Nest box floor­ing

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Feature Rabbit Housing -

YOU CAN use ply­wood on the floors, but you should seal the wood or it will ab­sorb the urine and smell very strongly of am­mo­nia dur­ing sum­mer. The wood can also har­bour par­a­sites from the ma­nure. A tray you fill with saw­dust or sim­i­lar placed in a cor­ner for a ‘toi­let’ can help.

Some rab­bits can de­velop sore feet liv­ing on ply­wood due to damp or wet wood. Most ex­pe­ri­enced breed­ers who use ply­wood as floor­ing have their rab­bits on a bed of deep shav­ings (not saw­dust as it can cause breath­ing dif­fi­cul­ties), es­pe­cially if they have stan­dard rex as this breed has par­tic­u­larly del­i­cate feet (see box at right).

Mesh is the most com­mon floor­ing for rab­bit breed­ers, but there are a cou­ple of things to note. Firstly, only use square, 10mm welded mesh or slightly larger if you have larger breeds as their drop­pings won’t fit through the holes – cut a cou­ple of squares out in the ‘toi­let’ cor­ner to help the ma­nure fall through.

The big­gest thing to look for in the mesh is the gauge of the wire – the gauge of most mesh you can buy is too thin, whereas you need some­thing thicker that can n carry the weight of your rab­bits, such as 0.8mm or r (if you can find it) 1mm thick.

If you use a thin­ner gauge of mesh, keep an eye on the welds (this is where it will break), put sup­ports ev­ery 35-40cm across un­der the floor to hold up the weight of a doe and her lit­ter, and in­spect their feet reg­u­larly in case of sores as a thin­ner wire is more likely to cut into them.

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