How to prepare a bunny for childbirth

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Breeders increase the number of their herd by obtaining offspring from the strongest and healthiest of its representatives. The birth of a rabbit is very stressful for her, especially if the birth occurs for the first time.

Preparing the rabbit for childbirth

Preparing the rabbit for childbirth

In order for the rabbit to give birth to healthy young, livestock breeders will have to make a lot of effort, because the female needs special care during pregnancy.

Rabbit mating

In order to get healthy, viable offspring, it is necessary to choose the right rabbits for mating. Rabbits are selected according to the following criteria:

  • Age from 4-6 months. Age depends on the size of the breed. In decorative rabbits, sexual maturity occurs already at the 4th month of life, while large breeds are ready for reproduction no earlier than 5 months.
  • Territory labels. Once males begin to mark territory in the cage, they can be selected for mating.
  • Activity. The animal should have normal appetite and activity during the day.
  • Health. Rabbits should not have any diseases, skin and coat lesions. Eyes and nose should be clean without discharge.
  • Compliance with the exterior of the breed. The breed qualities of a particular breed should be pronounced.
  • Krol must be from the first or second litter. Such individuals are stronger and healthier.

In addition to choosing a good male, choosing a good female is important. The ideal solution would be a female rabbit who already had experience in mating and successful birth, or a healthy female older than one year.

There are times when a rabbit after giving birth eats her little ones, such animals are removed from the tribe.

Rabbit mating process

Rabbit mating process

The mating is carried out on the territory of the male. Before mating, the rabbits are injected with fortified food, but they are not overfed, since their hunting decreases. How much fertilization will take place depends on the activity of the male and his experience. If the mating is successful, the rabbit falls on its side at the end of intercourse.

If the mating was successful, then the rabbit no longer allows the male to approach her. She is placed in a separate cage, where her pregnancy will take place, and subsequently - okrol.

Rabbit pregnancy

Pregnancy in rabbits lasts about a month. Usually, okrol begins on the 27th day after fertilization, but there may be deviations from the date. If there are more than six cubs, the birth of the rabbit begins earlier.

The behavior of the rabbit changes with the onset of pregnancy: pregnant females become nervous and fearful. They must be isolated from their relatives. Irritants can be bright light, noise, or temperature changes. Stress often causes miscarriages. For this reason, the rabbit must be protected from irritants.

During pregnancy, the animal needs increased nutrition for the normal development of embryos. The rabbit is given:

  • cereals: wheat, oats, corn;
  • wild herbs or hay, depending on the season;
  • vegetables: carrots, potatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, cabbage;
  • meat and fish meal;
  • vitamin and mineral supplements.

If the mother does not eat enough during the gestation of the rabbits, the cubs will be born weak and unviable. It is also imperative to monitor the presence of sufficient clean water in the drinkers.

The cages should be well ventilated and away from noise and drafts. If a furry does not have enough comfortable living conditions, its productivity drops.

Preparing for childbirth

During the last 10 days of pregnancy, there is a maximum increase in the body weight of cubs in the womb. The female's diet at this stage should contain a large amount of fresh juicy food and hay.

If the bunny gives birth for the first time, it can be very stressful for her. Often the first okrol turns out to be not very successful due to the mother's inexperience. Rabbits bite off babies' ears, heads or limbs, trying to free them from the films. They can also completely abandon offspring. So that the mother does not injure the cubs, her claws are cut. In order not to disturb the pregnant female, they do this even before mating.

Rabbits are born at night. The rabbit is able to give birth on her own, the breeder is only required to create favorable conditions for her for this:

  • A few days before the cage, a wooden box or partition is installed in the cage, which will act as a nest. The size of the box should be such that the animal can freely turn around in it.
  • The litter is changed to clean sawdust and straw, so as not to disturb the family in the first days after spawning.
  • Mothers are given succulent, nutritious food so that she can gain strength before giving birth.

A few days before the birth, the rabbit becomes inactive, sleeps a lot. Aggression towards a person and relatives may also appear. Most rabbit bites occur during this period.

Signs of the onset of okrol

Signs of the onset of okrol

The imminent onset of okrol is indicated by the fact that the rabbit tears the fluff. She pulls out some of the fur from the belly, chest and sides. The female does this to insulate the nest. The lower the air temperature, the more fluff the female tears. In winter, the rabbit can remain practically naked. To avoid this, it is recommended to maintain a comfortable air temperature in the rabbitries. In summer, the female fights quite a bit undercoat.

