Bun Landers - "Teenage Uglies"

by Sharon Kuehn

Dear Bun Landers,

I've heard a lot of breeders talk about "Teenage Uglies". What exactly are they? What age does it take place and when does it end?

Teenage Blues in Arizona

Dear Teenage Blues:

Rabbits go through a growth spurt much like adolescent humans (without the acne), where their body grows at such a rapid rate that they become gangly and yes, ugly. The age this happens can differ with different genetic lines, but the average age that this growth phase starts is between 6 to 12 weeks. The rabbit stops growing and levels out between 4 to 6 months. However, it can take up to a year and a half for some genetic lines to mature and look like Holland Lops again. It is a good idea when purchasing new stock to ask the breeder at what age you can expect to see this occur. It is also difficult to properly evaluate body type during this phase, and why you have to keep Holland babies a lot longer than you do other breeds.

HLRSC Official Guidebook - 5th Edition 2002