Would my rabbit get pregnant

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Lala7

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Okay, so let me try to make this short.
Im NOT trying to breed.
I have two rabbits, one male and one female. They both live outside in separate large hutches. Neither are fixed. I was never able to get them fixed due to some reasons I won't get into right now.
Anyways, I really really wish I could have them live inside so they can get more interaction, especially since it's difficult to play with them outside when it's so cold. However, there is no possible way for them to live inside because my house was just remodeled, and my family does not want them inside, and there is no space inside :(
So my other option is to have them live together so they will be happier and I can combine their hutches into one humongous one, which they would absolutely love. However, the issue with that is that they are both older than what I would consider safe to get fixed. The male is around 6.5 years old and the girl is almost 6. I wouldn't want to risk it with surgery at this age.
The girl, luna, has never been bred before. There was one time when she was younger that there was an accident and she got pregnant, but she had a miscarriage before the babies were all fully formed. I used to breed rabbits a long time ago and I know that if you dont breed them before a certain age and dont continue to breed them regularly, it can be harder for them to get pregnant. And I know that older rabbits dont get pregnant as easily. They often have normal fat buildup around their reproductive organs which makes it difficult to conceive.

Also, I was away from home last year for a few months and my family was caring for my pets. There was another accident and my male rabbit was with Luna. But she didn't even get pregnant at all, so that was a huge relief.

So I know this is a loooong stretch, but would Luna be able to get pregnant at this age, with her history of not being able to carry full term and not get even get pregnant? I really would like for them to live together but I really dont want to risk her health for this. I know that an intact male will be acting crazy for a few days but I know that from my breeding days, if they are left together for long enough the male does calm down and they just live like bonded rabbits until I would separate them again.

I know this post may be weird, but when I try to google it, I don't find any information on the OLDEST age a rabbit can get pregnant. Every article talks about the oldest SAFEST age to get pregnant.
So yeah I'd like some opinions on this. I know they will be much happier living together, and I feel like her chances of getting pregnant are low, but I want to know what the oldest age is that a rabbit can get pregnant
 

Augustus&HazelGrace

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I really don't know about the oldest age but if you should get blood work done on her to make sure she is healthy and liver and kidneys are working properly. If they all come back healthy then there would be no reason to not go ahead and get her spayed. I say this because of the risk of uterine cancer would be pretty high for her right now. And if you have her spayed she will live longer than the typical 8 years for an unspayed rabbit. Hopefully 10-12+ years. I don't know your reasons, but if they are financial then just getting the girl spayed would be the best thing if she is healthy. But I wouldn't risk them being together as if she does end up being able to carry a litter full term then that could really hurt her. But you could always put their hutches side by side so they can be in each other's company. If you told us what state you live in we may be able to find a low-cost spay/neuter place.
 

zuppa

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Not an expert but done some research previously commercial breeders use a buck for breeding until he's 7 year old and does until they are 4, after that they can accumulate too much fat around their ovaries and become infertile. Also they say that first litter must be before doe is one year old and she needs to be bred regularly, for the same reason to be in a good shape for breeding.

Surely, it depends on many factors, life style, diet etc, but if your buck is 6,5 and doe 6 their chances to have a litter are getting slimmer with every day. That's what I personally think, but there's no guarantee of course.
If I were in your situation I would probably go ahead and let them be together, or would neuter the buck and wait one months after that then would put them in together.

On the other hand neutering/spaying is not that much safe either, I've seen many cases even on this site when rabbits died during a neutering surgery, most of people blamed anesthetics or it was just unclear why their healthy young rabbit suddenly died during neutering/spaying. With their age over 6 yo as I understand going under anesthetics would be even more risky so you would need to decide for yourself you know your rabbits and their possible health issues what would be less risky for them.

Good luck in any way and please keep us updated, hopefully you will get more replies especially from commercial breeders on this site or try some specialised sites for rabbit farmers, there people would be more experienced in breeding probably.
 

