All rabbit breeders sooner or later think about how much the rabbit walks pregnant and how to determine this condition. After the mating process, fertilization occurs in most cases. This can usually be determined by the behavior of the animal. And here it is important to provide proper care and conditions of detention in order to minimize all risks. This is the only way to get healthy rabbits.
Signs and definition of pregnancy
So the very day of mating came, when the male and female found a common language. You see how the rabbit literally falls from the rabbit after a joyful squeal. She looks pleased, like she accepted all the games of her partner with pleasure. But pregnancy after conception can be determined only on the 15th day. There is simply no point in trying to understand something earlier.
The most reliable way is palpation - feeling the abdomen in search of an embryo. You need to find a chain of balls. With one hand, hold the female by the ears and scruff, and with the other grab below, between the paws. Keep your thumb on your right side and the rest on your left. If pregnancy has come, this is how you will feel the fetus.
Rabbits breed quite actively. The female is ready to cover for 3-5 days with an interval of 8-9 days. An easy way to tell if a pregnancy has occurred is to leave the male in the cage with the female for 5-7 minutes longer after mating. Recoating may occur.
There are certain symptoms of rabbit pregnancy.
- Increased aggressiveness. Place the male next to the female and observe her reaction. A pregnant rabbit will attempt to attack the rabbit in response to courtship. If the animal itself is very calm, then there will be no aggression. In this case, the female simply hides and avoids communication with relatives and owners.
- Roundness. About 7 days after fertilization, the stomach begins to change shape. It is difficult to notice this so early because of the impressive amount of wool and fluff. The longer the period, the more difficult it is for the female to move. She becomes passive, tries to lie down more.
- Nesting. Place hay in the female's cage. During pregnancy, the animal will begin to equip the nest, if fertilization has not occurred, then the animal will simply ignore the innovations. With the same thoughts, when childbirth approaches, the rabbit can bite off the fluff from the belly.
- Changing eating habits. Just before giving birth, the rabbits drink and eat more. Taste preferences change. The animal can throw away its usual food, demand something else. The latter is observed especially sharply in the first 7 days after fertilization, and then the symptom appears only occasionally.
It so happens that a rabbit's pregnancy passes without obvious symptoms until the very birth. In this case, it is worth palpating again. Veterinarians can do an x-ray or ultrasound, so you can reliably establish the fact of fertilization.
Sometimes there seem to be signs of fertilization, but childbirth does not occur. The phenomenon is called false pregnancy, and can occur in all sexually mature females. There are several reasons for this pathology.
- The peculiarity of the functioning of the reproductive system in an individual. In the female's body, ovulation occurs immediately at the time of mating.
- External factors. False pregnancy often occurs in the spring, when daylight hours increase.
- A case with a sterilized male. In this case, the female herself is sure that she is pregnant.
- Hormonal disruption in the rabbit's body.
- More than a year of living surrounded by some females. In this case, one of the flock takes on the role of a male. As a result of intercourse, the covering, of course, cannot come.
- If a person often and lovingly strokes the back of the female, then the pet may well become excited. Stop touching the rabbit immediately if you notice a readiness to mate. The latter manifests itself in special calmness and pressing to the ground.
It is impossible to cure a false pregnancy. Usually, radical methods are used: euthanasia or sterilization. You can give the female 2 weeks to calm down, this condition can go away on its own. If the animal remains aggressive, then it is worth going to the vet and euthanizing. You can find out about a false pregnancy by several symptoms.
- Increased aggressiveness towards people and rabbits. The female does not allow the bowl to be touched, can throw herself in attempts to bite or growl maliciously.
- The animal becomes much more active than before. Eats all foods indiscriminately.
- Begins to prepare a nest for non-existent rabbits. In the process he hurts himself.
- Eats too much or shows no interest in food.
- Occasionally, swelling of the nipples and the appearance of milk are possible.
- Fluid is released from the vagina.
How long does it take?
On average, rabbits are pregnant for 30 days. The exact duration depends on the specific breed. While the females are carrying the rabbits, the male should not be in the cage. Otherwise, he can injure the babies in the womb and fertilize the female again.
To obtain healthy offspring, it is important to provide the rabbit with the necessary conditions for the entire period of pregnancy.
If the pregnancy is multiple, then the birth occurs prematurely, if the pregnancy is infertile, on time or a couple of days later. The number of young rabbits depends on many factors, including the breed, age and health of the mother. Usually 5-8 cubs are born in a month. Fertile females can donate 12-16 individuals to their owners.
Domestic rabbits need special care from their owners during the period of gestation. Let's take a look at some general tips.
