Pregnant Rabbit Pulling Her Hair Out

Does Pulling Her Fur Mean She’s Ready To Kindle?

Hormones in the doe’s body near kindling make it easier for her to pluck her own fur, which she uses to line the nest she has made for her babies.  Thus, it doesn’t hurt her much if at all.  Some does wait until moments before the kits are due to pull any fur at all.   And some pull the majority just after the kits are born. 

nestbox full of cute baby rabbit kitsBut others begin pulling fur a couple of days beforehand.  I actually had one doe make a nest and pull fur two weeks in advance and still kindle.  Normally, if a doe pulls fur in the middle of a presumed pregnancy, it is false, and there are no kits.  Still another doe I had began the preparations a full ten days in advance with every litter.

Although fur pulled around the due date generally means that kits will be born shortly, a few experienced dams will make a nest and pull fur simply because you place a nest box into the cage with them.  It has become a learned behavior. 

Even if you are not good at palpating, if a doe goes past her due date and has kits, you can feel them without much trouble.  If you feel none, then you can assume that she made the nest from habit rather than because of pregnancy.

If your doe does not pull fur, you can gently pull it from her tummy and thighs for the babies.  Sometimes, I borrow a little from each of the other does and use that to fill out a sparse nest.  Always save large piles of clean fur from false pregnancies and from does who pull too much fur, particularly in very hot weather.  That way, you will have it for a doe who is not very good at fur pulling.

Next Article: Care of Newborn Baby Rabbits