Do I need to separate the male and female rabbits after she gives birth?

I did not know she was pregnant and she had 8 and 1 passed. I thought I had two boys until I saw her nesting today and then a few hours later there were babies. I tried to move them because she had them in the litter box but then I moved them back so I did not upset her. Please help I don't know anything about this stuff.


***Karen Sez***
Yes! Move the boy out, or he might rebreed the girl right away. (It is probably already too late.)

I think your first instincts were correct - to move the kits out of the litter box. The mum knows you - she'll be okay. Just move the kits with the fur and straw and other nesting materials to the girl's 'bedroom' or clean area of the hutch. Don' be afraid - the doe only feeds the babies once a day, so if she seems to be 'ignoring' them, everything is still fine. Check the kits the next day - they should have nice round tummies by then.

Either of these two resources provides complete information on how to deal with surprise pregnancies and litters:

Rabbit Raising Problem Solver
Rabbit Reproduction E-Book

Good luck, and have fun!
K

Comments for Do I need to separate the male and female rabbits after she gives birth?

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Jul 19, 2017
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I Just Put Them Together
by: Anonymous

Today - literally today - I put my female and my male together and straight away they did what rabbits do. When or if they have babies, do I need to separate the dad from the babies? Will he kill them? I've bred guinea pigs before but never rabbits and I know that with guinea pigs you have to separate the dad straight away or else he will kill the babies. Is it the same with rabbits?

SOME OF MY OTHER QUESTIONS
* If you do have to separate the parents, how long after the babies are born do I have to separate them? When can I put the dad back in with the mum and babies?

* Do I need to have one cage for boys + dad and one cage for girls + mum once babies are older? I am considering selling babies once they are born but do I need to keep them separate?

* Do male rabbits fight when put in the same cage as one another?

***** Karen Sez *****
Kudos to you for asking the questions now instead of later. :-)

Will the dad kill the babies? The answer to this is very individual to the buck. Some are great dads, some are not.

Regardless, unless you want back to back to back litters, the doe and buck should be separated at all times, except for that (brief!) interval during which "rabbits do what rabbits do." It makes some people feel better about their rabbits if they think the rabbits are not lonely. These folks let the rabbits remain together, and also experience the drawbacks.

If you want to leave them together for a time, keep a very close eye on them. This is because the doe may brutally school the buck when she gets tired of his continual advances, especially as her pregnancy advances and she becomes more cranky. There are more drawbacks than just this - see the resource below.

Once the kits are born, put the buck and doe together only when you are ready for the doe to get pregnant again.

Yes, male rabbits fight, sometimes to the death. It is not pretty. Don't put bucks and boy bunnies together.

Cages: Mom and dad each need a cage. The babies do not need to be separated initially so they can have a (big) cage. It is smart to separate a bunny into its own cage a day or two before selling it. This is to break up the stresses of weaning, separation from siblings, and being sold away from its familiar environment. This way you can subject the bunny to these stressors one at a time instead of all at once. In some instances, reducing the stress levels in this fashion might even save the bunny's life.

Tons more info about all of the above here:
Rabbit Raising Problem Solver

Good luck with everything!

Apr 13, 2017
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How do I separate the rabbits in 1 cage
by: Anonymous

My rabbits are trying to mate but my female doesn't want to. She runs away every time the male comes close. The male also (I think) pulling and biting off her fur. How do I separate them and with what?

***** Karen Sez *****
You would need a huge cage if you intend to keep both rabbits in the same cage, separated by, say, a wire divider.

You'll need to buy or build another cage. Leave the doe in the bigger cage, and give the smaller one to the buck.


Apr 16, 2016
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I need some help
by: Eduardo

So I thought I had both females until one had 5 babies.

They all passed and it upset me.

Now that I know their sex I will now be aware of any changes in my female. But I didn't separate them so he wouldn't get her pregnant right away, but for how long should they be separated for? It has been around a month now can I put them back together?

***** Karen Sez *****
I didn't quite follow your story exactly, as to when the rabbits were separated (since you said you didn't separate them). So, I'll just say this: IF the boy rabbit and the girl rabbit were in the same cage at the time you discovered the babies, then you need to give the girl rabbit a nest box now, since there is a good chance she was re-bred just as soon as she gave birth to the first babies. Expect a new litter of bunnies when the first litter is 31-32 days old.

Keep the buck and the doe separated for as long as you don't want babies. Because, as soon as you put them together, they'll mate again. It's what rabbits do.

If you had the buck neutered, he needs to be separated from the doe for 6 weeks, after which he will no longer be able to sire offspring.

Enjoy your rabbits!

Jan 30, 2015
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Netherland Dwarf
by: Anonymous

Hello I have a Netherland Dwarf doe that I mated on January 7th she was very willing to mate. She was humping the male and everything before he started humping her and fell off six times. It's getting really close to her due date and starting to be really aggressive towards me and grunts every time I pet her are these signs that she is pregnant???

***** Karen Sez *****
Yep: Diagnosis is pregnant! :-)
Get that nest box in her cage by day 28, so she'll be able to prepare her nest in good time.

You'd best not worry about needing to pet her for the next few weeks - she's all into her pregnancy and her babies for now. Let her be, and she'll mellow out a couple weeks after her babies are born.

Enjoy your rabbits!


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