Rabbit Farming: Knowing your Rabbit's Gender

Updated: Nov 15, 2019


This month, we will be sharing excerpts from our Book “RabbitMania: The Ultimate Rabbit Farming Guide”


We understand the rigours of rabbit farming and the need to have the right knowledge for success in the business. We have complied a comprehensive guide to assist farmers (old and new) managed their farm effectively to increase profit.

This week, we will be sharing on an important topic, Sex Determination in Rabbits. Do enjoy and you can order here.

How to Differentiate A Male and Female Rabbit

It is easy to mistake a male rabbit for a female rabbit, especially the younger ones, if not examined carefully. This is so, because the organ of the young male rabbits has not descended yet and the penile sheath does not protrude enough without adequate pressure to tell the difference.

Here’s how to properly examine a rabbit to determine the sex:

  1. Place the rabbit on your lap. Turn the rabbit upwards so its back is resting on your lap and the head against your tummy with the tail towards your knees.

You should see this…


Picture 1. Six-week old buck

Or this…


Picture 2. Six-week old doe

Not much difference right! This is because no pressure has been applied to the privates and because they are young rabbits. The vertical slit on the tail side is part of the anus, while the privates are enclosed in the other crevice.

  1. Grab the tail between the first two fingers of your hand, with your thumb on the fur in the vent area, as pictured below. Firmly but gently pull at the tail, and then press the vent area (the area around the other crevice, not the anus) downwards with your thumb.

You should see something like this…


Picture 3. Bucks

Or this…


Picture 4. Does

The tubular protruding structure in picture 3 indicates a buck, while the protruding slit in picture 4 indicates a doe. The bucks are clearly identified by their protruding tubular structure with an open circle at the tip. While the does are differentiated by a blunt tip with a slit at the side.


Picture 5. This is how the young rabbits should be held during examination

To differentiate between adult male and female rabbits the same technique for the younger rabbits is applied. This is much easier to differentiate and requires application of less pressure.


Picture 6. An Adult Buck (right picture) and an Adult Doe (left picture)

… Excerpts from RabbitMania: The Ultimate Rabbit Farming Guide

Credit: 4-H Rabbit Manual, Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, British Columbia, Canada. www.4-hontario.ca


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