Heat (Estrus)

When we see the female rabbit (doe) or a guinea pig in an anxious state moving from one side to another we may think that they are in heat. Im not so sure if guinea pigs express this behaviour when they are in heat since it is not a common practice to detect this state to reproduce her, but in rabbits im sure this is not the case. This post is about detecting heat in rabbits and guinea pigs

In guinea pigs, when they are in heat their vulva turns to a red colour and is a bit wider, I saw this in an experiment.  This event occurs every 13 - 17 days. In breeding farms, the male is the whole time with the female guinea pig, so he detects when the female guinea pig is in heat and copulate her. I cant imagine how difficult would be having to detect a guinea pig estrus every day. For example, in Peru there are farms that have thousands of guinea pigs, imagine detecting heat one by one, to this we have to add the fact  that the guinea pig is very norvous and the male won´t copulate the female if you are near. The result is an impossible mission. Fortunately, this method of having the male with the females the whole time works.

In rabbits you see a dilated vulva in red colour when the doe is in heat. This event lasts several days. Let me explain this to you. Estrous cycle lasts  from 14 to 16 days, in four of those days the doe is preparing her reproductive tract for the next litter, and then there are 10 or 12 days of heat. However, the reception to the buck is not the same everyday. One day she will be very receptive, another day she wont accept the buck. To know this moment you see the colour of the vulva: Red means acceptance, pink and purple means no acceptance. This method is not 100% secure but many times works. Contrary to guinea pigs, you do need to verify heat because the buck is not with the doe the whole time. If you put a buck and a doe in the same cage the whole time, the buck will copulate her every hour and every day. This can bring abortions and fights since the doe gets easily bothered and also male guinea pigs dont kill the youg rabbits, but the male rabbit does.

Heat in rabbits