What Is The “Gestation Period” In The Rabbit?

Rabbit Gestation Period
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Wondering how long your rabbit’s pregnancy will last if she is expecting? Aren’t we sometimes too eager to meet the new members of our family, huh? Well, you will not have to wait very long because rabbits’ gestation period is of around 27 days to 45 days. Breeding age in rabbits may differ though depending on what species we are looking at, however the earliest a rabbit can breed is when about 3.5 months old. Understanding when your rabbit hits the breeding period and whether they are pregnant or not is the first and foremost step in their gestation period. Find out the signs that can help you figure out whether your bunny is pregnant or not here.

Once your rabbit hits the breeding age, and if they are un-spayed, they are most likely to become pregnant after mating with an intact male rabbit. The day of mating and the type of the species will determine the date of delivery for your rabbit. The life span of our domesticated rabbits can be anywhere between 8 to 12 years, depending upon the given care. They are very affectionate animals and do not tend to disown their young at any age. Although, they and their young require affection and attention.

Especially your pregnant rabbit, whether intentional or accidental, they will need attention and special care before and after she delivers to ensure the health of both the mother and the babies. Taking care of the mother might still be something we know about or can figure out, but taking care of babies is tricky if never done before. Get some expert help and learn different ways you can take care of the babies here.

Here’s some common questions that comes to our mind when we are to become proud grandparents of a kittens.

A quick look at more relevant topics related to our rabbits:

What Is Kindling

Kindling is the term for giving birth for rabbits. A kindling takes anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes and usually happens during the night. Scientifically, it is believed that rabbits give birth at night because they feel safe in the dark and they are less likely to be attacked by predators. Rabbits will give birth in their nest and thus it needs to be set for the mother and the babies’ needs. From space to turn around to plenty of fresh food and water, get some expert help to learn how to set up nest for your pregnant rabbit here.

Rabbits don’t need help with giving birth. They push the kits out one after the another on their own. Thus, give them time and space to do it at their own pace.

What Age Can Rabbits Become Pregnant

Female rabbits of any species can become sexually mature at a very young age. Some starting at 3.5 months to 8 months. Whereas, the male rabbits can become sexually mature around 3 to 6 months. If intact female rabbits are in an intimate situation with intact male rabbits after attaining these ages, they are most likely to become pregnant. If to avoid a surprise or accidental pregnancy, the rabbits should be spayed or neutered. To our dismay, rabbits are fertile all-round the year and don’t have a season like other animals do. Plus, they ovulate immediately after mating resulting in sure pregnancy. So, if you have a bunch of rabbits, it is important to either spay or neuter them or separate them by gender when they attain their sexual maturity age.

How Long Are Rabbits Pregnant

The pregnancy period or the gestation period for a rabbit depends on their species, most likely starting from 28 days to 45 days. Although, the average gestation period is 30 days for most of the rabbit species. In one pregnancy, a mother can deliver an average litter size of 5 to 8 babies. And a female rabbit can mate and get pregnant throughout the year, even within hours of giving birth. After combining all these factors, a female rabbit can produce almost 30 young in a single breeding season (a year).

Rabbit Gestation Period

How To Tell If Your Rabbit Is Pregnant

There are some obvious and some not so obvious signs that can help you know whether your rabbit is pregnant. All is you is to know which signs to look for. Simply relying on the obvious signs like weight gain, cranky mood, larger food intake and more will not give an 100% confirmation whether your rabbit is pregnant or not. But there are some more important signs that will confirm the pregnancy and they are worth your time. Learn about these signs here.

How Long Do Rabbits Nurse

Mother rabbits are very possessive about their kittens and it’s important to leave them alone for a few days after the kindling. Mothers can become aggressive when other people come closer to their nest, even the pet owner is not an exception. Unless to restock the nest with food and water, do not stay close until a few days later. Baby rabbits are nursed usually twice a day, at dawn and dusk as they are crepuscular animals. And they do not need to be nursed for very long and stops after 4 to 6 weeks. After this period, the kittens start eating fresh hay, pellets and small quantities of veggies such as tomatoes, cabbages, etc.

Most times, after 6 weeks with their mother, baby rabbits tend to move out and find new homes of their own.

Bottom Line

Be careful, female rabbits can fall pregnant if they are not spayed and come in contact with an intact male rabbit. Rabbits can get pregnant even after hours of delivering a litter. Thus, do not let your rabbit get in touch with any intact male rabbit if you do not wish to have another accidental pregnancy and a litter of babies in future. And if barricading the male rabbits out is too much, get your female rabbit spayed. It might be the time to book an appointment with your vet!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What’s the importance of spaying and neutering a rabbit?

Spaying or neutering your rabbit helps prevent them from developing several types of cancer. They may also show aggressive behavior if left intact.

2. When should rabbits be spayed or neutered?

Experts suggest that rabbits should be spayed or neutered at sexual maturity, around 4 to 6 months. Consult your veterinarian and make a decision.

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