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!
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 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.
- Building a nest - occasionally by tearing out their own hair.
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.
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