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Rabbit Pregnancy and Baby Guide (Everything You Need to Know)

Rabbit Pregnancy and Baby Guide (Everything You Need to Know)

The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.

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Rabbits are such neat pets that you’re going to love owning. These pets can give you a lot of love and you’ll have a great time caring for them in your home.

If you’re interested in breeding rabbits, there are many things that you need to learn. Rabbits are fairly easy to breed, but that doesn’t mean that you should go into things blindly.

Below, you’ll learn about rabbit pregnancy so you’ll know how to help your pregnant rabbit. You’ll also get an important baby guide that can make it easier to care for baby rabbits.

Once you have all of the information, you’ll feel capable of approaching this situation with confidence. You can have a good time taking care of baby rabbits so long as you do things the right way.

Do Rabbits Lay Eggs?

No, rabbits are mammals and they do not lay eggs. Laying eggs is something that birds, fish, and lizards do.

Rabbits are different because they’re mammals that get pregnant. A male rabbit and a female rabbit have intercourse and the female rabbit gets pregnant.

Much as with other animals that you’re likely familiar with, rabbits will be pregnant for a period of time. Eventually, the mother rabbit will give birth to several baby bunnies.

So rabbits get pregnant the same way as other mammals and they don’t lay eggs. Some people might make the mistake of thinking that rabbits lay eggs due to Easter celebrations.

Often, rabbits are depicted with eggs during the Christian Easter holiday in North America. This is simply because of holiday figures such as the Easter bunny.

Many egg-shaped candy products might have rabbits on the packaging. This isn’t an indication that actual rabbits lay eggs.

How Do Rabbits Give Birth?

When rabbits are getting ready to give birth, it’s common for them to start building a nest. The female rabbit will typically do this several days before it is actually going to give birth to its babies.

In the wild, rabbits will make nests out of hay, straw, and even fur. It’s common for female rabbits to pull fur from their own bodies so that they can create a proper nest.

Rabbits pull fur from multiple places such as the dewlap, belly, and both sides. The fur will typically become looser around five days before a rabbit is ready to give birth.

When you’re caring for a pregnant rabbit, you’ll want to provide her with a quiet box. This will ensure that the process goes as it’s supposed to.

Rabbits like to give birth during the early hours of the morning. Once the process begins, it’ll take approximately thirty minutes for the rabbit to give birth to her babies.

It’s normal for the female rabbit (also referred to as a doe) to eat the placenta. She’ll even sever the umbilical cord using its sharp teeth.

How Long Are Rabbits Pregnant?

Rabbits are going to stay pregnant for a fairly short period of time. The gestational period only takes between thirty and thirty-two days for rabbits.

Some rabbit pregnancies might take a bit longer. Even so, it’s not going to take longer than four or five weeks.

As such, rabbits can wind up having babies pretty often. If you have a breeding pair of rabbits, you might wind up with more rabbit babies than you actually want.

Of course, you might choose to get the rabbits fixed or separate male and female rabbits. This might be the best course of action so you can avoid having far too many rabbits in your home.

Monitor your rabbit while she’s pregnant and ensure that she eats a healthy diet. If you care for the rabbit well and give her what she needs to give birth safely, everything is likely going to go just fine.

How Many Babies Do Rabbits Have?

The average litter size when a rabbit gives birth is seven. This means that you can expect at least seven baby bunnies if your female rabbit is pregnant.

Female rabbits have the potential to give birth to many more babies, though. It’s said that they can have as many as fifteen baby rabbits when they get pregnant.

There’s also the potential that there will be slightly fewer than seven babies born. This doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong.

Your rabbit could give birth to five or six baby bunnies. You’ll simply have to see how many baby rabbits are born when the time is right.

What Are Baby Rabbits Called?

There is a specific term for baby rabbits. They’re called kittens.

Some people find it a bit strange to call baby bunnies kittens, though. They’re more commonly referred to by the abbreviated term “kits.”

The mother rabbit is referred to as the “doe.” Kits are born with their eyes shut and they won’t have any fur either.

They’ll rely on the mother for care for a while. Now you know what you’re supposed to call baby rabbits, but everyone will still know what you mean if you just call them baby bunnies.

How Often Do Rabbits Have Babies?

Technically, it’s possible for rabbits to have babies every single month. Since rabbits only stay pregnant for around one month, it’s possible for them to get pregnant again almost immediately after giving birth.

The rabbit will take care of the kits for a little while. Then she might decide to breed with the male rabbit again.

Of course, rabbits don’t always have babies each month. It’s simply possible that rabbits might have babies every month.

On average, rabbits will have at least four litters annually. This number might differ somewhat depending on the specific rabbit type you’re talking about.

