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Kits Leaving Nest Box

Addressing the special needs of the breeding doe and her kits. Includes nutrition, gestation, nest boxes and materials, and tips to ensure survival of the young.
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Kits Leaving Nest Box

Post Number:#1  Unread postby NY Rabbits » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:40 am


One of my does had a litter of 9 a little over 2 weeks ago. They are in a Bass Sani-Nest inside the regular wire cage. I cut the front end down to make it easier for mom to get in and out. In the first week I lost one kit, the biggest, that I assumed she dragged out after nursing. Lost another last weekend that I think crawled out of the box and could not get back in. I raised the end that I had cut down to full height and have not had any problem but now their eyes are open and they are much more active and peeking over the edge of the nest box. I was thinking of taking the nest box out, putting all of the nest box contents in a corner and covering the rest of the cage floor with hay. This would allow them to get out of the nest and back in. Any downside to doing this?

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Re: Kits Leaving Nest Box

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Rainey » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:46 am


In cold weather there is always a question of keeping the kits warm which means keeping them together. Different folks have different ways of allowing kits to be able to get back into the nest box once they have begun getting out. My concern at that age is that a kit that isn't with the others will likely not get fed and then wouldn't last long in the sort of cold we're experiencing now. So even though the best thing might be for all of them to stay in the box, once they are getting out I prefer to have them all out and provide--as you are doing--whatever protection is possible. I think it gets harder to keep the fur together in some sort of nest once you take it out of the box. But the box, which holds the nest together, can keep a kit that has gotten out isolated. I don't really know at what age kits have enough fur of their own and are eating enough other food so they can make it if they miss a feeding and aren't huddled with their siblings since we don't breed in the colder months. Hope someone else will be more helpful. And welcome to RT.

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Re: Kits Leaving Nest Box

Post Number:#3  Unread postby NY Rabbits » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:11 am


Thanks for the input. I am thinking maybe a shoebox lid to keep the bedding together some and still be low enough for them to get in and out of the nest.

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Re: Kits Leaving Nest Box

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Nymphadora » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:12 pm


What about turning the nest box on its side when they start hopping out on their own? That way you still have a box to contain the bedding and keep it all together, but the babies can come and go as they please...

It's worked for me when my last litter started peeking over the edge... but it's nowhere near as cold in my neck of the woods, either! :oops:
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Re: Kits Leaving Nest Box

Post Number:#5  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:40 pm


Nymphadora wrote:What about turning the nest box on its side when they start hopping out on their own? That way you still have a box to contain the bedding and keep it all together, but the babies can come and go as they please...

It's worked for me when my last litter started peeking over the edge... but it's nowhere near as cold in my neck of the woods, either! :oops:

Thats a good idea.
Me my nests arent designed in a way I can move em to their sides. Most have high walls in a triangle shape (like this |/ ) to make it easier for the doe to move about. Never had a baby fall out from one of these and the moms have easy access. Once the babies can jump out of the opening on their own, they're able to also jump back in normally.
Only nest I can move to it's side is cause the movable roof I built it broke off. (all my removable nests have hinged roofs that extend all the way to the floor of the cage for easy access and to act as a second floor to the cage leading to my hay racks, a bit hard to explain) Anyways, I actually ended up flippingg it completly upside down. That way the bottom of the nest acts as my roof to reach the hay rack. The openning is thus at floor lvl. I've noticed I've had less stray dead kits from this setup then some of my low wall nests. My guess is that the opening is quite small, though floor lvl, this forces the doe to "crawl" out of the nest detaching any kits that might be latched on better then a low wall does.

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Re: Kits Leaving Nest Box

Post Number:#6  Unread postby NY Rabbits » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:47 pm


KimitsuKouseki wrote:
Nymphadora wrote:What about turning the nest box on its side when they start hopping out on their own? That way you still have a box to contain the bedding and keep it all together, but the babies can come and go as they please...

It's worked for me when my last litter started peeking over the edge... but it's nowhere near as cold in my neck of the woods, either! :oops:

Thats a good idea.
Me my nests arent designed in a way I can move em to their sides. Most have high walls in a triangle shape (like this |/ ) to make it easier for the doe to move about. Never had a baby fall out from one of these and the moms have easy access. Once the babies can jump out of the opening on their own, they're able to also jump back in normally.
Only nest I can move to it's side is cause the movable roof I built it broke off. (all my removable nests have hinged roofs that extend all the way to the floor of the cage for easy access and to act as a second floor to the cage leading to my hay racks, a bit hard to explain) Anyways, I actually ended up flippingg it completly upside down. That way the bottom of the nest acts as my roof to reach the hay rack. The openning is thus at floor lvl. I've noticed I've had less stray dead kits from this setup then some of my low wall nests. My guess is that the opening is quite small, though floor lvl, this forces the doe to "crawl" out of the nest detaching any kits that might be latched on better then a low wall does.


This sounds very interesting. Can you post a picture of this nest "V"?

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Re: Kits Leaving Nest Box

Post Number:#7  Unread postby alforddm » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:50 pm


My BassSani nests have an end with a hinge that allows it to open and close. I just open the end of the box and let the kids come and go.

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Re: Kits Leaving Nest Box

Post Number:#8  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Jan 05, 2018 7:26 pm


I always placed a brick outside the foot of the nestbox. That way the kits had a step up when they wanted back into the nest. It always seemed they could hop out more easily at first than hop back in.
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Re: Kits Leaving Nest Box

Post Number:#9  Unread postby KimitsuKouseki » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:38 am


NY Rabbits wrote:This sounds very interesting. Can you post a picture of this nest "V"?

They're not "exacly" V shaped, but you get it by looking at it.
The angle gives the doe plenty of room to go through while making it a bit more secure for the kits. By the time they figure out where the lowest part of the wall is, they can travel as they wish without any issue.
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Re: Kits Leaving Nest Box

Post Number:#10  Unread postby NY Rabbits » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:58 am


alforddm wrote:My BassSani nests have an end with a hinge that allows it to open and close. I just open the end of the box and let the kids come and go.


This is pretty much what I did only I opened the long side of the Sani nest and put some straw on the wire floor. They started getting out right away and had no problem getting back in. -10F night before last and no issues. Thanks for all the suggestions.

Is it just me or does this site go off line often/

Edit: double post.

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