False Pregnancy in Rabbits

Polymorph, the rabbit that I thought might have been pregnant, was going through a false pregnancy. I realized this about 37 days after the date she could have been bred. Rabbits are pregnant for only 28-33 days before they deliver. It was interesting to watch the symptoms she had, she gained weight, started acting very grouchy, and pulled fur to make a nest.

Pretty boy, my buck was only 4-5 months old when we got him, now he is about 7 months old. He is still very sweet, but now he is grown up. He is very appreciative of the ladies and he has turned into a bit of a romancer.  I put Bandit in with Pretty Boy on December 4th, and Polymorph on the 5th. (The kids named the rabbits. I think I’ve gotten Polly and Bandit switched a few times, but the kids can’t tell them apart, so I’ll never admit it to them.) They are both due the first week of January. I will palpate them in a couple of weeks just to make sure.

So far, the rabbits are eating about $0.45 worth of food and timothy hay a day. That’s only $0.15 apiece, but I’d like to get it lower than that. I’ve been drooling over seed catalogs, and I’d really like to plant some rabbit edible plants as soon as the weather warms up. $0.45 is not a lot, but the goal is self sufficiency, and it’s not very self sufficient to rely on rabbit pellets on a regular basis.

Here are some recent pictures of the rabbits, you can tell they have gained some weight. That’s a good thing! They were skin and bones when we first got them. The bright orange background is a tarp that I used to throw over the hutch whenever rain was in the forecast. Last week, we added nice plywood covers that can be attached to both sides for protection from weather, so the tarp is back in the shed. I really should write up a post about the hutch one of these days. When we started, we had just a basic idea of what we were doing, but it turned out really well and I love some of the additions that we’ve made.

The top picture is Pollymorph (aka Polly). She is a grump when she thinks she is pregnant. The middle picture is Bandit – see the small bands of black at the base of her ears? The last picture is Pretty Boy, he is a New Zealand White (The girls are Californians).

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