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my pregnant rabbit
my pregnant rabbit  
QUESTION: how do i know which day is my rabbit pregnant?

i have a rabbit (female) and it was bred before i bought (i don't have a male) since yesterday i knew the my rabbit was pregnant by searching in the Internet and i saw the belly was larger and the babies inside is shown that they are moving ( i can feel it by touching it) i just don't really know what day she is. so please help me.

ANSWER: Hi Hamda:

Rabbits have a 31 day gestation period.  They don't show any visible signs of being pregnant until right before they deliver.  It is possible to feel rabbits through palpating (checking for pregnancy by feeling), but kits (baby rabbits) don't actually move inside the momma.  You might be feeling peristalsis (movement of the intestines) or the stomach digesting, but not babies moving.  Are you sure she was with a male?  A round belly with movement can also be the sign of a stomach problem.  Rabbits have a very sensitive digestive system and if feed is changed abruptly, their stomach will swell and contract/move.  Did you change her feed?

As long as you are sure she was with a male and you have not made any sudden changes to her feed, then you should palpate her.  With the rabbit on a table or flat surface facing away from you, slide your right hand under her belly, palm side up, with your thumb on the right side of her belly -  your pinky on the left and other fingers on the belly.  Gently push in and squeeze all around, paying close attention to the area close to her hind end.  If she is pregnant enough for her belly to be round, you would clearly be able to feel several soft odd shaped bumps.  Those would be babies.  Don't confuse fecal pellets for babies, they are easily felt as well.  Fecal pellets are small, round, hard and all the same size.  Baby rabbits would be the size of grapes or walnuts (depending on how far along she is) and are irregular in shape.

If your certain she is pregnant, you need to put a nestbox in her cage ASAP.  This is a birthing box that rabbits must have prior to kindling (when a rabbit gives birth its called kindling).  Line the nestbox with a good layer of hay on the sides and the bottom and put it in her cage.  Anywhere from 3 days before delivery to the day of delivery, she will pull a bunch of fur from her chest and legs and fill the nestbox with it for the kits to be born on.

I must warn you of something most people new to raising rabbits are not prepared for.  It is VERY common for first time rabbit mothers to kill and usually eat their entire first litter.  This is just nature and cant be prevented.  Not all rabbits do it, but most of them do.

If you are certain she has been bred and can feel the babies in her (you wont feel them move), then its time for you to give her a nestbox and wait for the miracle of birth :)

Lisa L.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: hello again

i  have read ur answer and u asked me some  questions. no i didnt change the food and i made the thing that u told me to do and i did it but i dont know if i felt it or not. but u said that baby rabbit dont move inside the rabbit but i have seen on youtube videos of a rabbit that the babies are  moving inside her and this is the same as my rabbits kits are doing inside my rabbit. and my rabbits belly is large. so plz answer me.

Answer
Let me explain a bit further.  babies do move inside the rabbit, but because of the location of the uterus in the rabbit, its not possible to see or feel.  Rabbits have 2 uterine horns (two uteruses) and they are behind the stomach and in back of the bladder.  Other organs are in front of them.  The babies are very tighly packed in and the movement they are able to make is very minimal.  That movement is absorbed by the stomach and bladder and intestines - it cant be seen or felt.

The only time you migth be able to feel them in on the day of birth, not sooner.

I breed thousands of rabbits a year and have been doing so for almost 30 years and have never seen the movement of babies just by looking at the mother.

This is the case of - better safe and sorry.  Put a nestbox in her cage and wait and see what happens.

The longest a rabbit can stay pregnant is 31 days and they dont get round bellies until the week before they are due so if she is really pregnant, she will deliver within the next week.

Give it two weeks at the most, if she still has not delivered - take her to the vet.
There's a good chance she may be infested with round worms or hook worms.

Many YouTube videos that show babies moving in rabbits bellies are actually rabbits who are infected with worms.

Lisa L.

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Lisa L.

Experience

I was introduced to meat rabbits at the age of 3. Began working with them on my own at the age of 8 and started my own large commercial rabbitry at the age of 20. I'm 46 now and for the past 26 years I have owned a large herd of meat rabbits and have become well known as the turn-to person whenever a problem arrises.

Organizations
Member of the American Rabbit Breeders Association. Member of the Rabbit Industry Council. Member of the Yahoo - Meat Rabbits Group. Member of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy. Administrators of the FaceBook "Rabbit's as meat" group. Owner of Yahoo - Raising Meat Rabbit's for maximum yield group

Publications
Yahoo Meat Rabbits Group. www.rabbitzinger.com American Council of Animal Naturopathy www.raisingrabbits.com FaceBook "Rabbit's as meat" group. Owner of Yahoo - Raising Meat Rabbit's for maximum yield group

Education/Credentials
There is no formal training for raising rabbits; its all hands on. I have had a steady rabbit breeding operation for 24 years and have read every book there is on raising rabbits for meat. Additionally, I am a member of several rabbit groups and associations as listed below.

Awards and Honors
None - there are none in this field.

Past/Present Clients
I have helped countless people over the past several decades. These have been people I knew personally or those referred to me by one of the many rabbit organizations I belong to.

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