colony questions

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Murphy

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Situation: We are in start up phase of colony/tractor. Large dog run, with chook wire added to bottom foot perimeter walls. I move it every few days around my tree for shade, but once cooler months, it can go all over the house block. Its easy to move.

And we are approaching breeding time for 2 of my females.

How do i provide nest box for my two older. Do i simply put one in for each doe into the colony bedding area? What's to stop other rabbits using it as a bed?

I really want to keep the rabbit tractor moving, or they will kill the grass/feed/regeneration of lawn process. I dont want mum's burrowing to make a nest, i want to them to use nest box so i can check them. They have a digging box inside tractor, and all seem rather taken to digging in there, and not digging elsewhere. Im rather confused as to how breeding is done in colony space that moves every week?

Currently when i move them, I disturb the upside down dog kennel sleep area with straw, and clean and provide new straw.
My worry is mum will nest in here, and all the other rabbits will harm/disturb the kits.
Im scratching my head trying to work out how this will work. Most colonies are not moving weekly. So permanent areas can be made up. But how to do this, when you move the whole thing weeklyish?


A separate question: im making up a few nest boxes. I see nice ones made of wood. Im using cob as that's what i have materials for. Is there some general rule of thumb on dimensions? how high are walls, how long is box, how wide is box. Im using rabbit wire, and coat hangers, for metal reinforcement anti rodent proofing, then applying cob like plaster to the frame and drying it in our sun.
 

MnCanary

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I have, possibly, a couple of answers for you.
1. put in more nest boxes than you have does. Let them choose which one they want.
2. if a doe sits in a box and you have to clean it out every so often, that's just the price of doing business. It only takes a few seconds
to dump out a nest box and throw some new straw in it.

If you have more nest boxes in there than they need, and you put them in a week or two before kindling, then you're letting everything get settled down before kindling date.
 

Murphy

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Having to clean a box is no issue. It was more worry the other rabbits would enter/disturb or harm them. Ill put 3 boxes in for 2 does. Ty
 

northernnevadahollandlops

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Have you considered moving a doe out to Kindle elsewhere? Like in a separate enclosure? I'm in a similar situation. I've recently limited my herd's space where they used to have the run of our backyard and had their pick of places to Kindle with relative privacy. For the most part, the others left the nests that weren't there's alone. Though some kits get curious, it was never an issue. Now with a smaller space, I do worry about this. But I'm thinking about moving out each doe into a crate for kindling and until the kits open their eyes.
 
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I have a really big caged in area in the barn (4x8') where I put my colony does to kindle. You can put all the next boxes and bucket nests you want in the colony, but they might just dig their own holes in the ground and kindle there. Once they kindle in next boxes in the space you provide, you can put the nest boxes in the colony and they will feed their kits.
 

Murphy

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Sodak, that sounds like a excellent compromise. Providing i can spot them nest building, the tractor has my garden chair by it, so im watching a lot. Thankyou
 
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