When the mating is successfully completed and the rabbit becomes pregnant, then the period of expectation of the cubs begins. At this time, rabbit breeders have many questions, how to take care of the rabbit before birth and during them, how long the pregnancy lasts and how to help her. It is impossible to predict possible risks, but to reduce it realistically, providing the female with the necessary living conditions.
In this article we will analyze the main questions: how long the pregnancy in rabbits lasts, how to recognize it, how to care for a pregnant rabbit and how to help the female in childbirth.
How to recognize a rabbit pregnancy
It is possible to determine whether a female is pregnant or not in several ways 2 weeks after mating with a male.
With your fingertips, you need to grope the fruits in the abdomen of the female, they feel like a chain of balls. It is necessary to behave carefully so as not to harm the kids. The rabbit should be taken by the ears and the scruff with the right hand, and grabbed between the hind legs from the bottom with the left. The thumb should be placed on the right side, the other fingers on the left. If pregnancy has occurred, then it will be possible to grope for embryos in the abdomen.
For comparison, it is worth checking the rabbit who does not expect posterity. If you did not have to manipulate before, there is no confidence in your actions, it is better to consult a veterinarian so that rabbits will not be threatened with life.
Other common symptoms:
- Aggression. The males are seated to the rabbit and look at her behavior. Pregnant women do not take courtship, growl at the male, run after him in the cage. Sometimes females do not refuse a second act. Often, rabbits in position bite the owner, do not allow to touch themselves. This is due to the inclusion of maternal instinct. Others, on the contrary, behave calmly, hide in a house, avoid contact with people.
- Roundness. About a week after covering, the female’s stomach begins to round, but this may not be noticed under a layer of fluff. Closer to the birth, the rabbits are hard to walk, they become like a ball, mostly they lie.
- Nesting. It is necessary to put a little hay in the cage and see what the rabbit will do with it. A pregnant female will take him in the teeth and begin to equip the nest. According to the same principle, rabbits pluck the fluff from their stomach before giving birth.
- Changes in nutrition. In the period of expectation of the baby, females often begin to drink plenty of fluids and eat, their taste preferences change. So, the rabbit can defiantly throw the usual food for her out of the feeder, showing that she wants something else. But such changes usually happen in the first week of the baby’s expectation, then everything falls into place.
This condition, when the mating did not complete successfully, a corpus luteum appeared on the site of the ovarian follicle. About 2.5 weeks after crossing, the female behaves like a pregnant woman. If after this time the activity decreases, the rabbit is ready to mate again, then we can talk about the falsity of the process. This is due to the low survivability of the partner’s sperm, as well as when the female gives birth without breaks between pregnancies. And then we’ll talk about how much the rabbit carries the rabbits in time.
Pregnant rabbit in the paddock
How much is hatching and at what time does lambing take place?
So, how long does the rabbit’s pregnancy last? Mating rabbits begin at the age of 3-5 months. The gestation period is from 28 to 35 days, mostly about a month (30–31 days). The term depends on the breed of rabbits, the number of cubs, the age of the animal.
Rabbits of large breeds (flanders, giants) go pregnant longer, while small (ornamental) give birth faster. The more embryos in the stomach of the uterus, the faster they are born. Young rabbits give birth to about 4–5 babies at a time; they have a longer gestation period than experienced ones.
Toxicosis can both greatly disturb the individual and proceed with mild symptoms. Common manifestations of toxicosis are:
- difficulty breathing
- frequent urination;
- depressed state;
- malfunctioning of the central nervous system;
- smell of acetone from the mouth.
How to care for a pregnant rabbit?
As we already mentioned, the period of pregnancy in rabbits lasts an average of 30 days. The female needs to be calm by isolating her from other rabbits, external stimuli (noise, bright light). A pregnant individual can easily be scared, which can cause a miscarriage.
After delivery, the male needs to be transplanted, otherwise he may injure the babies and fertilize the rabbit again. During gestation, special attention should be paid to the diet and living conditions of the expectant mother.
