Is this a pregnant rabbit clue

by Majestic Dragon Ranch

I just put the nest boxes in the cages of my two satin does. One of them started digging in the hay, and may have picked some up, but then she laid down in the box and just ate the hay... was she making herself a "bed" or is she nesting? they're both due in four days.

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Jun 14, 2011
by: Anonymous

Just thought I'd throw in an update since I had two unusual births. The doe that was pulling fur waited until day 29 to have a single kit which was born dead. The other doe, on her first litter, waited until around day 26 or 27, and had a litter of 5, one born in front of me, almost in my lap! One of those died that day from her stepping on it, or not having enough warmth though I brought her inside. She had not pulled fur and was stepping on them while trying to clean another. I pulled some fur out for her and kept her inside and the next day she had pulled almost too much fur! I was checking on the babies when I found another little broken baby. And upon searching the nest I also found a large dead baby. It was the right size in every way, but it was long, like a dachshund dog. I'm not sure what that was about. Any ideas? In total she had 7 babies. 5 made it.

***Moderator Comment***
Wow, kindling that early and having survivors is uncommon. The very long kit perhaps died in utero and was retained for a few days. Glad you've got the 5 live kits. Thanks for the update.

Apr 19, 2011
RE Is this a pregnant clue
by: Moderator

No, I don't think does pull fur just for a hiding place. That would be counterproductive to survival because of giving away her scent and reducing her layer of insulating fur. Your doe is laying in the nest box because she can. When the babies come, they'll get piled into a 'burrow' in the back corner of the nest, and the doe will probably still have room to lounge in the nest. (Consider acquiring nests that are a bit smaller.)

If this happens, your concern will be to keep the nest clean. Meaning, to pull out extra poo-balls and damp pine shavings, and replace the shavings, so the nest stays dry and at least more-or-less clean.

Not being able to feel anything when palpating doesn't necessarily mean much - if the kits are nearing kindling age, there is no definitive shape to feel for. Additionally, if your doe has had many litters, she may be nearing the age when each litter is just a couple few kits.

IF she's pregnant, I think all will be well. There's always the chance she is exhibiting a false pregnancy, in which case she'll not give you any babies at all. You'll know which is which, usually by day 35.

Wishing you the best, and yes, pictures are great!

Apr 19, 2011
Pulling Fur
by: Anonymous

She filled her nest with fur, which tells me she's pretty for sure pregnant, but she just lays in it all the time. today is the day she's due, and still nothing.

I'm probably worried for nothing, but do does ever pull their fur out for a hiding place? she's matted her nest down so there's no way kits could be under there, and I'm worried if she still stays in there after they're born she'll crush them. She's had kits many times before, this'll likely be her last.

I'm the newer one and I don't know her personality when shes not prego. I palpated and felt nothing. she does have a straight line instead of a tummy. We'll find Out for sure in a few days, and I'll try and post pics of the kits, if there are any.

Apr 16, 2011
RE this pregnant rabbit clue
by: Moderator

Your rabbit is definitely telling you something. Is it...
--Hmm, and this hay is tasty, or...
--Thought you'd NEVER get around to giving me a cushy hiding spot!

Or is she saying...
--I'm waiting till you leave before I get down to business

Does can be surprisingly individual in their behaviors. Let me ask this: did the doe exhibit any of the other 5 clues: weight gain, cranky, scrabbling in the cage corners, positive palpation or carrying straw?

I hope yes! But that's why our 5 clues are 'clues' and not guarantees. They are behaviors to watch for that *could* indicate a pregnancy.

Once I saw a doe that I KNEW was not pregnant carry hay all over her cage.

Another of our does would have won the Nest-Building Stanley Cup if there were such a thing...yet failed to kindle any kits. We don't know for sure if she was experiencing a false pregnancy, or if the buck was shooting blanks. I just know that hers was one heck of a nest, she has subsequently borne successful litters, and the buck has also fathered kits later.

Even though we've seen a couple does do weird things, it is still true that 99% of the time, the 5 clues will accurately predict a pregnancy in rabbits, especially when the doe shows several signs at once.

You might fear your doe isn't behaving 'pregnant,' but it could still be that she may give you a litter of 10 kits on the evening of day 31. We've seen THAT, too!

When in doubt, assume the doe is pregnant and provide a nestbox, just in case. If she goes to day 40 with no babies, we think maybe she missed this time...!

We hope you'll let us know the end of this story....

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