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I’ve owned rabbits for over forty years and in this article, I’m going to talk about the belief that rabbits mate for life. I’ve bred rabbits off-and-on for decades, and I feel comfortable that I can answer your questions about whether rabbits are monogamous.
Rabbits do not mate for life and they are not monogamous. Rabbits breed often and they will breed with the nearest rabbit of the opposite sex. If there is more than one buck (male rabbit) is present, they will likely fight with the strongest buck earning the opportunity to mate with the female rabbit.
Living in a wild setting, a male and female rabbit will not stay together after mating. As soon as the female is bred, the male will usually leave and if he doesn’t the female will chase him away within a few weeks.
Intact (not neutered) male rabbits never stay with baby bunnies. As a matter of fact, often both domestic and wild bucks will kill baby rabbits if they are left alone with the newborn bunnies. Some bucks will only kill the male bunnies, leaving the females to mature.
Are Pet Rabbits Monogamous?
Pet rabbits are often kept in pairs because domestic rabbits are social animals and enjoy company.
However, pet rabbits that live with other rabbits are almost always fixed (spayed or neutered) because rabbits that are not fixed will breed like rabbits and you’ll soon be swimming in bunnies.
Pet rabbits are not naturally monogamous but two bunnies that have become friends (called bonded) will be very close friends for their entire lives. However, if another rabbit is introduced to the bonded pair the rabbits will not remain monogamous.
Reason That Rabbits Are Not Monogamous
Rabbits are not monogamous because they don’t have a family structure like humans share. Instead, they are driven by the desire to spread their genes and ensure the survival of their species. As prey animals, the only way to do this is to have lots of babies.
Do Rabbits Breed For Life?
Sometimes when people ask me if rabbits mate for life they are not asking about bunny monogamy but are instead asking about how much of a rabbit’s life they are able to breed and produce offspring.
Rabbits reach sexual maturity at four to six months of age and can breed and produce offspring until they die. The average rabbit lives 8 to 13 years, so they can have a lot of babies if they are allowed to breed for life.
I hope this answers your questions about rabbits mating for life. Be sure to signup for my email list and drop me a note if you need more information about bunnies. I’m you’re rabbit friend, and I’m here to help.