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Friday, October 12, 2007

Winter Nestboxes

In the winter, many breeders suggest giving the does straw to nest with, instead of hay, because straw will insulate the nests better. You can also try putting down an inch or two of shavings (remember, NO CEDAR) in the bottom, for the same purpose.

If you have a nestbox that has wire or holes on the bottom, try putting in a piece of cardboard. Personally, my does go nuts and shred the cardboard *sigh*.

If you don't have a bag or can o' hair, Fall is the PERFECT time to get one started! When you brush or pull that molting hair out of your rabbits, make sure it's clean (no pee stains or poop on it) and stick it in a bag! This provides you with extra fur for litters. It seems like in summer does will pull themselves bald because they are hot, but in winter, they can be very stingy with the fur! It never hurts to have a little extra.

You can purchase nestbox warmers, but to be honest, I've never had one and so I can't tell you a lot about them. You place them under the nestbox, and it helps keep the chill away.

With heat lamps, I'd be extremely careful, I've heard of people actually baking their kits on accident.

In general in my rabbitry, I try to stay away from anything that needs to be plugged in or generates a lot of heat. I'm completely paranoid of fire breaking out (haven't we discussed this?).

Really, with a nice nest, a litter of rabbits will be fine. Just keep a check on them, make sure the doe doesn't show signs of wanting to chew on the hay ( I give her extra for snacks), stuff a little more in the front when it shows signs of being trampled down, and you should be fine. If push comes to shove and you're afraid of losing a litter, bring them in the house and bring mama to feed them! Just don't keep her inside in the warm too long. A garage or something is nice for this, so she doesn't have to get too heated.

Keep's Rabbitry

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