It’s the question I want to know. Is my rabbit pregnant? Waiting for baby bunnies shouldn’t feel like forever, but sometimes it feels that way. I bred my rabbits last month, and I was eagerly awaiting babies, but they never came. I re-bred both does and am eagerly awaiting bunny cuteness again, hopefully with better results. If you are like me, here are some indications that your rabbit may indeed be pregnant.
How To Tell If Your Rabbit Is Pregnant:
- Mood changes. This really doesn’t tell you much, but if she’s moody and grouchy, it very well could be that she is pregnant. (This never works for me. My does seem permanently cranky. The bucks are the sweetest things ever, but my does don’t like me no matter how many treats I bring).
- Palpation. Around days 10-12 after being bred you should be able to feel small marble sized bumps along the sides of your does tummy if she is indeed pregnant. I’ve successfully done this once so far, so I’m not the best teacher. They’re Not Our Goats has as video of how to do it. So go watch that, and then go gently practice on your does. Gently. Because you don’t want to hurt her, and you don’t want your does to hate you as much as mine hate me.
- Test breeding. Sometimes rabbits have a false pregnancy, where they act like they are pregnant, but they really aren’t. Many won’t be receptive to the buck even if it’s a false pregnancy until after day 17. If your rabbit is nesting and it’s 17 days after her last breeding RE-BREED! She’s not pregnant. You can test breed all of your does on day 18 just in case, which I haven’t tried. Some breeders do this as a matter of course, and others avoid it for fear of causing a miscarriage if she is pregnant. Also, rabbits have two horns to their uterus so it is possible that she could be pregnant on one side, and then become pregnant on the other side after the test breeding.
- Nest Building. If it’s after day 21 and your rabbit is nesting, she’s probably pregnant. Yay! She might be pulling tons and tons of fur to line the nest, or running around with a mouthful of hay. You can give her a nest that early, but make sure to clean it out if she poops in it. My does are good at pooping in their nest boxes. Make sure to give her a nest box by day 28 even if she’s not pulling fur. (Here’s how to make a basic nest box).
- Babies in the nest box. That’s the indication I can always count on. Although, if it’s day 30 and there are no babies don’t despair, sometimes rabbits can go a few days longer. I had one doe that always had her babies on day 32. I’ve read that some rabbits may take as long as 35 days, so if no babies by day 36 RE-BREED!
Once your doe does have babies, check the nest and remove any dead ones. She won’t neglect the litter even if you take a look around. Make sure they really are dead first, and not just overly chilled. You can sometimes warm them up. If she didn’t pull enough fur, add some more. (You can save some from those false pregnancies, or if you have a doe that pulls a lot).
If you are particularly worried about a litter you can bring them inside. Rabbits nurse their young at dawn and at dusk, so you can bring the nest box out at those two times and usually the doe will hop right in to feed the babies. I had to do this after rats infiltrated our rabbit colony until I got the rabbits moved into hutches. (Sadness. The colony still isn’t rat proofed, so the buns are in hutches until I remake it. Although they seem perfectly happy, and even get excited to get back to their space when I bring them inside when it’s hot).
Usually the mothers will take care of just about everything, but there are a few things you need to do for baby bunnies.
Is Your Rabbit Pregnant?
So the burning question we all want to know. Is my rabbit pregnant? Maybe. Maybe not. There are some clues that may help you get an idea if it’s likely or not, but in the end, you’ll know for sure when the babies are actually here.
This post shared at Homesteader Hop
Be prepared for your first flock
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