Most domestic rabbits aren’t the largest creatures in the world. That is, unless you have a Flemish giant, in which case, these furry friends can weigh up to 15lbs and grow to lengths that are as big as two and a half feet.
But the more common domestic breeds like the Holland and French lops, the Rex rabbit and the lionhead are much smaller. So, when do rabbits stop growing?
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It’s hard to put an exact time frame on when a rabbit stops growing as each breed is different. Those Flemish giants we talked about earlier might not stop growing until they are one and a half years of age. On the other hand, smaller breeds may only take four or five months to reach their full adult size.
In this guide, we will be talking about the growth rate for various different breeds of rabbit and looking at what you can expect from your pet. We’ve also got some great tips that you can use to help your rabbit grow healthily and happily. So, let’s explore!
If you’ve been asking yourself what age do rabbits stop growing, you may wish to alter that question. You see, there’s no real age that we can pinpoint at which any given rabbit stops growing; they’re all individuals and just like humans, will develop at different rates. Moreover, what’s normal for one breed is completely different for the next and this is one of the first things you’ll need to mull over when looking at whether your rabbit is fully grown.
Let’s take a look at what age your rabbit would become fully grown according to its breed. The one thing you should keep in mind is that many domestic rabbits are mixed breed so this can make it a little more difficult to tell when they’re fully grown.
The Dutch rabbit can be told apart from other breeds by its dark coat at the back and white coat at the front. But its size is also a giveaway. This is one of the smaller breeds of rabbit and even when they reach their full adult size, Dutch rabbits may not weigh any more than six pounds. Typically speaking, these buns will stop growing by the time they reach seven months of age.
If you thought the Dutch rabbit was small, wait until you see the Netherland Dwarf. These are the smallest breed and they are incredibly cute. The Netherland dwarf has tiny ears and usually weighs no more than three pounds even as an adult. Some adults are as small as one pound but this is largely down to genetics and diet. As a rule of thumb, you can expect your Netherland dwarf to stop growing when he or she reaches five months.
Angora rabbits of all types have longer, thicker fur than other breeds so they may appear larger than what they are. Even once they reach their adult size, they may look as though they keep growing purely because the fur doesn’t ever stop. However, it usually only takes around eight months for these furry bunnies to reach their full size and don’t normally exceed about eight pounds in weight.
One of the beautiful things about this breed of rabbit is its coat. With an array of colors, these are certainly some of the most handsome looking buns. When it comes to size, you can expect your harlequin rabbit to stop growing when he or she reaches nine months old. They’re a medium sized bunny that can weigh up to ten pounds.
Rex rabbits come in two different sizes, although the name could make one think that they’re much larger than they are. The smaller variety might only weigh around four pounds when fully grown while the larger variety can grow up to ten pounds. In any case, you would expect your Rex rabbit to reach maturity when it is about nine months old.
As the name may suggest, the Holland lop has floppy ears but its body is surprisingly small when you consider how long their ears are. When they reach their adult size at around seven months of age, Holland lops might weigh no more than three or four pounds.
While this bunny is named after the kiwi nation of New Zealand, it actually comes from the United States, California to be exact. They have pink eyes so are very distinctive and can come in a range of colors. The New Zealand rabbit is a slightly larger breed and would typically take around ten months to reach its adult weight of 12 pounds.
Much like the Holland lop, their French cousins also have long, floppy ears. These are incredibly popular pets and were actually bred as late as the 1800s, so are one of the ‘newer’ breeds of bun. When they are fully grown, French lops will weigh up to 15 pounds so they’re quite sizable rabbits. Your pet will take around ten months to reach adult size.
Out of all the breeds we have discussed in this guide, the Flemish giant is by far the largest. What’s more, these are one of the oldest breeds that are kept as pets today. The Flemish giant typically takes around a year and a half to reach maturity and when it does, your bunny could weigh as much as twenty two pounds!
When you buy a rabbit from a pet store or breeder, it will normally be between eight and twelve weeks old. At this stage, the rabbit will not be anywhere near it’s full size but over the coming months, you will notice some vast changes.
As we have learned, some breeds of rabbit will grow quite rapidly and will reach their adult size by around seven to eight months. On the other hand, other breeds, typically the larger ones like the Flemish giant, take more than double this time to grow.
It’s also interesting to note the weight gain that you can expect from your bunny. When they are born, they typically only weigh around 3 to 4 ounces for large breeds while smaller breeds may weigh just an ounce.
As a rule of thumb, a rabbit will grow at a rate of anywhere between 0.5 and 0.75lbs a week. If they are a larger breed then they may gain more weight each week but much of this depends on how well the rabbit eats and other aspects of its care. We will go into more detail on how to help your rabbit thrive in the next section.
The breed of your rabbit will play a very significant role in how long it takes to reach its adult size. But there are other factors. For example, your bunny’s genetics will also determine how quickly he or she grows. Some rabbits might be smaller or larger than average for their breed which is something that they likely got from their parents. It’s the same for humans, some families are taller, broader, or slimmer than others.
But one thing that a lot of rabbit owners don’t factor in is the rabbit’s care. It may surprise you that there are things you can do to help your rabbit grow at a healthy rate.
It’s super important to make sure that you provide your rabbit with the correct diet. When he or she is a kit, this will mainly consist of hay and junior rabbit pellets. You won’t need to introduce fruits, vegetables, or treats until a few months down the line.
Not only is the correct diet important but how much you feed your rabbit will impact its growth. It’s essential to make sure that you don’t offer too much food as this could lead to obesity. On the other hand, not giving your rabbit enough could stunt its growth and cause health problems in the future. The amount your rabbit needs to eat each day will depend on several factors and the best person to provide you with tailored advice is your vet.
You can refer to this handy Rabbit Feed and Weight Chart for more detailed info.
The size of a fully grown rabbit largely depends on its breed. There are some bunnies that grow far bigger than others so what’s normal for one won’t be normal for another. But aside from breed, there are other factors that determine how big or small a bunny will be when it reaches adulthood.
Genetics play a significant role in this as well as how well the rabbit is cared for and whether he or she has an appropriate diet.
Generally speaking, most smaller breeds of rabbit will stop growing when they are anywhere between 7 and 10 months old. For larger breeds, it may take as long as 18 months for them to reach full size.