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Netherland Dwarf questions

22 10:32:51

I'm looking nito buying a couple of rabbits in the relatively near future, but before I do I want to be sure I know what I'm getting myself into, so I have a WHOLE stack of questions I am hoping you can answer for me.

1)Can a male and female that are NOT desexed live together normally, or do they need to be separate when they're not actually mating? (if both bought at a very young age)

2)If a doe has a litter, and then she, the buck and all of the kits are desexed, will they be happy to share a space (assuming it is big enough) or will they fight?

3) how much hutch and run space is generally required per Netherland Dwarf housed together?

4) how long can kits be left with their mother before they either need to be removed or desexed?

Thank you for any help you can give me!

Hi Monique,

Glad to answer your questions.  And I will do so one by one.

1-Males becomes sexually mature somewhere around 3 months old.  Females become sexually mature around 6 months old....give or take a little depending on breed.  Females are induced ovulators.  That bascially means they can become pregnant whenever a male mounts them.  They do not have a heat cycle like a dog or a cat.  Instead, the hormones released during mating can result in conception within minutes after the encounter.  There are only a few days each month in which a doe will not become pregnant if she is will an intact male.  Since rabbits are by nature low on the food chain....this method of conception assures a high number of births.

2-Not necessarily.  But generally the immediate family gets along until the hormones start raging.  After spaying/neutering, there will most likely need to be a rebonding period.  We do have a father/daughter couple in our rescue and they get along fine.  We have also had some that did not coexist until after surgery.

3-We have a bonded pair of NDs in a 36"x36" house.  I would think this would be about the minimum for a pair.  And as always, bigger is better.

4-Domestic rabbits wean about 8 weeks old.

I do have a suggestion.  Instead of buying rabbits, consider adopting a bonded pair from a rescue.  These rabbits are usually already spayed/neutered and have been bonded.  The foster caregivers also know their personality and can match your situation.  And by adopting a shelter couple, you not only save those two lives..but you save the ones that get the space.  And rescued rabbits are extra special...they know they have been given a second chance.