How Long Is A Rabbit Pregnant Before Giving Birth

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: February 10, 2017
How Long Is A Rabbit Pregnant Before Giving Birth

Rabbits are among the most popular pets for people who love small animals. Regardless of their breed - Dwarf, Rex, French Lop, Angora - if you've decided to keep a female rabbit and have her breed, you should know the exact duration of the pregnancy to provide the best possible care. This way, you'll have everything ready when the bunnies arrive.

Do you want to know how long is a rabbit pregnant before giving birth? Don't miss this oneHOWTO article!

  1. When can rabbits become pregnant?
  2. How does heat work in rabbits?
  3. How long is a rabbit's pregnancy?
  4. How can you tell if your rabbit is pregnant?
  5. What to take into account
  6. Symptoms of pregnancy in rabbits
  7. How to help a rabbit give birth

When can rabbits become pregnant?

Ovulation in rabbits works differently than in other domestic animals, such as dogs or cats. In general, sexual maturity and consequently the first heat occur between the sixth and eighth months of life, although there are breeds that may have their first heat at four months old.

How does heat work in rabbits?

Unlike other animals, rabbits are fertile throughout the year, without a regular estrus period. Although more receptive during the first half of the year, ovulation is stimulated by the mating act. That is, when a male rabbit mounts a female, it creates vaginal stimulation that provokes spontaneous ovulation.

This period is divided into two stages. The heat that lasts between 12 and 14 days, when the doe can get pregnant. The other stage is called diestrus, and it's a period that lasts four days during which the female loses interest in mating. If you need more information you can check our article to learn how long does a rabbit's period last.

How long is a rabbit's pregnancy?

If mating has occurred during the fertile days, a rabbit's pregnancy usually lasts between 28 and 31 days, give or take one or two days. If after 33 days the rabbit still hasn't given birth, you should take her to the vet to make sure that there is no problem. Rabbits can have 3 to 12 bunnies in a litter.

How Long Is A Rabbit Pregnant Before Giving Birth - How long is a rabbit's pregnancy?

How can you tell if your rabbit is pregnant?

It's important to check if your rabbit is pregnant through palpation. To do this, lay your rabbit gently on a flat surface and keep her still. Now, place the palm of your hand on her abdomen, just above the stomach, and palpate with your fingers carefully back and forth.

If your rabbit pregnant, you'll notice a few round bumps. The bumps - that is, the bunnies - are noticeable from the 20th day of pregnancy, which would mean she'll give birth in 11 days. Here you can learn more about how to know if my rabbit is pregnant.

What to take into account

It's crucial not to use any pressure when palpating the rabbit's abdomen, because you could cause her to abort. Therefore, it's advisable to take your rabbit to the vet so that they can do an exam and indicate in detail how you should examine her.

Symptoms of pregnancy in rabbits

Pregnant rabbits present other symptoms besides the obvious swollen belly. These include:

  • Swollen breasts.
  • Aggression towards the male rabbit.
  • Increased intake of food and water.
  • Restlessness.
  • Building a nest - occasionally by tearing out their own hair.

If your rabbit is indeed pregnant, take a look at our complete guides on how to care for a pregnant rabbit and what to feed a pregnant rabbit.

How Long Is A Rabbit Pregnant Before Giving Birth - Symptoms of pregnancy in rabbits

How to help a rabbit give birth

Like most animals, rabbits give birth by instinct. When her pregnancy is over, your rabbit will not require your help to deliver the bunnies. In general, does tend to give birth at night or during a period when they sense that no one will disturb them.

You should simply provide a calm environment and keep your distance. However, do keep an eye on everything to make sure the rabbit's delivery goes well and if you see something wrong, you can help her or call the vet.

This is the answer to how long is a rabbit pregnant before giving birth; as you can see, a rabbit's pregnancy goes by really fast. You need to be attentive to the symptoms so that you notice it in time and have everything ready for the newborn bunnies.

