Rabbit Sexing: Not what you think
“Hey you wanna help me sex the rabbits?”
Hmmm. That is a hard question to answer. Geoff has this way of innocently asking questions that are far more complicated than they appear on the surface. A Justin Timberlake and Andy Sandberg version of “Bunny Lover” starts playing in my head as I ask, “What does that mean?”
“Oh it’s real easy, you just hold the bunnies and then I check to determine what gender they are, and then we mark them with the rabbit marker.”
Hmmm. This does sound simple. I just hold the bunnies. What could be hard about that? We’ve picked them up to pet them many times before.
“Okay, let’s do it.”
I think my first mistake was not Googling in advance the appropriate attire for bunny sexing. Naively, I assumed that running shorts, a t-shirt, and tennis shoes was the appropriate outfit for the “bunny holder”. Geoff had on jeans and a t-shirt, so I thought I was safe in assuming I did not need any special apparel. Sadly, I was wrong.
The normally docile, precious bunnies that we interact with everyday went psycho when they realized Geoff had to look at their cha-chas. We started with some of the smaller bunnies–relatively easy to hold, but microscopically small cha-chas. I incurred a few minor scrapes and scratches, but nothing too alarming. Then, it was time to sex the bigger bunnies. Bigger bunnies have much easier to identify boy/girl parts, but they are also much stronger and have sharper claws. By the end of the sexing I looked like either the most aggressive cutter on the planet, or the survivor of a very small knife fight.
The joy of sexing doesn’t end there though. When rabbits get nervous and upset they poop, pee, and shed. With each rabbit I got covered in more poop, more pee, and more fur. Below you will see two very blurry pictures of my wounds. My left and right arms are covered with scrapes, I have two huge gashes on my thighs, and my entire abdomen is covered in poop.
The bunnies have now all been sexed. We ended up with way more males than I expected. When the weather cools off a bit (hopefully Monday) we will transfer the rabbits to their very special rabbit tractors where they will enjoy fresh grass, sunshine, and the other joys of rotational grazing.
Now all I have to do is try to get the phantom bunny poo smell out of my nose.