How to get Mom to care for moved nest

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Dec 17, 2022
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A colony doe had 15 kits in a burrow. I want to be able to monitor and we need to get the deep bedding out, so we removed the nest, placed it in a nesting tote and left it by the entrance of the burrow after we collapsed the burrow. The kits seem a little jumpy and noisy so I am not sure she found and fed them yet. She keeps trying to dig.

I already fostered 3 of thebkits to another doe who had six because 14 is just soooo many. Also, inreally want some of these TAMUK crosses in color for my breeding project and in case we do not figure out how to get these babies fed....

Anyway, what do you do with burrowed nests? We had a first timer do it a month ago and the kits got separated and cold so we dug them out and fostered them. I guess. I could make nesting totes that have tunnel entrances for them to find. I just want to monitor and know what is going on. Also, this is pur first summer with rabbits and I am worried about snakes stealing kits (we had thrm stealing eggs in past years) and need to know right away if it happens.


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Feb 15, 2014
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From the other thread:
Sorry to hijack. I started another thread specifically about moving a nest. How did you get your doe to care for the babies after the nest was moved?

My proceedure is that I dig up the nest, and put it in the nestbox in the hutch. I use closed nestboxes with an entrance at one wall and a layout that resembles the nesting tunnels - thr rear end is lower than the front with the entrance.

Then I lock the doe in that hutch (normally they have 2-3 hutches, connected by tunnels, they can go in the garden during daytime), and shove her nose in the nest once or twice, maybe make her to go into the nestbox again later. Not taking her and putting her there, just directing and shoving her behind., Then I leave her alone to sulk and ponder, with lots of food and not too much place to wander around. In a colony I would put up a pen around the nest and keep her in there with it.
I keep this up for 2-3 days appr., after the first 24h she gets garden time during the day with the other doe for grazing and to not disturb their social hierachy, but she is in her hutch before dusk and until after dawn. She can always go back in the hutch during daytime. After 2 days they always had accepted the new nest location, never had an issue.

I also destroy the tunnel and block that area generously or put something big at the spot so that she can't go looking for the old nest or try to dig it up.
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