Nest question

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by BearCreekFarm, Nov 9, 2005.

  1. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2005
    I have a pregnant NZW doe, first litter, she is already about a year old- her first litter because we could not find an unrelated buck until recently. Anyway, she is due in a few days so I put a nest box in her cage yesterday. I put a couple of inches of wood chips in the bottom of the nest box, then threw a bunch of hay into the cage. This is how I have always done the nest boxes- that way I can tell when they start moving the hay to make the nests. Well, this doe moved some of the hay into the nest box, and either ate the rest of it, or what she did not eat fell through the floor of the cage. When I checked her today I could see that she had pulled a couple of clumps of fur which were laying on top of the hay in the nest box. I added another bunch of hay to the cage, and when I went back an hour later she had moved the hay into the nest box, or eaten it, and there was very little hay left in the cage. But I also noticed that there were a lot of little tufts of hair laying all around the cage where the hay had been- she pulled fur but did not put it in the nest box. I gave her some more hay, and will check her again later, but wonder if I should be concerned? I've never had a doe that pulled fur and left it outside the nest box, so I am not sure what to expect from her now.

    Of course, after weeks of beautiful weather it turned really cold and windy last night, and will be in the 20's tonight. I will probably dig into my stash of fur (from brushing) and dryer lint and add some of that material to the nest box tonight if she doesn't fix it up herself. Unless, anyone else has any suggestions?

    Thanks, and wish us luck.
  2. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2002
    Stuff the nest box with the hay. Also if you have a doe that insists on nesting out of the box put in a second box. Once they kindle take out the other box. I never put hay in the cage I always put it in the box. Not all does nest before kindling and not all does pull fur prior to kindling either.

  3. Tarot Farm

    Tarot Farm Well-Known Member

    May 22, 2005
    Some does will pull fur out on the cage floor and then 'move it by mouthfuls' into the next box. Others will sit and pull fur while in the nest box. I usually put shavings in the nest box and then make something that looks like nest with the hay.

    Good luck, I hope it is not as cold there tonight as it is here; high winds too.
    most of the NZ that I have had go a day or so earlier than other breeds. This is not the rule though.
  4. doninwis

    doninwis Active Member

    Jul 14, 2005

    Sounds like a typical rabbit. Never know which one will do something out of the odinary untill they have done it. I've had similar things, and really not much you can do except check on them as often as you can, and hope that you are there if anything unusual happens.

    I usually put shavings in the bottom of the nest box as an absorbent, and then stuff the box with a good hay. I know they are working a nest if they have removed any of it, or have a hole in the pile. Usually there will be something at the bottom of the box with plenty of protection.

    Best of luck with this one.