Who is the rabbit?
The domesticated rabbit is a cousin of the wild rabbit. Rabbits can live up to 14 years, whereas rabbits in commercial production are slaughtered at around 10 weeks, so they do not reach adulthood during their lifetime.
They are a social species and in the wild their groups are made up of 2 to 9 adult females, 1 to 3 adult males, a variable number of offspring and some sub-adult, non-dominant males.
Rabbits are intelligent, highly skilled, and timid animals. Providing them with hiding places as well as opportunities to stand and scan their surroundings reduces their stress. Their teeth are constantly growing (around 2mm per week) so providing them with gnawing substrates is vital for their welfare.
Who is the doe?
The doe is the adult female of domestic rabbits. Does can live up to 14 years, but in commercial production are slaughtered at 1.5 to 2 years, after they have had around 5 to 7 consecutive litters per year.
Before giving birth, a doe will build a nest, lining it with her own fur, in an isolated part of the warren. After the kits (young rabbits) are born, she leaves them alone for most of the time and only enters the nest for a few minutes, once a day, to feed the kits and seals up the nest entrance afterwards to keep them safe. Around 10 days after kindling she will return to socialising with other adult rabbits.