5 Clues to the Pregnant Rabbit


"How can I tell a pregnant rabbit?"

Let's say you bred your buck and doe rabbits together.  

How can you know the breeding 'took?'  Are there ways to know if she's pregnant or not? 

Actually, there are at least five very useful clues. And knowing these 5 clues becomes even more crucial if you suspect a breeding took place by accident...


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  • Your first clue a doe is pregnant is her mood - she gets cranky.  A doe who was your best friend might suddenly flee to the back of the cage when she sees you coming. She might growl a little if you open the door to her cage.  Does can get grouchy as early as a few days into her pregnancy. 

    Don't worry.  She'll chill out nearly as soon as her bunnies are born, and become your BFF all over again.

  • Second Clue: The surest way to know if your rabbit is pregnant is to "palpate" her abdomen - meaning to feel for little baby lumps.  You do this as early as day 10 or as late as day 14. This requires some practice, usually.

    Set the doe on a carpeted table or in your lap, head toward you. Be careful - she might be cranky by 10 days pregnant. Place your right hand under her tummy, palm up, making a bit of a cup with your hand. You want to gently explore the doe's tummy with your 4 fingers on one side of the back bone (from underneath), and with the thumb on the other side. Simply push upward gently, lifting the doe's hindquarters up a bit. Then slide your hand up and down, and see what you can feel.

    If you can feel distinct, soft little grape-sized lumps in a row on either or both sides of the abdomen, this confirms the pregnancy.  (Hard little lumps along the middle of the abdomen are probably little poop-balls.)

  • Third Clue: Some pregnant rabbits start trying to 'dig' inside their cage from 2 weeks pregnant and beyond.  You might notice the doe scratching quite diligently at the far corners of her cage.  If I wasn't sure I had palpated her abdomen correctly, I would be very pleased to see this behavior in the doe.  It frequently indicates a positive pregnancy, at least in my rabbits.  Although, a doe with a false-pregnancy may also scratch at the wire in an attempt to burrow.

    (Pictured - Amaranth, our very pregnant opal rex doe, cramming hay in her mouth. And she thinks she can tuck in a few more stems! See clue #4 below.)

Pregnant rabbit gathering straw in her mouth
  • Fourth Clue: Some pregnant rabbits become desperate to build their nest.  This pregnant rabbit clue occurs a week or less before she's ready to give birth (3-4 weeks pregnant). 

    Toss some hay or straw into her cage.  If the doe starts gathering heaps of hay into her mouth like a blue jay carrying twigs for a nest, this is a sure sign she's pregnant. We call this making a mustache out of hay, or a "haystache."

    If one of my does seems agitated, ready to build her nest, and carrying straw early, I've been known to give her the nest box as early as day 21, when normally the nest box goes into the cage exactly on day 28.  But I still won't expect the doe to give birth on any day except day 31, as usual.  The doe whose hormones are running her ragged will calm right down once she's built her nest.

    (Below: Xena has received her nestbox stuffed full of nesting material. Clearly she's unimpressed!)
Pregnant rabbit - Xena is 28 days pregnant
    If your doe doesn't carry hay around, it doesn't necessarily mean she isn't pregnant. Some does are mellow as jello, like Xena here. You give them a nest, and they start eating straw out of it. But the next morning (day 29), Xena had her nest nicely formed, though no fur pulled.

    Just to complicate things, the occasional doe will wait until the night she kindles to actually form her nest.

    But, my point is this: if you see the doe carrying the straw after day 21...she's for sure pregnant.

  • Fifth Clue: Sudden and random jerking of her sides during her last week of pregnancy. That will be little bunny-feet kicking around in her womb. Look for quick little kicks, especially when she's laying on her side. You'll know it when you see it.  And when you see it, you've definitely got a pregnant rabbit.  Don't confuse the little kicks with the rhythmic rolling movement of the rabbit's intestines, however. Actually, the two are very easy to tell apart, especially when you've seen both.


More Pregnant Rabbit Tips

Pregnant rabbits don't always 'look' pregnant, not even on the day they kindle (give birth).  Of course, if there's 15 kits in her belly, you might wonder if you oughtta duck and cover - she'll look big enough to pop.  Most frequently, they'll lose their waistline along about the last few days of the pregnancy.  That's why it's helpful to know these pregnant rabbit clues for confirming your suspicions.

