Doe not using nest box, soon to kindle

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KelleyBee

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I have a first-time mom trying to build nests on the wire in the 2 rear corners of her cage. She started this behavior before it was time to put in the nest box, so I gave her a shallow cardboard box which she shredded to smithereens overnight, and then continued to try making nests in the back 2 corners on the wire. So I gave her the nest box lined with cardboard (this is a brand new nest box) but otherwise empty. She eventually got the cardboard out and tore it up. No nest in the box. So yesterday (the day of the photo) was the actual day I was to give the prepared nest box, so I filled it with hay. Next thing she does is grab a bundle in her mouth and starts building in the corners on the wire again. I'm a new rabbit keeper and she's a first-time mom, so together neither of us are sure what to do.B2FBEFD2-854E-4623-B3C9-2C775A323437.jpeg
 

Cosima

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Maybe block one corner and put the nesting box in the other corner. I am not sure if it will work but maybe give it a try.
 

KelleyBee

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How did things go?
She figured it out. I actually ended up putting in 2 nesting boxes. This provided her with less desirable cage floor space and more nesting decision space. When she finally made her decision and built a decent nest in one, I took the other box away. A week later I ended up having to do the exact same thing in the cage of her sister. These are both silver foxes, both bred for the first time at 8 months. By contrast, my NZ/Cal mix doe kindled for the first time last week, not one issue with nest building. It’s like she was born knowing exactly what to do. She’s 5 months old. However, she’s displayed exceptional intelligence as compared to all of my breeder rabbits since I’ve had her at 8 weeks, so her innate performance as a mom doesn’t surprise me. She also is the only doe who, when put in with a male, knew precisely why she was there and eagerly accepted him. All 3 of my other breeder does act like they’ve been given a death sentence when put in with a male. I’m new to this rabbit husbandry thing, but I already know that I prefer a doe who eagerly accepts a buck and who is an intelligent and instinctive mom. It will be interesting moving forward as I try to groom my herd to resemble those qualities.
 

northernnevadahollandlops

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Isn't it amazing to watch their instincts in action? I think it's one of my favorite things about all of this. Watching my does build a beautiful nest and take care of their babies.
 

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