Bunnies on the way? Five signs your rabbit is pregnant

Rabbits can become pregnant very quickly, so if you suspect your doe (female rabbit) might be expecting bunnies, it’s important to know the signs. Here are five key indicators to watch out for:

1. Nesting Behaviour: Bunnies to arrive soon?

Around a week before giving birth, your rabbit’s maternal instincts will kick in. Look for her pulling fur from her belly and using it to line a nest in a hidden corner of her enclosure. She might also start piling up hay or bedding materials to create a comfy haven for her soon-to-arrive kits (babies).

2. Increased Appetite:

As the kits grow inside her, your rabbit will need more fuel to keep them all nourished. You might notice a significant increase in her food consumption. Make sure her hay supply is always topped up and offer fresh vegetables daily to meet her nutritional demands for the growing bunnies.

3. Mood Swings: Arrival of Bunnies?

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect your rabbit’s temperament. She might become more grumpy or withdrawn, preferring to rest and conserve energy for the upcoming arrival of her bunnies. Be gentle when handling her and avoid startling her during this time.

4. Does Weight Gain mean Bunnies are coming?

A pregnant rabbit will naturally gain weight as the kits develop. However, a sudden or excessive weight increase could be a sign of an underlying health issue. If you’re concerned, consult your veterinarian.

5. Palpation (Advanced):

This method involves gently feeling your rabbit’s abdomen around 10-12 days after breeding. With careful palpation, you might be able to feel small, grape-sized lumps – these are the developing kits. It’s important to be very gentle and avoid stressing your rabbit. If you’re unsure, leave this to a vet experienced in rabbit reproduction.

If you suspect your rabbit is pregnant, here are some additional tips:

  • Prepare a nest box: Provide a quiet, secure nesting box filled with hay for your rabbit to build her nest in for the baby bunnies.
  • Schedule a vet visit: Get your rabbit checked by a vet to confirm pregnancy and ensure everything is progressing smoothly for the arrival of the bunnies.
  • Research baby rabbit care: Learn about the birthing process and how to care for newborn kits so you’re well-prepared for their arrival.

By recognising these signs and taking the necessary steps, you can ensure your pregnant rabbit has a comfortable and stress-free experience, and her kits get the best start to life.

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