The pregnant rabbit usually gives birth on day 31 without fail.  But the bunnies can arrive on day 28 up to day 34.  If I've bred the doe and buck in the evening, I can expect the kits on the morning of day 32.  If no babies by day 35, the doe was probably not pregnant. ("Probably," because on a rare occasion, the doe manages to hang onto her kits until after day 40. If you're still seeing bunny-feet kicks and day 35 has come and gone, consider getting a vet's opinion on whether the doe may need additional help, or whether you only need to be patient.)

Click here to go to Rabbit Pregnancy - and see how another rabbit breeder deals with confusing rabbit pregnancy signs in her three Californian does.

Click here to go to the Rabbit Behavior page. Try to count how many signs my pregnant rabbit tried to give me, if only I had been paying proper attention...  


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We bred our Havana two weeks ago. She was acting differently but now when you pet her she lifts. Do you think she did not take when we bred her? Thank …

How to pad a rabbit nest box? Not rated yet
My doe is 29 days prego and has formed a nest, but hasn't pulled any fur yet. This is her first litter, and I'm concerned she won't pull any. I was wondering …

Mini Lop Pregnancy  Not rated yet
I have bred my Mini Lop doe for the first time and she is now 36 days pregnant and I can feel kits in the tummy but she hasn't started making a nest yet. …

Cheryl Bridgewater at Bunyip Central! Not rated yet
Hi there, I have 8 free range bunnies which have the run of the garden 24/7 with the shed converted into their home. They have their litter tray, food, …

Rex rabbit is preggas Not rated yet
I bred my albino Rex rabbit 'Jade' on Wednesday the 13th of June 2012. I haven't bred rabbits before, only once before as my wild/rex rabbit gave birth …

Not sure if my rabbit is pregnant or if it is a false pregnancy Not rated yet
Hi, my doe has been with a buck (they are mini dwarf lops), they were both living in a large cage with 3 rats. (They all loved each other!!) Almost …

Odd Doe  Not rated yet
Hello, I've got two dutch rabbits. They were originally bought for breeding, and were old enough to breed. We waited & waited, never saw them breed, never …

My 2 Cute Li'l Rabbits Not rated yet
Hi! I'm Nelson Miles from Philippines. I have 2 cute rabbits named Salt and Pepper (I named them based on their colors). Pepper was a doe and Salt was …

Bunny Mating!!! Not rated yet
Dear Bunny Assistence People, I really want baby bunnies and I was wondering if there are any chances my bunny may be pregnant. I have been observing …

What is my bunny up to? Not rated yet
We got a pet rabbit back in January. She is litter box trained so she runs around in our room. I recently noticed on the corner under my bed she had gathered …

False Pregnancy Not rated yet
I have an unspayed rabbit that I got five or six months ago (I'm not sure how old she is), and even though she's had absolutely no opportunity to become …

Holland Lop pregnant first time delivers one baby on day 33 Not rated yet
Our Holland rabbit has delivered one baby on day 33, it was found outside of the nest box, dead, it looks like she ate a little bit of it and it died. …

Litter Died Not rated yet
Hello, My Rabbit had a liter of 7 kits. However, due to the weather none of them survived. And she was a first time doe. My question is will her milk …

PLEASE HELP! Not rated yet
My doe kindled Saturday, 5 very healthy kits. She has been feeding them fine but this afternoon she has pushed all the sawdust in her cage up to the door …

when should the buck rex an doe Rex be separated after kindled Not rated yet
I have a run and hutch outside in my backyard. My Rex doe Molly had kits six weeks ago, the kits are weaned. The buck and doe are back together and kits …

Bred doe aggressive towards buck Not rated yet
Hello! Our Netherland Dwarf doe bred yesterday to the buck. The breeder suggested we put her back in his cage today just to make sure a mating happened. …

Aggressive doe won't have babies Not rated yet
I have a doe that is about 2 years old and boys that are around 6 months old. I tried letting them breed all the time and she has not yet had babies. I …

Help !! Not rated yet
Hi, My rabbit gave birth to 4 kits and they died after a very short time. This was her first litter. Now this is about 20 Days ago, today I saw …

My rabbit has syphilis Not rated yet
Hi, my rabbit has syphilis, that I'm sure of, as I have seen the pictures, and read the symptoms in your web as well as others. Could you please tell …

Not sure if my rabbit is pregnant? Not rated yet
I bred my two rabbits a couple of months ago, but it didn't take after several tries. The bunnies got along really well so I ended up leaving them together …

Rabbit building a nest in the wrong place Not rated yet
My pet rabbits accidentally mated on Dec. 15th. Now today I saw my female rabbit, (she's 22 days pregnant), frantically gathering hay and building her …

