How to determine that a rabbit is pregnant
Breeding rabbits is an interesting and troublesome thing. A special period comes after mating. It is very important to determine the onset of pregnancy in the rabbit in time, as now she needs to pay special attention. How to find out that the female became pregnant, and how to care for her, is described in this article.
Features of rabbit breeding
Rabbits develop very quickly and become sexually mature. Large breeds mature in 6–7 months, and small decorative rabbits are ready to mate from 3 months. Young females in one breeze bring 4-5 babies, and experienced mothers - up to 9 rabbits. These fluffy animals have the ability to reproduce very intensively.
One rabbit can produce offspring 8 times a year. But experienced and caring rabbit breeders happen to a female no more than 5 times a year, so that this does not affect her health and does not damage offspring. So, from one big-eared mommy you can get 35–40 cubs, which makes rabbit breeding a very profitable business.
How to understand that a female rabbit is pregnant
Determining the succession, or pregnancy of a female, is not so simple. Of course, there are certain signs that occur most often. But each rabbit has an individual character and can react to her “interesting” position not like the others. In addition, a false pregnancy at first can occur in the same way as a real one.
Starting from the 15th day after mating, you can already feel for the embryos that have grown to the size of a cherry. And on the 25th day, the rabbits are fully formed and move in the mother’s stomach. During this period, with the help of palpation, i.e. palpating with your fingers, you can verify the pregnancy of the female.
Important! Experienced rabbit breeders recommend not palpating on their own, but consult a veterinarian for this. One careless pressure with a finger can cause a miscarriage. The palpation procedure is simple. The rabbit needs to be planted on the surface in front of him. With one hand, you should take her by the scruff and raise the front of the body so that the abdomen becomes accessible. And with the other hand, you need to stroke the lower part of the abdomen, trying to carefully feel the small balls with your fingers inside. To see the difference, you can first feel the belly of a female that has not happened.
Performing these simple steps is not easy, because not all animals allow you to calmly touch yourself. In addition, it is not always possible to accurately determine the presence of embryos, especially for beginners.
Video: Rabbit palpation procedure
By external signs
Some signs of succession are noticeable when observant. A week after mating, the fertilized rabbit begins to gain weight. Her stomach is rounded, which can not be seen due to fluffy fur.
Also, her behavior can dramatically change:
- activity is replaced by calm, careful movements, or, conversely, a previously calm female becomes hyperactive;
- timidity and shyness: seeks shelter and hides in it;
- irritability and aggression to relatives and to the person;
- eats more than usual;
- if you lightly press the nipple, droplets of milk protrude from it (at a later date);
- there is a lot of fluff in the cage.
Some future mothers do not change their behavior, which complicates the definition of pregnancy.
Find out at what age rabbits are ready to mate.
Aggression towards the male
In a sucral female, the attitude to individuals of the opposite sex changes dramatically. Being in a common cell, she behaves aggressively with them, does not allow approaching, growls at them. Pregnancy of a female in a separate cage can be checked 5 days after mating.
The male is seated again to her and watch how she behaves. If she allows the mating to be repeated, then she was not fertilized. The pregnant rabbit does not allow the gentleman to come to him, runs away from him, growls and, on the contrary, drives him around the cage, paws and bites him.
A few days before the showdown, you will notice that the future mother runs around the cage, carrying bunches of hay in her teeth. She collects it and stacks it in one place. From above on the hay the female lines down fluff, which pulls out teeth from her breast and belly. Thus, the animal prepares for the appearance of its babies. She builds a nest of hay, warming it with her down. This house should be soft and warm, so that the cubs are comfortable in it.
Did you know? The rabbit has a special structure of the uterus: it is bifurcated. Due to this, the female can simultaneously become pregnant from two males.
Rabbits are usually engaged in such construction 3-4 days before giving birth. Some do it a day just before the baptism. But there are those with whom the instinct of the builder wakes up after the appearance of rabbits. Young rabbits with their first pregnancy may not do this at all. Then you need the help of a person.
Eating behavior change
The female puppet eats a lot and drinks water more than usual. In the first week of pregnancy, her taste may change. She ceases to like her usual food, so she throws her out of the feeder and asks for something more delicious. But after 7 days, taste preferences come back. The rabbit again eats with pleasure what it used to be, only in large portions.
The farmer needs to know how long the pregnancy of his eared ward lasts, so that he can prepare in time for an important day of okrole. Succulence lasts an average of 30–31 days, a minimum of 28 days, a maximum of 35. It is difficult to precisely determine this period in each individual case, as several circumstances may affect this.
The duration of pregnancy depends on:
- breeds (large ones last longer, small ones less);
- first or repeated pregnancy (pregnant women have the longest births);
- health status and past stresses;
- the number of developing fruits in the stomach.
Dependence of the gestational age on the number of cubs in the litter and the work of the mother's body. If there are many rabbits, it is more difficult to carry them, so the mother’s womb is released earlier.
Read also how the pregnancy in rabbits goes.
