How to Care for Rabbit After Giving Birth? A Comprehensive Guide

It is a unique and memorable time when a species is giving birth. You have to take crucial care of the rabbit and its babies to make them safe, happy, and healthy.

Before taking care of the mother rabbit after the babies are born, there are a few things that you have to do. First of all, keep the father rabbit in a separate cage. After that, encourage the mother rabbit while it is making the nest for babies. Keep plenty of water and food in the rabbit’s pen. At last, inspect your pet for lactation. By doing these, your rabbit will remain safe and healthy after the kits are born.

When the baby rabbits are born, the mother will feel stressed, and it will be difficult for the owner. Below are a few methods that help you to remain comfortable after the rabbit gives birth. By following these steps, you do not have to experience the stress of after birth procedure.

Keep Apart The Mother And Father Rabbit

It is best to separate the father rabbit away from the mother rabbit after it gives birth. The adult male will try to breed the female right after the babies are born. There are high chances that the female rabbit will become pregnant on the same day it gave birth.

Though it is necessary to keep the male away from the female, make sure not to remove them from each other’s sight. Rabbits, being social creatures, tends to create powerful emotional bonds. The adult male and female rabbits have a bonding attachment with each other. It is better to keep them close enough so that they can snuggle each other. But DO NOT keep them in the same pen. When the female rabbit can not see the male rabbit, it tends to be anxious and stressed.

Here is a method you can use to keep the rabbits near and also away from one another. Rather than keeping them in different pens, it is best to fix a gate between them in the same cage. They can see and nuzzle each other, but the male can not reach the female as it can not pass through the high gate.

If you want a pair of specific rabbits to breed again, you can keep the adult male near the female but still at a considerable distance. The male rabbit can be gentle with the female babies. But when the female babies are sexually mature, the father rabbit will have dominant intentions to breed them.

When it comes to “safe distance,” it is not about saving the litter from the harsh male behavior. But, you have to be cautious about the instincts and unexpected pregnancies.

If you do not want to breed the rabbits again and even if the before litter is not your intention, neuter the male rabbit. Leave the mother rabbit for two days so that it can heal from giving birth. Later, you can take her to the adult male rabbit. After both the rabbits recover and do not feel stress, it is better to reintroduce them.

Why Separating Them Is Crucial

The primary purpose of keeping apart the male and female is to avoid another pregnancy.

When the rabbits mate, it generates ovulation which almost confirms the pregnancy. Due to this, the female rabbits can get pregnant right after giving birth to the babies.

If this happens, it is not safe for the mother rabbit’s health. Rabbits have a gestation period of twenty-eight to thirty-one days. Also, the baby rabbits can wean off when they are eight weeks old. By this record, the female rabbit has to take care of two litters at once, which could be up to thirty babies. Think about this, and you will know how this can be stressful to her physical and mental health.

Until the babies wean off, the female rabbits should not get pregnant again. Complete weaning happens when the baby rabbits reach the eighth week. But, they can also wean off in their fifth week. You can introduce the female and male to each other only after making sure that it is safe for the mother to get pregnant again.

If you do not want to deal with any more pregnancy cases, spay and neuter the female and male rabbits.

Develop A Nest For The Mother Rabbit And The Baby Rabbits

It is crucial to prepare a nest for the mother rabbit and its babies. When the rabbit is pregnant, it will make the nest by pulling her fur. But, if the mother is not preparing a nest, you have to create one.

It is better to use a room which you often do not use for making the nest. Ensure that the place is peaceful and calm so the mother rabbit can get enough rest after giving birth.

Consider using a small box to make the nest.  The babies should not get access to go out, but the mother rabbit can leave if she wants. When the baby rabbits exit, they will scatter around and might miss the track of their nest. It is harmful to the babies because they might get into problems in the outer world. In some cases, when the babies are lost, they will not get the care and essential nutrients to grow up.

Keep hay or straw in their nest, and make sure to clean it often. It is better to refill the hay or straw from time to time. If you keep the same grass or straw in their nest for more than three days, it will get humid and messy.

Being In Nest

When the baby rabbits are born, be aware of mother rabbits and babies’ health.

One thing you need to make sure of is, ensuring that the babies are getting enough food and warmth.

You can check the rabbit’s temperature and its body shape to know whether it is healthy or not. The healthy rabbit always stays warm and will have a white and round belly because of the milk. If your rabbit is thin and cold, it might be suffering from health problems.

When the mother rabbit is energetic and healthy, it will take care of the babies. If the rabbit is feeling active, she will follow her instincts. The mother rabbit keeps the babies warm and encourages them to urinate.

When the mother rabbit is dead while giving birth, or suffering from sickness, or shows aggression towards the newborns, the baby rabbits tend to become orphans. The mother will show some arrogance while taking care of the babies, but you can stimulate her to feed the babies. If the mother is acting very hostile and terrible, separate the baby rabbits and take care of them.

If you are taking care of the babies, make sure to give a warm nest and essential nutrition to them till they wean off or become mature.

It is better to make a nest from a small box by yourself. Keep a warm but not hot bottle underneath the box. It gives enough warmth to the babies. (If you want, you can buy a box that has a leak-proof bottle or liner.)

After choosing a box, keep a thick, neat, new, and fresh towel on top. If you place a ripped towel with holes, the babies will get caught in the threads and injure themselves.

If you have the mother rabbit’s fur, which she pulls out to make the nest, you can keep them inside their nest. It helps the baby rabbits to adapt themselves to their new nest.

Due to the warmth coming from the bottle and the plush lining of the cloth at the top, the baby rabbits can stay happy, active, and comfortable in their nest.

Give Plenty Of Water And Food To The Mother Rabbit

After the mother rabbit gives birth to the babies, make sure to offer her plenty of water and food. It is better to feed nutrient-rich foods to the rabbit, and it will be happy and heal at a quick pace. Some of the food items are hay, pellets, veggies, and greens.

The essential nutrients in the above foods help the mother rabbit to have a safe and quick recovery. If you feed her from time to time, the mother rabbit can regain her energy. The rabbit will have speedy healing and can nurse her litter. Giving a nutrient-rich diet is not beneficial for the mother rabbit but also the baby rabbits.

You can find various kinds of foods, like alfalfa hay, orchard grass hay, and pellets, on many pet care websites, which are petco.com, chewy.com, and amazon.com.

Fresh veggies and leafy greens are available in every grocery store. Properly wash these vegetables before feeding them to the rabbits. If there are any excess pesticides or chemicals on the plants, it will be dangerous for the mother rabbit.

Checking The Mother Rabbit For Lactation

When the mother rabbit gives birth, sometimes it is normal for her not to feed the baby rabbits right after they are born. The mother might take a day or two to feed her babies. It is better not to overcrowd the mother rabbit after the babies are born. When many people surround the mother rabbit, she will feel stressed and terrified to feed the babies.

When the baby rabbits are not getting enough food and water, you can see symptoms of dehydration in them. If their skin has wrinkles and bellies are not round, it is a sign of dehydration. The babies might not respond even if you deal with them.

When the babies are not getting enough food and are dehydrated, check the mother rabbit for lactation. If there are no signs of lactation in the mother, bring her to the veterinarian.

What To Consider

It is crucial to ensure that the baby rabbits and their mother are comfortable, safe, active, and healthy. If the mother rabbit is healthy and attentive to the babies, you only need to observe them. It is better not to intervene with the mother’s nature, behavior, or instincts.