HELP! Not rated yet
2 days ago my bunny suddenly gave birth (I had no idea she was even pregnant!). She had 1 baby 2 days ago and had another yesterday. They both died:( I …

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Why is my doe pulling fur? Not rated yet
The way you can be almost positive that your doe will be pregnant, from about the 24th day after breeding, is when she pulls fur from her belly and places …

Day 31? Not rated yet
I had bred my mini lop with a thrianta and she was due yesterday? I would say we had bred her at 5:30-6:00 on November 15. It is now the 17th of December …

Rescued Rabbit might be Pregnant Not rated yet
I recently took in a Netherland dwarf buck and a Dwarf/Rex doe. They had been kept in the same cage for over a month before I got them. I think the doe …

How do I know if my rabbit is pregnant? Not rated yet
I have 2 rabbits. At first I thought both of them were does. Last night I saw one of them pulled fur from the other's back and sex with each other. My …

Holland Lop First Breeding Not rated yet
I am trying to breed my Holland lops. The female is 6 months old, and the male is 8 months old. I have put them together several times, but none have been …

Help preventing rabbit pregnancy Not rated yet
We a have a dwarf rabbit (girl) and we just got a black (male) rabbit. He's 11 months old. We're not trying to breed so how can we prevent it - we'd like …

My doe is pulling ALL of her neck fur out Not rated yet
Hi there, My (I think) pregnant Californian doe is pulling out ALL of her neck fur. Its starting to look really nasty. She's not pulling out any stomach …

Pregnant Doe Not rated yet
We just bought a doe and she is pregnant, but no one could tell us how far along or when she was bred, So now what do I need to do????? Thanks for a GREAT …

1st breeding Not rated yet
Hi there I've just bred my buck and doe lopped rabbits, would you know what kind of colours the kits could be, as I find they both have beautiful colours …

helppppp!!!!!!! Not rated yet
How do you take care of a wild rabbit that's pregnant??????? * * If it were me, I think I'd release it back into the wild and let it do it's …

Sassafrass! Not rated yet
I had 2 rabbits, Sassy and Sophie. Day before yesterday I went out and found 4 babies dead in the bottom of the cage. I was told both of them were girls, …

Confused about my bunny Not rated yet
My bunny is pregnant for the second time now and I cant figure out who got her pregnant. I had two boys and one died. But now I don't know if she is pregnant …

Mother rabbit  Not rated yet
My rabbit just gave birth to 6 babies for the first time and they all died the buck is also dead and one of mom's rabbit eye is bigger than the other she …

I can't tell if my rabbit is pregnant - 2 Not rated yet
This was my first question I asked on 10/27/11 I have a Holland Lop rabbit. She was bred a day prior to getting her. At day 22 she began nesting in …

My Rabbits Pregnant But Wont Have Her Babies Not rated yet
Hi! My kids got a beautiful sweet pet New Zealand female. We didn't know she was pregnant until last Sunday when she was frantic to build a nest, and pull …

Bred Buck 3 days ago and now he's not interested in breeding Not rated yet
Hi - I have a 1 1/2 year old NZ Buck and bred him 3 days ago and just tried to breed him yesterday and he acted like he had no interest. Also I can tell …

Taj Majal Bunny Nest Not rated yet
My Pepper bunny appears to be pregnant. Piglet, the buck was de-sexed today so hopefully this will be the last little accident. (I do not have the gift …

What to do when rabbit gave birth? Not rated yet
My rabbit gave birth to four babies. Only one is alive, why? There's only hay and bedding in the cage...does she need anything? * * Sorry …

I can't tell if my sister's bunny Amina is pregnant Not rated yet
She has been bunched up in the corner of her cage and all of a sudden she started scratching the bottom of the cage for no reason, she turned all the food …

My rabbit dug a hole and won't come out!  Not rated yet
What's wrong? She has been in the hole for the past 3 days! She has been with a male rabbit for at least 3 weeks! So I don't know if she is pregnant or …

Bunnies in colonies Not rated yet
If I have a bunch of girls in one pen and they all are pregnant and they have their babies in the same cage with others in it will they kill each other? …

My rabbit gave birth to 3 kits but I'm worried... Not rated yet
My rabbit just gave birth to 3 kits. One died but two are still alive. My rabbit won't get near the kits at all. I knew she was pregnant but I was waiting …

41 days our rabbit is still pregnant Not rated yet
She is huge. We think it is because she is a dwarf and the dad is a giant. She is pregnant for sure. She shows all signs and we can see them move. We don't …

Rabbit Isolation?? Not rated yet
My doe is expecting, she is with another female, does she need to be separated? Or can she kindle with the other doe in her hutch? Thanks! * *

