From the Rabbitry: A Fat Doe

by Josée

About five weeks ago we bred Sofia and Galahad. Everything went fine so naturally we expected a new litter about thirty days later. We left on our road trip South twenty-eight days after breeding the rabbits, so I gave our house sitter (my sister) a quick lesson in baby rabbit delivery. She was glad that it wasn’t an involved process. You just need to do a quick check on the kits and remove any stillborns.

While we were gone I waited to hear from my sister, but there was no call. I imagined that everything went fine. Sofia built a good nest and the kits were all alive. As soon as we returned I checked Sofia out. No babies…? Odd. But the breeding was textbook. Did I palpate? [sheepish look] No… (You can check if a rabbit is pregnant by palpating their pelvic area around 10-14 days after breeding). I haven’t mastered the art of rabbit pelvic palpation so I slacked off.

Rabbits don’t go in-heat like other mammals. Instead female rabbits experience induced ovulation (release of eggs) after being bred by a buck (male rabbit). This means that breeding is frequently successful, but not always… this is why I should have palpated. Now I have no litter and one fat rabbit. Darn!

This is one of Sofia’s offspring from earlier this summer.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment