Is your rabbit pregnant? Pregnancy in smaller breeds of rabbits can start as early as in their 4th month of life. You will notice the rabbit growing heavier, eating more, and having mood swings.
Pregnant rabbits, like any other mammal, require additional care as they are growing new lives inside their bodies. First off, the mother’s diet needs to change. She will need more food than the other rabbits, and with different nutrients, to ensure a correct pregnancy.
Non-pregnant rabbits usually eat mostly grass or hay, with very little vegetables, as other types of food risk making the rabbit overweight, as well as potentially damaging their digestive system. This changes when you are dealing with a rabbit pregnancy.
Due to the increased demand for nutrients needed to sustain the pregnancy, you will need to feed your rabbit more vegetables, as well as changing the type of hay you feed her, from grass hay to alfalfa hay. Some vegetables you should consider adding to the pregnant rabbit’s diet include carrots, cucumber, celery, or even commercial rabbit pellets if you can’t offer fresh vegetables to the pregnant rabbit.
You shouldn’t abruptly change the bunny’s diet though, as their digestive system is very delicate. What you need to do is to gradually mix more and more of the new hay and vegetables to make sure the rabbit’s digestive system gets used to them, until you can stop giving them grass hay completely. And don’t forget to make sure the pregnant rabbit always has access to fresh and clean water.
The future mother will pick a place to turn it into her nest, and that is where she plans to give birth to her baby bunnies. It is a place in which she will find comfortable staying, and where there is enough space for her and the newborns. Make sure you have enough room for the mother and her bunnies! There are serious risks associated with the lack of space for the mother, and she might end up eating her own babies.
A rabbit’s pregnancy lasts between 30 and 40 days, depending on the breed and other factors. You don’t have to do much once the mother has given birth, as she will take care of her babies by herself. Keep her on her new diet, because she will need the additional nutrients to produce milk. Check that all the newborns are breathing and drinking their mother’s milk, if that’s not the case, you will have to feed them yourself with specific food.