- 10 rabbits are born in 28–29 days;
- 9 babies - in 30–31 days;
- 8 - on the 32nd day;
- 6–7 - on the 33rd day;
- 5 rabbits and less (during the first pregnancy) are born after 34–35 days.
What to do if the rabbit is pregnant
The pregnant rabbit needs special care and comfortable maintenance. Only being in good conditions will she be able to give birth to healthy babies.
Proper feeding of the animal
Good nutrition must be taken care of almost immediately after mating. Proper feeding contributes to the full development of embryos in the womb and the birth of viable offspring. During this period, the diet of the female should consist of juicy, rough and concentrated feeds of good quality.
If on the farm all animals feed on quality products, then during succession it is not worth changing anything. You just need to slightly increase the servings. Veterinarians recommend a diet so that bulk feeds (fresh hay) predominate in the 1st half of pregnancy, and concentrated feeds prevail in the 2nd half. It is also necessary to include in the menu vitamins that are added to water, and calcium, the source of which may be chalk or bone meal.
Important! A rabbit who eats poorly during the period of succession is likely to give birth to weak cubs and will not be able to feed them because of problems with milk.
One week before delivery, the female should include the following foods:
- compound feed, oats, legumes (up to 100 g);
- protein products - sunflower meal (50 g) and soybean meal (30 g);
- fresh vegetables (succulent feed), preferably carrots;
- vitamin supplement - fish oil (2 g);
- mineral additives - chalk, meat-bone or bone meal (2 g each), crushed eggshell (2 g), salt (1.5 g).
Preparing the nest for the birth of the rabbit's offspring
With the approximation of the expected date of the okrol, the farmer shows special attention to the future mother. Before she begins to build a nest, you need to provide her with a room for this. 5–7 days before giving birth, a queen cell should be placed in a cage — a wooden box or a cardboard box in which the female will arrange a nest. The box should be long enough and spacious so that the rabbit can lie there freely.
There should be a spacious hole in it - an outlet for it, but with a side so that neither the litter nor the newborns fall out. The bottom of the box should be slightly covered with hay or other bedding (straw, wood shavings, sawdust, newspaper pieces). Additional hay needs to be put in a cage. Driven by instinct, the cunning rabbit will collect clean hay through the cage and carry it into the cooked queen, building a nest to her taste. From above, she will insulate him with her fluff, in which her kids will be warm and comfortable.
It is very important to put the queen in the cage on time. If he ends up in the cage too soon before the instinct of the builder wakes up in the animal, it will not guess the purpose of the box and will defecate there. The female may consider that he is interfering with her and break it or push it out of the cage. She will not have time to get used to the mother liquor, which appeared too late, for example, the day before the birthing, and will lead the offspring past the nest, which threatens him with death.
Important! If the inexperienced female does not work instinct and the day before the birth she did not cover the nest with her fluff, the farmer should do it for her by plucking the fluff from her belly. Such insulation is important for the life of born rabbits, otherwise they will freeze and die.
Prevention of possible pregnancy problems
As you know, rabbits have weak immunity and often get sick. They are also very shy, they are stressed by noise, pungent smell, bright light, etc. During pregnancy, all this is aggravated, the female becomes very sensitive to external stimuli. Any stress can cause a miscarriage. The farmer must make every effort to protect his ward from all sorts of threats.
For protection against diseases:
- put the cage for the female in a place well ventilated, but closed from drafts;
- before colonization, the cell must be disinfected with a special agent or a hot solution of potassium permanganate;
- often change dirty litter;
- pour fresh water into the drinker every day.
To protect against stress, you need:
- to take the female in her arms only in case of emergency, do this very carefully;
- do not leave her in a common pen to avoid clashes with relatives;
- Do not transfer to another cell before childbirth, it is better to do this before mating or immediately after it;
- try not to make noise or scream near the cage;
- a week before the okrool not to let out;
- a day before an okrol, cover the cage with a blanket so that the animal is not afraid of something.
A farmer who did everything for a comfortable course of succession can hope for the appearance of healthy rabbit offspring. Rabbits usually give birth at night or early in the morning for 10-30 minutes (sometimes longer). Moms do it themselves. The owner should only control the process to call the doctor in case of complications and collect the newborns in the nest if the female does not.
Did you know? Rabbits multiply so quickly that if you allow them to do it freely, then after 90 years, a rabbit will sit on every meter of our planet.
How to identify a false pregnancy
If fertilization did not occur after mating, and the female behaves like a pregnant woman under the influence of hormones, a false pregnancy takes place.
The reasons for this condition:
- low male sperm activity, which happens due to its frequent use for mating;
- frequent birth of the female;
- hormonal disbalance;
- diseases of her genitals.
In this state, the rabbit can observe all signs of pregnancy. It will be possible to determine the falsity of the situation only 18 days after mating. The female calms down, behaves in the usual way and again lets the rabbit come to her. When everything is working out, it can again happen. In case of repeated false pregnancy, you should contact your veterinarian.
Rabbits are popular animals for home breeding. It is very profitable to grow them, as they multiply very quickly. This is worth the effort that the farmer makes when caring for pregnant rabbits.