Moon Phase Rabbit Breeding

Krappweis / stock.xchng

Krappweis / stock.xchng

I don’t know about you, but I tend to check the Farmer’s Almanac before major surgeries like getting wisdom teeth extracted and when the winter weather map came out I pretty much decided it was gospel and made my plans accordingly.

I don’t have the slightest idea how the Farmer’s Almanac comes up with the stuff they print, but it seems to be proven over the course of time. To be honest, I don’t even read my personal horoscope, so it’s kind of strange that I’ll put stock in something that seems, well… hokey. I am most certainly a skeptic.

Along those same lines are the myths about breeding rabbits according to the moon cycle. There are people who swear they can predict the number of bucks and does born in a litter, the number of show rabbits, and various other items based on breeding their mama do on the waning and waxing, new and full moons.

And then there are those who say, “It’s a rabbit. Stop making it so complicated.”

I fall somewhere in between. Obviously there’s some truth to the idea or it wouldn’t persist… but it doesn’t have the trappings of the scientific method to quantify and qualify the hypothesis. After talking with obstetricians I’ve learned that hospitals typically expect a rush on their labor and delivery departments during a full moon; so whether proven or not, something must make sense about the moon cycle’s affect on the fertility process!

From personal experience I can say we typically breed according to a Breeding Calendar. I’ve discovered when I follow this schedule my does are usually perfectly happy to lift and accommodate the bucks… without it I usually see disinterest or downright menace!

Several of these sites suggest breeding on a new moon to have a doe-heavy litter and a full moon for buck-heavy litters. Farther than that, there’s a belief that moon phases can influence the quality of the litter. Here’s a snapshot I’ve learned from other sites:

Possible Outcomes when Breeding Rabbits by Zodiac Signs

Possible Outcomes when Breeding Rabbits by Zodiac Signs

So the idea would be to choose which outcome you want (i.e., best quality does), then check the moon phase, and breed your mama doe in that zodiac period during a fertile moon phase and, whammo!, you’ve taken control of a completely uncontrollable process! Ha!

Note – if this worked so scientifically, everyone would do it.. but when I asked other rabbit breeders to give me the birth dates of their best rabbits, every one of the initial 10 responders fit the above graphic!

I suppose the bigger question is: Why do we even care whether we have bucks or does? I heard one person say that more bucks being born was a sign of a hard winter to come. Others try to breed for specific genders so their prospects at large shows are better.

Interesting, huh? It’s an idea each person needs to decide independently, but if you have personal experiences that either prove or disprove these breeding methods, I’d love to hear them in the comments! We will continue to breed based on the calendar, and if I get my act together enough maybe I’ll do some comparisons for gender and litter size in the future.

In the mean time, here are some links I’ve found helpful when educating myself on this topic:

Moon Phase and Gender (via Courtney McCullough’s 2012 California State Science Fair Project) – Results: “The results of the data showed a distinct trend toward a correct hypothesis (that more does would be born if bred during the full moon and more bucks would be born from a litter bred during the new moon). The total number of kits born was 108, with 57 bucks and 51 does born, a typical percentage one might expect; however, during the full moon, there were 7 bucks and 25 does born, and during the new moon, 29 bucks and 9 does were born. When breeding in the middle of the moon phases, there were 21 bucks and 17 does.”

Moon Phase and Litter Size (via Natalie Davis’ 2010 California State Science Fair Project) – Results: “Over 300 individual litters indicated that rabbits bred during a full moon phase had an average of more kits (3.2 kits), than rabbits bred during a new moon or a waxing/waning moon phase (2.8 and 2.7 kits).”

Rabbit Breeding and Moon Phases (via ThreeLittleLadies) – information posted is from 2006 but provides a framework someone with skill in knowing the zodiac and moon phases could recreate fairly easily.

2013 Breeding Calendar (via – We use this calendar to plan our litters

2014 Breeding Calendar (via

2015 Breeding Calendar (via

2016 Breeding Calendar (via

2017 Breeding Calendar (via

2018 Breeding Calendar (via

2019 Breeding Calendar (via

2020 Breeding Calendar (via

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17 thoughts on “Moon Phase Rabbit Breeding

  1. Beth Anderson October 2, 2013 at 11:11 am Reply

    when you say Best Quality Bucks and Balance – what do you mean by balance? I am going to try this out….


