Rabbits are often associated with fast-breeding as they can give birth to a litter, and the mother can give birth anytime. But, how do they reproduce?
Do rabbits lay eggs? Well, rabbits do not lay eggs. They are mammals. They reproduce with sexual intercourse and mating. Hence, rabbits have a fertility cycle and give birth to babies or kits.
When do rabbits reach adulthood?
Male rabbits usually become adults before female ones. The males will reach adulthood and sexual maturity at the age of three to four months. On the other hand, the female rabbits become sexually mature at five to six months.
Male rabbits usually become aggressive if they find any females near you. Often male rabbits are seen spraying urine as a signal to attract possible mates and for courtship. On the other hand, female rabbits often become territorial if they find a suitable mate.
Fertility cycle of female rabbits
The female rabbits are that they do not have a fertility cycle like other mammals. Their menstrual cycle is different from the other females. Because they do not have an estrous cycle, they do not need to throw out the unused eggs from their bodies every month. Hence, they do not have menstrual bleeding like cats or dogs.
The female rabbits are induced ovulators. That means they need external stimulations to release eggs. In general, females release their eggs during or just after mating.
A female rabbit may become sexually stimulated if its senses a male or buck near its territory. If the male responds by spraying urine, they prepare for mating. It causes an attraction on the females or does. Its vulva will become reddish colored and become more prominent.
The mating system of rabbits
In general, a doe gets pregnant within thirteen hours of sexual intercourse. The male will prepare to mount the doe and will release its sperm inside the doe. This stimulation will cause the female to release its egg. A rabbit can also release multiple eggs at once.
Rabbits start to display their pregnancy signs after one week. Their mammary glands develop, and they prepare to build a nest for the litter. Their uterus also expands, and their belly grows with time.
The pregnancy period of a doe is also concise. Rabbits can give birth after thirty days only. The babies are called kits. The process of giving birth is also called kindling.
Female rabbits can also become pregnant again just shortly after giving birth. They do not have a fertility or mating season and can give birth anytime during the year.
But, female rabbits can also have pseudopregnancy or false pregnancy. It happens if the female is unable to release eggs after mounting. Such incidents usually last for sixteen to seventeen days. During this time, it may show signs like mammary gland development, nest building, etc. But, after the false pregnancy ends, it may lose interest in mating for some time.
Female rabbits do not lay eggs. But, they give birth through pregnancy. Rabbits usually give birth in a litter with a pregnancy period of thirty days after intercourse.