How to Tell If Your Rabbit Is Pregnant
Rabbits are notorious for the rate at which they breed. You might like to know if there's a whole batch of baby rabbits in the offing, along with the one rabbit that you just bought. There are a few ways to check for pregnancy in a female, or doe, rabbit. None of the methods are foolproof, but with experience you'll probably be able to get the right answer. Read below for some pointers about how to know if your rabbit is pregnant.
- Disinterest in male rabbits Sometimes a pregnant rabbit will not be at all interested in male rabbits. In fact, the doe may even attack male rabbits when she's pregnant [source: Brown]. This is not, however, a very reliable sign of pregnancy. It can be an indicator if you know that this particular doe is usually quite ready to accept the advances of a male rabbit.
- Behavior changes Another sign is behavioral changes in the rabbit. As the rabbit nears the time for kits (babies) to be born, she will begin nesting. She may start collecting bits of paper or hay and may even pull fur from her own chest with which to make a nest [source: Raising Rabbits].
- Lumps in the abdomen The gestation period of a rabbit is between 30 and 35 days. Feeling the abdomen of the rabbit, extremely gently, may give you more of an indication. It's best to have a vet palpate the doe's abdomen [source: Brown]. Once the rabbit is in the second week of pregnancy, you should be able to feel little lumps like marbles in her abdomen. Be very careful not to harm the fetuses.
- Calculate If you keep tabs on when your doe was near a male rabbit, a calculation could tell you at least if there is a possibility of her being pregnant. A rabbit's gestation is only 28 to 31 days long [source: Krempels]. If she hasn't been in contact with a male for over five weeks she is not likely to be pregnant.
- X-ray If you're still not sure, you could take the rabbit to the vet for a conclusive X-ray, which will give you the final answer.