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Rabbits/When to wean baby rabbits?

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Question
QUESTION: hi,
i have read conflicting info about when to separate baby rabbits from their mother. some say 5 weeks some say 8. are you able to advise.
thankyou in advance.

ANSWER: Dear Daisy,

Baby bunnies need to be with their mama for at least eight weeks in order to be safely weaned.  

All the best information I can offer you about breeding is here:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/breeding.html

Hope it helps.

Dana

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thankyou dana,

it was very interesting to read the breeding info. & now makes me think quite differently about breeding our doe again.

i'm now curious about the age to neuter a male. we have a buck who is about 3 years old. i would like to neuter him to curb his mating behaviours. is it too late to do this?

Answer
Dear Daisy,

At the age of three, your male bunny is not too old to be neutered.  But to be safe, it's best to have an experienced rabbit vet do a full wellness check to make sure he's a good candidate for this relatively minor surgery.  No surgery is 100% risk-free.  But the benefits of neutering may outweigh the risk in this case, since he could then be with his mate (once he's completely sterile, about 3-4 weeks after surgery) and cuddle without the worry of babies.

You can find a rabbit vet here:

http://www.rabbit.org/vet

Females should be spayed to avoid the risk of uterine cancer, which is very common in unspayed females.  

I hope everything will work out well for you and your bunny family.  :)

Sincerely,

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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