Rabbit Pregnancy and Delivery Explained in 3 Simple Steps
Most owners fret over figuring out if their rabbit is pregnant or not and what all can be done to make their delivery comfortable in the best possible manner. Handling rabbit pregnancy as well as rabbit delivery is not as hard as it sounds; they are gorgeous, independent animals and handle it all very well.
1. Signs of Pregnancy – Palpitation
Care needs to be taken during rabbit pregnancy, it is possible for them to be extremely sensitive to their surroundings. Babies should not be tried to felt in the womb since this might cause harm to the babies and also, it is not a steadfast technique, you can very easily go wrong.
The finest way to determine if the doe is pregnant is via palpitation. Palpating the doe in the approved manner to conclude the pregnancy requires practice. The doe needs to be placed on a solid surface facing the owner. Holding her near the base of her ears with the left hand the right hand should be gently placed beneath the rabbit, palm up, close to the back of the cervical area. The right thumb then should gently be pushed up along with the index finger gradually rubbing the doe from back to front.
If the doe is pregnant, grape sized kits will be felt between the thumb and finger.
The Palpitating practice should be done on the twelfth day. If it is done after the twelfth day, damage to kits might result.
3. Gestation Period
Rabbit pregnancy lasts approximately between 28 to 31 days which depends on the breed. Rabbits should not be re-mated until at least forty days have passed after the last breeding.
When the doe is all set to give birth she will organize a nest. This will normally encompass gathering the bedding into a crook of the doe’s hutch and she will also pull some of her fur out of her belly, a few days a fore giving birth. This fur will not only line the nest for the kits but will also process to uncover her nipples for becoming ready to nurse the litter.
Care needs to be administered when delivery time is near. Doe’s should be provided peace in noiseless surroundings. The owner should try not to lift the doe up unless extremely necessary, and even then she shouldn’t be lifted by her stomach.
During delivery the doe should not be disturbed at all though likelihoods are that delivery will be complete and even cleaned up long before the owner is awake; rabbits normally tend to deliver before dawn. The mother rabbit will clean the hutch herself in order to ensure that no marauders smell the blood or other odors and trail her kits.
When kits are delivered a ‘twittering’ sound such as that of baby birds will be heard. There will be movement in the nest and blood might appear on the rabbit’s nose.
After the delivery, kits should be kept warm as well as made sure that they are able to nurse.