Not-so-tame maybe pregnant bunny
Her baby picture
I have a French Lop doe that is about 9 months old. She was put in with the French Lop buck about 9 days ago. If I were to palpate her, what way should I hold her? She is not very tame, and I don't know if she will abort the kits if I scare her, or if I will injure her if she gets too scared. I have never bred a rabbit before, so any extra information is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
***** Karen Sez *****
Don't be afraid to pull your doe out of her cage and put her on your lap or a table top. Her babies are cushioned in amniotic fluid, and they are still very young. Our experience is that palpating can be done very safely up till day 14-15.
Palpation is probably easiest if the rabbit can stand on something like a carpet on a table - comfortable for you and secure and unslippery for her. Settle her down before starting in on the palpation by speaking calmly to her and by petting her kindly.
With her head toward your tummy, secure her rump with your left hand so she can't back up, and turn your hand palm up underneath her abdomen. (Reverse hands if you're left-handed.) You'll be feeling along the right side of her belly with your fingers, and along the left side with your thumb. Use just enough pressure to lift her hindquarter up but not so much that her feet leave the carpet.
By sliding your thumb and fingers up and down, you should be able to detect the little lumps that are the babies. By day 10 they'll be grape-sized. Hint - you're most likely to find them by feeling toward the middle to the outside of the left and right sides of her abdomen.
Hope this gives you a bit more help with the technique of palpation! Best of luck with everything.