How can I get my pregnant doe to trust me?

by Sally

We just bought two rabbits, a young buck and a year-old doe. Since the breeder didn't have a mature buck for us, he went ahead and bred the doe with one of his bucks so that we could have a litter while our male reached maturity. Our doe is skittish and nervous of us, and I'd like her so trust us and calm down before she has her litter so that I can make sure it all goes well without freaking her out. What can I do??

She will eat parsley and other greens from my hand but definitely does NOT want to be held. She is a New Zealand Giant and is hard to handle without cooperation. It's not like she's biting but she is definitely scared.

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Nov 07, 2010
Rabbit doe is just feeling hormones
by: Karen

The fact that the doe is nervous is probably more an indication that she is indeed pregnant rather than an indication of her personality, at least right now.

And I'm not sure there's anything you can do, other than what you're already doing! Her hormones are going to dictate her behavior until she gives birth.

You're doing great - keep feeding her by hand, sweet-talking to her quietly through the wire, and generally doing all the normal stuff your rabbits need. Don't expect her to be willing to be held while she's pregnant. She'll acclimate to you just fine, I'm hopefully thinking.

(If you go to's Pregnant Rabbit page (see Navigation Bar to left), you'll find other behaviors you might expect in a pregnant doe.)

Good luck, and we'd love to see pictures!

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