There should always be water in the rabbit cages, especially when it comes to the basting period. At this time, the female is thirsty, in case of extreme thirst she can eat cubs. The diet must be diversified and included in it:
- fresh vegetables such as beets, carrots, cabbage;
- grass and hay from forbs;
- vitamin supplements such as vitamins C, D, fish oil.
With a poor diet of the female, there will be problems with milk, babies will be born weakened.
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Preparation of cells for the time of labor
The rabbit house provides ventilation, while avoiding drafts. High temperatures, bright light also need to be excluded. Do not forget about hygiene, cleaning is best done at times more often than usual. About 5 days before giving birth, a nest for babies must be placed in the cage.
The rabbit’s house should be disinfected so that the infection for her and her offspring is not scary. For processing, you can use a special disinfector or hot water with potassium permanganate. After applying the first, the cell must be rinsed with hot water.
An excellent homemade nest will come out of a cardboard box. It should be about 10 cm longer than the female in a lying position. If it works out differently, the rabbit will not understand the purpose of this building. On one side of the nest, an exit with a threshold for the rabbit should be cut through. It is necessary to make sure that the female was able to enter and exit, and the litter and the babies did not fall out.
Rabbit guarding cubs in the corral
In the finished nest, you need to put clean soft hay, leave a part in the cage. So the rabbit will be able to arrange a place for the kids to your liking. Instead of hay, sawdust, shavings, pieces of newspaper are used.
Signs of the approaching bunny rabbit
What is the gestational age for rabbits? The female carries the cubs for about 1 month. The last week of gestation is particularly difficult for females. Letting them out for a walk should not be. The efforts of man, rabbits should be aimed at improving the cells and nests for future offspring. It is possible to judge that cubs from day to day can be born by the following signs:
- Rabbits are nervous, behave aggressively towards other individuals and people.
- Sometimes the condition of the females is too calm before the birth of the babies, they climb into a dark corner and sit quietly there. This is not a deviation from the norm.
- The female again begins to actively eat and drink plenty of fluids.
- The expectant mother sets up a nest a few days before the birthing. She moves the hay to a place intended for babies and lays it out. There she spreads her fluff from the abdomen and chest.
If the female has plucked down, but has not carried it to the nest, carefully move it there. When the rabbit is tearing down fluff long before giving birth, it is necessary to tidy it up so as not to become clogged, and later put it back in the cage. Such mothers require attention, most likely they will not properly care for offspring.
Does a person need help during childbirth and how many days does a rabbit give birth?
Rabbit lambing more often occurs at night or in the morning, rarely during the day. The process takes 10-60 minutes, but can last several minutes, more than an hour. Females usually give birth without assistance, you just need to control the process, checking whether everything goes without problems every 10 minutes. If the rabbit cannot give birth to large cubs or other difficulties have arisen, then the help of a veterinarian is necessary.
Slightly grown rabbits
But how many rabbits does the rabbit give birth? Up to 15 rabbits can be born, it will not work to guess the exact figure before delivery. Usually there are 5–8 babies in litters, but 3-4 females can be born to young females.
Rabbit breeders ensure that babies are not born on the floor. If this happens, the rabbit needs to be put in another cage, wiping his hands down from the nest and transfer the cubs there, covering from above. The female must not be returned until after 20 minutes, so that the human smell disappears.
Ideally, the rabbit after giving birth licks her cubs, lays down in the nest and feeds it. But if she behaves differently (throws, tramples rabbits, shows aggression towards them), you can provide the kids with a heating pad and plant the female only for feeding.
If this does not work out, then the cubs will have to be transplanted to other females. To do this, they are cleaned of old fluff, rubbed down from a new nest and laid down on a calm and mature female.
When the rabbits are full and warmed up in the nest, it is not worth disturbing the mother, this will make her nervous. You can pick up the cubs when they are covered with wool and crawl out of the nest.
Rabbit breeders receive healthy rabbits from individuals who will soon multiply offspring. But pregnancy and childbirth of a female require moral, practical training from a person. He must pay attention to the rabbit and the newborn, as well as follow the rules of care that apply to them.
Now you know how much the pregnant rabbit walks and how to correctly determine her interesting position.
Finally, we suggest watching an interesting video on the topic: