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Rabbits/paternal insticts


Hello. We breed our mini lop rabbits twice a year and this week we have had 1 successful and 1 that failed. The doe that has just lost her litter has been very hit and miss with looking after her litters. My question is - is it known to a male rabbit to have paternal instincts?

I'm asking this as we obviously separated the buck from the doe as usual but today ive looked in the bucks hutch and found only what can be described as a small nest of fur that he has pulled out. Could he have been trying to make a nest for the litter means as the doe didn't? Means as their hutches and runs are next to each other I'm sure he would know that the litter didn't survive as I know that rabbits are clever animals

Could you please e-mail me your response too.  
Thank you Darren


I have never seen a male rabbit make a nest.  I would be prone to think he is either molting or his skin is irritated.  Sometimes rabbits will chew on themselves if they have a skin condition, mites or fleas.  

If none of these are the case then this is the first I have heard of a male making a nest.  I don't imagine it will hurt him but it is certainly weird.

Good luck



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Paula Murdock-Briggs


I am a licensed American Rabbit Breeders Registrar. I do not show rabbits anymore nor do I breed them. I do believe it is important that people that chose to breed rabbits do so with only purebred and genetically sound animals or that they have a thorough understanding of genetics prior to breeding. I have chosen to keep my registars license to help the 4H youth in my area. I do stay current on all breeds, varieties, show rules, regulations of the ARBA. I have spent the past 8 years focusing on rescuing and caring for PET bunnies who were no longer wanted. I am the current CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I was appointed CEO of the rescue organization and sanctuary in 2008. We gained our 501(c)3 IRS tax exemption status in 2012. We have taken on the task of rescuing unwanted PET rabbits as well as some farm animals. I teach genetics and health to the local youth as well as register and promote the breeding of only purebred and genetically sound animals. I rescue PET rabbits. These are rabbits that lived in peoples homes and were either surrendered to us or sent to the auction for meat. While I believe that all bunnies should be pets, I understand that people raise them for other reasons. I will answer questions from anyone, regardless of their purpose. I will reject any questions that are considered unethical or inhumane.

Little Angels Animal Sanctuary.

President and CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I have over 10 years of experience working closely with a veterinarian that treats rabbits. We have studied and treated nearly every illness that can affect rabbits.

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