If you are pretty certain she's about to give birth, I would keep her indoors, in a pen if she's normally free roam, and provide a nesting box and lots of hay for her to build her nest if she hasn't already. If she has already made a nest, transfer the nest she's already built, into the proper sized nesting box in her pen.
Once the babies are born, they need to be checked at least twice a day to make sure mom is feeding and taking care of them. If by 24-36 hours they don't have full ping pong looking bellies and are starting to look dehydrated and wrinkly, you will probably need to intervene and assist mom in feeding them(carefully). Mom will only be with them to feed them once or twice a day, in the early morning or late evening usually. The rest of the time she won't pay attention to them or be around them. So you can continue to let her out to play or do whatever she normally does, the rest of the time.
Ok. So, should I put the nest near or far from the poop box? I read that they try to avoid the nest as much as possible to avoid attracting predators. If I fence her in near her box maybe she'll ignore the new nest?
The nest should be near her home base, usual area. So, close to the litter box but doesn't have to be right by it. But it will also depend on your rabbit and how particular she is. Try it in a spot and if she seems ok with it there, leave it. But if she starts trying to build a nest in a different spot, move the nesting box to that new spot.
Two females that were abandoned on the "streets". Both were pregnant. We made sure they had a safe and quiet indoor spot while I scheduled wellness appts, and we didn't realize they were pregnant. I rehabbed cottontails yet was unaware that domestic lagomorphs are self- induced ovulators and unless spayed their ability to have offspring happens year round. -- The first "mother" gave birth a couple days after her DVM exam to evaluate for ear mites, parasites (in fecal float), et al.
We knew something was amiss when Cuddles (1st captured agouti mother) became onery, territorial, and began pulling fur. The man on the street in the neighborhood said "many, many babies" born while hubby was in the process of capturing them.
Lurking predators: cats, vagrant dogs, skunks, opposums, raccoons, hawks, owls - some of the long list of predators - who will kill vulnerable infants, juveniles, and adults.
At the shelter pregnant females came in, and gave birth. When possible, all new moms and infants were transferred out of the noisy shelter environment so Mom could nurse and nurture without stress factors. I was involved with an abandoned agouti mom delivering at the shelter and transitioning to the indoor comfort of our home.
@thebeast -- Hope you are doing okay, same for the chubby or fat female who you suspected could be pregnant. Wondering if you were able to check with the source, or pet store, or individual who had this gal prior to you?
Rabbits don't select the safest areas in many instances. I learned from rehabbing cottontails and people letting their dogs roam the yard to sniff out and kill nestlings.
When we got her she was housed with a male. They had babies before I guess the person I got her from didn't realize they'd get pregnant again so fast.
I tried keeping her enclosed for a night with a nest box and she was just miserable. Pooped in the box and was angry all day. Let her outside and she went right back to work on the original nest. idk, our yard isn't the worst place as we live in a city and I've not seen cats around.
I'll build up a fort around her nest with a dwarf bunny sized entrance. I think if I put her back in prison she'll just reject the litter.
Stress will cause a mother rabbit to cannibalize her youngsters. Thank you for being able to answer my Q on how she came into your home.
Our abandoned two females in 2006 were giving birth on the streets (under porches, etc., any place I guess) for many months. They acclimated to a trusting environment in a huge d/k crate with hidey box and amenities.
I have you in my thoughts. Both your female and possible pending birth of little ones.
I have experience with "FALSE PREGNANCY" one of my does had... She madre a Nest in my yard , you will now when she is actually pregnant when she Pulls out some hair (that will also mean that she's about to go in labor anytime)
You should her insiste with a box with hay outside... (The box must have a the top covered)
Our rescued gal in 2006 did A-OK once we brought her into a safe haven area. She didn't feel the comfort zones inside our home were imprisonment. Rather we noticed more relaxed behavior b/c she didn't have to worry about the numerous predators where she was hiding.
@thebeast , Please let us know how she does in the days ahead.
-- Sidenote on the ability to search forums: The archived info on various topics is advantageous.
-- Compliments to the RO admins for keeping the archived threads accessible. Many newbie participants may not be aware of the vast encyclopedia of posts since RO was created.
( I had googled on Territorial behavior for another post. )
thebeast, I'm unsure if RVHD2 would be a concern in your area? It is helpful to keep an eye on RVHD2.
As I mentioned before, babies should be checked at least twice a day, to make sure the mom is feeding them, especially in the first 36 hours, and that none have died(dead babies will chill the live ones and contaminate the nest as they decay). You can do this with minimal disruption if necessary, while mom is out doing other things, but it needs to be done.