SableSteel

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I wouldn't risk it. The chances of her becoming pregnant at this age are relatively slim, but if she does it would be more risky than the average rabbit pregnancy (partially because with that low fertility she's more likely to have a singleton or a very small litter, which can lead to problems in birth, especially for a rabbit that's not in peak physical condition).
 

Hermelin

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I wouldn’t recommend putting them togheter. She can get pregnant and it would not be good for her.

I have heard of a few people that had breed their doe at 6 years old without problem. If the buck can be neuter then it won’t be any problem.

Many people let a neuter buck live with an unspayed doe. Otherwise keep them separate.
 

Lala7

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The reasons for not fixing them honestly just goes down to family, as they would be helping pay for this. They come from a background where animals were there just to eat, and so when I suggested spaying Luna when she was young, that was an absolute no-no. I also wouldn't want to go through with it now since they both ARE getting older. I just had a very traumatic experience a few days ago with my parrot that I was extremely bonded to. I didn't understand the risks of anesthesia for a middle-aged pet and he did not make it through. He was already acting sick and in order to find out what was wrong, he had to be put under anesthesia for some tests. It was too much on his compromised immune system and he couldn't recover from it. I had to euthanize him which was the hardest decision of my life :( I came in to find out what was wrong and was expecting to leave with a simple diagnosis and medication. The outcome was the most difficult thing to ever happen to me and I miss him more than anything :( I just wouldn't risk it with my rabbits, even if it was an option with my family.

Since my family cared for them while I was away for a bit, they overfed Luna and she is overweight right now, so I wouldn't trust a surgery would go well either. I am slowly getting her to lose the weight (it's easier than trying to make a skinny rabbit gain weight), but I do believe that that makes it even less likely she could get pregnant. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm just really hoping it's a possibility to have them live together. My male is just so sad all alone and I really wish they didn't have to be outside. It is SO true that indoor pets are much more bonded to their owners because they get to be a part of every moment of the day, versus outdoor pets where you need to schedule time to be with them. However, I don't know when I would move out somewhere else so I don't know if having them indoors would ever become a possibility.

One thing I just realized though is that Luna will eat all day if she could. But my boy eats just the perfect amount and leaves all the extras. If they lived together, how would that work? Would Luna just get fat off of all the food and my boy lose weight? How would that be? Would they need to be separated for meals?
 

zuppa

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I agree with above said the safest way would be to neuter the buck first so she won't get pregnant 100%. I've also heard of rabbits having litter at 6 years of age. I would still say there's a very little chance she could get pregnant since she only had one miscarriage long time ago and in fact was never bred properly. Plus her age and she's overweight. But also agree that in case she gets pregnant it could be complicated. But it can be complicated for any age my Bernie is one year and a half and she is healthy and good shape but had a very difficult litter of two kits, one of them i found dead and half eaten outside the nest on the day of birth and the other one is healthy now 6 week old and she is all good again now but wasn't feeling good after that, lost some weight etc. So there's always a risk you can't guarantee that if you spay your doe she will live happily 12-14 years she can die if not from cancer from some other disease or even from anesthetics, from gi stasis, from liver failure, so there are many risks around and you can always lose your rabbit they are so fragile.

Regarding her eating habits, it can also be a sign of her depression and can change when she gets more exercise and her life is more social, but sure you can feed them separately or feed them together but watch how it goes and maybe correct if needed.
 

Slerpflerf

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Unfortunatley your girl is still able to get pregnant, even at this later stage of life, and even with all that additional fat.
While it might make it HARDER to get pregnant, it will also mean that if she does become pregnant there is a high risk that it will really damage/kill her.

It would be very risky for her-much more so than undergoing anesthetic- to allow her to possibly become pregnant.

What other have said is correct that it would be eaisier to neuter your buck , as it is less invasive, and he would be under anesthetic for a much more reduced time frame compared to her.

Another thing I havent seen much thought to is your rabbits might not like each other. Your rabbits are not bonded.

