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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Advice - may have pregnant bunny
Last Post by BB at 5/14/2007 7:40 PM (14 Replies)
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User is Offline NC Bunnies
RTP, NC
9 posts Send Private Message
4/25/2007 4:05 AM
One of my foster bunnies, Cali (short for Calabash), who just arrived last Saturday, has started nesting.  We put one of our small carriers in her cage to use as a nesting box and she has been adding more and more shredded newspaper.

I sort of know what to expect from reading, but if any of you have first hand accounts of dealing with new moms and babies, please share!

User is Offline NC Bunnies
RTP, NC
9 posts Send Private Message
4/25/2007 6:46 AM
I just went home to check on Cali and no babies yet!  I understand they will probably come at night.  Her nesting box is very very full of newspaper so hopefully she'll smooth it down some.

User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
4/25/2007 6:54 AM
I am not familiar w/ how far along buns are when they are nesting. But my local rescue org. was telling me about a foster they took to get spayed and when they opened her up they found she was pregnant so they aborted it! Since you have to get her spayed anyways, you could do it soon and get it aborted. Especially if she is a young one, its just not fair to her body. Depends how full you guys are with rabbits in the shelters & in the foster home. Personally, I don't have a problem with it. It is a delicate issue, but consider it as an option.
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$

User is Offline NC Bunnies
RTP, NC
9 posts Send Private Message
4/25/2007 7:00 AM
I understand the reasoning behind that but I don't think that's an option for us.  We'll take care of whatever nature has in store for us!

User is Offline skunklionshow
City of Brotherly "Shove"
1247 posts Send Private Message
4/25/2007 11:06 AM

Unfortunately, my bunny had babies earlier this year.  She was impregnated by another one of our therapy bunnies.  I had no idea she was pregnant!  I suspected it, b/c I had observed the conception (less than 30 sec.).  She had her babies over a weekend, when she was alone.  At the time she was living w/ a cage mate (another female).  When we came in a Monday morning, Jess was missing lots of fur and had 5 babies!

Things I've learned....

When they nest, they use their fur to build their nest.  This is done about 24 hrs prior to giving birth.  Also, their nipples become more prominent, also w/ a lack of fur.

Its very hard to tell if a bun is nursing.  In the wild, most buns only nurse once every 24 hrs.  They leave their babies alone while they scrounge.  Pet buns most often nurse during the wee hrs of the morning, during which most of us are sleeping.  When I fostered a cat and her kittens, I weighed the kittens daily , w/ a food scale, to ensure they were eating and growing.  My vet gave me a formula for bun milk incase she wasn't nursing.  I remember it included bottled water, evaporated milk, and corn syrup.

From what I understand, most babies are kept warm enough by their mom's homemade nest.  Do not overheat the babies...they can't tolerate too much heat (I think this is what I did wrong)!

I would also provide an open box w/ a towel for her to use as her nest.  Jess had her babies in a clementine's box. 

Do NOT touch the babies!  This will likely put your scent on them, causing her to not care for her buns.  This is somewhat controversial!  The AVMA says that this is not true, but house bunny (I think) and other rescue groups denote this is true  I used rubber gloves when handling the babes.

Unfortunately, Jess's babies didn't make it.  I hate to say it, but I believe it was a blessing in disguise.  I never would have found appor homes for the babies.

Good Luck!

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Ghandi


User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
4/25/2007 11:30 AM
Do you know any of her history to know if she was exposed to an intact male bunny last month? Part of the issue is that it can sometimes be hard to tell if a bunny is pregnant by looking or even checking their tummy.

It is hopefully a false preganacy, unspayed females are prone to them. Although false pregnancies are not usually medically harmful to rabbits, they can be extremely stressful. False pregnant females will normally go through the same activities as if pregnant, i.e., milk production, nest building and aggression towards you and other rabbits and/or pets. Often times a false pregnancy will cause a decrease in appetite, so keep an eye out for this.
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8644 posts Send Private Message
4/25/2007 7:26 PM

Skunklion gave some great information.   Regarding the handling issue, that really does have differing opinions.   I know that at the shelter I volunteer for, they did not use gloves (however I do not know if they used gloves at all the first week), but usually by the time I see them, after a week, they are being handled with clean hands, and the mothers haven't rejected them.    Doesn't mean that a rejection didn't take place at some other shelter and the rejection was attributed to handling, and so therefore they had a rule against bare hand handling.  

Another thing to add is make sure mom has unlimited pellets during nursing.


User is Offline NC Bunnies
RTP, NC
9 posts Send Private Message
4/26/2007 4:25 AM
Thanks for all the advice!  Cali has been calm yesterday and this morning - no more nesting frantically or panting.  I'm hoping this is a false pregnancy, but she was with intact males as of 1.5 weeks ago (before she came to my foster home) so I have about 2.5 more weeks to be sure! 

User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
4/26/2007 6:38 PM
Omg skunklion- Jessica sounds like such a trooper! A pregnancy and being beat up by cats and getting the runs! She's a trooper!
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$

User is Offline NC Bunnies
RTP, NC
9 posts Send Private Message
4/29/2007 4:27 AM

So much for thinking it was a false alarm.  This morning we discovered that Cali had her litter - 8 babies we think from our quick count!  You can see a picture here:  www.ncbunny.blogspot.com.

They seem to be doing ok and have a nice nest with lots of mom's fur.  Keep the advice coming!


User is Offline K F
Rome, NY
34 posts Send Private Message
4/29/2007 8:16 AM
Wow, 8 little buns.  We had a litter ourselves last summer.  We didn't think she was pregnant, as I did all the feeling around, watching, etc.  Then POOF. There they were, 5 little pumpkins.  It was fascinating to watch the mommy bunny do what she did.  Feeding just once a day, and making sure they were always nested like she wanted them to be.  We got a lot of enjoyment out of watching them turn from little bald fingertips, into healthy young buns.  Best of luck to you.  

User is Offline NC Bunnies
RTP, NC
9 posts Send Private Message
4/30/2007 7:26 AM
I recounted last night and actually found 10 babies.  One was very small so unfortunately I don't think it will make it.  I am trying not to disturb them since moving their covering lets in lots of cold air.  I will check them again tonight.

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
4/30/2007 8:43 AM
ooo wow, that's a lot of babies! I don't know too much about breeding and buns, but that seems like a LOT of babies for one mama to feed.

this article may be helpful since it talks about feeding and how to tell if the babies are in danger: http://www.rabbit.org/care/babies.html

Sending lots of good wishes your way and I hope everybunny will be ok
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline skunklionshow
City of Brotherly "Shove"
1247 posts Send Private Message
4/30/2007 8:59 AM

Its amazing how that VW Rabbit commercial is just so realistic......

Good Luck to you NC!  I know how difficult this time could be.  Please make sure to keep in contact with your vet...maybe you can get a vet tech to come out and see the babies.

I think its so amazing how they have their little bunny thumper paws and bunny buck teeth!  Its those little things that made my babies passings so difficult.  The fact that they look like bunnies (I hope that made sense).

Good luck little Cali...Jess and I will be sending out our healthy bunny vibes!

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Ghandi


User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8644 posts Send Private Message
5/14/2007 7:40 PM
How did things go? 
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > Advice - may have pregnant bunny

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