As a general rule, a rabbit is in Labor for approximately 30 Minutes – 2 Hours. It is called kindling most will give birth in the early hours of the morning. Giving birth to an average of 6 kits can be as high as 14. Keeping Does separate from Bucks because they can immediately become impregnated.
How long is a Rabbit in Labor?
Many people are curious about how long a rabbit is in labor. As with many other animals, the length of time varies depending on what kind of animal you’re dealing with and what type of delivery system they use to give birth. Rabbits typically have labors that last anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Signs your rabbit is in Labour
Some common labor signs include nest building, increased licking and grooming, restlessness, decreased appetite, water consumption, and dropping pellets. How long is a Rabbit in Labor?
A rabbit’s gestation period ( Time she is pregnant) is about 30 days on average, so around the 25-day mark, you should start to look out for some signs that she is getting close to giving birth.
The first sign will be nesting. She will start to make a nest with her hay and bedding, pulling it all into a pile and rearranging it until it is just how she wants it. She may also start to pull her fur out, especially around her tail and hindquarters, in preparation for giving birth.
The next sign will be restless behavior. She will become increasingly active, hopping around more than usual and perhaps even trying to escape from her cage. You may also see her licking her vulva frequently as this is a sign that she is getting ready to give birth.
If you see any of these signs, it’s time to put your rabbit in her birthing box (a small kennel or cage lined with towels or an old sheet) and wait for the babies to arrive. The average labor lasts from 15 minutes – two hours, but it can vary from rabbit to rabbit and, as we mentioned before, it can be longer for a first-time mum.
Don’t disturb her while she is giving birth – just wait until the babies come out or you see signs of distress from your pet. If nothing happens after around two hours (or whatever time frame you are comfortable with), give her
4 Stages of Rabbit Labor There
Stage One: False Labor The first stage is false labor, which can occur up to five days before the actual birthing process begins. It may last as little as one hour or as long as 24 hours and will involve mild contractions every few minutes lasting from 15 to 60 seconds. During this time there is no cervical dilation or shedding of the uterine lining, but it is a good idea to remain close by in case labor begins at any moment.
The first stage includes contractions every 15-60 minutes which last for anywhere between one hour and 24 hours – without cervix dilating or uterine lining shedding. Jump to How Old is my Baby Rabbit? **TEETH**
Stage Two: Active LaborThe second stage of labor is marked by strong contractions and cervical dilation, as the doe’s body begins to push out her kits (babies). You may notice some bloody vaginal discharge during this time along with a “popping” sensation as the babies’ heads pass through their mother’s vaginal canal. The second stage of labor may take anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours, depending on the size of the litter being born and how well the mom is doing during her birthing process.
Stage Three: Delivery The third stage of labor occurs after the delivery of all kits (babies). At this time you will see that mom is pushing out some afterbirth material, which will be followed by the placentas.
Stage Four: Rest The final stage of labor involves resting and cleaning herself for about 30 minutes before she gets up to tend to her kits (babies). Mothers are usually very attentive and loving towards their babies at this time. They also begin to eat and drink shortly after giving birth.
Rabbits giving birth process is called Labor
The duration of this process varies depending on the number and size of babies, age of parents, health conditions of parents, and other factors. The average labor for a first-time mom is about two hours. For subsequent births, the process may be shorter–about an hour on average.
A Healthy birth looks like this:
- mom starts licking her vulva and becomes restless
- she will pull her hind legs up to her chest and may start digging at the floor
- usually, the first baby is born within 30 minutes of active labor, but it can take up to two hours
- after the first baby is born, the mother typically rests for five to ten minutes
- she then starts licking her babies and may even eat the placenta
- usually, all the babies are born within two hours of the first one
Rabbit Labor Complications
Some of the complications a doe can experience are
- Prolapsed uterus,
- Uterine inertia
Dystocia is when the baby is unable to be born due to an obstruction.
Prolapsed uterus is when the entire uterus falls out of the vagina.
Uterine inertia is when the uterus fails to contract properly
Malpresentation is when the baby is in a position other than head first.
An important aspect of rabbit birth is the aftercare for the mother and babies. It is always best to have an experienced doe as your guide when it comes to these things but there are some basics that you can follow in order to be ready if needed. In most cases, once one baby has been born the others will follow in quick succession.
The doe should be kept clean and dry with a soft nest for the babies if possible. The doe may eat her placenta, which can help to replenish nutrients that were used in pregnancy and birth as well as give added protein needed for milk production. If she does not eat it on her own you can give her a piece of it.
The babies should be allowed to nurse as soon as possible after birth in order to get the colostrum, which is important for their health. The mother will typically clean them and stimulate them to pee and poop. If she does not do this within the first few hours you may need to as well as it can become a life or death situation for the babies if they do not pass meconium within 24 hours.
Do Rabbits get Pregnant every Time they Mate?
Rabbits can get pregnant after every mating. It is possible for a single litter to contain multiple litters of young and each female may have several mates during the gestation period, so it’s quite common for there to be large numbers of rabbits in one area.
Rabbits are induced ovulators, which means that the eggs are released after mating. This also means that you can breed rabbits at any time of the year.
The gestation period for a rabbit is about 31 days and the average litter size is six babies but ranges from one to twelve young. The baby rabbits, or kits, are born blind and naked. They weigh about an ounce at birth and their eyes open within ten to fourteen days. The kits start eating solid food at three weeks old and are weaned between six and eight weeks old.
Can Rabbits Delay Birth?
- Yes. Rabbits can delay birth up to a week.
- Mostly, if a doe is ready to deliver, she will not hold it any longer than another 24 hours.*
- If the weather is too hot or too cold, if she is uncomfortable for some other reason, or if labor seems to be progressing very slowly, a rabbit may choose to delay giving birth.
- In general, however, most rabbits will give birth within 48 hours of the onset of labor signs.
Final Thoughts – How long is a Rabbit in Labor?
If you are concerned that your rabbit is in labor but have not seen any of the common signs listed above, it is best to contact a veterinarian. They will be able to examine your rabbit and determine if she is
- 1 How long is a Rabbit in Labor?
- 2 Signs your rabbit is in Labour
- 3 4 Stages of Rabbit Labor There
- 4 Rabbits giving birth process is called Labor
- 5 Rabbit Labor Complications
- 6 Do Rabbits get Pregnant every Time they Mate?
- 7 Can Rabbits Delay Birth?
- 8 Final Thoughts – How long is a Rabbit in Labor?