Rabbit Gestation Period: Length Of Pregnancy And Signs To Look Out For | Kidadl


Rabbit Gestation Period: Length Of Pregnancy And Signs To Look Out For

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Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Oh, how the rabbit's nose twitches and how it sniffs and how it goes.

Oh, how the rabbit's eyes are as red as a ruby shining bright. How about rabbits' ears, long and sharp, and what they hear?

Let's learn about the rabbit gestation period and signs of pregnancy. Do you know to take care of a pregnant pet rabbit? Do you know why it is scared and doesn't let you come near it during its pregnancy and what would be the right time to take your little young pregnant bunny to the veterinary doctor?

Did you know that rabbits are considered to be a symbol of fertility? They are associated with the spring season, Easter, and thus the mascot of Easter, the Easter Bunny. Famous cartoons such as Br'er Rabbit, Bugs Bunny, Alice in Wonderland, and Peter Rabbit have long held our imagination with unique antics and legendary characteristics. In earlier days, rabbits as livestock served the purpose of meat and fur. Today, a rabbit pet of young age is one of the most desirable pets, especially because rabbits are furry, cute, and adorable animals. After you learn about the rabbit gestation period, you can also read about what rabbits eat in the wild and how long do pet rabbits live here on Kidadl.

How do you sex a rabbit?

During the weaning phase, sexing of newborn babies can be done. The newborn has to be held in the hand for proper examination. Slight pressure is applied on the sex organ with your thumb. As observed in all animals, the revelation of a slight protrusion of the penis indicates a male rabbit known as a buck, and on the other hand, the presence of a slit indicates a female rabbit, known as a doe.

The rabbit gestation period or pregnancy period occurs for 28-32 days. Approximately, the pregnancy period may last for 30 days. During this period, the amount of feed being provided to the doe must be increased. Usually, the quantity of feed is increased for 10-15 days of the gestation period for growing babies. Around the fifth or sixth day of parturition, a nest should be introduced in the cage for newborn babies. Sometimes the doe may pull out its hair to line the nest. Lots of fresh water must be provided to the doe during its pregnancy period to ensure proper hydration.

How many litters can a rabbit have in a year?

Do you know that your rabbit can get pregnant within a short time after giving birth to a litter of babies? Therefore, owners of rabbits that are not neutered are advised to separate the buck or males, and the mother (does or female rabbits) after the kindling of kits. They could also be neutered if you are not interested in having more baby rabbits or bunnies around your home.

One doe can usually produce six litters in a year, as it has been observed that a doe can quickly become pregnant within a few hours of giving birth to kits. According to medical research, it is advisable not to allow the mother doe to partake in mating right after birth or kindling. It is best if the mother doe waits to mate again after a minimum of four weeks. It is done to ensure that the healthy newly born baby rabbits are at least eight weeks old when the next breeding phase starts and a new litter arrives. During each gestation period, a mother doe can produce 1-12 kits.

Gestation Period Of The Female Rabbit

Small breeds of rabbits like Polish or Dutch breeds start breeding early at four months of age. However, medium breeds like the New Zealand white breed and the Chinchilla breed of rabbits start breeding at five or six months of age. Ovulation in female rabbits is reflex ovulation, where the ovulation occurs within 10-13 hours after mating.

The gestation period of the female rabbit ranges from 28-32 days. In most cases, the gestation period is estimated to be 30 days. Pregnancy in females can be identified by test mating with the buck for reproduction or by checking for healthy weight gain. In most cases, the palpitation method for checking for pregnancy is considered the most reliable method.

Common Signs Of Gestation

Are you looking forward to your female rabbit giving birth to, or kindling, a litter of bunnies that will fill your home and your life with joy?

Some of the common signs of gestation include a gain in weight. You can weigh your female rabbit almost every day after copulation as weight gain indicates that embryos are growing. Within a few weeks, some rabbits may show signs of aggression and may appear to have mood swings. Around one week after breeding, tiny bumps may start showing on the rabbit's belly. It is essential to monitor your bunny during each week of the gestation period.

