Perpetuating your rabbitry depends on two main things: having a reliable buck around, and installing a rabbit nesting box. After building a cage and installing it in a hutch frame or shed, the DIY rabbit nesting box is a piece of cake.
Size is the main thing, and these need to be 18 inches long, 10 inches wide and 10 inches tall. That’s big enough for all but the giant breeds. Make sure your nest box will fit through the rabbit hutch door! Using the plans in DIY Wire Rabbit Cages and Equipment, a 10-by-10-by-18-inch box will easily fit through the 1-foot-square door opening in the wire hutch.
For the giant breeds, you’ll need a nest box 24 inches long and 15 inches wide, so that will take some adjustments to our hutch door plans, but it can easily be done.
The 1/2-by-1-inch 14-gauge welded galvanized wire mesh, same as used for the floor of the rabbit cage plans, will work perfectly fine for the rabbit nest box. Line the inside of the nest box with corrugated cardboard, and, during the summer, line only the bottom of the box with the cardboard to increase air circulation. Make sure your baby rabbits are protected from pointed wire pieces with cardboard, and check these regularly.
Do not put a lid on nesting boxes, as that contributes to a damp environment that can be fatal to your rabbits. Even in the coldest environment, an open rabbit nest box is better than a closed one. Wire the bottom of the rabbit nest box to the cage to prevent it from tipping over and doing damage to the babies and the nest. Rabbits will chew the cardboard fairly quickly, so always have more on hand so you can replace the lining.
Caleb Regan and his wife, Gwen, live in rural Douglas County, Kansas, where they enjoy hunting, fishing, and raising and growing as much of their own food as they can. Caleb can’t imagine a better scenario than getting to work on a rural lifestyle magazine as a profession, and then living that same lifestyle right in the heartland of America. Connect with him on Google+.
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