How to Build a Rabbit Hutch
With a Breeding Box

Raising rabbits inevitably leads to breeding. You really don't need any extra equipment for the breeding itself. All you need to do is place the doe in the buck's cage.

The buck will chase her around and possibly mount from all sorts of odd angles. Eventually they will get it right. The buck will fall over when he is finished.

You can allow them to breed several times if you wish. Remove the doe and put her back in her cage. This gives you about a month to figure out how you want to do the nest box.

There are many different ways to include a nest box. Sometimes they are built into the cage. Many wire hutches used for raising bunnies will have a wire rectangle built into the floor of the hutch. It hangs below the floor level. Having a lower box appeals to the doe's natural inclination to dig a burrow.

To build one, cut a hole in the wire floor the size of the nest box. Put together a nest box made out of heavy duty 14 gauge floor wire by clipping together a bottom and four sides. Leave the top open. Attach the box to the hole you made in the cage floor using J clips or hog rings. That was easy, wasn't it?

A few days before the litter is due, line the nest box with cardboard and fill it with hay or straw. The doe will arrange the bedding and pull fur to keep the babies warm. One of the main benefits of this type of nest box is when a baby accidentally gets hauled out of the box by the doe, the blind kit will wander around the cage and eventually fall back into the nice warm nest.

Another way to build a hutch with a breeding box is to attach it on one end of the cage. Some commercial cages come with a nest box that can easily attach and detach as needed. You can build a wire or wood nest box with a removable lid. When it is time for the rabbit to kindle (have babies), make an opening large enough for her to hop through and attach the nest box.

If the front of the nest box is wire, you can use clips to secure it to the wire wall of the hutch. If the wall is wood, you may want to look at the hardware store for metal glides to attach to both the box and the wall of the hutch. When you need the nest box, just slide it into place.

For this kind of nest box, you'll want to make a lid that lifts up. Attach it to the box with hinges. Add a clasp on the opposite end to secure the lid from predators.

Of course, as long as the hutch is large enough, you can just place a wooden or metal nest box inside the cage when it is time for the babies to be born. Rabbits gestate for around 30 days, so place your nest box around day 28. Put plenty of hay or straw in the cage for the doe to use in the nest. Keep an eye on her... some does still have their babies outside the nest.

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