Are you prepared for a full litter of bunnies? Even if you’re not, your pet rabbit might be pregnant. But what are some signs that your rabbit might be pregnant? This article will tell you what to look out for, to make sure you’re not caught by surprise.
Although there are some bunnies that at some point start to act as expecting mothers, this can also be a sign of a false pregnancy. The easiest and most reliable way of finding out whether the rabbit is actually pregnant or just “pretending” is by taking her to the vet. But before you actually set up an appointment with your vet, here are some of the most important signs that a rabbit might be pregnant.
Although this is one of the most important things to look out for, keep in mind that the gestation period is also very short. The female should have been around an intact male within the last month, because that’s how long the baby rabbits will stay in the utero before being birthed. If she hasn’t been around males for more than a month but she still presents some of the other signs of pregnancy, then you should really set up a visit to the vet to see exactly what is going on. If she was with a male and she is in fact pregnant, the vet will want to make sure everything is alright and might even recommend an ultrasound or other tests.
You might also like my articles on sounds a mother rabbit uses to call her babies, whether rabbits mate for life and where do rabbits live.
It’s not unusual for a pregnant rabbit to get slightly bigger, just like other mammals, including humans. Considering that these creatures aren’t the biggest, it might be pretty hard to see a difference if you aren’t a professional. If you want your rabbit to get pregnant and you gave her time around a male, then weigh her right after that, and then keep weighing her week after week to be able to notice these changes. A digital scale will be able to spot any increase in weight, even when talking about just a few ounces. If you want to get the real numbers, make sure to only weigh her before you give her any food and if possible, around the same part of the day. If you’re sure she’s pregnant, then try to increase the amount of alfalfa and other ingredients in her diet, because she’ll need plenty of nutrients for the babies.
You can actually make sure that the rabbit is pregnant by stroking her belly. If the infants are older than 10 days, they can actually be felt as pea-sized things inside her. Try not to push too hard when doing this because they are still very fragile and have a long way to go before becoming self-sustaining baby rabbits. If two or more weeks have passed since you noticed your rabbit gained weight, you should try to avoid touching her belly at all and leave any handling in the hands of a veterinarian.
You happen to notice that your very affectionate rabbit has a sudden shift and seems to not like you anymore. It might be a sign that she’s pregnant, especially if you don’t remember doing something wrong. While carrying babies, she will become aggressive to the point of growling at people and even you, the person she is the closest to. During this period, females surely don’t like to be handled or even touched, so be very careful. It is usually the best time to give her her needed space. As soon as the pregnancy is over, she will get back to normal. Mood changes shouldn’t be enough for you to conclude that your rabbit is pregnant, but coupled with some other signs, it is something to keep in mind.
One of the more important signs of expecting babies is when the rabbit starts to nest. Usually, rabbits will start working on the nest around one week before giving birth. This is something important to consider, especially if you didn’t know the exact conceiving date. The nesting doesn’t have to be something big, like building walls. The rabbit will simply dig to make a small den, or even stack some bedding in a corner. Keep in mind that if she doesn’t have enough material to build a proper nest, she will try to rip out some of her own fur, in an effort to make a blanket for the tiny bunnies. This is usually a clear sign that the pregnancy will soon be over.
You can add some more hay if you notice she’s struggling to build a nest, or even a box or an artificial nest, to give her a helping hand.