Baby rabbits: how the baby is born

The baby rabbits are nest stools, which means that they are born blind, naked and defenseless and spend the early days snuggled up together in the warm nest. Rabbit owners often do not even notice the birth itself, since the mother usually gives birth to her young at night or early in the morning. This baby rabbit is a few weeks old; baby rabbits are born blind and naked as nest stools - Shutterstock / Sue McDonald

Pregnancy is also quite unremarkable in rabbits because they do not become spherical - like guinea pigs - but remain relatively slim. From the behavior of the mother-to-be, you can see a few pointers to the imminent birth of the baby rabbits.

Nest building: mother rabbit prepares for birth

In general, if you keep an uncastrated rammer and an uncastrated rabbit together, you must always expect the female to expect baby rabbits. Overall, the rabbits are pregnant for between 28 and 33 days. During this time you may notice that your rabbit lady is more repellent and "bitchy" than usual. About ten days before the birth, the long ears start building the nest, that is, they find a quiet corner in the stable, build one out of straw and hay cozy trough and pull out fur to pad the nest warm and soft.

Important! Your expectant rabbit mother now needs your help so that she can calmly prepare for the arrival of the baby rabbits. Separate the sexually mature, uncastrated babbler from the female - otherwise she can get pregnant again immediately after birth, which would be a huge burden, which could even die. It is best to clean the barn again ten days before the expected date of birth and give the rabbit fresh straw and hay so that she has enough nesting material. The best thing is to have a stable that you can open from above so that you can check whether everything is in order with as little stress as possible. Alternatively, you can set up a cozy litter box for your rabbit to build its nest in.

Baby rabbits are born blind and without fur

A litter usually consists of four to ten young animals, but it can also be fewer. Baby rabbits have their eyes closed tightly and not a single hair sprouts on their skin when they are born. It is therefore vital for them that they stay in the warm nest and that the siblings can warm each other. If they accidentally tumble out of the nest, they cool down quickly. Count the baby rabbits once they are born so they know when one is missing. Fallen rabbit babies are carefully put back in the nest. You can recognize healthy youngsters by the fact that they are nestled close together in their warm nursery and have well-filled bellies.

Do not be surprised if you never or only rarely see the mother with her offspring, she usually nurses her baby rabbits only once or twice a day, and usually at night. This is because wild rabbits try everything to make predators and their young animals go unnoticed by predators. For example, the wild rabbit mother closes the entrance to the building so that no one can find it, and returns in the most unobserved moments to briefly suckle her little ones. She also ignores the location of the nest so as not to draw attention to it. Immediately after birth, the rabbit nibbles off her babies, eats the egg skin and the afterbirth, and licks the little ones dry. This process also stimulates the circulation of the baby rabbits and the mother-child bond is created.

Dwarf rabbits: So cute are the little bugs

This is how rabbit babies develop in the first few weeks

After about three days, the fur of the baby rabbits gradually grows and their drawing can be seen. Around a week later, with ten to twelve days, the baby fur has grown thick and the little ones open their eyes. As soon as the baby rabbits can see something, they slowly start to curiously explore their surroundings. However, they only take longer trips when they are three to four weeks old, when they are old they are real whirlwinds, playing with their siblings and frolicking happily. So that the mother can meet her need for rest from time to time, you should offer her an elevated place or a separate house. At this age, mini-healers are already starting to try solid foods. Sometimes the furry pills are weaned, but it may also be that they are nursed until the eighth or tenth week.

Rabbit children are generally self-employed at six to eight weeks, but should stay with their mother and their usual rabbit group for four to six weeks longer in order to learn the social behavior of the Mummelnasen noses. For small rammers, early castration between the eighth and twelfth week of life is recommended to avoid unwanted offspring and inbreeding.