Rabbits: How Do You Tell Their Sex?

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When you have pet rabbits, you better know their genders. Rabbits are known for breeding early and often. Generally, it takes some effort to tell the difference between male and female rabbits. Knowledge is key to properly determining the sex of your pets.

Handling Your Rabbit

You have to be careful with your rabbit when sexing it. Cuddle your rabbit for a few moments, and wait until it gets calm. You may want to have a clean towel on your lap to help the rabbit feel safe. Examine your pet in your lap. When you're ready, hold your rabbit gently but firmly, with the chest and shoulders against your abdomen and the belly up. Be certain to hold the rabbit's legs so it can't kick.

Males

Look for evidence your rabbit is a male. You're going to look for a bump called a prepuce. If you gently push on the anterior end -- the end away from the rabbit's head -- some pink tissue will start to stick out. If the rabbit's male, you'll see a fleshy cylinder. On immature or neutered males, the fleshy cylinder will have a hole in the middle. On a mature male, the tip of the penis may protrude from this structure. Mature males also have obvious testicles on either side of the prepuce.

Females

It's harder to be sure with female rabbits, or does, since they look somewhat like immature males. With practice you can figure it out. You're going to gently press on the anterior of the prepuce and inspect the tissue that protrudes. In females, the vulva will be cone-shaped. A slit runs from the tip of the vulva toward the back of the rabbit. The best indicator is two bright-red blood vessels running toward the anterior of the vagina.

Be Careful

Rabbits are physical strong but somewhat delicate at the same time, so you have to be very careful with them. For example, hold your rabbit's leg to prevent him from kicking, as he can hurt himself. Also, do this examination near the ground, sitting either on the floor or on a low coffee table, so your rabbit won't hurt itself if it manages to jump away. Avoid performing this examination on young rabbits, or kits, as it can stress them. This can wait until they are older than three weeks.

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