If you want to read similar articles to How Long Is A Rabbit Pregnant Before Giving Birth, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
my bunny wont let me pick her up any more and she runs away from me now does that mean she is pregnant? And she is breathing heavier. She wont let me check or hold her either. is that another sign of her being pregnant?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Kerissa,

It could be, but it could also be a sign of stress or even disease. It would be best to see a vet just in case.
kate Spence
Hello, my male rabbit just bred with my female (she had her first litter 14 weeks ago) im stressing out a little bit and was wondering if i could do anything and was looking for some advice. kind regards kate spence
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Kate,

It depends what it is you are looking for. The term 'breeding like rabbits' comes from the fact that rabbits can breed more regularly than many other animals. Having another litter probably won't do her any harm, but if you want to prevent it happening again, we recommend sterilizing the rabbit or at least separating males and females.
can rabbits have more than one litter after mating once
OneHowTo Editor
Hello Ashley,

A study in Germany proved that hares can have more than one litter, but not at exactly the same time. What happens is the male impregnates the female again to create new embryos while the first embryos are gestating. However, the second litter has to wait in the oviduct until there is room for gestation in the uterus. What this does is reduce the time between the first birth and the second, but they will not give birth to two litters at the same time.

In saying this, however, we cannot find conclusive evidence to support this occurring in rabbits. It may be possible, but it is at the very least statistically unlikely.

Hope this helps!
Hannah Nartey
how could I know my female is pregnant
A M Birni
My question is this from the birth of the rabbit how mayndays takes for that rabbit also give birth?
OneHowTo Editor
As you'll read in the following article, Rabbits reach maturity at around 5 to 8 months, when females will have their first period or males will go in heat.
more info: https://animals.onehowto.com/article/how-long-does-a-rabbit-period-last-8530.html
hello!sir my rabbit got pergnent and very aggresive
Eddie mbayoh
hello sir snake spit in my rabbit eye now the eyes are close and they have luces weight
eddie mbayoh
how to treat rabbit with a swelleing leg
OneHowTo Editor
It has probably broken its leg if it's swelling. You should take your rabbit to the vets as soon as possible. Hope this helps
Kolleen Butler
my doe is 40 days pregnant and a couple of days ago there was blood in her urine when cleaning her litter box , she seems to need help what can I do?
Jane Bertin (oneHOWTO editor)
If there is blood, it will be better to bring her to a veterinarian.
sir i am so confused..before 3 days i purchased a female rabbit and the owner said she is pregrant and she will give birth in 1 week but i dont know the time when she will give birth..please help sir
My rabbit attack me and the male rabbit when we get touch her & allwasy do sound as like we kill her.she do it from few days.so is she pregnant?? Please help me out of it.
OneHowTo Editor
We advise you to take your rabbit to the vet to make sure this is the case and not something more serious
My bunny gave birth once for the first time. She had 2 bunnies. One was born dead and the other lived 2 days. She did it with her boyfriend. 2 months pasted. The owner told me she gives birth in 5 months but I read this article and now I am confused. I dont know where is the vet. And I don't know what to do with her.
My rabbit mated 17 days ago and she has today dug a hole in the back corner of her cage and started pulling her fur out and getting hay and putting it inside the hole she has dug, Now could this just be a false pregnacy because it is so early and the breeding was just a fail?
Alice Smith
Hi my rabbit is eating a lot more than usual and she has plucked some of her fur out and I think she might be pregnant what are some other ways I could tell that she is pregnant ??????????
OneHowTo Editor
Dear Alice, You can find common symptoms of a pregnant rabbit in section 6 of this article. If you are not sure if your rabbit is pregnant or there's something more serious going on, we'd suggest you take your rabbit to the vet so you can know for sure.
you can feel the babies a lot earlier then 20 days, sometimes you can even feel them on day 7 but typically you palpate on day 10-11.
Am thinking of 9 month
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How Long Is A Rabbit Pregnant Before Giving Birth