The female may produce 3 to 5 litters a year with an average of 5 young per litter, but many newborns do not survive. Females will breed when they are only 3 months old; therefore, it is easy to see how populations could explode if there were no checks. While it is thought that they could live up to 7 years under ideal conditions, most rabbits, not surprisingly, don’t make it past their first year and many, according to Forsyth (1985) live no longer than 6 months.
After a short gestation period, averaging 30 days according to Banfield (1974), females give birth in a shallow nest or “scrape,” hollowed out of the ground and lined with vegetation and fur from her belly (Forsyth 1985, Banfield 1974). These nests are well concealed under shrubs or tall grass but can be very vulnerable to disturbance from dogs and humans. At the FWG I have not found any such nests, but then I rarely look for them, not wishing to disrupt the animals. However, I have seen quite a few young, evidence of successful breeding.
Within about two weeks of being born the young are ready to leave the nest. By this time, their mother is probably pregnant again and will soon be ready to give birth once more. Solitary animals that they are, Banfield (1974) says that the young will only stick together for the first 7 weeks before heading off alone.