The exact process on how to manage your rabbit’s pregnancy from start to finish.
RABBIT PREGNANCY TIMELINE
Day 0 – BREEDING DAY
This is the day you breed your rabbit. Just remember that you should wait until your rabbit is old enough before you breed them to have a higher success rate.
Does(female) typically reach sexual maturity at around 4-6 months depending on their breed size. While bucks(male) typically reach sexual maturity at around 6-10 months depending on their breed size(giant breeds can reach sexual maturity at 10 months).
Day 9 – PALPITATE
Day 9-14 is where you would want to palpitate your rabbit. Rabbit breeders usually palpitate their rabbits to increase the production and efficiency of their rabbits and to see if the doe is in gestation or not.
It is done by gently pressing the skin of the rabbit and feeling for the babies with your hands. Just make sure that you do this when it’s the 9-14th day because you could otherwise harm or damage the development of the kits.
Here’s a video on how to properly palpitate your rabbit:
Day 27 – NESTBOX & NAILS
On day 27, it’s time to prepare your rabbit’s nestbox. You should also clip your rabbit’s nails on this day to prevent them from accidentally hurting the kits.
Here’s a great video on how to prepare your rabbit’s nest box:
And here’s a great video on how to clip your rabbit’s nails safely:
Day 31 – DUE DATE
Day 31 is where your rabbit gives birth. On this day, you should expect to see some signs that your rabbit is in labor like missing fur, mood changes, loss of appetite, digging, and blood.
Your rabbit would pull their fur usually from their legs and stomach to use as insulation for the nest. It’s normal for pregnant rabbits to pull their fur a few hours before giving birth. But most would do it a few days before giving birth or throughout their pregnancy.
Mood changes also happen a lot when a pregnant rabbit is in or close to labor. This is due to their hormones kicking in. Your rabbit might become aggressive when touched or when you’re close to her territory.
A few days before giving birth, usually 24 to 48 hours, your pregnant rabbit would stop eating. This is normal. Don’t try to disturb her during this time, it’s all instinct at this point.
You would also notice some blood during labor. This is normal, just remove the bloody bedding after they gave birth to keep everything clean and sanitary.
Rabbits are usually only in labor for a few minutes, that’s why you should check the nest frequently on the day your rabbit is supposed to give birth.
Day 10(AFTER BIRTH) – EYES OPEN
Day 10 is the day that your rabbit’s eyes should open. On this day, nothing much should be done. Just make sure that you regularly check if the kits are being fed by the doe.
To check whether the kits are being fed, see if the kit’s tummies are round. Kits that are fed would have round tummies while unfed kits would have wrinkly skin.
If you suspect that your rabbit is not nursing its kits, immediately contact a veterinarian.
You should also regularly clean your rabbit’s nest box.
Day 21(AFTER BIRTH) – NESTBOX REMOVAL
On day 21, you can remove your rabbit’s nestbox. You should also clean and sanitize your rabbit’s cage while you’re at it.
Here’s a great video on the subject:
Day 56(AFTER BIRTH) – LITTER WEANING
Day 56 is where you can wean the litters or start feeding them pellets. The recommended diet for rabbits at this age is unlimited pellets and hay without any vegetables and treats.
Unlimited pellets would ensure that they’re getting enough nutrients to maximize their growth. While avoiding vegetables and treats would ensure that they wouldn’t develop any digestive issues because young rabbits are more susceptible to it.