Doe nesting early

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Hollandblaze03

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I’m kind of new to rabbit breeding so I need some help with an early nesting doe. I have a 3 year old doe who I bred to our brand new, first time, buck. I tried to palpate her but she wouldn’t let me. She hasn’t been showing signs of pregnancy other than digging in her cage. Yesterday she was really digging in one corner of her cage so I gave her the nest box. Last night she built a wonderful nest full of fur and hay. The problem is, she is due on the 19th and 8 days from her due date. Could this be a false pregnancy? This is her last litter so I am really hoping this will turn out good.
 

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My rabbits have nested up to 2 weeks before having babies..
 

Hollandblaze03

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Ok well, I’m hopeful. Her stomach is bigger today than ever more firm. She is eating some but she has been laying around her cage all day. Will her babies survive being born this early?
 

LopLover89

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I have a doe that demands a nest box 2 weeks early everytime. She usually kindles on day 29 and has lovely babies.
Other doe of mine had a nest built 36 hours after breeding! LOL. She was a first timer and clearly eager. She just had 6 kits a few days ago.

What I’m saying is - sometimes they just want to be prepared. It doesn’t mean the kits will come early . But sometimes they just need to know that they are ready I guess .

Good luck to your doe in her retirement !
 

Happy Hollands

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I’m kind of new to rabbit breeding so I need some help with an early nesting doe. I have a 3 year old doe who I bred to our brand new, first time, buck. I tried to palpate her but she wouldn’t let me. She hasn’t been showing signs of pregnancy other than digging in her cage. Yesterday she was really digging in one corner of her cage so I gave her the nest box. Last night she built a wonderful nest full of fur and hay. The problem is, she is due on the 19th and 8 days from her due date. Could this be a false pregnancy? This is her last litter so I am really hoping this will turn out good.
since she is a proven doe, I wouldn't worry too much!! one of my does was eager to nest halfway through her pregnancy, so I gave her the box early and she had a healthy litter. sometimes they can be funky haha. I really hope she took, for your sake. that nest box could definitely be fuller, here's what mine normally look like:
IMG_20200325_215102.jpg
fill it to the brim, make a hole in the back so she gets the idea of what to do!! good luck, keep us updated ☺
 

Hollandblaze03

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Sadly she did not take. It was a false pregnancy. We have rebreed her but it kind of seems like a false pregnancy. After 11 days she has started digging. It seems a bit early. Have your does ever started digging this early?
 

Happy Hollands

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Sadly she did not take. It was a false pregnancy. We have rebreed her but it kind of seems like a false pregnancy. After 11 days she has started digging. It seems a bit early. Have your does ever started digging this early?
Oh, I am so sorry to hear that she didn't take! It's always a disappointment, especially considering this was going to be her last litter that must be hard for you :( One of my does always starts digging about halfway through her pregnancy. For this reason, I don't give her blankets or anything she could destroy, and be careful where I put her outside as I do not want her digging up our nice lawn (but she somehow always ends up doing so lol)! Yet every time, she has a healthy litter despite this.

It really just depends on the rabbit, you mentioned she is proven, what were her habits during pregnancy when she did take? Expect a lot of loafing around and moodiness. It could just be natural instincts, and she could be eager to have a litter. It's hard to say, but the majority of the time they nest and pull for about halfway through the pregnancy when it is a false pregnancy. If I were you, I'd wait it out and see if it is a false pregnancy again, which unfortunately could be highly likely. If so, I would retire her from a breeding program.

If you can afford it, try taking her to a vet and they can do a scan to determine if she is pregnant or not for sure.
 

Happy Hollands

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Also, did you happen to weigh her right before the breeding? That is one of the most tried and true ways to determine if they are pregnant. They should gain a few ounces on the month they are pregnant. Since she is still early in her pregnancy, you could weigh her now and in about 10 days which could also help determine if she took. I hope this helps and good luck! :)
 

Hollandblaze03

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Ok thank you. For some reason she is never consistent in her pregnancies. Sometimes she is grumpy, some times she’s sweet, she never lets me touch her stomach. For some reason she is just very unpredictable. We do plan to retire her if she isn’t pregnant this time but do you have any tips for dealing with our waitlist if she isn’t pregnant? (Due to a series of really unfortunate events she is the only doe we have and as of now we won’t have another doe ready to breed for almost 6 months!)
 

Happy Hollands

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Ok thank you. For some reason she is never consistent in her pregnancies. Sometimes she is grumpy, some times she’s sweet, she never lets me touch her stomach. For some reason she is just very unpredictable. We do plan to retire her if she isn’t pregnant this time but do you have any tips for dealing with our waitlist if she isn’t pregnant? (Due to a series of really unfortunate events she is the only doe we have and as of now we won’t have another doe ready to breed for almost 6 months!)
I agree that is quite strange, normally their behavior is similar during every pregnancy. Some stay sweet, and others can be very moody! Do you have any pictures of her? It could be that she is overweight, etc.

It is a bit late for it now, but weighing her with a baby scale, palpating, or taking her to the vet are all good ways to determine if she is pregnant (the vet could also catch any underlying issues that may be preventing her from conceiving).