- Usually, rabbits do not need help during labor. Keep in mind that rabbits are born early in the morning or late at night, and the process itself can take up to 48 hours.
- The longer the gestation period, the less often you approach the female.
- A pregnant female should live alone, without relatives of either sex.
- Pay special attention to the condition of the rabbit 5 days before the expected birth.
If females are vaccinated on time and properly care for them during pregnancy, then everything will be all right with both the mother and the offspring.
It is important to know that while carrying a fetus, an animal can get sick for no seemingly apparent reason. The best is always under the supervision of a veterinarian.
There may be several possible complications.
- Mastitis (inflammation of the mammary glands). The disease occurs when bacteria enter the mother's milk through the milky streams. Before childbirth, the mammary glands are filled, it is then that inflammation can be noticed. The phenomenon can be the result of an abnormal physiological structure of the organ or occur due to the maintenance of a pregnant female in the mud. If mastitis is not noticed, then the infected milk will simply kill the offspring. Check your breasts daily for swelling or redness after giving birth.
If you notice blue on the stomach, then the infection is especially dangerous. Symptoms may include weakness, refusal to eat or drink. Treatment is with antibiotics under the supervision of a physician.
- Toxicosis. It manifests itself when malnutrition or when food does not have the required energy value. It is important to feed the rabbit so that there is no hunger. Obese females often behave this way. Danish, English and Polish breeds are susceptible to toxicosis in later stages or after pregnancy. The disease can be identified by convulsions, weakness, and poor coordination. In the absence of an adequate response from the owners, the animal dies in just a couple of hours. Treatment with droppers and glucose is performed under the supervision of a veterinarian
- Eating rabbits. Females do this as a result of neurosis, when they are sure that something terrible is threatening the babies. In winter, it can eat children because of the cold. Those who are unable to suckle are killed. If a dog or a cat visits the cage, then the mother can also kill the children so that the predator does not do this. If the rabbit has eaten two broods in a row, then you should not use it for breeding.
There should be good ventilation in the house, but avoid drafts. Eliminate high temperatures and bright light sources. Don't forget about hygiene. Everything in the cage must be clean. Clean much more often and more thoroughly than before pregnancy. Place the nest in the house about 5 days before the expected birth.
If you do this earlier, then mom can perceive it as a toilet. If you install the nest later, then the female simply will not have time to equip it.
A disinfectant or boiling water with manganese must be pre-treated with a cell for disinfection. The nest can be made out of a cardboard box or wooden box. Dimensions should be 10 cm larger than the recumbent female. If you arrange it somehow differently, then the rabbit simply will not understand why this structure is needed.
On one side of the box, make an exit with a sill for mom. The bunny must be able to get out and enter the nest so that the litter and bunnies do not fall out. Be sure to lay clean hay in the nest itself.
The latter can be replaced with sawdust, pieces of newsprint or shavings. All this will serve as a material for the rabbit arrangement.
The most important is water. It should always be clean and fresh. Especially the animal suffers from thirst during okrol. If access to water is not provided, then the female may well eat the offspring.
The diet during pregnancy is different from what is usually given to rabbits. The presence of vitamins and minerals in food is the key to healthy offspring. The following products are required:
- fresh vegetables: cabbage, cucumbers, beets;
- hay from herbs and cereals;
- vitamin supplements (after consultation with a veterinarian), with vitamins C, D and fish oil being especially important.
An improper diet can cause weak rabbits or lack of milk. Make changes gradually. Mix food with the salad, taking into account the fact that the female needs more food during pregnancy.
If the pregnancy is proceeding with any pathologies, then the doctor may prescribe additional products or drugs.
Reduce the amount of food a few days before giving birth, but increase the amount of water. Give your expectant mother 2 times less food 48 hours before the expected birth. After giving birth, gradually return the animal to normal food amounts. The rabbit will recover in about 1-2 weeks.
During pregnancy, you need to provide the rabbit with the most comfortable and calm conditions. Any stress can cause dead offspring. Be sure to transplant the female into a separate cage so that she does not come into contact with other individuals at all.
Eliminate any noise, regardless of intensity or duration, and keep your rabbitry as quiet as possible. Only soft light is recommended. Make sure the animal isn't suffering from annoying odors. There should be no smell of tobacco, alcohol, perfumery, chemicals, flowers near the cage
Pregnant rabbits are very shy. A lot of stress can lead to miscarriage. Pay maximum attention to the health of the animal this month. It is important not to disturb the rabbit for no reason. If possible, do not take it in your hands, do not iron.
How to determine pregnancy in a rabbit, see below.