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My bunny is pregnant - confirmed with the vet.  She gathered hay and made a nest in a wooden box that I've put in the corner of the cage (she and her partner lives outside in a big cage).  But now she's laying in other boxes that's in the cage.  I'm just affraid that she might get her babies in one of the carton boxes -which have been chewed and eaten - instead of in the wooden box where she put the hay in.  We are going on holiday and I'm really worried.  What can I do?

ANSWER: Dear Mariaan,

The most important thing is that mama not be stressed so that she does not take care of her babies.  She will choose the box that she thinks is the most suitable, and as long as it is protected from weather, it should be fine.

I hope you have someone to look after them while you are gone, to be sure all is well.

And know that if you're not going to keep all the babies, they will start breeding soon, creating a real problem.  Please read:


I hope this helps.


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


Thanks for you reply.  I've removed the buck last night from the big cage and placed him in a smaller one next to the big cage - he've been chasing her around yesterday.  Then the carton box that she's lying in now is chewed up - it's open 3 sides - should I remove the box or just let it be.  And do you perhaps know how long it will take for her to give birth - she built the nest 4 days ago.  I do have someone who will feed them but she doesn't know much about rabbits but I will phone every day to find out what's happening.

ANSWER: Dear Mariaan

If the male was chasing her, it's possible she already has given birth.  Gently check the nesting areas to see if she has babies, in case she needs help.  If there are babies, then I hope these articles might help, in case of trouble:


Now would be a good time to have the boy neutered so that he can be reunited with his "bride" in 3 weeks or so and not impregnate her.  You will then have time to consider having her spayed, as well, to prevent uterine cancer (a very high risk in unspayed females).

In the meantime, be sure the two can see/smell each other, even if there is no physical contact.  This will reduce the risk of un-bonding while they are apart.

I hope all goes well.


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

No she haven't gave birth yet - I checked the nesting area and she hasn't pulled out her fur yet- do they all do it or not.  Her tummy is still big too. She doesn't go upstairs anymore to use the litter box - she does her business in the corner on the bottom floor.

Dear Mariaan

Normal gestation for a rabbit is 28-31 days.  If she has not given birth in that amount of time, I would get her to an experienced rabbit vet to see if she needs oxytocin to promote contractions, or even a Caesarian section to deliver the babies, if they are too big for her.

Does she seem distressed?  Panting?  If so, best to get her to the vet to be safe.

If a C-section is necessary, it would be a good time to have her spayed at the same time.

I hope all will be well.



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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.


I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:

Find a rabbit vet at for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.

RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.


I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology

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