Being a breeder myself, I personally do not have a wait list for the reason that rabbits, (like all animals) are unpredictable and there is few ways to accurately predict babies, colors, and litter size. It can put a lot of pressure on yourself to produce more than you would like to, and it can easily become overwhelming / stressful instead of something that should bring joy to you!!!

Do people pay to be on your wait list, and do you have a policy describing that the wait time may differ? If you could provide more information, such as the amount of people on your wait list and what you've already promised, I can try to help you more ☺

Also, I would love to check out your website or social media pages if you have any 😉 What's the name of your rabbitry? Thank you!
 

Hollandblaze03

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I had a pretty consistent amount of babies so I thought a waitlist would be a good idea. I was very wrong. I am a very anxious person and a waitlist is very stressful. I currently have 4 people on our waitlist. I was sure to make no promises other than if babies are born, they will have the ability to pick one before the babies are available to the public. They didn’t have to pay to be on it or anything. If godiva isn’t pregnant this time we will retire her but I don’t know how to handle the waitlist because we will not have another doe that is breeding age for almost 5 months!
 

Happy Hollands

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Ignore the poop stains. She always mashes cepotropes into her cage floor.
Wow she is beautiful! Chocolate gets me every time ❤
She looks like a big(er) girl, I'm guessing 4 lbs.? Which is a good size for breeding and she should have no issues during labor. It's the smaller girls I worry about. It's hard to tell from pictures, but she doesn't look extremely overweight either.
 

Hollandblaze03

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She is pretty slim and fit. (She kicks pretty well when she doesn’t want to be held) she is a very big girl but she is actually only about 3 pounds 8oz. She has really wide hips so she has never had problems with babies.
 

Happy Hollands

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I had a pretty consistent amount of babies so I thought a waitlist would be a good idea. I was very wrong. I am a very anxious person and a waitlist is very stressful. I currently have 4 people on our waitlist. I was sure to make no promises other than if babies are born, they will have the ability to pick one before the babies are available to the public. They didn’t have to pay to be on it or anything. If godiva isn’t pregnant this time we will retire her but I don’t know how to handle the waitlist because we will not have another doe that is breeding age for almost 5 months!
Okay phew, thankfully that's not too many (I was picturing 10-15). Seeing as they didn't have to pay and know there is a waiting time, I would be honest with them and tell them this litter didn't work with Godiva (perfect name for her BTW!!). Mention when your next expected litter is (then again... if this other doe is a baby and not proven first time litters generally don't go smoothly so even that timeline is risky) and get a feel for if they are still interested or would like to be removed from the waitlist. For me, if I have somebody interested in getting a bunny sooner rather than later, I refer them to one of my good breeder friends in the area. Although it does seem like you are giving away business, it normally all works out in the long run and they should return the favor when the time comes 😉
 

Happy Hollands

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She is pretty slim and fit. (She kicks pretty well when she doesn’t want to be held) she is a very big girl but she is actually only about 3 pounds 8oz. She has really wide hips so she has never had problems with babies.
Hmmm... from how you are describing her, I don't see why she isn't taking. Normally spring is a good time to breed them, as they are more willing. Could you please give me some information on her past litters? Such as litter size, age, and how many times she has been bred, etc.
 

Hollandblaze03

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She has always had nice litter usually 2-4. Her most recent litter was a litter of 4. (2 of the ended up dying due to a stress related illness. We don’t know why they were stressed but our best guess is that they had some veggies from their mom and that upset their stomachs). She is an amazing mom but she is refusing Reese’s. Honestly, I think she is just done breeding.
 

Happy Hollands

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She has always had nice litter usually 2-4. Her most recent litter was a litter of 4. (2 of the ended up dying due to a stress related illness. We don’t know why they were stressed but our best guess is that they had some veggies from their mom and that upset their stomachs). She is an amazing mom but she is refusing Reese’s. Honestly, I think she is just done breeding.
What's her age? I recommend retirement at about 4 years old depending on the bunny.

How often do you breed her? I normally do it in a cycle of two litters closer together with a few weeks between for her to reset, then a longer break during time when the market is bad, like summer time.

The problem may not be with her, it may be your buck Reece's. Is he proven recently? I would most definitely recommend trying her with another buck, I normally almost always do this if she isn't feelin' it. Make sure they are different coloring so you can determine when the babies come who daddy is!! MAX total time she should be with a buck is within the span of 1 week, I normally do afternoon breedings for a few consecutive days or leave them overnight if I am positive they will not fight and they are most active then.

I'm sorry to hear about the babies, that's such a bummer! Personally, I don't let babies eat fresh veggies or fruit until about 3-6 months and when I am giving daily cuddles to Mom that is when she gets her treats and veggies to not risk the baby's getting any! Also, the same goes for grass. Unless you plan on deworming them, mine stay indoor only until they are 2 months!
 

Hollandblaze03

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She JUST turned 4 last month. That’s why this would be her last litter. I think I am just going to retire her if she did not take this time. Reese’s is not proven. Is there any way I will be able to tell if he can’t produce? Everything down there looks good for him and he is very eager to breed.
 
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