    • madhatrabbits October 2, 2013 at 1:42 pm Reply

      I’m not an expert in this but my feeling is that a well balanced rabbit would be well put together when viewing head, ears, legs, tail, etc.


  2. […] We had huge litters this summer in general – I need to double check if that had to do with moon breeding – but we had to do a lot of fostering in the end. Several of our rabbits had litters of 10+ […]


  3. gomerthebunny January 31, 2015 at 10:43 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Apple Orchard Rabbitry and commented:
    I have been thinking about breeding on moon cycles to experiment, I think I might try this when I breed


  4. Grimes Family Fluffers May 21, 2015 at 6:35 am Reply

    Reblogged this on Grimes Family Fluffers.


  5. Robert Fiut June 25, 2015 at 12:38 am Reply

    Contradictory info herein.
    Are more does born at full moon, as quoted from the McCullough study,
    or at new moon “as other sites suggest”?
    Please clarify. Thanks


    • madhatrabbits June 25, 2015 at 5:23 am Reply

      It is contradictory! I haven’t found a genuine consensus, but decided to present all the information I had found to you all. 😀


  6. Laela February 21, 2016 at 8:03 am Reply

    I also read in a field study that the full moon produced more does, but kept reading and in the final results saying the opposite…typo??? So i looked into my breedings from last year…unfortunately most of the results were inconclusive.

    Bred 2 does w/same buck, same day, on a full moon, i had normal size litters, mom1 had 4does out of 5(and that 1 buck was good quality when otherwise should not have been 4/3/2015); mom2 had 7, 1 peanut died, 3does/3bucks (all were poor quality). Breed that same doe/ different buck on June 23, 2015 a day b4 half moon so it was waxing… she had a huge litter of 10, but kept separating them, everymorning I would put them altogether, then one day half were gone, 5 survived 3d/2b…had a really good doe that i kept, and a good quality buck.

    Then i had an accidental breeding occur and the results were on point! bred 2 days b4 a new moon she whelped 7 (which was large for my smallest minirex), 5d/2b, awesome does, the entire litter were good quality~ june/14/2015…my results are “Mother Nature is not one to be controlled” but lets have fun trying ;o)


  7. Denise Winslow-Lawrence April 11, 2017 at 9:24 am Reply

    Reading your chart, I am wondering if it suggests that breeding during these cycles produces what it says or is it whelping? I haven’t done any good record keeping but generally find if I breed during a full moon I get more does. So by the chart, if I breed during the next full moon (in Taurus) I should get good quality does?


    • madhatrabbits April 19, 2017 at 7:45 am Reply

      In theory, yes! We have four years worth of data using this method but I haven’t ever taken the time to crunch the numbers and come up with conclusions.


  8. Barbara Grann October 1, 2017 at 10:18 am Reply

    Both times I’ve breed according to this calendar, I’ve had does and bucks that have taken BOB, and BOS several times this past year (i just found this calendar 2 years ago, and only had 2 breeding does at the time). I bred my most difficult doe last night, after giving her chamomile, lavender, comfrey, and yarrow. She was sedated enoughg for my herd buck to have 2 easy falloffs, since she lifted both times, before she realized that she was in the wrong cage. I removed her, put her back into her cage, she cleaned her face, only (previously she has cleared her vent and didn’t take). I’ll know in 32 days if she’d taken. I’ve never tried sedating a doe before , but since I need her for my SF show program, I figured why not give it a try. If after this failure, she’s culled and I’ll look for another show quality SF doe.


  9. Steven Ferguson November 18, 2017 at 7:40 pm Reply

    Where is the 2017 calander?


  10. Maria December 20, 2018 at 8:47 am Reply

    Has anyone done a 2019 breeding calendar? I’ve found day 2 of the fertile periods makes for great breeding, no more reluctant does!


  11. Patricia Krull April 18, 2020 at 5:33 am Reply
  12. krystylrose April 18, 2020 at 5:35 am Reply

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