Rabbits all over…


when reproduction gets out of control


with a special thanks to Linda Baley

and her friends for the permission to use these pictures


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Many legends and stories about rabbits recount their fertility and notorious reproduction rates. This related to the fact that they are sexually mature after a few months already - as soon as 3 months for dwarf breeds - and able to start a prolific reproduction.

Do not take chances !!!

from: Roberts M.F. Starting Right with Rabbits. NJ (USA):T.F.H. Publications, 1983, p.117.


It is not easy to sex young rabbits. Even rabbit experts or veterinarians may fail to sex correctly, and males are mistakenly considered females. As a result, owners believing they have two females are surprised with a litter a few months later; their rabbits turning out to be a female and a male couple. When male and female littermates are kept together, it can result in offspring within a few months. When a sexually mature female is allowed free time with a sexually male rabbit, even the best surveillance may not be enough to prevent offspring. A few seconds is all it takes for the male to mount the female and impregnate her. Indeed, female rabbits do not have an estrus (heat) cycle with periodic heat periods, as do dogs or cats. Adult female rabbits are “reflex ovulators”; ovulation is induced only after coital stimulation and happens automatically 9 to 13 h after the copulation act.

Gestation in rabbits lasts an average of 30 days. After giving birth, the doe can be impregnated within the next 24 h. already. A litter from 1 up to 10-12 newborn can thus be produced every 30 to 32 days, if a female and male rabbit are kept together. If no step is taken to stop the quick reproductive cycle of rabbits by castrating males and females, there will rapidly be an overpopulation of rabbits.


Sad consequences of rabbit overpopulation...

Difficulties to find good homes for unwanted offspring, ending in a shelter or in pet shops, dumped in woods and parks, or becoming snake or human food.


Lack of knowledge, wrong knowledge leads sometimes into the wrong way. Although the rabbits are given proper care and basic hygiene, they are not castrated. As a result they start to reproduce in an uncontrolled manner and get offspring. Living free range will allow mating between parents, between offspring, and new rabbits are born.

Here 6 rabbits were allowed to roam freely and mate. At some point the situation got out of control, and 80 rabbits were found all over the house and the garage. Offspring aging from a few days to a few weeks were found in cardboard boxes, hay boxes, nesting boxes etc. The rabbits were provided a basic good diet, fresh water and plenty of hay. Unlike frequently observed, this place was kept as clean as possible under circumstances by the tenants, with essentially hay over the ground and furniture, but no droppings or urine. This may explain why most rabbits were in good health, few suffering bite wounds. The 80 rabbits were rescued and all were spayed/neutered.

Total veterinary costs: $ 5000.-

Total human involvement costs: uncountable.

Time to find good homes for the 80 rabbits is expected to take over a year.



Does with litters in nesting boxes, litterboxes, cardboards lined with hay

Few days old newborn

Doe with few weeks old aged rabbits

Doe living together with her male and female offspring



Rabbits in the garage…

in cages

running free



Rabbits in the living room…

in cages

running free



Rabbits in the bedrooms

living together in cages

running free


To avoid that the situation gets out of hand and end with an overpopulation of rabbits


Spay /neuter your rabbit(s) !!!



The rabbits found in this home have been rescued and given appropriate veterinary care. Females were spayed, and males were neutered.

Most rabbits have found a new home in the meantime.




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