Sugar, our New Zealand doe, was bred 30 days ago to our Californian Buck “Bic Mac”. We expected her to kit by now(the average is 28 days), but as of a few minutes ago she was still holding out. This will be her second litter, and if all goes well, her first successful one. We are not exactly sure what happened the first time around. She did not kit in her box and it is probable, based on the evidence, that a rooster got to one of the babies through the wire floor. She might have killed the rest. She is such a good Doe otherwise, that we wanted to give her one more chance to mother, and see how she does.
This time around we decided to make her a different style nesting box. I took a 55 gallon drum and cut one end off about 14″ from the top. I cut out a door leaving a small “lip” around the bottom so if she does have babies, they cannot wander off or fall out of the nesting box. The key to this is not cutting the door exactly square, you want a wavy uneven entrance like the one in the picture. Rabbits like that . 🙂
From here I had two choices. I could use the top end of the barrel with the bung holes removed as a floor and fashion a top or leave it open. The other option was to put cardboard down as the floor and sit the cut off barrel with the top up and cut an opening to have access. I chose the latter, mainly due to the fact that having the partial cover makes the doe settle down a bit. As soon as we placed it in the cage, she started building a nest. That night she pulled some of her hair out and finished off the nest. We will see how this design works out. If The rabbits like the new nest box style then they should last longer, be easier to clean and thus more sanitary than the wood ones. Also I get the barrels really cheap and can still use the other end for multiple uses. This one, with a few holes drilled in it, will become a recycle barrel for aluminum.