Bun Landers - Split Penis

by Sharon Kuehn

Dear Bun Landers,

Recently I purchased a buck to bring in a compatible line. After several months of breeding to all my does, I still had no babies. Upon closer examination of the buck, it was discovered that the he had a split in his penis, just above the base. Since I've never seen this before, I'm not sure what course of action to take. Please advise.

Shooting Blanks in Rhode Island

Dear Shooting:

You certainly have a problem with Cupid's arrow hitting the mark. This is a problem that the breeder of the animal need to be made aware of since it is a GENETIC abnormality and is passed on to the offspring. Unfortunately, this type of problem is difficult to check due to the fact that the split can occur quite low and not be detected unless the entire penis is exposed outside of the sheath. Other splits that occur nearer to the tip can be identified much easier during examination, and they may still be able to impregnate a doe. What happens when there is a split (or opening) in the penis is similar to squeezing a tube of toothpaste that has a hole in the side of the tube. Some paste does come out of the top but quite a bit of paste also comes out the hole in the side. In rabbit terms, much of the sperm never gets deposited correctly, thereby lowering fertility. Although bucks with a split penis that occurs closer to the tip may still sire offspring, it is NOT a good idea to use a buck with this problem, since it is a GENETIC CODED PHYSICAL PROBLEM that is passed on and is undesirable in your breeding program.

HLRSC Official Guidebook - 5th Edition 2002