How to determine the age of a rabbit?

To ensure well-being and healthy your rabbit, you want to tailor care, feeding and activities to his age. However, you don’t know this and want to determine with accuracy. Unfortunately, it is difficult, if not impossible, to assess exact age hare-like, because young and adults are alike, like two peas in a pod. You will not be able to get detailed information, even with the help of a veterinarian or other animal expert. However, certain signs make it possible to distinguish a rabbit teenager one adult or older. To make a difference, just a sharp feelingobservation required for. So keep your eyes in line!

Three age groups for a rabbit

If you don’t know your rabbit’s year of birth, the only solution is to place him in the appropriate age group. milestones his life.

  • Rabbit childhood. Babies are born naked, deaf, blind (with their eyes closed) and spend the first week of their life hiding in a hair nest made by their mother. From birth to weaning, the rabbit grows like a mushroom and gets more and moreautonomy. He begins to explore the cage outside, run, play, jump in all directions. The female rabbit feeds her mother once or twice a day, usually at night;
  • Teenage years of the Rabbit. From 3 to 6 months, the rabbit emerges from early childhood to discover adolescence. During this period, it grows very rapidly, gaining up to one hundred grams per week. Also at this stage he eats the most, with a record consumption observed for about 4 months in response to intense energy expenditure. The first signs of puberty sometimes appear as early as 3 months;
  • adult rabbit. At 6 months, growth is almost complete, and the rabbit gradually enters the adult phase. Until the year he will gain a little more weight, but his size will stabilize. No longer having the same needs, it is necessary to begin to normalize and take into account sterilization if his libido becomes bothersome. After a year, the physique of the animal almost does not change, which makes it difficult to differentiate between 2 and 4-year-old rabbits;
  • senior rabbit. From the age of 5, the lagomorph moves into the senior category. Its aging leads to health problems that require regular veterinary control. Lifespan a domestic rabbit is usually between 8 and 12 years old, but some individuals sometimes reach the age of 14 to 16 years.

Distinguishing a bunny from a teenage bunny

This stage of the rabbit’s life is the easiest to recognize, since at birth the animalbeardless and blind. If he still spends a lot of time with his mother, it’s because he is still in the maturation phase. growth. From days 6 to 8, you will see how his eyes open and hair appears. After the second week, his coat is ready, his ears get down and then get up. The cub begins to taste the grass, foliage, and after about 3 weeks, regularly leaves the nest and begins to respond to sounds. From 4e or 5e week, he is very often separated from his mother. in weaning ends when the young rabbit feeds on its own: it is about 2 months old and enters adolescence. puberty occurs when it begins to produce reproductive hormones, most often from 4 months. His sexual behavior then becomes a good indicator of its approximate age. Between 4 and 6 months, the teenager does show signs of arousal: he tries to reproduce with the opposite sex and risk starting a fight with another man.

How to tell if a rabbit is a teenager or an adult

Between 6 and 9 months according to its breed, the rabbit has reached its size adult. It is at this stage that the assessment of its age becomes more complicated and careful observation of the animal for several years is required. gestures such as :

  • Palpate his ribs. If the costal bones are still tender and move under the pressure of the fingers, the rabbit is not yet 6 months old;
  • look at his teeth. In juveniles, the dentition is uniform and white. A yellow tint appears after the first year of life, and the older the rabbit, the more his teeth turn yellow from chewing solid food, which gradually removes the enamel;
  • Scan his claws. Before puberty, rabbit claws are soft and have blood vessels. After 6 months they matte and harden;
  • Examine his coat. Rabbits are born naked with pink, gray or black skin. Its coat appears after a week of life and then covers whole body in the second week. The first shedding occurs after about 5-6 weeks and the second after 4-5 months to finally become a beautiful coat;
  • Watch his activity. A rabbit emerging from adolescence becomes more mature. He explored the world and now shows himself less curious his surroundings. Result: he no longer fidgets in all directions and reduces the amount of his nonsense!

Distinguishing an adult rabbit from an old rabbit

Around the age of 5-6 years, the rabbit may show signs old age. To find out if an animal has entered its phase olderyou will study its various aspects:

  • His behavior. An adult rabbit becomes active as soon as he wakes up and feeds with appetite, while an elderly rabbit clearly slows down his activity. he is calmer sleep often less responsive to communication, less interested in his surroundings;
  • His movements. Decreased activity may be the result of a lack of desire, but also pain. If the animal shows slowness or even unwillingness to move, it may suffer fromosteoarthritisespecially on the hind legs and back. You will notice, for example, the joints are larger hard to processing. Take the opportunity to feel his feet. bottom thick as well as hard shows some immobility, corresponding to the behavior of the older rabbit;
  • His weight. An aging rabbit may have two cases: slowing down its pace of life, it gains weight, or, conversely, it may lack appetite and lose weight. Thus, regular weighing allows you to determine the age category of the animal, because an adult usually retains weight. stable ;
  • His teeth. Just observing the incisors is not enough, because the teeth wear and grow constantly, without any connection with age. However, although a rabbit may suffer from toothache oversized at any point in his life, an elderly subject tends to eat less and therefore have too much long teeth. This symptom can cause the animal to grind its teeth or drool;
  • his feelings. Fall in visible and/orhearing are particularly revealing signs of aging in all animals, including lagomorphs. With impaired vision or hearing, an elderly rabbit interacts less with the environment than an adult;
  • his coat. A healthy adult rabbit wears a soft coat and brilliant. The elder cares less often and with age his coat becomes more stupid and sparse. Its coat may also turn gray or even turn white around the muzzle.

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