Why Do Male Rabbits Fall Over After Mating?

If you have ever seen rabbits mate, you might have seen the male rabbit rolling or falling over after the mating.

But why do male rabbits tumble after mating?

While one can put it in the list of eccentric and bizarre things rabbits do, there is a reason why bucks, i.e., male rabbits, fall over after mating.

It happens because their muscle tense and relax suddenly.

Let’s explore why male rabbits fall over after mating in detail!

Why Male Rabbits Fall Over Post Mating

If you have ever witnessed rabbits mating, you might have noticed the buck falling over after the event. While it might seem funny, male rabbits tend to freeze and collapse due to exhaustion.

They grunt for a few seconds and then freeze and fall over on their back or to the side because they fail to control their hind legs. They also close their eyes from exhaustion.

The buck’s body engages in a spontaneous and gradual tensing of the muscles during mating. They tense and relax gradually.

Once the breeding is complete, the muscles stop contracting and relaxing.

It takes time for the buck’s body to settle in. It’s why male rabbits fall over right after mating. They don’t have complete control of their leg muscles.

Moreover, since they exert so much energy in contracting and relaxing their muscles, it drains them quickly.

The exhaustion from breeding causes their bodies to weaken and makes them fall over.

Should You Worry When Your Male Rabbit Falls Over After Mating?

Since rabbits are renowned for reproducing pretty often, you might have witnessed your male rabbits falling over pretty frequently if you breed rabbits.

However, if you’re new to breeding them, you might be worried due to this strange action. It’s fairly normal to worry about your rabbit’s health under such situations.

Moreover, since male rabbits let out a loud bellow before they finish mating, it might make you think that they are in pain.

That reaction compounded with the falling can make any pet parent worry.

With that said, you certainly should not worry about your buck falling over post-breeding. It’s an entirely natural phenomenon and happens to almost all male rabbits after successful mating.

When bucks engage in successful breeding, they produce sperms, which causes their bodies to release multiple hormones.

The hormones released in their circulation can force their bodies to go into an instant state of relaxation. This state ensures they recover their energy and protects them from harmful exhaustion.

It’s why you should not worry when your male bunny falls over post-breeding.

How Long Will Your Male Rabbit Lie Down on the Floor Before Getting Up?

As a rule of thumb, male rabbits can get back up on their feet after mating in less than a minute. Still, this time varies from rabbit to rabbit.

For instance, some males might fall over and get back up right after, while others might lie down for a minute or two before hopping back up.

Additionally, some bucks might not exhibit exhaustion and start running about as if nothing happened. On the flip side, some male rabbits while spending some time sitting still before moving about.

This variance in time and reaction can be explained by genetics. However, other factors, such as exhaustion and the male rabbit’s diet, can also impact how quickly it recovers from mating.

For instance, the longer a male rabbit takes to mate, the more exhausted it will feel afterward. Hence, it will take longer to recover.

Similarly, since mating demands energy, if your buck has a low-energy diet, it will take it longer to recover from the process than if it had a high-energy diet.   

Do Female Rabbits Also Fall Over After Mating?

A doe or female rabbit will also be exhausted after mating, so they are often less energetic afterward.

However, since they don’t exert as much energy and effort as bucks do during mating, female rabbits are rarely as exhausted. It’s why they don’t fall over after mating.

Some expert rabbit breeders believe female rabbits are less active post-mating so that they can escalate the chances of fruitful breeding.

It’s why they don’t fall over or run about in their hutch.

Will My Rabbits Make Noises While Mating?

Rabbits are notorious for making a vast array of sounds when they are mating. These sounds can vary between a doe and a buck.

For instance, female bunnies often hum and growl, while bucks often honk and grunt. Typically, these sounds rabbits make while mating doesn’t indicate anything except their excitement.

The loud, distinct grunt a male rabbit makes before tumbling over indicates the completion of the breeding process.

Does Falling Over Mean the Mating Process Was a Success?

Some breeders believe that when the buck falls over after mating, it is a guaranteed sign of successful breeding.

While that is true in most instances, it does not mean it always happens.

Even when a buck does not fall over after mating, the breeding process can be successful. To ensure the process is successful, the female rabbit needs to be cooperative as well.

Ideally, the doe needs to lift up its hind body to make the breeding process easier for the buck. Some professional rabbit breeders also check the doe’s vulva to enable fruitful mating.

Breeders also often help the buck by ensuring the doe’s tail is not in the way and putting the female down while keeping her hindquarters up.

Can a Buck Fall Over without Mating?

A male rabbit can fall over without breeding, but it’s often due to specific disorders or conditions. Rabbits can fall over due to a neurological condition called Floppy Bunny Syndrome.

This condition causes bunnies to experience paralysis in their hind legs, which leads to weakness, causing them to collapse.

It’s not restricted to male rabbits as females can also develop Floppy Bunny Syndrome.

Other reasons why rabbits might collapse include infections, over-exposure to sunlight, dehydration, malnutrition, etc. If your rabbit falls over without mating, you must take them to the vet right away.

This way, you can provide them with the medical assistance they need to cure their condition or illness.

How Often Can Bucks Mate Safely?

Are you worried that you might exhaust your buck by making them breed more often than their bodies can handle?

Typically, a mature buck can mate once every day without affecting its health.

So, if your buck is breeding once a day, you don’t have to fret about ensuring it gets rest days in between. Mating once every day will not affect its fertility or health otherwise.

However, if your buck is mating with multiple female rabbits within a couple of days, you will need to give them off days in between. This way, you can ensure they are not too tired to mate properly.

It will also help you keep them healthy. Additionally, you should give your buck a healthy, high-energy diet and keep it relaxed to ensure positive breeding results.

Also read: Can Rabbits Give Birth Days Apart?

The Bottom Line

If you’re new to breeding rabbits, you should know that most of your bucks will fall over every time they mate.

They will lose control of their hind legs due to their constant contraction and relaxation.

It’s a perfectly natural phenomenon, and your buck will regain its strength in a minute or two.

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