Alterations to the metabolic environment in utero can have an impact on subsequent female reproductive performance. Here, we used a model of rabbits receiving a high-fat diet (H diet; 7.7% fat and 0.2% cholesterol) or a control diet (C diet; 1.8% fat, no cholesterol) from 10 weeks of age up to mating at 27 weeks and throughout gestation and lactation. At weaning at 5 weeks of age, F1 female offspring were placed on either C or H diet, resulting in a total of four groups C/C, C/H, H/C and H/H diet. Female offspring were mated between 18 and 22 weeks of age and euthanized at 28 days of gestation. A few days before mating and/or just before euthanasia, F1 female rabbits were fasted overnight, weighed, and blood sampled for steroids and biochemistry. Organs were weighed at euthanasia and the ovaries were collected. C/H and H/H F1 offspring had higher cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein plasma concentrations, together with a higher fat mass compared with C/C does, reflecting the effect of the postnatal diet; however, no effect of the antenatal diet was observed on most parameters. The number of primordial, primary and secondary follicles were not different between the groups, but a significantly higher number of atretic follicles was observed in the C/H (P<0.001) and in the H/C (P<0.001) compared with control C/C ovaries, demonstrating both an effect of prenatal and postnatal maternal nutrition. These data indicated that both maternal and postnatal high-fat diet may induce follicular apoptosis; however, in this model, the reproduction was not affected.