If the rabbit picked up the fluff, then only a couple of days are left until the okrol. Young, inexperienced females can be helped to settle in the nest. To do this, you need to carefully pinch the fur from the animal's breast.

It so happens that an animal is absolutely not suitable for raising offspring. If the rabbit does not begin to prepare the nest a few days before the birth, the babies may die from the cold. Also, the mother can bring the rabbits in a place that is not intended for this: in her toilet, a feeding trough.

Another oversight of the rabbit, entailing the death of the cubs, can be unremoved films that impede the breathing of a newborn animal.

Basically, such individuals go to slaughter in the future.

Childbirth at a rabbit

When the female has made the nest and there is enough fluff so that the cubs do not freeze, she begins to fight. How much a farm rabbit gives birth depends on the number of fruits. Childbirth can last from 10 minutes to a day. The first okrol lasts longer than the next ones.

How many decorative rabbits give birth will depend on the size of the individual. Often, small rabbits are not able to give birth on their own. The owners of decorative breeds not only have to give birth, but also help the mother take care of the cubs, which will begin to feed on adult food on their own by 20-21 days.

There are many videos on the Internet about the birthing process in rabbits. Novice rabbit breeders are advised to familiarize themselves with such videos in order to know how rabbits give birth and how normal childbirth should proceed in a female.

In the process, complications may arise. Usually they are associated with the fact that the fetus is disproportionately large, therefore it is not recommended to take very small females for breeding.If you have problems, you need to contact your veterinarian for help.

It is necessary to ensure that there is enough fresh water and juicy food in the cage. Often, due to postpartum dehydration, the pups are eaten by the female to restore her water balance. Bunnies who eat babies for no reason are removed from breeding divorce.

Caring for offspring in the early days

After the first birth, the rabbit is ready for mating in a few hours. To avoid a new pregnancy, the female with the rabbits is isolated from the opposite sex. Also, cubs can be killed by an aggressive male. You need to keep the female and offspring separately.

Born rabbits are recommended to be left in the nest with their mother. Dead and sick cubs must be removed.

If there are too many rabbits, more than 8, then some of them are given to the female with fewer offspring. Babies need to be cleaned of the mother's fluff and rubbed on the fluff that is in the foster mother's nest. This is done in order to kill the smell. The main thing is that the rabbits are of the same age.

The rabbit can independently give birth and care for the offspring, but it so happens that the females refuse to feed the rabbits. You need to be prepared for this. The owner will have to feed the cubs on his own or entrust this to the foster mother.

Caring for newborn rabbits

Caring for newborn rabbits

Good nutrition is important for newborn rabbits for growth and development. How do you know if the cubs are full? The rabbit feeds them every 5-6 hours. She does this mainly in the dark, and during the rest of the time she may not pay attention to the brood at all. You can understand whether the kids are full by the following parameters:

  • rabbits sleep peacefully and do not cry;
  • their tummies are full;
  • no folds on the skin.

If the babies are restless, often squeak, or are very lethargic, it may be due to the diet of the mother rabbit. It is necessary to change some products and observe the behavior of the offspring.

If it is not clear that there is a reason for the weakness of the babies, you should not experiment for a long time with the mother's diet. It is better to immediately seek help from a specialist.

Features of compacted borders

For several decades, breeders have successfully used another scheme for obtaining offspring in rabbits. The compacted okrol is used to quickly increase the number of animals in the herd, as well as to increase the material profit from the farm.

With proper care of bunnies, you can get up to 8 broods per year. The peculiarity of compacted okrols is that the male for mating is placed with the rabbit already 2-3 days after the previous okrol. During this period, females go into hunt and fertilization occurs faster and more successfully. Pregnancy does not prevent the rabbit from feeding the babies, and they remain with the mother in the nest until her next birth. The young rabbits are deposited as soon as the female begins to tear the fluff to settle in the nest.

Feature of sealed edges

Feature of sealed edges

This scheme works well if the animals are in good conditions. Farms using the compacted birthing scheme should have specially designed feeders, since rabbits need access to food at any time of the day or night.

The cages should be spacious and clean. You should also take care of their good ventilation, but avoid drafts.


If a breeder decides to start raising rabbits, do it wisely. It is necessary to take care of the proper nutrition of the animals, as well as the conditions of their keeping. The diet of rabbits should be varied and contain a sufficient amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, as well as vitamins and minerals.

It is better to buy purebred young animals for pedigree breeding from trusted breeders or at livestock shows. It is necessary to be confident in the breed qualities of the animal, as well as in its health.

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