First time mum

Help Support RabbitsOnline:

Emma Walker

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
24
Reaction score
4
Location
South Africa
hi everyone,

My french angora doe is quite heavily pregnant - when she lays on her side you can see the babies kicking. I’ve got a couple of questions however and was hoping someone here could help me!

How soon would you expect a rabbit to kindle if you can already see the babies kicking in the does stomach? Unfortunately I didn’t see the mating with my french angora buck, however am pretty confident it was around the 7th December. However it could’ve been slightly earlier. She was separated from the buck on the 16th December, this is when I was grooming her and had a suspicion she was pregnant.

My other question is about her nest building. I have given her a nest box and lots of supplies to build, however she keeps making nests, destroying them then going back to make more. Sometimes she just pushes the hay and straw around her pen. This seems to tire her out quite quickly as she then lays down panting for around half an hour before going back to try again. I’m quite concerned that she wouldn’t have made a nest in time for the arrivals, she’s also not pulling fur at this stage, however her hair does seem to be loose, almost like when they’re starting to moult.

If anyone could give me some advice that would be great. Thank you so much in advance xx
 

Preitler

Loony bunny guy
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
999
Reaction score
611
Location
Austria
If it was the 7th and she's already big and you see them kicking that could be a rather large litter, or he got to her earlier (which would be my bet). With my does, when it's that obvious, it wouldn't be long, a few days max. On other occasions I didn't notice anything until there were suddenly 7 rabbits hopping around in the hutch instead of 2.
One sign I noticed with mine that it can't be long anymore (1-2 days) is a somewhat noticeable loss of appetite.

Nest building is an instinct that seems to have a wiered trigger sometimes, however, good that she does it - it gives her exercise and practice. Just keep her offering a lot of hay. It is a good thing that she is active.
If she pulls fur too early for an unused nest save that and add it to the actual nest when you check it and remove wet and soiled stuff. You can also stockpile fur from grooming them (don't groom her now in the breast/belly area if the fur is already loose).

You can make a hay nest in the nestbox whenever she has destroyed it, but I wouldn't interfere with her instincts too much when she'S at it, but check on her as often as possible. It can be that there are kits outside the nest, if that happens they'll need to be warmed up and put in the nest.

Good Luck :)
 
Last edited:

Emma Walker

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
24
Reaction score
4
Location
South Africa
Thank you for your response!

I have some of her wool from when I’ve groomed her before if there is a problem with her not pulling any, and for when I need to clean the nest box.

Another thing she is doing that seems quite strange to me (from everything I’ve read) Both my buns are indoor rabbits, and when I let her out of the segregated pen I’ve put her in for some exercise (monitored just in case she decides to build a nest somewhere else!) she won’t go anywhere but flop down next to/on top of me. In general she’ll lick me to death for a few mins then just lay down. She won’t let me husband anywhere near her though. Is this normal at all?!
 

Preitler

Loony bunny guy
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
999
Reaction score
611
Location
Austria
Yes, that's normal, on the cute edge of "normal" though :D. There's more going on in their little heads than meets the eye. Now idea how they pick their preferences.
 

Emma Walker

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
24
Reaction score
4
Location
South Africa
Thank you for your help, you’re a star.

She has gone off her food quite a bit today (it’s 1pm where I am!) but is drinking quite a substantial amount. I can’t wait for the little ones to arrive, but I just hope it goes smoothly and there’s no emergencies for either princess or her little ones
 

Emma Walker

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
24
Reaction score
4
Location
South Africa
So princess was going a little crazy last night, she completely emptied the other nest she had made, went around collecting more hay and then started pulling fur. She was at it for around 3 hours. This time she’s left the nest as it is (I did check and she’s made a lovely nest with a little well that’s been lined with her fur)

She is incredibly grumpy today, still drinking and nibbling hay from her feeder, but not touching the pellets or fresh greens and veg. She also keeps making little grunting noises. I’m sure it’s got to be close now
 

Emma Walker

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
24
Reaction score
4
Location
South Africa
I think I’m actually worse than my 3 year old was waiting for Christmas :p

That bunny in the picture is absolutely gorgeous. I had one just like her when I was younger.
 