Pregnant female rabbit of California breed

Rabbit Pregnancy Symptoms

Some other methods of detecting pregnancy in your female rabbit include vibration of the abdominal area of your rabbit to feel for embryos. This method can be applied two weeks after mating for reproduction. It is a common notion that a buck never mates a pregnant doe. So, if males are not going anywhere near your female rabbit, it could indicate that she is pregnant.

Nest building, fur pulling, and aggression are some of the telltale signs of your female rabbit's pregnancy. But if you want to be sure, you can take your rabbit to the veterinary doctor to confirm the pregnancy. Body weight gain is also observed in some rabbits. There is an average weight gain of 10.58-14 oz (300-400 g) observed 30 days after mating.

False Rabbit Pregnancies

If your female bunny is unneutered, it would be a good idea to be on the lookout for signs of pregnancy. Did your bunny start burrowing, or does it seem like she is trying to dig a hole in the ground? Does your young doe seem to be more irritated than usual and doesn't like to be touched? Isn't it strange that she is pulling out her fur too? Are you excited to think that maybe your pet rabbit is pregnant? Is it too early to take it to the vet for a body checkup, or is it time for the birth of newborn babies?

According to research, sometimes rabbits behave as though they are pregnant. Some of the most notable signs of pregnancy, like burrowing, pulling out of fur from its body, and aggression, may be evident, but these may be just signs of a false pregnancy. If your rabbit is unneutered, it would be advisable to take your rabbit to the veterinary doctor for a checkup.

What do you need to do when your rabbit is in its gestation period?

Now that you have returned from a consultation with your rabbit's vet, beaming with joy and happiness at the prospect of having a litter of bunnies very soon in your home, you need to do certain things now that you know your rabbits did mate, and it is time for the gestation period.

Give your rabbit plenty of clean water to ensure proper hydration during the gestation period. Delicious vegetables and fruits will provide all the extra energy needed during the gestation period. A big nest box with drain holes can be made comfortable by lining it with natural rabbit fur. Proper hygiene must be ensured in the cage to ensure proper growth and development of the rabbit litter in the hay lining for nesting. Like other animals, rabbits can also be given some dry fruits like raisins, dates, and dry fruits. It would be advisable to leave the rabbit alone during its gestation period.

Taking Care Of A Pregnant Rabbit And Her Litter 

Are you very excited and happy to learn that your pet rabbit is pregnant? Are you looking forward to welcoming a litter of young, cute little baby bunnies to your home? Yes, it is true, little young bunnies are on the way, and they will be adorable. Newborn babies will appear soon and fill your home. Are you waiting for your little bundle of bunnies to be born, to bring joy and happiness to your home? Is your mother doe pregnant and shy?

Taking care of a pregnant rabbit and then her young litter is essential, and the rabbit should be given more quantity of food for 10-15 days of pregnancy. Lots of clean water and rabbit food like rabbit pellets, dark leafy greens, and alfalfa hay should be supplied to the pregnant rabbit even during the night. Pregnant rabbits tend to burrow, so it would be a good idea to provide a nest box and straw for lining the nest. Studies reveal that it would be advisable to maintain a calm environment for the pregnant rabbit as she can be immediately aggravated by the slightest stimulus. The best thing would be to keep an eye on her but leave her alone to prepare the nest for her litter. A good diet will help the female rabbit immediately produce nutritious milk to nurse the growing baby. If it is a large litter, an abundant supply of dandelion greens, borage, or dill can help the rabbit meet the increased demand for feeding milk. A nest box with drain holes would be ideal for the litter. The bedding can be made from stalk hay straw and supplemented with natural fur from the mother rabbit. The litter can be placed in the burrow in the nest box to allow the mother rabbit to stand over it and nurse her babies.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for the rabbit gestation period, then take a look at can rabbits eat tomatoes or rabbit facts.


Written By
Deepthi Reddy

<p>With an MBA under her belt, Deepthi has discovered her true calling in content writing. Her writing repertoire is diverse, covering travel, movies, pet care, parenting, animals and birds, and more. Her joy of learning and creating has helped her craft well-written and engaging articles. When she isn't writing, Deepthi enjoys exploring new cultures, trying different foods, and spending quality time with her two children aged 7 and 12.</p>

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