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Rabbits are bred as pets or for dietary meat and furs. When purchasing a rodent, even an experienced zoologist cannot determine its exact age. Determination of this parameter is necessary in order to properly ensure the further life of the pet. How is the age of a rabbit determined, what characteristics are they paying attention to? There are a number of signs, which we will discuss below.
How to determine the age of a rabbit?
With a probability of 100%, it is unlikely that it will be possible to determine the exact age of the fluffy animal. But by outward signs, it is possible to find out how old the rabbit is.
Inspection of the animal is carried out in the following way:
- Palpation of the ribs. If, upon palpation, it is noted that the bones of the ribs are sufficiently soft, this indicates that the individual has not yet been absent for six months.
- Teeth color. In young animals, they are even and white. Visually, the yellow color becomes noticeable after a year of the pet. The older the individual becomes, the more stains appear on the teeth. This is due to the fact that the animal eats solid foods, which gradually grind off the enamel.
- The length of the claws. Before puberty, the rabbit's claws are soft and show blood vessels. By six months, they acquire a matte shade and harden. Breeders cut their claws to hide the age of the animal. But this is clearly visible upon visual inspection, so you should be careful when buying.
- Condition of the eyelids. In babies, they are quite small, of a uniform color. In adults, the eyelids are swollen and hang over the eye.
- The appearance of the coat. Babies have no hair after birth. It appears after the first week of a pet's life, in the form of a light cannon. The rabbit is completely covered with hair at two weeks of age. After a month, molt begins, which lasts up to 2 months. Then the molt is repeated, a thick, beautiful fur appears in the decorative animal.
You can find out exactly how old a fluffy rodent is only if it is purchased with documents. They indicate the date of birth of the animal.
It is possible to determine the age of an individual by its appearance only approximately.
At what age can gender be determined?
After birth, the rabbits are with their mother for 30-35 days. During this period, it is impossible to find out the sex of babies even for a specialist. The breeder or livestock technician determines the sex of the rabbit when it is two months old. At this age, they are separated from their mother and from each other. This is necessary so that related individuals do not start mating with each other. Such relationships lead to defective offspring.
It is important to determine the sex of the rabbits by the age of two months, since puberty begins during this period. The result of the offspring will be influenced not only by inbreeding, but also not fully formed genitals. Such mating can lead to the extinction of the whole species.
Sex determination methods
When a rabbit is six months old, even an inexperienced breeder will be able to identify a female or a male. For this, a visual inspection is carried out according to primary and secondary signs.
The primary signs are the animal's genitals. The reproductive system of the female and male sexes is different. In females, the genitals resemble a loop and a small uvula. The genitals are located close to the anal passage. In rabbits, they are light pink in color. In adults, the genitals are dark pink in color.
Reproductive organs of males outwardly resemble a cylinder with a hole, located farther from the anus. In young animals, the penis is light in color, in the adult male it is more pink and swollen. The testicles are a characteristic feature of the adult male. They are well felt and visible, they resemble two small balls.
Secondary features include: animal hair, mammary glands, body proportions, and the shape of the skull. Sexual maturity is also determined by the behavior of the rabbit. Males mark the territory with urine, which gives off a characteristic odor that is not characteristic of females. They mark the space of a male with their scent. They rub against the cage, the feeder, trying to leave a reminder of themselves.
Females are characterized by a different behavior: they dig new holes, equip their home, improve living conditions in it. They can hide in secluded places. Rabbits are distinguished by a more balanced character, calm demeanor.
Human Age: Table
The natural life span of fluffy rodents is 6-8 years. Some individuals are able to live up to 10 years of age. By human standards, an eight-year-old is considered a long-liver. This age is equal to almost 70 years of a person. In more detail, the ratio of the age of rabbits by human standards is given in the table:
|Rabbit age||Human age|
|2 weeks||2 years|
|3 weeks||4 years|
|4 weeks||6 years|
|2 months||8 years|
|3 months||10 years|
|4 months||12 years old|
|5 months||14 years|
|6 months||16 years|
|1 year||21 years old|
|2 years||27 years|
|3 years||33 years|
|4 years||39 years|
|5 years||45 years|
|6 years||51 years|
|7 years||57 years old|
|8 years||63 years|
Correct determination of the age of the pet will help to find a healthy rabbit. Rodents bring only positive emotions, are not aggressive, quickly get used to the new owner. Proper care and attention while keeping a fluffy animal will prolong its life.