The low efficiency of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) greatly limits its application. Compared with the fertilized embryo, cloned embryos display abnormal epigenetic modification and other inferior developmental properties. In this study, small RNAs were isolated, and miR-34c and miR-125b were quantified by real-time PCR; results showed that these micro-RNAs were highly expressed in sperm. The test sample was divided into three groups: one was the fertilized group, one was the SCNT control group (NT-C group), and the third group consisted of SCNT embryos injected with sperm-borne small RNA (NT-T group). The level of tri-methylation of lysine 9 on histone H3 (H3K9me3) at the 8-cell stage was determined by immunofluorescence staining, and the cleavage ratio, blastocyst ratio, apoptotic cell index of the blastocyst and total cell number of blastocysts in each group were analyzed. Results showed that the H3K9me3 level was significantly higher in the NT-C group than in the fertilized group and the NT-T group. The apoptosis index of blastocysts in the NT-C group was significantly higher than that in the fertilized group and the NT-T group. The total cell number of SCNT embryos was significantly lower than that of fertilized embryos, and injecting sperm-borne small RNAs could significantly increase the total cell number of SCNT blastocysts. Our study not only demonstrates that sperm-borne small RNAs have an important role in embryo development, but also provides a new strategy for improving the efficiency of SCNT in rabbit.