Can my doe get pregnant through her cage?
by Emma Johnson
Had 2 x rabbits was told both female. One day we saw them mating, took them to the vets and our suspicions were confirmed we had male and female. We separated them straight away, low and behold 28 days later she has 6 babies. All are beautiful and growing lovely she has been an excellent mum.
Today I noticed Poppy laying on her side as she did before she gave birth last time and I saw movement on her abdomen just like I could see the day before she gave birth last time. Is it possible that the male has impregnated her through the cage? They have not been together since we found out their sexes.***** Karen Sez *****
We've heard some very unlikely stories about rabbits getting impregnated through fencing. Seems hard to believe, but I'd better not be dogmatic about the possibilities.
You *might* be seeing the rolling motions of the intestines, which can easily be detected in rabbits lying on their sides. Guess we'll know in a few days, eh?
On the other hand, it is possible, though not real common, for a doe to become pregnant with a new litter just before giving birth to the first one.
Then again, maybe the doe DID
get bred through cage wire?Here's another tale from Shannon in Saskatchewan Canada.
I have a doe that I bred November 9 and successfully had a litter of 8 on December 10. She just had another litter today, February 6th. She has not been in contact with a buck other than thru the cage behind but he was moved some time ago.
Could she have stored the semen?
Is it normal for a doe to have two litters like this?***** Karen Sez *****
No, rabbits do not store semen. But, the buck is more than happy to continue mating with the doe throughout her pregnancy (if they are left together), and can be pregnant with a second litter while giving birth to a first one.
That said (as a starting point), If she gave birth on the 6th, she would have needed to be in contact with a buck in early January. (Because if she were pregnant on Dec 10 when giving birth, you would have seen that next litter 29-30 days later, on Jan 9-ish.)
As Ann Landers once famously said, "Somebody moved." Have you had any cage escapees, whether doe or buck? Rumor DOES have it that bucks have bred does through cage wire. I have personally seen does aching to breed, that back up with their hind ends directly against the cage wire with tails lifted, especially if the rabbit in the next cage is a buck.
I've never watched a buck consummate a mating through cage wire (since my cages are separated by at least a few inches), and I have a hard time grasping the logistics of such athleticism, but sometimes there has simply been no other explanation. Have YOU actually watched rabbits mate through cage wire and then have a litter 31 days later? Can you prove it? Let us know!