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The Life Cycle of a Rabbit

Updated April 17, 2017

Rabbits are soft and cute, and they make great house pets. However, they do require some degree of maintenance and supervision, so they should not be given to small children as pets. If you are interested in adopting a cuddly bunny, find out what to expect during its life cycle.

Birth

The act of mating causes ovulation in a female rabbit, and 29 to 31 days after she becomes pregnant, the babies are born deaf, blind and naked, and about the size of a mouse. By two weeks old, the babies have hair, and their eyes and ears are open. At three weeks, they will fit in an average-sized human hand, and they are ready to leave the nest by six weeks old.

Adolescence

By the time the rabbit is three or four months old, it is considered an adolescent, and though capable of breeding, females should not be bred until at least six months old.

Fun Fact

Rabbits became popular as pets in Victorian times, and today they rank as the third most popular mammalian pet in the U.K.

Precautions

Rabbits have very light and delicate skeletons. Because their backbone is very fragile, it can break when a rabbit is struggling violently or accidentally dropped. Most rabbits do not like to be held, but enjoy snuggling as long as their feet remain on the floor.

Life Expectancy

Five to eight years is the average life expectancy of a pet rabbit, though some live to be 10 to 15 years old. Wild rabbits live between one to two years.

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About the Author

Chris Carson has been writing professionally since 1988, specializing in topics such as cats, jewelry, history and English. Her articles have appeared in "Best Friends Magazine" and on various websites. Carson received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Arizona State University.