Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Determining if your female rabbit (doe) is pregnant can be difficult. There are some signs to look out for that may suggest pregnancy, but even then there's no guarantee of pregnancy. Expert rabbit breeders may more readily tell the difference, but nothing is absolute until you wait out the entire gestation period or 35 days.


    • You may see that the doe is drinking and eating more than usual.


    • During the second week of pregnancy, the rabbit may act out of character. This will appear as biting or scratching people and items that she normally would not.


    • The sign of a bigger belly does not appear until the third week of pregnancy. You can gently palpate the rabbit's lower abdomen to feel for soft olive-sized balls that would indicate that there are fetuses.


    • When it nears birthing time, the doe will start to make a nest. Don't be alarmed if she pulls her own fur to line it.

    False Pregnancy

    • The above signs may indicate pregnancy, or they can indicate a "false pregnancy" due to hormonal fluctuations in the rabbit that can make her think she's pregnant.

Gathering and Digging
  • Pregnant does often gather noticeable amounts of hay in their mouths in order to build a nest for their young. In addition, pregnant rabbits sometimes dig in their food water bowls, once again as a means to build a nest.

Weight Gain

  • Though does gain for other reasons, a pronounced addition of weight in the abdomen is an indication of pregnancy.


  • A pregnant doe sometimes plucks fur from her legs, abdomen and back as pregnancy progresses toward the time of delivery.

Movement and Palpitation

  • Between days 11 to 15 and then again around day 27, the developing fetuses are palpable in the mother's abdomen. During the days immediately preceding delivery, the movements of the fetuses are visible as a wriggling in the doe's abdomen.

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