In my experience, and in the experience of many rabbit experts: You cannot bond 2 rabbits that are not fixed. Their hormones make it insanely difficult to make them get along properly long term. So putting them together could result in some very very nasty fights (rabbits can and do kill each other in these fights) I have seen breeding pairs that have caused their mate serious harm ( I have seen a doe brought into the rescue I worked at, who had her spine broken in a fight with a male she was to be bred with )

Bonding can be a lengthy and often stressful process for the rabbits and their humans and sadly isn't as simple as just plonking them into the same pen.

I understand your intentions are really good, but I dont think this is a good plan at all, it sounds like a perfect recipe for disaster :(
 

Lala7

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Ive actually had success in bonding unfixed females. Once it was two sisters that grew up together. The other time it was two adult females.
I know that doesn't guarantee my two bonding but I have never had any issues with male x female pairs when breeding. It is very important not to put a male into the females territory, or there COULD be aggression issues in that situation. It could be that some or many of the issues with people had with breeding came from that. But even then, when Luna had her accident and got pregnant, it was the male that got into her territory and when I found them they were the happiest looking rabbits ever.

I think I'll wait and see what I do. Neutering just isn't something I'll consider at this age after what happened with my parrot. Maybe I'll put their runs near each other so they can see each other and I'll see how things go. I'm glad I got everyones opinions on this because I definitely don't want to be doing anything thatll end bad.
 

Lala7

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Hey guys, I just want to add an update.

So I decided to take the risk and put them together, and I am happy to say, they love each other and the girl has not gotten pregnant! It has been 2-3 months since they have been together and they are very happy. The first week was a little crazy of course, with the boy being all excited, but after that phase passed they absolutely love being together. My females eating habits have also gotten much better and the boy is acting much happier and is more active in general now.

I know it was an extremely risky move, but I decided to take it after lots of thought and consideration. I am very happy that there have been no complications and they are happy together!

But even though I did this, I would NOT recommend it to anyone else!

I am still keeping a close eye on them since it has only been a few months. I am still being and will continue to be very careful and watch them closely.
 

Preitler

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I understand your dilemma about neutering, and the joy it brings seeing them together, they are social animals. I have 2 pairs of intact does (one is a trio now until I find a home for the youngest), and my intact 4yo buck and his spayed 2yo cuddlebun are my free range house bunnies.
I considered neutering a 6yo doe to become his cuddlebun, but the vet didn't recommend it. She's 8 now and quite special, managed to surprise me almost each year, had her last Ooops-litter last summer.
They stay fertile all their lives, the reason why in the wild they don't have back-to-back litters every month is that they, although fertile, are not in the mood all year round, there are 2-4 (or so) spikes throughout the year in being interested to reproduce, with months between them. (Doesn't apply if the doe can't run away or drive the buck away because same cage, hutch, run, house,.., one will wade in baby bunnys up to his knees in no time). My buck (free range house bunny) is a PITA to his spayed cuddlebun for about 2-3 weeks, then he's the sweetest boy until hormones get the better of him again. Neutering a buck is a much less invasive procedure, if it were me I would at least have a talk with vets who do that often and have experience with rabbits that age.
Imho it is remarkable that there wasn't a pregnancy so far, so your doe could be hard to breed or even infertile, or your boy is not too eager. But I wouldn't dare to say that you're out of the woods yet - spring is around the corner. That the doe lost a litter in younger years doesn't say much, that's not an uncommon thing to happen.

Anyway, since you made up your mind I wish you good luck that your doe actually is a barren prude and your buck an idle skitter. :)
 
