Rabbits grow fast since they are born and attain maturity soon in their life. The life expectancy of domesticated rabbits is between eight to twelve years.
They are small in size, as compared to other animals, thus, stop growing sooner. Although their physical growth stops, they continue developing their mental and sexual maturity.
When do rabbits stop growing?
Rabbits stop growing very early in their life as compared to their life expectancy. But this period varies in different species as per their breed and maintenance. Smaller rabbits mature by five months. In comparison, larger ones stop growing by eighteen months. Diet and type of breed also affect growth and development.
Factors affecting the growth of Rabbits
Legal breeders’ separate newborn rabbits from their mothers by the time they are two months old. They still have enough time to gain weight, grow more significantly, and then stop growing. But only if they receive a sufficient amount of food.
Rabbits require a healthy and balanced diet for their proper growth and development. Lack of balanced nutrition halts its size. Those separated from mothers before two months also do not grow to their potential. Without proper nutrition, your rabbit may keep losing weight. As a result, it might seem smaller than before.
Various genetic issues and health problems can also refrain them from growing. Rabbits who grow more extensively within the breed may transfer the dominant characters to the next generation. These rabbits tend to grow bigger, despite the usual size of their breed.
Some breeds are dwarfs, and their growth does not depend on diet. Most rabbit’s growth stops depending on the type of breeds. Dwarfs are the smallest, and larger ones may weigh around 20 pounds.
5. Sexual maturity:
Some of them increase in size after attaining sexual maturity. Most pet rabbits do not mature until one year old. By the time they are sexually mature, they will stop growing in size.
Another group may continue growing. But there are variations in this context too. If your rabbit is spayed or neutered one, growth may stop after attaining maximum body weight.
Thus, your rabbits stop growing due to various factors. One must be aware of the type of breed the rabbit is to understand its growing stages.
Different breeds of rabbits stop growing at different age groups. Let’s look in detail about their maturity in some of the popular ones.
A standard sized Rex rabbit weighs around 7 to 10 pounds and attains its full size by nine months. Likewise, the mini-sized of the same breed by seven months attains maturity and weighs around 4.5 pounds.
Both have similar looks and personalities. But they differ in their body size. The standard-sizes are medium, whereas the minis are smaller than that.
With their distinctive patterns in the coat, one can easily recognize a Dutch rabbit. They have a white-colored front part and a blackened back. They are not dwarfs but belong to the small-to-medium group.
By the time they reach seven months, a Dutch rabbit weighs 3.5 to 5.5 pounds. It is their maximum weight, after which they stop growing.
New Zealand Rabbits
When this medium to large-sized rabbit reaches ten months, they attain maturity. It then stops growing. A mature female weighs around 12 pounds, and the males grow until 9 pounds.
The fur on the body of Angora rabbits is useful for preparing woolen garments. The fur continues to grow even after attaining maturity. This breed attains its maximum growth by eight-month and weighs around seven and a half pounds.
Since the fur keeps growing, people often think that the rabbit is also growing. But if you separate the wool from the body, their body mass will remain similar. Thus, angora rabbits require regular grooming and brushing sessions for their development.
French Lop Rabbits
French Lop rabbits grow very fast during the early years of life, especially in the first year. Their body weight is significantly less during the first few months.
By the end of the 9th month, they proceed towards maturity. Once reaching the 10th month, they become adult rabbits and weigh around 15 pounds.
A Harlequin matures by the ninth month since birth. With proper nourishment and care, a Harlequin stop growing at the same time.
The average weight of a mature one ranges from six and a half to nine and a half pounds. But they also tend to lose weight after maturity, but the growth halts.
Holland Pop Rabbits
Although they look similar to French Lops but are relatively smaller in size. They are breeding a Netherland Dwarf and English Pops.
Thus, the Holland Pop is a dwarf breed due to inheriting its parental characteristics of being a dwarf. Until reaching adulthood in the seventh month, they continue growing and then stop. An adult Holland Pop weighs around four pounds.
As the name suggests, they are genetically dwarf and are the smallest one among all others. Thus, even after reaching adulthood, it weighs not more than four pounds.
Some may even weigh less than three to two pounds until reaching their maximum size by the fifth month.
Flemish Giant Rabbits
In contrast to Netherland Dwarfs, the Flemish Giants are the largest breed among domestic rabbits. Since they are huge, they also require a lot of time to gain their maximum size.
This breed does not attain its maximum potential size before reaching eighteen months. On average, it weighs around 22 pounds on attaining maturity. It is because of their size that they are popular as livestock.
From the details mentioned above, it is clear that all rabbit breeds do not stop growing simultaneously. Mostly they stop growing after maturity.
Some attain maturity early in life, while others take ample time. It depends on the type of breed and its hereditary nature.
As a pet parent, you must try to provide all the necessities that a rabbit requires. Its growth also depends on the type of diet and maintenance that it receives since birth.
But, ensure not to overfeed a rabbit, or else it will grow obese.