genitals of animals are primary. When you look at their structure, you can usually tell with certainty what gender the rabbit is. These organs are originally laid down by genetics. Initially, their structure is related to a fertilized egg long before the birth of an eared baby.
The development of the genitals in rabbits is due to hormonal levels. The primary sexual characteristics include the direct structure related to the okrug system.
There are also secondary sexual characteristics by which the sex of the animal can be distinguished. This implies alogical confirmation of gender. They are laid in the course of the growth of the animal and its puberty.
Experienced breeders can easily figure out what gender a rabbit has just by looking at its body structure. For example, males are usually quite strong and with rounded shapes, there is a large massive head. They spray their territory with urine, so the rabbits mark it. Females, on the other hand, look much neater and more tender. Their body lines are smooth, and on the abdomen, you can see two rows of nipples. The croup is slightly larger than that of males.
This type of identification can lead to a serious error. This method is considered not the most reliable.
Most often, it is used by more experienced breeders who have been raising and breeding rabbits for a long time.
The secondary sexual characteristics of these individuals include:
- fur cover;
- milk glands;
- body proportions;
- the shape of the skull;
- bone structure.
Sexual characteristics are easier to determine in adults. It is necessary to examine the organs of rabbits carefully and correctly. Let's take a closer look at how this should be done.
- First, the animal will need to be laid on a flat surface.
- Further, grabbing the rabbit by the ears or neck, it will need to be turned upside down with its belly. Make sure that at this moment the head of the animal "looks" at the breeder, and the paws are located on the back side.
- With one hand, you will need to gently hold the animal so that it does not break out and jump out during the inspection. With the other hand, you will need to gently stretch the rabbit skin in the crotch area.
- You will need to push your finger near the base of the tail and anus of the rabbit.
- With your thumb, you will need to press on the protruding tubercle from the back side.
A rabbit's sex can be revealed by paying more attention to its behavior. Many breeders who do not have rich experience are sure that an animal that jumps to mate on its relative is necessarily a male. In fact, this is not the case. Often in this way, an excited female demonstrates male behavior to the male, calling for mating. By means of such a "pseudorandom", the rabbit and other neighbors in the cage shows that she claims to be a leader.
Rabbits (especially representatives of decorative breeds) are very active and playful creatures by nature, so it can be difficult to determine their gender based on one or another characteristic. But you can pay attention to the following behavioral features of males and females.
So, males are characterized by the following behavior:
- they mark their territory, sprinkling a secret over its area;
- after the period of puberty, the urine of males acquires a specific pungent odor, which is uncharacteristic for females;
- Males very often rub against the walls of the cage in which they are located, as well as against the feeder - thus, they seem to outline their own territory.
Females differ in the following behavior:
- they often try to dig new burrows;
- in every possible way they try to improve the conditions in which they live;
- use their own fur for bedding;
- at some moments they are hammered into secluded corners.
In addition, females are more calm and balanced in nature than males. They behave especially actively exclusively during periods of sexual heat. Sometimes the behavior of bunnies can be frightening and confusing. For example, females can begin to pull their own fur from the abdomen. Usually there is nothing to worry about - thus, the animal prepares good bedding for itself and its rabbits in the cage.
How to distinguish a female from a male in decorative breeds?
Separately, it is worth talking about how to check the sex of not ordinary, but decorative rabbits. The main distinguishing feature of these cute individuals is castration. When the decorative rabbit is 4 months old, it must be neutered. This applies to any species of dwarf animal.
If we neglect this operation, then subsequently the pet will begin to constantly mark the territory in which it will live. Because of this, a pungent and unpleasant smell can settle in the home, from which the head will spin. The rabbit can also become overly aggressive.
You need to know how you can determine the sex of a decorative rabbit by visual inspection. The identification of sex characteristics in these animals is absolutely no different from the examination of simple animals that are raised on the farm. To do this, you need to know the exact age of the rabbit. In one month, the sex of the animal can be determined by the direct location of the corresponding organs. From 1 to 3 months, sex is determined by prepuce. If the animal is more than 3 months old, then its gender can be identified by the drooping testicles.
It is recommended to check the sex of the decorative rabbit even at the stage of its purchase from the breeder (or at the pet store). The method of examining the animal in this case is absolutely no different from the method described above, associated with simple rabbits. The only difference is that in dwarf individuals the genitals are very small. For this reason, it is often necessary to use a magnifying glass during inspection. This device will help determine the sex of an individual without causing the slightest harm or unnecessary stress.
Please note that decorative rabbits are very delicate and fragile creatures. You should not make sharp and too rough movements while examining them. Otherwise, you can injure the eagle or scare him very much. Such things will not lead to anything good.
You can determine the gender of a dwarf rabbit by using a highly qualified seller. If you cannot see the sexual characteristics of the rabbit, you can accurately measure the distance from the genitals to the anus.
If you have a small male in front of you, then this indicator will be no more than 4 mm. As for the girl rabbits, this distance will be less than half.
Helpful hints and tips
When keeping and breeding rabbits, it is very important to be able to correctly determine their gender. In such matters, as in the cultivation of these animals, one must act carefully and not rush. It is worth listening to helpful advice and recommendations from experienced livestock breeders.
- If you decide on an independent examination of a young animal, then this should be done strictly according to the instructions. Be confident, but don't be too rude. Otherwise, you can harm the rabbit - these animals are quite fragile, especially if they belong to an ornamental breed.
- It is possible to determine the sex of an animal by its size, behavior and other characteristics, however, a basic examination of its genitals will not replace all these actions. It is best to consider the sex of the rabbit in a comprehensive manner, resorting to all of the above methods.
- It should be borne in mind that rabbits usually do not create monogamous families. It is for this reason that these animals must be bought in such a way that there are at least two males for 10 females.
- Few people know that rabbits are characterized by mixing of semen. In this case, in the same litter, eared babies are born, descending from different male sires. Moreover, in order to increase the likelihood of fertilization and getting strong offspring, experts even advise to alternate mating of these animals, that is, one female with a pair of males. It will be necessary to plant the latter in turn, not forgetting to make an interval of a couple of days.
- It should be borne in mind that rabbits, despite their peaceful attitude, may well afford to fight with other individuals in the cage. This can be due to a struggle for the best spot or portion of fresh food. In most cases, such collisions end normally - the animals do not receive serious injuries or injuries.
- Especially serious about revealing the sex of animals should be taken during the period of their seating. It is not recommended to put same-sex rabbits in one cage - as a result, they will begin to find out which of them is more important.
- When examining a rabbit in detail, you should never focus on the nipples on its body. We must not forget that they occur in both females and males, therefore, this feature cannot be attributed to the main factors that make it possible to distinguish the sex of the animal.
- It is easier to examine adult rabbits. Their gender is easier and faster to determine. It is enough to examine their genitals. There is no need to stock up on a magnifying glass, as is the case with dwarf individuals. Often, in mature males, the testes grow quite large and clearly visible - it will be very difficult to confuse such eared ones with females.
- If you have a male rabbit in front of you, but he does not have two testicles, then, most likely, this will indicate a certain injury or a congenital defect in the structure of the individual.
- When buying a rabbit (both decorative and ordinary), it is recommended to examine it yourself to determine its gender. It is not always worth listening to sellers, especially if you are selecting animals for further breeding - it is better not to make mistakes in such matters.
- The genitals of animals of different ages can have a different color. For example, in young individuals they are most often light pink, in adolescent rabbits, the genitals are white, and in adult animals they are darker, close to red. Such features should also be taken into account when choosing these animals.
For information on how to determine the gender of a rabbit, see the next video.