Rabbits are cute little pets to be around. But they are also the representative logo for the naughty Playboy magazines. But are rabbits that mischievous when it comes to mating?
Let us see if rabbits mate for a lifetime and their matting nature.
Do Rabbits Mate for A Lifetime?
Technically, rabbits can breed for a lifetime. But most Rabbits do not mate for a lifetime due to various factors. They are also not monogamous.
Rabbits will find rabbits of the opposite sex to mate in their nearest area. In larger groups, male rabbits will rank themselves based on their dominance to mate with the female rabbits.
But this is the case with rabbits in the wild. Here, the dominant male rabbit mates with the female rabbit. After mating, the male rabbit will leave the female.
Even if the male is starting with the female, she will shoo away the male within a few weeks of mating.
Pet Bunny males living in cages may have only one female to mate with. These rabbits stay monogamous and stay together till the end.
It may be confusing, but this is how we have seen it. Things are completely different between bunny pairs in the wild and indoors.
Most new pet rabbit owners have confusion about bunny pairs and their mating patterns. If you are also one such owner, don’t worry.
In this blog, we have compiled all information and answered all questions on rabbit mating patterns.
So, Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy the Read.
Are Rabbits Monogamous or Polygamous?
Rabbits are Polygamous animals. They will mate with several partners throughout their life. Rabbits will not spend their whole life with one partner.
Rabbits are polygamous mainly due to their short life span and prey nature. But they can be monogamous too (in the case of caged rabbits).
Rabbits living in cages have a higher life span when compared to wild rabbits. In the wild, rabbits will live a maximum of 2 to 3 years.
This may even reduce due to various factors like Predators, diseases, climate, and other environmental conditions.
This is why rabbits in the wild mate often with different partners and stay polygamous. Male and female rabbits in the wild will start to mate within 4 months after birth.
Do Male and Female Rabbits Live Together in The Wild?
In the wild, the male and female rabbits will not live together. Dominant male rabbits in a group will mate with the female rabbit. After mating, the male rabbit will move away and find another female to mate.
Mating Rabbits will not have any emotional bonding between them and they will separate as soon as the mating is over.
Even if the male rabbit is sticking around with the female, she will move away from the male.
So in the wild most rabbits are polygamous and they never stay as pairs. But it is not the same for all rabbits.
Can Rabbits Be Monogamous?
Some Rabbits can be monogamous in the case of pet rabbits. Pet rabbits living in a cage will have 9 plus years of life span. These rabbits will have mostly one female rabbit as a companion.
By circumstances, these rabbits will stay monogamous and mate several times with the same partner for survival.
Sometimes, wild rabbits may also become monogamous if the rabbit population declines due to harsh diseases and climatic conditions.
If pet rabbits are kept in pairs, they will become monogamous and stay as pairs till the last.
But never keep a single rabbit in your house. They may become lonely and start to feel anxious.
Leaving a Rabbit Alone for An Extended Period can be harmful to the rabbits’ mental health. Always buy bunnies in pairs of a male and female.
Do Male Rabbits Stay with Baby Bunnies?
In the wild, the male rabbits will not stay with the bunnies. Female rabbits will take care of these babies for the first few months. Once after maturing, these rabbits will leave their mother and start to live alone.
Pet male rabbits also will not live with the young bunnies. They may instead hurt or even kill the young one to mate with the female.
If you are mating a male bunny with a female, make sure to keep him away from the female bunny cage after mating.
This must be done immediately after mating as the female bunny will be ready to mate within 24 hours of giving birth to the young bunny.
Once the baby grows till 6 to 7 weeks, you can again introduce the male bunny to the female bunny.
This time, the female bunny will leave the young one and it will be free from any danger caused by the male bunny.
Do Rabbits Grieve when Mates Die?
Wild rabbit pairs will not stay in Paris or will not grieve when their counterpart dies. These pairs will not have any emotional attachment between both.
After mating, the male will separate from the female and move away to find other females to mate with. But this is not the same with pet rabbits.
Rabbits are social animals with great emotional intelligence. Pets can easily be in pairs compared to wild rabbits.
Pet rabbits kept together for a long time will be monogamous and start to stay in pairs. They will develop a bond between both after a few months of staying together.
If one of the partners dies, the other rabbit will grieve for several weeks on the loss of its partner.
During this time, rabbits will be very sad and even show some signs like
- Loss of Appetite.
- Increased Aggression.
- More prone to illness
- Separation Anxiety.
- Easily triggered and irritated.
As we can see, rabbits are just like humans when it comes to emotional reactions and responses.
These reactions will be stronger based on the number of years being together. If the bonding is longer, the reactions and grievances will also be stronger and longer.
But they will not be the same till the end. Rabbits are polygamous by nature. If a new rabbit is paired, this rabbit will start to be around and feel the same as before.
If your rabbit is feeling bad about a loss, you can try adding another rabbit to pair her/him. But make sure the rabbit is old enough to pair with your bunny.
How Long Do Rabbits Mate?
The mating process happens only for a few seconds. Rabbits mate several times in a single mating session. After successful mating, the male and female separate.
The male will move to find other female partners. The female will grow and give birth to baby bunnies.
The female will carry and develop the baby for 30 to 35 days. After the gestation period, the baby bunny will be given birth by natural delivery.
How Long Do Rabbits Mate in Their Lifetime?
Rabbits will mate for several years after maturing. Rabbits will attain matting age within the first 6 months after birth. Most rabbits will mate at 4 to 5 years of age till their eggs and sperm production are running well. But this happens only with pet rabbits.
Wild rabbits will not survive for a very long time as they are prey animals. Most wild rabbits will not cross the age of 5. If they survive, they will mate till death.
Domesticated rabbits will also not breed after 5 years of age. Rabbit breeders must not allow older rabbits to breed. This will ensure producing good and strong bunnies.
Reasons for Rabbit Mating for Lifetime
There are a few reasons for rabbits mating for a lifetime as follows
For the rabbit species to survive, they breed polygamous for a lifetime. This will ensure the survival of their species.
The rabbit with the most offspring has successfully passed the most number of genes to the next generation. So, male rabbits mate till death to ensure most of the time its gene is passed to the next generation.
Staying Young and Active
The mating process also keeps the male and female rabbits stay young and active. To find another partner, the male must be in the best shape and strength.
Mating for a lifetime ensures the male rabbit is the best of its breed.
Final Words for Rabbit Owners
Technically speaking, rabbits can mate till their death. But most wild rabbits will not survive for a very long time to mate.
Even domesticated bunnies in monogamous relationships will stop mating with their partner after several years.
If you are having a bunny pair, they will surely mate and produce several baby bunnies for you over the course period.
So that was all about rabbits mating, the monogamous and polygamous relationship of bunnies.
We hope this blog helps you clear queries on rabbit mating cycles, routines, and what to do if you are owning a rabbit pair.
We always welcome your suggestions. Comment below your experiences with your beloved bunnies.
Feel free to mention things that are to be changed and improved in our blogs and website as we are learners for life!
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Until then, Keep hopping around with your beautiful bunnies…