Did you just get a rabbit and are wondering if they are male or female? Then keep reading this guide.
There are certain steps to follow to identify their sex. This is an important characteristic to know about because it impacts their temperament and behavior.
Keep reading this guide to learn about how you can tell if a rabbit is male or female.
Identifying a Rabbit’s Sex
Rabbits are cute and cuddly creatures due to their massive fur. It is this very reason that makes it difficult to distinguish the sex of the rabbit.
This is especially true when your rabbit is furrier and is a baby. Furthermore, rabbits are animals with a high reproductive rate.
If you don’t control them, you will end up with many small bunnies. This makes it important to identify their sex.
Another reason why you should know about your rabbit’s sex is that it impacts their temperament. Female rabbits tend to be more aggressive than male rabbits.
Hence, you will need to know about their sex when deciding which rabbit to keep. It greatly affects the rabbit’s behavior around you, other rabbits, and animals.
Typically, you have to put in some effort in identifying the sex of rabbits. This is especially true if you have a baby rabbit since it is hard to locate their genitals.
Identifying their sex might be slightly difficult for a new owner. However, you can easily figure out the information in this guide.
How to Identify the Sex of a Rabbit
If you are interested in identifying the sex of a rabbit, then keep reading this guide. Figuring out the gender is not an easy task, especially if the bunny is young.
When your rabbit is six weeks old, its genitals begin to develop. Once their genitals begin to descend, you can finally identify the sex of the rabbit.
To identify their gender, you will need to observe the rabbit’s genital area. There are certain steps involved in identifying their sex through observation.
First, you will need to pick them up and inspect their genital area. To do this, don’t simply pick them up but rather lay them on a cushion.
Rabbits can get scared easily and are prone to stress. Hence, you will need to be quite gentle with them through this process.
It would be a good idea to have someone help you with this. The extra pair of hands would be helpful for when the bunny tries to jump up.
It is very important to prevent them from kicking while they are lying down. Additionally, you should avoid holding them by their ears.
When the rabbit is lying down and exposed, you should check its genital area. At this point, you will notice that the anus is quite close to the tail.
This is where you can check whether the rabbit is male or female. If there is an oval-shaped hole close to the anus, then it is the rabbit’s vulva.
This hole will be very close to the anus and might even be cone-shaped. This means that the rabbit is a female.
It is hard to determine the female’s gender because it can often be unclear and confusing. The best way to check is to see if there are two red vessels.
These would be located at the anterior of the vagina. These blood vessels are the best way to be sure if the rabbit is a male or female.
When it comes to male rabbit anatomy, determining their sex is more straightforward. Unlike the females, their opening will not be as close to the anus.
There would be a clear separation between the area where the penis is located and the anus. Around that area, you may feel a small bump called a prepuce.
Here, if the rabbit is male, you will notice a fleshy cylinder. It will be hard to notice this cylinder on neutered and immature rabbits.
This is because this cylinder would be quite small, and there would also be a hole in the middle. On the other hand, this fleshy cylinder will be easy to notice in males.
For example, in such male rabbits, the tip would also be sticking out from the structure. Besides this, male rabbits have testicles on the sides of the prepuce.
Hence, it is very easy to check the sex of a male rabbit, especially if it is mature. You will easily notice their prepuce when you lay them with their bellies.
Not to mention, the testicles on either side will also show that the rabbit is a male. These would be hairless testicles that are in a purple shade.
There is a chance that these testicles would be retracted since the rabbits are under stress. Hence, you might not see the testicles.
However, figuring out if a rabbit is female can be slightly more complicated. You will need to press the hole near the anus, which could also tell you that the rabbit is female.
However, be extremely gentle with this because it could seriously harm the doe.
Be Careful When Identifying the Sex of Rabbits
One thing to remember is that you have to be extremely gentle and careful when handling rabbits. Not only are these delicate creatures, but they can also get scared quite easily.
For example, you should lay them on a cushion when checking their gender. You should also do the procedure on or near the ground.
This will prevent them from falling and injuring themselves. Furthermore, you should prevent them from kicking themselves by holding their legs.
Identifying the Sex of Rabbits in Kits and Babies
There is a separate set of guidelines for checking the sex of kits and baby rabbits. This is because they are much more delicate and sensitive than older rabbits.
For this reason, you should not check their gender unless you are experienced and a professional. Only professionals should check for their sex because their genital areas are quite sensitive.
Therefore, you should only check a kit’s gender if it is absolutely necessary. This procedure can wait until they are older.
There is also another reason why you should determine the sex when the rabbit is older. This is because determining their sex when they are a few weeks old is impossible.
The genitals of such a small rabbit are not developed enough and cannot be identified. After six to eight weeks, these genitals develop and can be identified.
However, before that, a newborn female and newborn male would look the same. To check the sex of a rabbit that is older than six weeks, you will need to feel them.
Since they are still young, identifying their gender visually would be difficult. Consider feeling their genitals.
A male’s genitals would be slightly protruding. This is only if you put slight pressure on the area.
However, be sure not to put too much pressure either, as that can injure the rabbits.
Difference between Male and Female Rabbits
You don’t necessarily need to check the sex of the rabbits physically. You could also just observe their behavior and characteristics.
Males and females vary considerably in terms of their temperament and behavior. Hence, you can notice these characteristics to check for their difference.
This is a good idea if you are handling bunnies for the first time. Checking physically for their sex can often be a challenging task for beginners.
For example, female rabbits are more aggressive and feistier than male rabbits. They will also exhibit nesting behaviors in the form of digging holes.
You will notice females being bossier and dominant when they are around other rabbits. On the other hand, male rabbits tend to be more affectionate.
They are also more inquisitive and curious, so you can notice them exploring their cages. They will not dig as much and would rather be timider.
You can also observe your rabbit’s behavior around other rabbits of the same gender. For example, when male rabbits are kept together, they will be more likely to fight.
However, this is not the case with female rabbits. When kept together, these rabbits will live peacefully and won’t fight at all.
However, observing and checking rabbits’ temperaments may become confusing if they are neutered. Both neutered males and females tend to be much calmer when neutered.
Hence, checking for their aggressiveness could become tricky. If that is the case, simply observe their size.
Male rabbits tend to be slightly smaller than females in terms of size. In fact, female rabbits also have nipples, which male rabbits don’t have.
Female rabbits of specific breeds also have a fold under their chin. This is not seen in male rabbits, though.
Needless to say, checking your rabbit’s sex is not straightforward. You will need to follow the aforementioned steps in checking their sex.
However, you should avoid checking the sex of kits because their genitals have not fully developed. If you cannot identify their sex on your own, consider contacting a vet.
Other articles you may also like: