how many baby rabbits are there in a rabbit litter

How Many Rabbits Are There in A Litter? Complete Rabbit Litter Guide

Rabbits are one of the fastest breeding animals. They reach breeding age within 4 or 5 months after birth. Female rabbits have a bigger litter size. But how many in a single litter?

Let us see about rabbit’s litter size in detail

How Many Rabbits Are There in A Litter?

In a single delivery, the mother rabbits or doe rabbits give birth to 6 bunnies on average. Healthy female rabbits can give birth to 14 baby rabbits maximum in a litter.

But not all bunnies in the litter will survive and grow as adult rabbits. Various factors play an important role in the survival of these baby rabbits.

Rabbits have larger litter sizes due to their prey nature in the wild.  Female indoor rabbits also produce bigger size litter.

Proper care must be taken for the baby bunnies for their best litter size with healthy babies. But most new rabbit owners do not know about the various factors affecting a female rabbit litter size.

If you are a pet rabbit owner wondering about bunny litters, then don’t worry.

In this blog, we have compiled all information on the rabbit reproduction cycle, litter size, factors affecting litter size and what to do to have a better litter for the doe rabbit.

So, Sit back, relax and enjoy the Read.

How Many Babies, Do Rabbits Have in The First Litter?

how many babies do rabbits have in their first litter

For the first time, a doe rabbit will lay 3 to 4 litres on average. Some rabbits will reach the maximum litter size of 10 to 12 rabbits in the first litter itself.

The main reason is due to the small age of bunnies. As they grow older and start to mature, female rabbits will produce larger litter size

These numbers are purely based on various factors. All are explained in the Factors affecting the size of doe rabbit litter part in detail.

What Breed of Rabbit Has the Most Baby Bunnies?

The rabbit breed plays an important role in the litter size of the rabbit. Few rabbit breeds produce the biggest litters. Some are

  • Chequered giants.
  • Flemish giant rabbits.
  • New Zealand Whites.
  • French lop.
  • Giant Papillon.

These are all giant rabbit breeds. Larger bunnies can produce more litter than smaller rabbits.

Large bunny breeds can even produce up to 14 rabbits in a litter. Smaller rabbits can have a maximum of 2 to 3 bunnies per litter.

Medium-sized an average of 6 to 7 bunnies in a single litter. Apart from the breed, there are a few other factors rs that determine the litter size.

Factors Affecting Size of Doe Rabbit Litter

Female Rabbit Age

Younger female rabbits will produce less no of rabbits in a litter. During the first litter, female rabbits will produce less litter size.

As they start to grow older and mature, the rabbits will produce more rabbits. Female rabbits will produce the largest litter size in their peak.

The litter size will start to reduce once the female rabbit starts to grow much older and after a time, they will stop breeding.

Check Do Rabbits Mate for Life for more.

Doe Rabbit Health

Female rabbit health also plays an important role in the rabbit litter size. Healthy female rabbits will be favourable to mate with the dominant male.

This pair will have babies carrying the best genes. Healthy females will also carry more babies in a litter compared to sick doe rabbits.

Healthy rabbits also produce babies that are in great condition. Stillborn or weak baby bunnies are produced only by weaker female bunnies.

Female Rabbit Size

We have already talked about this in this blog.

Bigger rabbit breeds like New Zealand Whites, Chequered Giants and Flemish Giant Rabbits can even produce 14 baby rabbits in a litter.

Medium-sized rabbits will produce up to 6 baby bunnies in a litter. Smaller rabbits can have 2 to 3 bunnies per litter.

Rabbit Environment

The environment also plays an important role in the overall litter size. If the rabbit is mating in a good breeding condition with an optimal pair, it will produce more bunnies.

Good environmental conditions will also be favourable for the female rabbits to release more eggs.

Rabbits left alone will be prone to stress and produce fewer bunnies. So make sure to keep them in pairs.

Favourable environmental conditions will also help the rabbit stay calm and stress-free with great nutrition and proper hygiene. This will keep the rabbit overall healthy and have more babies.

Rabbit Kindling Order

Kindling order will be the minimum on the first litter. It starts to increase as the rabbit matures. During peak fertility, female rabbits will have the highest litter size.

As the rabbit starts to get older, the litter size will also start to reduce.

Rabbit Reproduction

Rabbit reproduction

Female Rabbits will start to reproduce 4 to 5 months after birth. The male rabbit will also be ready to mate by the end of the 14th week.

Once after mating, the female bunny will have a pregnancy period of 28 days. After this period, the doe bunny will give birth to babies and will be ready for another mate immediately.

How Many Rabbits Survive out Of a Litter?

Rabbit delivery will mostly be on the 30th day after mating. Rabbits will deliver only in the late nights or early mornings to avoid predators.

Most rabbits of a healthy female rabbits will survive and grow as adults. But some of the rabbits will be ill or stillborn due to various reasons.

For example, if a healthy rabbit litters 6 bunnies, out of 6 nearly 4 will survive on average. But 2 may be stillborn or will be of illness.

The female rabbit will identify the healthy rabbits and secure them. But the stillborn babies will be eaten by the doe rabbit itself.

Why Do Mother Rabbits Eat Still Born Bunnies?

The female rabbit will feed on the stillborn rabbits along with the placenta. This is a safety approach followed by the female rabbits to avoid predators.

The stillborn bunnies and placenta of rabbits will attract the predatory animals. To avoid this, the female will examine the babies and feed on the stillborn ones and their placenta.

After separating the stronger ones, the female rabbit will take them to a hiding place and start or nurture them for a few months.

Do Mother Rabbits Mourn for The Loss of Babies?

Female rabbits will not mourn for stillborn bunnies. They will not be worried even if the rabbit dies a few weeks shortly after birth.

These bunnies will not develop a huge bonding with the babies in the initial weeks. They in fact will be ready to mate with other male bunnies shortly after baby rabbit birth.

But the mother rabbit will be protective towards the baby rabbit. In the wild, they will protect these rabbits from danger and feed them for a few months.

So make sure to keep the mother rabbit away for a few weeks if you are trying to clean the hutch or play with the baby bunny.

Baby Rabbit Survival Rate

Baby rabbits have less chance of survival rate compared to domestic bunnies. Indoor baby rabbits will have a mortality rate of just 10%.

But this is not the case with wild rabbits. Wild rabbits have a 40 to 50% survival rate due to various factors. The major includes Wild animal attacks, food and water availability, climatic conditions and others.

The mother will nurture and protect babies in the wild for 4 months. Indoor rabbits will also take care of the bunnies. Make sure you are not disturbing the babies for at least 3 weeks.

Rabbits Not Having Litter

Spayed female rabbits cannot have a litter. If an unspayed rabbit is behaving like she’s pregnant but not having litters, it may be due to pseudopregnancy or Phantom pregnancy.

Phantom pregnancy rabbits will behave like it is pregnant and will not have litter. But after a true matting session, the female impregnates and lays after a month.

Littering also needs some better nest conditions for the rabbit. The better rabbit nest conditions are as follows.

Optimal Rabbit Nest

rabbit in it's nest

It will be better if the rabbit has a separate nest while littering. Provide a cardboard or plastic box big enough for the rabbit to litter babies.

Keep them inside the nest on the 26th day after the mating. Make sure the nest is large enough for the female rabbit body to accommodate.

The box must not be too large. If it is very large, the rabbit will use it as a restroom. This is bad for litter.

Some of the best nest boxes for rabbits:-

Rabbit Nest Essentials

Better nest conditions will ensure better survival of the baby rabbit. You can follow some of the tips mentioned below for the best nest conditions for baby rabbits.

  • Make sure to use wooden or cardboard boxes for the nest.
  • Insulate the bottom with heat-insulating material.
  • Carve doors on the box for rabbits to enter and exit.
  • Fill the box with dried hay for the babies to be warm and comfy.
  • Keep the nest away from dampness and harsh conditions.
  • Provide a bigger box for the rabbit and baby bunnies to move around.
  • Fill enough water and food for the rabbit. Bunnies will be fed by female rabbits.

In the nest, the baby rabbit will nurture the rabbit for a few months. Once the rabbits are big enough, the mother bunny will leave the babies and move for the next mating cycle.

Final Thoughts on Rabbit Litter

Wrapping up, Rabbits will have an average of 4 to 6 bunnies in a single litter. Bigger bunnies will have even 14 baby bunnies in one litter. Small bunnies will have 2 or 3 babies in one litter.

If you are having a pregnant rabbit expecting to deliver soon, provide them better water, food and shelter for better and healthy litter.

So that was all about rabbit litter size and how litter size differs with different rabbit breeds.

We hope this blog helps you clearing queries on when a rabbit starts to litter and how to bring the best out of your bunny litter.

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 websites as we are learners for life!

If you liked this post do share it with your friends and family.  Cause sharing is caring.

See ya! Until then, keep hopping around with your beautiful bunnies. 

Let us also see other common questions related to rabbit litter and rabbit pregnancy.

Related Questions

How Long Do Baby Rabbits Stay with Their Mother?

Baby rabbits will stay with the mother bunny for 8 to 12 weeks. After this period, the rabbits will be mature enough to take care of themselves. The female rabbit will leave the bunnies and move to see the next mating partner.

Why Is Mother Rabbit Ignoring Her Babies?

Rabbits will not be seen cuddling the babies. The female rabbit will keep the baby rabbit away in a far place. This will keep them protected from hunting animals.

If they are not seen attending to the babies, it doesn’t mean the female rabbit is ignoring the babies. Don’t worry about it.

What to Do if A Mother Neglects Baby Rabbit?

If the female rabbit starts to ignore the baby rabbit, you can do some of the following techniques.

  • Count the number of babies and check for missing baby bunnies.
  • If litter bunnies are wandering, collect and keep them in their nest.
  • Keep an eye on the nest while the mother is away.
  • Monitor the baby rabbit’s health and ensure they are not sick.

Most times, the mother will take care of the rabbit and there is nothing to worry about the baby bunnies.

Can a Baby Rabbit Live with Its Father?

Baby rabbits should not be left with the Father. Male rabbits have the tendency to kill baby rabbits to mate with the female rabbit. Make sure to keep the male rabbit away from the nest after the female litter.

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