I don't know if my rabbit mated enough to be pregnant

by McKennah
(Denver, CO USA)

Well I put my buck in with my doe in a neutral area. I watched them for a little bit but he wasn't mounting her so I left but didn't check on them for an hour. When I finally got up there he had mounted her. I didn't know how long this had been going on so I removed the buck. Did I do the right thing? Could they have mated enough?

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May 26, 2011
RE Did doe get pregnant
by: Moderator

You did fine, McKennah. But, not having watched the whole time, it's harder to know what actually transpired. Besides, sometimes the buck mounts the doe, but the doe doesn't allow him the opportunity to actually mate with her.

That said, your description sounds likely that they did breed enough. (Bucks know how to be bucks.)

Rabbit breeders like to 'palpate' their doe's abdomen at 12 days after mating (mark it on the calendar). (While she's standing on a non-slippery surface, like a carpet, cup the palm of one hand on her tummy, and feel up toward her ribs and down toward her tail for hints of little soft grape-shaped lumps.) If the 'grapes' are there, you're feeling tiny babies.

Breeders who are good at this technique can rebreed on day 12 if they think there are no babies. (If they're wrong and they rebreed, it could cause severe complications for the doe - don't try it unless you're positive no babies.)

Next time you breed -- stay with the animals till you're sure they're done. Even one mounting and fall-off is enough. But most breeders leave the buck and doe together for around a half-hour, during which time the buck may mate with the doe 3 or more times. Then, before you put the doe in her cage, flip her over and check her hiney to be sure the buck hit the spot.

Unless you are absolutely certain of the temperaments of your rabbits, or unless they're already a bonded pair, it is always safest to NOT leave them by themselves without supervision. A cranky doe can do serious harm to a buck or his, er, equipment if she's not in the mood for his advances.

HTH. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

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