How to breed rabbits 0 36

Mating rabbits should be easy and it is, but there are some key tips that you should know before you try. Here we explore how to breed rabbits at home:

Breed the same breed

Never try to cross breed rabbits, as this can lead to complications. Keep the same breeds together for the best results.

Find homes before you breed

Rabbit litters can be big, so you need to ensure that you have space for the little ones to grow and homes for them to go to when they are old enough. Finding homes for rabbits is often easy, but you should get a waiting list in line before you breed them.

Take the doe to the buck

You should never introduce a buck to the doe’s cage. Rabbits are very territorial and the fur will fly if you introduce a male to a female’s cage. Instead, introduce the female to the buck’s cage and things will be a lot calmer.


The buck will usually mate with the doe immediately. After a few sniffs around the back of the doe, the buck will mount before falling off with a grunt. The male may also act strangely after this, thumping the cage floor and basically showing off.

Let them at it

Two or three successful matings will increase your chances of success in breeding, but you should keep an eye on them during this as rabbits can fight even during mating. Allowing two or three matings before you separate the rabbits will increase success rates and litter sizes too.

Remove the doe to her cage

Once the mating is complete you can return the doe to her cage. Within eight to 10 hours of mating, the doe will ovulate and should then become pregnant. Your doe may then be aggressive for the next few days, so give her some space and leave her alone in her cage.

Try and try again

If this process for mating doesn’t work then you simply need to try again. It will become quickly clear that your rabbit is pregnant because of clear behaviours that will be displayed and nesting practices, but you should give the rabbit a couple of weeks between each mating to start displaying these.

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Is it easy to take care of a pet rat? 0 43

Pet rat

Rats get a bad press when it comes to being a pet. Often thought of as vermin and feared by many, pet rats actually have lovely personalities and are surprisingly low maintenance to keep.

As with all pets you need to look after them properly, so here’s our pet care advice on how to take care of your rat.

Get a pair (of the same sex)

Rats are social creatures and it would be cruel to keep one on its own. However, don’t fall into the trap of buying a male and a female. Rats can breed from five weeks old, their litters can be as big as eight babies, and the female can get pregnant again in 24 hours. That’s a LOT of rats to deal with.

Buying a pair of the same sex will solve this problem and provided they are socialised well together when they are young they should get on well.

Get a decent sized cage

Rats need a large wire cage because they love to climb (and they can gnaw through anything less substantial). The bigger cage you can get the better because rats are really active creatures. Get one with a solid bottom, away from draughts and direct sunlight.

Believe it or not you can train rats to use a litter tray just like a cat so that the rest of their cage is dropping free.

They will need a nest box, something like a cardboard or wooden box with shredded paper or straw in.

Feed them a healthy diet

You can buy food specifically for rats at pet food stores, but rats also like grains and vegetables. They love eating scraps, but give these sparingly as they can easily put on weight which will reduce their lifespan.

Make sure they always have a supply of clean, fresh water.

Keep them entertained

Rats need time out of their cage – at least an hour a day. Make sure the room is rat proof and even tiny holes are sealed up to avoid escape. Rats are sociable creatures, so make sure you spend time handling them, as well as playing with them.

It’s important to keep them entertained – so make or buy toys to put in their cage that will give them something to do.

The must-know basics of caring for a ferret 0 53

Pet ferret in a cage

Ferrets can be a great alternative to cats and dogs for animal lovers looking for something a little different. They are domesticated animals, with the propensity to develop deep bonds with their owners. However, they are also incredibly energetic animals, often requiring more time and attention than more popular species of pets. To decide whether a ferret is for you, read the following pet care advice every ferret owner should know.

1. Make sure your ferret gets enough play time

Ferrets are very social animals and tend to be happiest when in small groups. In this way, ferret owners are often encouraged to adopt at least a pair of ferrets so that they will have companionship and a partner to play with. In terms of play, ferret owners should be aware of the highly inquisitive nature of ferrets and the need to provide them with playthings to nip and get rough with. If you don’t, you may find your furniture becomes the next best thing. (5 Fun Ways to Play with a Pet Ferret)

2. Invest in a decent cage

Ferret cages tend to be designed with their needs in mind, featuring two levels and a small dark hut for sleeping. Make sure the cage has enough space for your ferret(s) and add enough cosy materials for bedding. The cage and bedding should be washed at regular intervals.

3. Food

Ferrets are carnivores and meat is an absolute must in their diet. There are a number of specialised ferret foods available from pet stores, but make sure they are not too high in vegetable or grain matter as this can lead to health problems down the line. Generally speaking, ferrets can be fussy eaters, so it is best to buy their food little and often to avoid having to waste it. Always ensure that they have fresh water to hand.

4. Ferret-proof your home

As ferrets are so agile and able to wend their way through tight spots, ferret-proofing your home is an absolute necessity. Losing your ferret in the home can lead to them getting injured or even escaping. In this way, make sure any tight spots are kept to a minimum and make sure electrical wires are kept well out of reach.