Removing the nest box

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by MaggieJ, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I removed the nest box as soon as the kits started hopping out, since it is too high for them to hop back into it and our nights are chilly.

    Turning the box on it's side didn't seem to work very well because the bedding got scattered and they were sitting on just wood.

    So I cut down a cardboard box leaving two sides as a draft guard, put in nice fresh grass hay and settled the kits into it with a little dish of pellets to nibble.

    This morning my doe had urinated in the box, in the hay, in the babies' feed dish. I had to remove the whole thing.

    Does anyone have a good idea to get through this difficult transition time while the babies are still unsteady but mobile? Has enyone used a creep to give the babies a safe dry area? This doe is very large and rather clumsy. If she wasn't so dependable, I'd consider culling her.
     
  2. bob clark

    bob clark A man's man

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    I am planning to use drop nests in ther future. atached to the front of the cage rather than cutting a hole in the cage floor.

    if they jump out they can simply fall back in
     

  3. BellsBunnies

    BellsBunnies Well-Known Member

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    Hi Maggie,
    As soon as our kits start coming out we remove the box and just put a little hay in. They all snuggle up in it and nibble on it. Every morning we check to see If it has been used for the bathroom and If so replace it.

    As far as the drop down nest boxes what about the does jumping down in on the babies?
     
  4. bob clark

    bob clark A man's man

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    eather way she is jumping into the box. I havent tryed it yet but plan to in three weeks . I will post as to the results
     
  5. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, I know now why the doe used the box as a toilet. Stupid me! I moved them all into a clean cage and then went and put the kit's box right in her potty corner. :nono:

    Put in a clean cut-down box in a front corner. I also noticed that some of the kits seem to put a foot through the 1" x 1/2" holes in the floor wire, so I cut a length off a roll of brooder guard and put it in corrugated side up to give them a solid floor and a bit of traction.

    The other litter, a week older, are managing fine on the wire, so I guess these will figure it out pretty soon.

    RE: Nest-boxes.... I am totally unimpressed by any I have seen. Apart from the babies getting stepped on, there are those critical few days when they can get out but not back in. The drop-down nest would solve that, but increase the impact if the doe landed on the babies. I have been tossing ideas around in my mind hoping to come up with a new design for a nest box that would solve these problems. :stars:

    Ideas, anybody? :help:
     
  6. bob clark

    bob clark A man's man

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    how about a drop box with a ramp down into it . it could get costly to build thogh
     
  7. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That might work, Bob... Thanks for the idea. It would be more costly, but it would have several advantages: no stepped-on kits, more "natural" entrance, kits could get back in easily, being able to access the young kits without momma's interference.... It just might be worth it. Now, where's my graph paper and pencil???
     
  8. orphy

    orphy Well-Known Member

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    I think you would do better with a nest box that the front can fall down flat. I am thinking of doing this to mine. If the front can be laid down flat then the babies can get back in and so can the doe. Only my opinion.
     
  9. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That would work, Orphy. This particular doe becomes Cujo until the kits eyes are open... which makes it very difficult to check the babies or change their nesting materials. Otherwise, she's a good doe and raises large litters of nice kits. So I am hoping to find a solution that will let me check the babies without interference as well as protect them from being stepped on or being stranded on the wire because they can hop out but not into the nest box.

    Maybe a an external, side-fitted box on the same level as the cage floor with a sliding panel to fill the gap when I check the kits or when the box is not in use. Of course, that takes up valuable room in the rabbitry. Sigh.
     
  10. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    We used both types of boxes, and I never had a doe smash a baby from jumping in on it. That's how their nests are in the wild, in the ground. They are MADE to be careful. :) Drop boxes are wonderful, by the way!
     
  11. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    They'll snuggle up and keep each other warm. Rabbits throw an amazing amount of body heat. Unless it's unusually cold in your area right now they'll be fine.