Early Fur-Pulling and Nest-Building
by Stewart McClymont
Lots of fur in the nest, but nothing has arrived yet.
I've got a 2 year old doe that's never been bred.
I recently about 10 weeks ago bought 2 8-week-old bucks and the doe was letting them mount it and now it's nested and pulled fur. But the problem is the doe nested 16 days ago but continued to add to it and today has taken most of the fur from its sides.
It's really grumpy when you pet her, stomping and trying to push my hand back out. But I'm just worried because it's nested so early and nothing has arrived yet. It doesn't look sad or any signs it's in pain or anything so I'm wondering is it really pregnant?
***** Karen Sez *****
Oh my goodness, your doe wants a litter in the worst way, lol. It sounds like the act of mounting (by the two youngsters) has resulted in a false pregnancy. At least, when does start nest-building really early, it is usually because they are in the throes of ovulation and hormonal pregnancy changes, but without an actual pregnancy.
I think her hormones have CONVINCED her that the litter is imminent. If 35 days pass without a litter, then chalk it up to a false alarm. Save the clean fur, however, because in the future, it may come in handy should she kindle a litter and fail to pull enough fur.
Best of luck with everything!
Need more info on false pregnancies? See Rabbit Raising Problem Solver
, pages 155-156, and 177.