Last Updated on February 2, 2024 by Admin
Whether you’re breeding rabbits or just curious about their reproductive cycle, knowledge of their gestation period is necessary for both their care during and after pregnancy. So how long are rabbits pregnant for? This article not only answers that, but it also looks at the pregnancy signs and stages, as well as essential considerations for breeders.
How long are rabbits pregnant for?
Rabbits have a pregnancy period that’s shorter compared to most mammals which lasts between 31 and 33 days. Doe’s usually have an average litter size of 5 to 8 kittens and in some instances, they may end up conceiving up to 12 babies during delivery.
During pregnancy, you’ll need to make sure that your rabbit is properly taken care of. This entails 24/7 access to clean drinking water and also providing them with a high-fiber diet that’s low on calories to help their litter develop properly. You also need to make sure that your pregnant bunny has a comfortable, secluded environment for delivery.
A large pen or spacious hutch that the kits can move around in is always recommended. Also, make sure that their nest is in a quiet area with dim lighting. Finally, when it comes to their nest, place a low-entry wooden crate or a cardboard box filled with 4 inches of hay as bedding, in their favorite corner of the enclosure.
Rabbit reproduction age
Before knowing how long rabbit pregnancy lasts, understanding their reproductive anatomy is essential. Doe’s normally reach sexual maturity when they’re around 5 to 6 months old while bucks at around 4 to 5 months old.
How to tell if a rabbit is pregnant?
Determining if your rabbit is expectant needs you as the owner to keep an eye out for their behavioral and physical changes. Below are some of the tell-tale signs that your Doe may be expectant.
A pregnant rabbit will show signs of nesting behavior such as digging and fur pulling. In other words, a doe will try to dig under her enclosure to mimic an underground nest in the wild. The other behavior a pregnant bunny does is pulling her fur on top of gathering other bedding materials such as hay and straw to create a comfortable bed for their newborns.
Another sign that a doe is pregnant is aggression and a shift in their temperament. She may be territorial and act defensive by growling, lunging or even biting at you, during the pregnancy phase.
Physical body changes
The other change most likely to be experienced by a pregnant doe is weight gain due to their increased appetite. On top of this, a pregnant rabbit will have a more pronounced abdomen which is a clear indicator that they’re expectant. We you try to gently stroke their rounded belly; you may even feel the unborn kits moving from inside.
If your rabbit displays any of the above signs, it’s always advisable to take them to the vet to have them checked out as a confirmation. This is simply because rabbits may sometimes experience false or phantom pregnancies. In other words, a doe may exhibit all the pregnancy signs and behaviors but still not be expectant.
Rabbit delivery, nursing, and pregnancy possibility
The process of a bunny giving birth is shorter, it takes around 10 minutes and usually happens at dusk or dawn. Once the kits are born nursing takes around 4 to 6 months. It’s worth pointing out that, does can get pregnant again within a few hours after giving birth. It’s therefore advisable to separate them from unneutered males if you want to prevent another pregnancy.
Although rabbit pregnancy takes a shorter time than most mammals, it’s an essential period that requires owners or breeders to properly take care of their needs during and after pregnancy. In other words, you need to provide them with proper nutrition, a comfortable environment, and a veterinarian checkup during this crucial period.