Lapis ISSN 2398-2969

Normal reproduction

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd, Anna Meredith, Ron Rees Davies, Molly Varga, Lesa Thompson

Anatomy of the reproductive tract


  • Does have no uterine body, two separate uterine horns Reproductive anatomy 01: uterine horns  and two cervices opening into the vagina Reproductive anatomy 02: cervix and vagina.
  • The vagina is large and flaccid. The mesometrium (broad ligament) is a major site of fat deposition.
  • The placenta is hemochorial.


  • Bucks have two hairless (or sparsely haired) scrotal sacs positioned on either side of and cranial to the penis.
  • There is no os penis.
  • The inguinal canals remain open throughout life and the buck has the ability to consciously retract the testes into the abdomen.
  • Testes descend by approximately 12 weeks of age and castration Castration can be carried out from this time.
  • Cryptorchidism is reported in the rabbit and, as in other species, is associated with testicular neoplasia. True cryptorchid rabbits usually lack a scrotal sac on the affected side.


  • Sexing of young rabbits can be difficult.
  • In males the urogenital opening is round Sexing 02: male genitalia, whereas in the female the vulva is slit-like Sexing 01: female genitalia.
  • The anogenital distance is greater in the male.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • González-Mariscal G, Caba M, Martínez-Gómez M et al (2016) Mothers and offspring: the rabbit as a model system in the study of mammalian maternal behavior and sibling interactions. Hormone Behav 77, 30-41 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Commercial Rabbit Production: Reference Book 50 (1983) 10th edn, 2nd impression. ADAS; MAFF; HMSO London.