The important thing to take away from this is that rabbits can breed often. It wouldn’t be unheard of for a pair of rabbits to breed constantly.

How Do Rabbits Care for Their Young?

Mother rabbits will generally care for their babies once or twice per day. The mother won’t constantly stay with the babies.

It’s normal for the mother to venture away from the nest. So long as the mother has made a nest and cares for the babies once or twice per day, she’s doing her job.

There’s actually a good reason why mother rabbits leave the nest, too. They do this to try to ensure that they don’t attract predators to the nest.

So the absence of the mother is designed to protect the babies. The baby rabbits will burrow in the nest to stay hidden while the mother is away.

Mother rabbits nurse the babies once or twice per day. One feeding will typically be good enough for the kits to stay fed for a day.

Rabbits stand over the top of the babies when nursing them. The baby rabbits have to reach up in order to nurse properly.

The mother rabbit is only going to nurse the babies when she feels that it’s safe. Often, mothers will feed the babies during the night because the darkness provides cover.

How Long Do Rabbits Nurse Their Babies?

Baby rabbits don’t take that long to grow up. This means that baby rabbits don’t need to be nursed by their mothers for too long.

Mother rabbits nurse the kits for three or four weeks in the nest. During this time, the kits will continue to grow.

As the kits start to grow large enough, they’ll begin venturing away from the nest. They go out and try to find greens that they can eat.

At night, the babies will return to the nest. As time continues to pass, the kits will become large enough to be on their own.

How Many Babies Can a Rabbit Have in a Year?

It’s possible that many rabbits could be born in one year. One breeding pair of rabbits can produce fifteen baby rabbits per month.

This means that it’s theoretically possible for a rabbit to give birth to 180 rabbits in one calendar year. Granted, it’s extremely unlikely that this many rabbits will be born.

Some of the litters that the rabbits give birth to might contain fewer rabbits. Also, there’s no guarantee that the rabbits will breed every single month.

They might breed very often, but it could be that the breeding pair will only have seven litters in one year. Either way, you should know that many rabbits can be born in a short period of time.

Do Rabbits Teethe?

No, rabbits don’t actually go through a teething process. This is because rabbits don’t have their milk teeth for a long period of time.

Since kits are only nursing with their mothers for three or four weeks, they won’t teethe. It is normal for rabbits to chew through various things, though.

They like to chew so they can wear their teeth against each other. This is done so that the teeth can remain at a healthy length.

You don’t need to take any special consideration for teething when caring for baby rabbits. You’ll simply be able to focus on ensuring that they’re eating properly and getting normal attention from the mother rabbit.

Rabbit Not Feeding Babies

What should you do when the mother rabbit isn’t feeding the babies? This doesn’t usually happen, but it can happen from time to time.

As mentioned earlier, mother rabbits should nurse the babies once or twice per day. They usually like to nurse the babies when they think that it’s safe to do so.

It’s possible that the mother is just nursing the babies while you’re asleep. Many mother rabbits prefer to nurse the babies during the night.

You should also know that mother rabbits don’t feed the babies right away. It’s normal for the mother rabbit to wait until the evening of the first or second day to feed the babies for the first time.

If it has almost been two days and you know that the babies haven’t been fed, you should reach out to a veterinarian. The babies should be seen immediately so that they can be taken care of.

What to Feed Rabbit Babies Without a Mother

Generally, it’s recommended to feed rabbit babies what is known as kitten milk replacer (KMR). You should be able to get what you need by talking to a veterinarian.

Some pet stores might sell what you need as well. The most reliable way to get the KMR is to speak to the veterinarian.

Some enthusiasts recommend adding something to the KMR. Adding heavy whipping cream to the milk will make it more caloric.

This is done because rabbit milk is naturally very high in calories. You can feed the baby rabbits until they’re ready to start eating hay once they’re old enough.

Once the rabbit’s eyes are open, it should be fine to start giving it hay. If you’d like further advice to help you care for rabbit babies, it’s a good idea to discuss things with a veterinarian.

This ensures that you’ll have a firm understanding of what you should be doing. Caring for abandoned rabbit babies can be tough if you don’t know how to approach the situation.

What to Do with a Rabbit Baby

What if you find a rabbit baby in your yard somewhere? Should you try to help the baby?

Honestly, the best thing to do is to put the baby back where you first found it. If the baby stays in the general area where it was found, the mother rabbit should locate the baby during the night.

Leave the area and try not to interact with the wild baby rabbit. It’s for the best to leave it alone.

If the baby rabbit is injured, you can contact someone to get help. You can either contact a local veterinarian for assistance or you can contact a wildlife rehabilitation center.

Either option should allow you to get help for the rabbit. Once you get the rabbit the help it needs, it can be taken care of and nursed back to health.

