Here are a few baby rabbit care tips for when your doe is pregnant. If you are expecting babies you need to know how to take care of your newborn bunnies.
If you have a doe expecting a litter, there are a few things you can do to help her out. First, provide a nestbox. Nestboxes may be made of metal or wood. They should have sides high enough to keep the babies in until they are old enough to climb out themselves. Give your doe a nestbox about 27 days after she was bred. If you don't know when she was bred but you think she is pregnant, give her one anyway. Don't place the nestbox in the corner she uses as a bathroom.
Supply plenty of hay in the box. She will carry mouthfuls of hay around and arrange it to her liking. Some does will also pull fur a day or two before they give birth. Others don't pull fur until after the kits are born. Remember, each mama rabbit is an individual and will have her own way of doing things.
Check on your rabbit a few times per day as she approaches the birth. Make sure she has enough water and bedding. If the babies are born outside the nestbox, move them into the box and cover them with the fur their mother pulled. Place the nestbox over the spot the babies were born.
Handling the newborn bunnies will not make the mother reject them. She is used to your scent. Some does get aggressive after they give birth. This is normal, as they are trying to protect their nest. Simply push down gently but firmly on the doe's shoulders. This lets her know that you're in charge and could save you from getting bitten.
It is important to check the bunnies daily to make sure they have full bellies. Full bellies will be round and tight. Empty bellies look wrinkled. Don't fret if you don't see the doe feeding them; rabbits only feed their young once or twice a day on average. As long as the babies have full bellies at least once a day, your doe is doing fine. Remove any babies from the nest that don't make it. It happens sometimes.
The babies only need their mother's milk until they are able to scramble out of the nestbox. Once their eyes are open, you may see them begin to nibble on the hay used to make their nest. You'll want to clean out the nestbox at least once before their eyes open around day ten. Keep as much of the clean fur as possible to add back into the nest. Keep the babies warm in a small box while you clean the nest.
Once the babies are able to get in and out of the nestbox on their own, they will begin to nibble on mom's pellets as well as nurse. Leave the babies with their mother until they are six to eight weeks old unless the doe becomes aggressive towards them. Some does enjoy motherhood more than others.
Separate the bucks from the does before they reach ten weeks old. While rare, early litters can happen between siblings if they are not separated before they reach puberty at 12 weeks of age.
Have these baby rabbit care tips been of help to YOU?
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