Preitler

Loony bunny guy
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
999
Reaction score
611
Location
Austria
Yeah, my Fury is special. 8 years now, I'm not sure if I should breed her this year - well, she managed to organise almost half her litters herself anyway, sometimes in ways I still have no clue how she did it. I would like to have a nice, headstrong doe to keep from her with compareable mothering instincts, but time is running out. She's the most Alpha individual of whatever species I've ever met, puts everyone in his place, cats, dogs, me, whatever :D. Although she almost killed me twice and pretty much destroyed my apartment when she was an indoor bunny for 8 months I love her to bits.
 

Attachments

Emma Walker

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
24
Reaction score
4
Location
South Africa
She’s adorable, and sounds like a right little character! I didn’t know you could still breed them at 8 years?! She really is stunning though. Although I do have to know how she almost killed you twice?!

Still no babies this side. Princess was the quietest she’s ever been last night, was pretty much laying down the whole time. Today she isn’t really eating or drinking and just looks miserable. She’s been in her nest box a few times, but then comes straight back out. This waiting is killing me!
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
8,153
Reaction score
2,250
Location
Utah, , USA
Once you notice she's having labor contractions, keep an eye on her. If it goes on too long without delivering the kits, she could be experiencing complications.
 

Emma Walker

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
24
Reaction score
4
Location
South Africa
She isn’t showing any signs of contracting currently, she’s just laying down not doing anything, I can however still see the kits wiggling and moving around when she lays down. Her stomach has also seemed to have “dropped”. Before when she came to snuggle up with me, I could feel the kits on the sides of the stomach, now they’re all sort of hanging underneath?! I’m not sure how well I’m explaining this or how much sense I’m making :confused:

I’m so annoyed with myself for not knowing the exact date she was bred:(

What could be the other signs she will soon be going into active/contracting labour?
 

Preitler

Loony bunny guy
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
999
Reaction score
611
Location
Austria
There isn't much else to go by.
One thing came to mind, calcium levels run low at these times which can have an impact, other breeders offer the doe a fruit flavoured Tums when it's about time, not available here so I made cookies out of pellets, oatmeal and egg shells ground up in a coffee blender, a little powdeed egg shells on her food would do.
 

Emma Walker

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
24
Reaction score
4
Location
South Africa
I’ll give it a go, I’m not sure if they sell tums here (I now live in South Africa, moved from the uk) however I have plenty of egg shells I could crush. The only problem is, she’s not eating. I’ve given her plenty to choose from to try to entice her but other than a few strands of hay, she won’t eat anything else
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
8,153
Reaction score
2,250
Location
Utah, , USA
Do you have alfalfa/lucerne hay you could try and offer her? That's high in calcium.

All tums is is a calcium carbonate antacid. I would imagine you would have something similar there available at the pharmacy. If she won't take it on her own, I would crush a bit of it up, mix with a bit of water and syringe it into her mouth(carefully, allowing time to swallow so she doesn't aspirate).

You should be able to tell when she starts having contractions as you'll see her get restless and start tightening those abdominal muscles.
 

Emma Walker

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
24
Reaction score
4
Location
South Africa
Thank you for your advice!

I gave her a fruit flavoured antacid that is the equivalent here to tums. She’s still being really affectionate towards me, is peeing and pooping fine, but isn’t restless or even energetic, she’s hardly moved all day!

It’s nearly midnight here so am hoping for some magic in the early hours of the morning. Feel really quite sorry for her, she looks incredibly fed up and uncomfortable. I’m toying with the idea of taking her to the vet, however because I’m not sure when she’s due I don’t know how much they’ll be able to help (my vet is an amazing rabbit doctor though) and I wouldn’t want her induced too soon and it harms her or the litter. This will be the second night since pulling a tonne of fur out so am hoping it’ll be tonight, or just very very soon.

The kits seem to be very energetic already, one was wiggling and kicking and it pushed the whole side of her stomach up :confused:
 

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
8,153
Reaction score
2,250
Location
Utah, , USA
If it's been more than 12 hours since she ate much, you may have to help encourage her to eat. I would try and entice her with her usual veggies/greens. If that doesn't work then syringe feeding a pellet mush or rabbit recovery mix, may become necessary. It's never good for any rabbit to go more than 24 hours without eating or not eating much, even a pregnant one.

As long as you can still see movement in there, that's a good sign. It's lack of movement in the belly that would have me worried.

And of course, if you are concerned about anything, it's always best to consult with your vet.
 

Emma Walker

Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
24
Reaction score
4
Location
South Africa
She went back to eating last night, consumed everything in sight :p Also has a lot more energy again. Still no kits though :(
 

Latest posts

Group Builder
Top