Experiencing something for the first time is a matter of excitement. I was so excited during the breeding time of my pregnant doe (pregnant female rabbit). Many of us don’t have a clear idea of preparing the nest box for our pregnant doe.
You need a perfect size nesting box for your pregnant doe. Then fill the nest box with one and half-inches’ shavings to soak the urine and place adequate soft hay on the bedding layer. Bunny will do the rest of the job.
The process is so simple indeed. However, in this article, I’ll discuss the proven and effective way to prepare the nesting box along with the cleaning process and accessories you need in the nesting box. So, let’s get started.
Do Rabbits Need a Nest Box?
In wild, the momma bunny dig in the ground to ensure the maximum protection against the predator. Additionally, the weather and privacy is a fact here. So, you should provide nesting box in the rabbit cage to ensure the maximum private environment to your bunny.
When Should I Put The Nesting Box In The Cage?
The gestation period for a rabbit usually 30 to 32 days. The pregnant doe starts collecting hay or bedding from day 25 usually. In some cases, it may be early.
I prefer to place the nesting box on day 25 to day 26. If you provide the nest box too early, the pregnant bunny will make it messy.
So, the perfect time is when she actually starts collecting hay and bedding to make a nest box.
Keep Your Baby Bunnies Warm & Safe in the Nest Box
It Is important to keep the baby bunny and the mom bunny warm during the winter. If you are living in an area where the temperature is very low like under 10-degree centigrade, you should use a heating pad.
I prefer to use a microwave oven friendly heating pad in the nesting box. This type of heating pad remains warm for around 10 hours. So, you will not face the extra hassle to use it.
What Can I Use For A Rabbit Nesting Box?
Before going to the preparation phase, I want to clear you what can you use for a rabbit nesting box. people use different types of material for the nesting box. Here is a shortlist for a rabbit nesting box.
DIY wooden nesting box
This is the most common nesting box that people use. it is so easy to make. If you have experience in the woodworking process, you can easily make it. Read the full process of making a DIY wooden rabbit nesting box.
Large wooden nesting box
These are the mini hutch style rabbit hutch. Apart from the nesting box, you can also use them for outdoor purposes.
Metal nesting box
This is another popular nesting box among rabbit breeders. If you are living in an area where the temperature is low, you should not use a metal nesting box.
Wire nesting box
This is the easiest way to make a nesting box. you need to reshape the wire-like a nesting box style. I don’t recommend using a wire nesting box because there is a high chance of injury here.
Plastic nesting box
A plastic nesting box is suitable for the small to medium size rabbit. Please make sure that the quality of the plastic is good while buying. Otherwise, your bunny will destroy it.
How to Prepare a rabbit Nesting Box?
Now come to the point. Here is the step by step process to make a rabbit nesting box.
Clean and disinfect the nesting box
Whether you buy a new nesting box or already have an old one, clean the nesting box first. Cleaning with water is not enough. you could use vinegar and water solution to disinfect the nesting box.
Dry the nesting box
After cleaning properly, dry the nesting box under direct sunlight. After drying, your nesting box is ready to use.
Add bedding on the bottom
You should add high absorbing rabbit bedding like wood shaving and recycled paper to soak the urine of the baby bunny. One and a half inch bedding is enough for the nesting box. Apart from the soaking feature, it will make the nesting box comfortable.
Add some Hay or straw
You could add hay or straw to the bedding. straw is usually hard and the hay is soft. I prefer using hay to straw. Place adequate hay on the nesting box so that the pregnant doe can dig it.
Give some extra hay on the cage floor
Probably you use a hay rack for feeding hay. Yes, that is cool. You could place some extra hay on the floor so that the pregnant doe can collect and make her nest properly.
What Should You Put In A Nesting Box?
Apart from the hay and bedding, you should not place anything in the nesting box. But it depends on some other facts.
Like, if you put the nest box in a cage or hutch, she already has the other necessary supply like hay, food, water, and bedding.
But if you are using a small wooden outdoor hutch as a nesting box, you should provide all sorts of rabbit supply.
How to Clean your Rabbit Nest Box?
The cleaning process is straightforward. Usually, you don’t need to clean the nesting box until the bunny gives birth after providing the nesting box in the cage. The pregnant bunny will not stay all day long in the nesting box even after the birth of the baby.
So, you need to clean the nest box when it becomes too messy with urine and poops. To clean the nest box, just change the hay and bedding. Don’t wash the box with water.
Long story short, comfort is the key to prepare the nesting box for the rabbit. Don’t compromise with the comfort and safety of the nesting box. otherwise, your baby bunny will be at a risk.
I prefer to use an insulated nesting box for the doe bunny. This is the most secure type of nesting box I have ever seen. Also, you could use a DIY wooden nesting box.