My Little Surprise Not rated yet
Well just recently my doe a flemish giant started picking up straw and moving it around in her bed and I found some fur in there I am a bit scared if she …

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Animal Lover Not rated yet
We rescued an abandoned sable point mini rex. The animal control personnel said it was a boy...yea! After further investigation he is really a SHE. …

My Rabbit Pulling Fur Not rated yet
My Rabbit has just turned one. She has had no contact with boy rabbits apart from when she was like 6 weeks old, and that was a wild boy rabbit. Since …

Pregnant by a larger male rabbit Not rated yet
We had two babies in a cage together thinking they were too young to breed. Now my doe is pregnant and the buck is larger than her. Will she be able …

I feel awful, but I had no idea Not rated yet
We had our rabbits in May this year from the same litter. At the time, we thought they were both girls, despite calling them Boris and Doris! They were …

Rabbit refuses buck Not rated yet
My doe won't let the buck anywhere near her, why is that? We tried to breed them before and thought she conceived because she started picking up hay in …

HELP: Did my rabbits breed? Not rated yet
We put my female mini lop in with my male a few days ago. He would mount her, get off, hop around and go back. However, the doe never stretched out or …

Baby Bunnies? Not rated yet
My female rabbit was put with my male rabbit only once, but it was for about half an hour. The female is normally very friendly but in her previous 2 litters …

Are pregnant rabbits aggressive? Not rated yet
I want to know if rabbits get aggressive and look huge when they are pregnant. Thanks for asking -- Whether or not a pregnant doe looks huge …

What a pleasant and informative place to gather information! Not rated yet
I truly enjoyed your presentation of 'bunny' facts.' So very nicely put, well thought out and informative without being stuffy and dry. What a nice …

Weirdest part of my life Not rated yet
Hi my name is Emily My rabbit died and 5 months ago and a week later I got these 2 bunnies from the same litter, 'Tinker Bell' and 'Cinderella.' We got …

First Pregnant Rabbit Not rated yet
Our rabbit, if she is pregnant, should be having the kits anytime now, and I am worried that this being her first time giving birth, and she being somewhat …

My Rabbit is Making a Nest Not rated yet
My girl rabbit's making a nest, but there's no fur. When will she start to lose fur and have babies? Well, assuming she's pregnant, count …

My lionhead rabbit just had 7 kits Not rated yet
She made her nest in her litter box, but it was clean and just full of hay and fur. Should I leave them in the nesting box or take them out and put them …

Is my rabbit pregnant or not? Not rated yet
Hi, I have a 7 month old girl rabbit and a 5 month old boy rabbit. We put them together to breed not knowing the age? All of the answers on the internet …

2 girl rabbits Not rated yet
I have got 2 girl rabbits and 1 has got all of these clues and is growling at me what do I do? It has started to build a nest and I wonder how many weeks …

Baby kits born over 3 days are dead Not rated yet
My rabbit had a baby Saturday morning around 11am. Sometime Saturday night/early Sunday morning she had another one. I found it dead and the one she …

My 2 bunnies 1 female 1 male are they allowed to hump each other backwards? Not rated yet
Today it came to me that my two bunnies want to mate but I certainly don't permit that so I don't let them. So when we do let them out they often tend …

My doe wants to breed more, is she pregnant? Not rated yet
Hi, I bred my rabbit 2 two days ago and she's not acting aggressive but when she saw the male outside of her cage she wanted to breed with him again. I …

Pregnant doe? Not rated yet
I have a doe, she's been my pet for at least a year now, and I've bred her to bucks many times. I started trying when she was one, and she's around two …

Rabbit Mom with Singleton Not rated yet
Hi, my rabbit has always had up to 7 babies at least. This time she has only had 1 - is this normal? Hi Leanne, a litter of one singleton does happen, …

Are pregnant does affectionate? Not rated yet
Just a few hours after breeding my doe Mist with my buck Storm, I put her in her fence to get a nibble of grass. But, when I went to put her back in her …

Taliaferro's rabbits  Not rated yet
Hi, I am Tammy and I was trying to find out just how long it takes for a rabbit to have her babies and just how to really tell if it took. I found what …

My rabbit is pregnant to her brother Not rated yet
This is her second time shes pregnant. The 1st time didn't go well at all. The 3 little ones died, but we didn't know who the dad was to them. Do you …

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Rabbit Reproduction details from Wikivet - some interesting tidbits there, but not all of the information seems to be accurate (it needs "vetting" from a rabbit-savvy vet...!)


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