Gestation In Rabbits – How Long Are They Pregnant?

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The typical female rabbit (doe) is usually pregnant for a period of 31 days. Depending upon the breed (Mini Lop, Lionhead, Lop-eared, New Zealand, Flemish Giant, etc), this projection can vary slightly.

It is best to look into breed-specific information if you are keen on precisely determining the date. Like women and their children, it is hard to precisely determine the due date of a gestating doe; she will give birth at the moment she is ready.


Signs & Habits

There are certainly signs to look out for to determine whether your rabbit is in the early stages of pregnancy, or a bit further along.

It is important to have a good understanding of your mother-to-be’s habits and personality. Gestating rabbits are quite sensitive and will generally show you their needs with their behavior.

It is also possible to determine if the behavior is indicative of a false pregnancy by gently running your thumb up the side of her underbelly on each side. Babies will feel like small peas. Anything in the middle region of the body is a poo.

Here’s a video demonstration:


Dealing With A Rabbit’s Pregnancy

Considering that a female rabbit may be carrying up to 14 kittens (baby rabbits), she is up for a tremendous task. And, in your case, that also means a lot of preparation and the willingness to deal with a giant mess.

It is not recommended that you breed your rabbit or allow it to get pregnant if you are not ready to take on all of the responsibilities that come with it.

Gestating rabbits need a place to build their nests. It is possible for a rabbit to get pregnant within 2 days of giving birth and she can be busy growing a new litter while feeding the existing babies. While natural, it’s not recommended to let this happen.

Your rabbit needs your help, love and some creature comforts to properly grow and give birth to healthy babies that live a full life.

Give her a space that is low, cool and dark. She will likely want to build her nest in a space that feels like a burrow. Make sure it is easy to clean, as babies will be messier than adult rabbits in general – extra super messy!

Some rabbits want to start nesting immediately. Your doe may begin scratching at the base of her cage in an attempt to dig, and some begin to pull out their fur and stuff it in a corner to form a nest for their kits. We recommend providing your bunny with some straw to help her make her nest.

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Again, gestating rabbits are completely unpredictable as to when they will begin their nest construction, so do not be alarmed if she does it right before she goes into labor. She will do it, and you should just give her what she needs.


Nutrition

Proper nutrition is of utmost importance as well. Provide her with high-quality pellets and grass hay to munch on. Hay seems to take the edge off of the irritability of many pregnant rabbits.

There are quality vitamin supplements available at your local pet store and if there is an emergency, they can also instruct you on how to use bottled formula to help any weak babies.


A gestating rabbit can make you pull out your hair as much as she may pull out hers, but as long as you properly accommodate her during the pregnancy, everything should go relatively smoothly.

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