How to Know if Your Rabbit is Pregnant
Are you wondering if your rabbit is pregnant or not? Then hang on, as we’ll be sharing with you today some of the most effective techniques you can use in knowing when your rabbit is pregnant.
Separation of Bucks and Does
So first, let me start by saying that it is incredibly difficult to know for sure if your rabbit is pregnant or not. Nevertheless, the rule of thumb is knowing the pregnancy state of your rabbit is always ensuring that you keep your bucks and your does are separate. Separating them will help you know whenever the breeding took place.
If you had successful breeding, then there is probably a 95% chance that your rabbit is pregnant. I would bet on it, place the nest box in at the appropriate time, about 28 days, and you’re probably going to be on your way.
However, let’s say for example your rabbit got out of the cage, and maybe there was some access to them, or you’ve got a new rabbit which you don’t know if it’s pregnant or not, here are some of the things that you might want to look for if you’re going to see whether they’re pregnant or not.
You Will See Behavioral Changes Calmer / Aggressive
The first thing to look out for is in their behavioral changes. Most of the time, when a rabbit gets pregnant, there will be some slight changes in how they act. Now, if you don’t know the rabbit fully well, or let’s say you just bought it for the first time, this may be somewhat challenging.
Still, the things you might look for is in the changes in their behavior. For instance, if you have a rabbit that was always very calm and easy to handle, and then suddenly becomes very grumpy, doesn’t like to be handled at all; then that’s a good sign your rabbit may be pregnant, which is why the behavioral pattern has changed.
Also, if you’ve had a rabbit conversely the other way around, that may be grumpy all the time, doesn’t like to be handled and then all of a sudden become very friendly, very easy to handle, again, that’s a behavioral change that may indicate that the rabbit is pregnant.
Sometimes they will become Shy / and sometimes they will become Aggressive
Not Interested In Romance
She will not be interested in being bred. The Buck will know also because she will reject him.
She will Have Increased Appetite
Another thing you might want to look out for or notice is a slight increase in appetite. Now, it’s going to be a slight increase because if you don’t pay close attention, you won’t notice the increase. Nevertheless, pregnant rabbits eat much more, as their pregnancy state often forces them to eat way beyond their usual quantity.
Other than the increase in appetite, pregnancy can cause them to change their desire altogether. So, you may have a rabbit that primarily eats pellets and very little hay, and then all of a sudden, she’s eating all of her pellets and all of her hay every day. Or, eating all of her hay and not eating many of her pellets daily. If you notice this, then it’s a sign that the rabbit might be pregnant.
She is Gaining Weight
You can check the date she was bred and that will give you an idea how much she should be
She is Hay Stashing
One of the main things that you should look out for, which is what I would consider the surest sign that a rabbit is pregnant, is if you throw some straw in the cage. If she picks up about three or four pieces, allows it to hang out on both sides of her mouth, and then starts running around the cage with it, or takes it and drops it somewhere like she is building a nest or something, then clearly the rabbit is pregnant.
However, the only problem with that is, a pregnant rabbit only does this when it is close to the end; that’s when the delivery date is near. So, if you find out this way, then it means you probably found out either on the 25th or 27th day of her pregnancy.
Some rabbits will only do that on the day before they kindle, that is, the day before they have their babies. Kindling or Building a Nest. So, although it’s a very certain sign, nevertheless, it’s often a very late one, and can’t be used to detect early pregnancy in rabbits.
Palpate / Check Her
Another technique you can use in detecting pregnancy in a rabbit is through palpating. If the doe is at least 14 days pregnant, you can palpate the doe to see if you can feel babies inside the rabbit.
However, like most options, it may not be so easy to find out, which is why you’ll need to get proper training on how to palpate the right way from a professional like a vet, or tutor. If you’re not adequately trained on how to palpate, and you don’t know what you’re doing, you may carry it out without feeling any babies, even when the rabbit is pregnant.
Her Tummy is Larger
Usually, a pregnant rabbit will always have a slight enlargement in their stomach size. So, if you notice that your rabbit is gaining weight, even when you haven’t changed her diet (feeds or hay), then that’s a visible sign that she might be pregnant.
Resting / Taking More Naps
Especially later on in the pregnancy, you’ll discover that your rabbit will always be laying down more and resting. They may not necessarily always be asleep, but will always be in still motion for the most part of the days. If you notice this, then that’s a sign that she might be in the family way.
Breathing / Heart Rate / Faster
Lastly, you can tell if a rabbit is pregnant from the way she breathes. If you do run into her breathing at a faster rate, more than the usual speed, then that could indicate that she is just started conceiving. From research studies on conducted rabbits, the pregnant ones often tend to have a tripled heart rate beat, during the early weeks of their pregnancy.
It’s very important to record the date you bred the Doe. You then can watch her for physical changes as the kits grow
So, there you have it; ways to know if your rabbit is pregnant. In case you’ve been wondering whether or looking out for signs, I hope this article has been able to point you to the truth. Cheers!