Thursday, January 9, 2014

Rabbit Nesting Box

When we first got our rabbits we looked and looked at building our own nesting boxes.  Most said to make sure they weren't too big that the rabbits use them for litter boxes, but then they also said to not make them too small or the mom may accidentally land on a baby while getting into the nesting box.  Everywhere I looked there were different sizes.  I tried the "normal" size for a large rabbit, but found that I was loosing baby's to mom jumping on them.  So I made mine a bit bigger and have not had another issue.  There are minor things I would change in the future if I built more, but these work great.

I always tend to draw things out to see what I am doing first.  

I am very much a visual learner, hope the photos help.

All measurements were based on 1/2" plywood!

Measurements were:

Bottom: 20" x 12"

Sides (two of these): 6" x 20" x 10" x 10"

Back: 10" x 11"

Front: 6" x 11"

Top: 12" x 10"

Now for the assembly.  Once you have all of your pieces cut, assembly is a snap.

Apply the sides so that they sit on the bottom.  For all the cuts to work this is imperative.  The sides so not go on the side of the bottom, but on the bottom.  We have an air gun, so we stapled it.  You can use a handle stapler, small nails, or small screws.

Once both sides are on, then you can move on to the front.

The front is put between the to small ends of the sides and on top of the bottom.  I found this provides the best stability.

Then you can move on to the back.  It also sides between the sides and on top of the bottom.

Then the top goes on.  Be sure you have this on the right way.  It should cover both sides and be equal in length to match the top of the sides from front to back.

Now you have a nest box.  There are a few things I found I would change.  Well, one really.  For summer kindling I would put a wire bottom on instead of a wooden one.  This way, the baby's (kits) feces and urine will go through.  However, for the winter time here, I found the best for us was the solid bottom.  With the straw in the bottom it will keep the bottom dry of feces and urine from the babies and keeps them warm enough.  

My does look tiny in their box, but sine I breed in late winter, it is just fine as the amount of straw and fur in the boxes is enough to keep kits warm and allow mom in and out with out landing on the kits.  


  1. Is this the size that would work for a Flemish Giant? I plan to breed my rabbits soon. Also, do you save the pelts and tan them or send them off or do nothing at all with them? Do you have any market for rabbits there? I believe there is a huge market with the Metis here. They LOVE rabbit. We shall see. Thank you for the posting.

  2. I would make them a bit bigger. As flemish are larger then my rex's. I would say, not too much bigger though. Approximately 14" wide x 14" tall x 24" long. Mine are 12" wide x 10 " tall x 20" long. If you have a smaller flemish, then my size should work.

    As for the pelts. I have been saving them up and plan to try a couple different tanning methods to see which one I like and which one works best for us. I will have those results in April as I plan to start that next month. I had looked at sending off the pelts, but the cost would be as much as you could sell them for. So you would not even make back the money from tanning the hide and raising the rabbit.

    There is not a big market here for rabbit as the closest butcher that will do them (that we can get to call us back) is a couple hours away. I do sell pet quality and breeding quality rabbits though. Mostly we eat the meat and it cuts the dog food costs too.

  3. How do you feed the rabbits to the dogs? Cut up? Whole? skinned? As far as the pelt tanning goes, I would LOVE to send my sheep skins off to be tanned, but as you said, the cost outweighs any profit to be made and therein lies the problem. In the USA apparently it is much cheaper to have a hide tanned in some areas. Here it is 100 dollars. Sigh.

  4. *This response may upset some*

    I will skin them. My goal is the use of the pelts. We do eat them ourselves also. For the dogs though, I just remove the head and internal organs and then toss the cleaned carcass to the dogs. The edible internal organs are fed to the chickens. The pelts are put into the freezer. The head and other organs are put in the compost pile.

    As for the cost of having a hide tanned, it is about $20 a hide for the places we could find. You can buy a hide for that. So economically, it makes no sense to have someone else do it.