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Lala7

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I understand your dilemma about neutering, and the joy it brings seeing them together, they are social animals. I have 2 pairs of intact does (one is a trio now until I find a home for the youngest), and my intact 4yo buck and his spayed 2yo cuddlebun are my free range house bunnies.
I considered neutering a 6yo doe to become his cuddlebun, but the vet didn't recommend it. She's 8 now and quite special, managed to surprise me almost each year, had her last Ooops-litter last summer.
They stay fertile all their lives, the reason why in the wild they don't have back-to-back litters every month is that they, although fertile, are not in the mood all year round, there are 2-4 (or so) spikes throughout the year in being interested to reproduce, with months between them. (Doesn't apply if the doe can't run away or drive the buck away because same cage, hutch, run, house,.., one will wade in baby bunnys up to his knees in no time). My buck (free range house bunny) is a PITA to his spayed cuddlebun for about 2-3 weeks, then he's the sweetest boy until hormones get the better of him again. Neutering a buck is a much less invasive procedure, if it were me I would at least have a talk with vets who do that often and have experience with rabbits that age.
Imho it is remarkable that there wasn't a pregnancy so far, so your doe could be hard to breed or even infertile, or your boy is not too eager. But I wouldn't dare to say that you're out of the woods yet - spring is around the corner. That the doe lost a litter in younger years doesn't say much, that's not an uncommon thing to happen.

Anyway, since you made up your mind I wish you good luck that your doe actually is a barren prude and your buck an idle skitter. :)

Theres a lot that went into me deciding this. The girl was never consistently bred (already making it harder to get pregnant), she is 6 years old now, had a miscarriage earlier, did not get pregnant from another male last year (that was a different boy i had that mated with her. He has since passed away from cancer), and hasn't gotten pregnant from this boy.
I know there are still risks, so I'm still watching them closely, and always will. But i have extra hutches so it is easy to separate them if necessary.

I DO hope she is completely infertile. That would be the best in this situation. I still dont want to neuter the boy because he is getting older and I don't want to risk it.
I personally feel like there is a higher risk to the boys life if gets neutered than to the girls if they live together how they are.

But i really appreciate your opinion and comment, and everyones, even if people dont agree with this! It has helped me weigh out all the different options and really think better about this. Im glad i asked here :)
 

zuppa

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Well if you decided it's fine you want to do it your way, I am really happy for you and your rabbits that they are so happy together, I think Preitler is right and if she didn't get pregnant during first 2-3 months it doesn't mean she is completely infertile, it's just you want to believe and you are happy with that. Maybe you are just lucky and everything will be fine.

You know there was a situation in my life when I had to make a decision and honestly I had a piece of paper with all pros and cons on it and I just didn't like there were too many cons so I had to flip a coin, and it worked the way I wanted! :D
 

Lala7

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I actually did a similar thing too, outweighing the pros and cons. I talked it over with my family too to make sure I could get as many opinions as possible.

If they will continue to live together, I am going to combine their two hutches into one humongous one, so they will be really happy with that (i still have a third empty one though for emergencies). I think i will also make or build some sort of shelf inside so they have a way to get away from each other without being cornered, if they wanted to do that.
 

zuppa

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That's great that you have a plan B, but as I understand they are bonded now and not going to fight, only 'emergencies' that could happen would be if she gets pregnant. Which would be quite difficult to know before she gives birth, well starts nesting a couple days before that but that would be too late to fix it. Then you'd need to separate them surely, but not that she can have babies is risky, risky is that she's not healthy enough to have her first litter at this age and it could be fatal for her or/and her babies. That would be a very unpleasant experience for all involved.

There are some vets can remove uterus when doe is already pregnant at early stage, not sure if they'd go for it just before kindling. This surgery would be not less risky than spaying her tbh.
But there's also possibility that if she gets pregnant she can have healthy litter and survive it, as was said above that happened to some 8 year old doe and she was fine. It wasn't her first litter but anyway.

Anyway, you communicated your problem, you collected opinions and you made your decision it wasn't based on opinions you collected you just liked to risk it, that's all. It is possible that you are just lucky and she will never get pregnant, well, if she is lucky and will never get pregnant, because you're not at risk, she is. It's still 50/50 no matter what you like to believe.

Best of luck :)
 

Julie&Bunnies

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I would not recommend spaying the female at this age. If anything, neuter the male, but that's all. And only neuter if you have a kidney function test first to make sure he can withstand the anesthesia.
 
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