Why Kathy uses the nest box set-up for her rabbitry
IN MY set-up over the last 10 years, I have used a series of nest boxes. You can make five nest boxes from one sheet of 4mmthick plywood and one sheet of 10-15mm plywood. Each box is 60cm long, 30cm wide, 30cm high at the front and 25cm high at the back. The door opening is traced from a 4-litre paint tin, raised 10cm from the floor of the nest box.
There are good reasons for this design: this size fits a Flemish Giant or NZ White doe snuggly but not so she’s squashed in. With the smaller space I have found a rabbit can easily stay warm, and when they have a litter you don’t have the problem of litters being scattered and babies not being fed.
The door size and how far it is off the floor also has advantages: the size of the hole means as the doe comes out, the edge will wipe any kits off the nipples as she leaves the nest – if the door is larger, the babies can be dragged out into the run where they can die of exposure.
With the door raised up 10cm from the floor of the nest box, the rabbit won’t track, dig or pull the hay into the run, wasting the hay and making more cleaning for you.
The kits cannot get out of the nest until they are about three weeks old, when they are big enough and agile enough to move around in a larger space and then return to the nest on their own.
KATHY’S TIP: a free cutting plan and building plan is available on the Rabbitnutz Stud Facebook page.