Eventually, the rabbit might be able to be reintroduced to the wild. It could also be kept in some type of wildlife facility depending on what is decided.

When Do Baby Rabbits Open Their Eyes?

Baby rabbits are born with their eyes sealed shut. They can’t open them for a while after they’ve been born.

During this time, they’re more vulnerable. It takes a while for them to be able to open their eyes properly.

The baby rabbits should be able to open their eyes after ten days have passed. Even once they open their eyes, it’ll take several more weeks for them to be weaned.

Once the baby rabbits have become weaned, they’ll start to leave the nest and seek greens. They might still return to the nest to sleep for a while longer, though.

How to Care for a Pregnant Rabbit

Caring for a pregnant rabbit isn’t that tough really. You just want to provide the rabbit with a quiet box where it can do what it needs to do.

Put nesting material such as haw or stay in the box. This makes things easier for the rabbit.

Continue to give the mother rabbit food as you normally would. This will give it the strength to live and eventually give birth to its litter.

After thirty days have passed, the rabbit should be ready to give birth. This will usually occur during the early morning hours.

Look after the mother and the babies. Try to ensure that the mother is feeding the babies once or twice per day.

That’s really all you need to worry about when caring for a pregnant rabbit. It doesn’t require much but the bare essentials so long as everything goes smoothly.

If something appears to be wrong with the mother rabbit, you might need to consult a vet. Otherwise, just give it the proper environment and ensure that the rabbit stays fed.

Consider Neutering or Spaying Your Rabbits

You might be interested in breeding rabbits once or twice. Perhaps you just want to enjoy having cute baby bunnies in the house for a little bit.

Eventually, it’s going to become impractical to have the rabbits breed so often. You can stop this by neutering or spaying your rabbits.

It’s a good idea to do this because it’ll keep you from having to deal with the rabbits mating all the time. This can also protect your rabbits from certain issues.

You might not be aware of this, but neutering and spaying your rabbits will protect them from many diseases. It’ll also lessen the likelihood that the rabbits will get cancer.

Your veterinarian can perform the procedure very easily. If you have both a male and a female rabbit in your home, it’s wise to go through this process.

Even if you only have a female rabbit, it’s best to get her spayed. The protections that spaying the rabbit will provide are worthwhile once you’re done breeding the rabbit.

What Can You Do with Baby Bunnies If You Don’t Wish to Keep Them?

Many people might have their rabbits breed and then they’ll wind up with way more bunnies than they planned for. All of the baby bunnies aren’t going to be practical to keep.

What can you do when you have fifteen baby bunnies that you don’t want to keep? You have a few options.

One thing you could do is give the baby bunnies away to friends and family members. If you know others who are interested in owning pet bunnies, this might work out pretty well.

However, it’s important to ensure that those who are given the bunnies understand the care needs of rabbits. Many people make the mistake of taking bunnies as pets and then they just want to get rid of them after they grow tired of caring for them.

It’d be best to only give bunnies away to those who are serious about wanting them. This ensures that the baby bunnies will go to a good home.

It’s also possible that local pet stores might be interested in the rabbits. You could ask around and see if any of the pet stores in the area would be interested in selling the rabbits.

They might need to verify the health of the rabbits first. Another option is to try selling the rabbits on local online marketplaces.

You might be able to sell rabbits to people if you don’t charge too much money. Of course, you should only sell to those who will take good care of the rabbits.

Final Thoughts

Now you know a lot more about rabbits, breeding, and taking care of baby rabbits. Rabbits can have a lot of babies in a short amount of time.

It’s possible for rabbits to have up to fifteen baby rabbits in a litter. Since rabbits only stay pregnant for around thirty days, they can potentially get pregnant twelve times per year.

If the rabbits keep breeding, you could wind up with way too many rabbits in your home. This is why it might be good to spay or neuter your rabbits after a certain period of time.

It can be fun to have baby rabbits in the house. They’re incredibly cute and mother rabbits should do a pretty good job of feeding them.

If the mother rabbit isn’t feeding the kits, that can be a very bad thing. Often, mother rabbits won’t feed their babies until the night.

When the mother hasn’t fed newborn rabbit babies by the second evening, it’s time to contact a veterinarian. You can feed the babies yourself by getting kitten milk replacer.

After ten days, the rabbit’s eyes will be open. At this point, they should be able to start eating hay.

Normally, it takes baby rabbits around four weeks to become weaned from their mothers. Hopefully, your mother rabbit will take care of her babies as she should.

When the rabbits are weaned from the mother, you’ll want to decide what to do with them. You might want to try to give them away if you don’t have enough room to keep all of them.

Many people will try to give baby rabbits away to family members. It’s fine to do this so long as the people who are receiving the rabbits are serious about caring for them.

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