Palpating/Weighing Rabbits

HaloRabbits

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Hi,

I am new(ish) to rabbits and bred my Proven Doe with my unproven buck. I am not really comfortable palpating but I did try a little. I did not feel anything.

Last time we bred her (the first time) she was 8months old and when I weighed her during the palpate date (2 weeks after breeding) she had gained almost 1.5 pounds! We weighed her before breeding this time and she was 10.5 pounds, when I weighed her at the palpation date (2 wks later) she has gained a little over 2 oz.

So was the first pregnancy a freak thing to gain so much weight? We did change food and so that may have made her grow at that time. Is 2 oz more normal for weight gain? I can't find much information on weight gain during pregnancy.

Also if it helps I have New Zealand Rabbits.
 

JakeM

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At 2 weeks there should be some weight gain. I've seen it vary between a couple ounces for one doe and her sister gained 8 ounces. In older does the initial weight gain may not be as much if it's not their first litter. It also depends on how many she has growing inside her.

As for palpating, that comes with practice. I've really only successfully palpated a doe at 12 days once. The trick I've learned is that when you feel for the babies, you can lift her off the table a little bit. It's kinda like your reaching for her spine but through her belly. The ARBA website has a good article on palpating. It has an illustration too. https://www.arba.net/PDFs/palpation.pdf

Otherwise I just wait it out and by day 26 I can tell just by their looking at their bellies if they're pregnant or not.
 

HaloRabbits

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Thank you! I will just wait it out for now then, she is now 15 days and the article (very informative) says it gets harder at 14+ days. I'll check her at 28 days when I put in the nesting box.

This is only our second time breeding rabbits. We only raised chickens/ducks/turkeys before (not including our pet only animals) but have recently got into rabbit farming.
 

firedragon1982

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At day 7 to 10, I can (mostly successfully) feel the babies. I've palpated a few unbred and bucks to feel what the poop feels like, and the babies are definitely bigger and squishier than the poo pellets. I have to palpate 2 does tonight to see if they took. I have to close my eyes and focus on what I'm feeling though, and sometimes the door doesn't cooperate, so I will give up with her and just watch her. The last week they seem to gain a lot of weight. And look mighty uncomfortable.
 

HaloRabbits

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Yea I think I waited too long to try and palpate. For now I will just have to wait, but I will attempt to palpate earlier next time! Thanks
 

HaloRabbits

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So Saturday was day 28 and I added in the nesting box and gave mama one of her favorite treats (dandelion and dandelion greens) and gave her a good rub. I held my hand on her belly and felt movement! She def has babies in there and is due Tuesday! I will remember next time to palpate earlier next time, thanks for your help again everyone :)
 

secuono

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Poop is hard and gritty. Embryos are soft and glide.
They can hide up by the rib cage and some will hide them so well that you will never feel them even after a hundred litters! Lol
 
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