My rabbit didn't give birth??!!

by Amber
(Shropshire)

I mated my rabbit at about 5/6 months old on the 25th of September, it's the 31st day today. I palpated her on the 14th day, I could feel grape-sized balls. Then a few days later, I palpated her again and I could feel larger and firmer balls. I palpated once more, and I couldn't feel a thing...


She's made NO nest, there isn't a single scrap of fur in the hutch.

I'm really worried I've killed the kits by palpating her incorrectly, even though I followed all the instructions on the internet and did the EXACT same thing to my other rabbit her had a successful litter??

I'm really scared, will she give birth to blobs?? Is this dangerous for her...??

I'm sure they mated properly, I heard the squeal and the buck rolled off. I didn't mate them a second time though...

The only thing confusing me really is why I felt the balls in her abdomen, and then they just disappeared?? Please help me out!!!!
Thanks xxx

****Karen Sez****
Hmm, before we jump to conclusions, what is her weight? Has she gained a quarter to a half-kilo more or less? If so, she may indeed be pregnant, and will deliver tonight or tomorrow. Some does simply wait to the last minute to pull fur. And as for not feeling the 'grapes' at the third palpation, that could be because when they get bigger, they are not so defined and easy to feel. They get more, um, mushable, and blend in with the other guts better.

But, if she's resorbed the babies, then you've given us a great description of it.

Sometimes does get pregnant, and you swear on a stack of Bibles that those grapes are there, and then, poof, they're gone. This most frequently happens around day 17 to day 19.

If this turns out to be the case, rest assured that you did nothing wrong, my friend. Nothing was your fault. For whatever reason, the doe's body decided it didn't have the nourishment or the hormone levels it needed to support the pregnancy. When this happens, the babies simply dissolve, and the doe reabsorbs all the pieces, including the calcium and magnesium etc in the bones, back into her body.

If it helps at all, this is more common in autumn -- now -- than at any other time of year. I think it has to do with length of days and/or with internal body clock and basal rhythm within the doe's body. In other words, nothing you could do about it.

Going forward? Give your doe a few more days to actually have a litter, if it is there.

Check the feed to ensure it is fresh. If feeding people-food, ensure it is organic and no pesticides.

Then, if no babies, re-breed the doe after day 35, and keep on doing what you're doing. You're a fine rabbit breeder!

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