How do you fix, doe using bathroom in her nesting box?

Nao57

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Wanted to ask this...

How do you fix, doe using bathroom in her nesting box?

And I think she is pregnant. (And if she is is it possible she didn't mean to do this?) (I'll need to confirm the pregnancy, but I did have her bred maybe 20 days ago.)

I tried to pull the nesting box out of her cage for 2 days. But then last night i put it back in. And she'd repeated soiling it with 'not a snack pellets' in the box.

Thanks for any advise.

I do remember someone else had a problem like this recently, but sorry I couldn't remember which thread it was on to just follow up there. She's also a really friendly doe, so I'm hoping to not have to get rid of her.
 

promiseacres

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Some will not quit, mine only get a nest box at day 28 days when they are pregnant. And some still soil it, though most of the time only when they aren't pregnant. I do have boxes with hardware clothe instead of a solid bottom.
 

Nao57

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Thank you very much.

So the kits ...what r the chances they'd get sick from this behavior? Is it rare or like guaranteed?
 

Larsen Poultry Ranch

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Where did you put the box in the cage? If you put it at the location she normally uses as a toilet, she's going to use the nest box as a toilet. Moving the box to a different location should fix the behavior.

It's not good for the kits to be in a box that's being used as a toilet, and they could get chilled/sick. It's not guaranteed they will get sick, but it's definitely not good for them.

If this behavior continues after the kits arrive, you will either need to constantly be on the lookout and clean up the mess, or "shelve" the kits. This is where you take out the nest box with babies and bring it back 2 times per day for supervised feedings. Keep the nest box inside the house with you in a secure temperature controlled area when they are not being fed. Once they reach a couple weeks old, you should be able to put them back with mom full time without the box as this would be the time they would normally be leaving the nest to explore and move around. They would also have enough fur at that time to sleep in a pile and keep each other warm.
 

Nao57

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Where did you put the box in the cage? If you put it at the location she normally uses as a toilet, she's going to use the nest box as a toilet. Moving the box to a different location should fix the behavior.

It's not good for the kits to be in a box that's being used as a toilet, and they could get chilled/sick. It's not guaranteed they will get sick, but it's definitely not good for them.

If this behavior continues after the kits arrive, you will either need to constantly be on the lookout and clean up the mess, or "shelve" the kits. This is where you take out the nest box with babies and bring it back 2 times per day for supervised feedings. Keep the nest box inside the house with you in a secure temperature controlled area when they are not being fed. Once they reach a couple weeks old, you should be able to put them back with mom full time without the box as this would be the time they would normally be leaving the nest to explore and move around. They would also have enough fur at that time to sleep in a pile and keep each other warm.

When you take the kits out and bring them back in for feedings, can you achieve good survival rates this way? And would the survival rates be somewhat close to if you'd left them out there? (Curious how this would look, number wise?)

Thank you very much for this idea also. Plus, it would let me be able to learn about their needs and observe them more.

How long would you leave them in the cage with mom to be milked for before bringing them back in?
 

Larsen Poultry Ranch

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I haven't actually done it, but it's described in Storey's Guide to Rabbits. The doe usually doesn't spend a ton of time in the nest box, so once she finishes caring for the kits and is out of milk she jumps out of the box. The kits then go back to sleep. I haven't measured how long it takes for the doe to feed and wash up the kits. I don't see why there would be a difference in survival rate unless the kits aren't brought out on schedule.
 

Beekissed

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I'm with Larsen...we never gave them a box until it was about time to have the kits and we noted where she normally left her waste, then placed it in the opposite corner. Rabbits generally prefer to go in the same place all the time, so if you put the box there, they will continue to do so. Never had one poop or pee in the nest box when following this method, so have no experience with a rabbit that would soil their nest.
 

messybun

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When you take the kits out and bring them back in for feedings, can you achieve good survival rates this way? And would the survival rates be somewhat close to if you'd left them out there? (Curious how this would look, number wise?)

Thank you very much for this idea also. Plus, it would let me be able to learn about their needs and observe them more.

How long would you leave them in the cage with mom to be milked for before bringing them back in?
I’ve tried that with one mom who seemed like she was being aggressive to the babies. I ended up giving her babies back full time, and with all future litters she spent more time in the next box then anyone else. She would sleep in there sometimes or just sit with her front feet in the box watching/cleaning the babes randomly. Super great mom, but it was a pain to try and bring them in and out.
 

Niele da Kine

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We usually leave a box in with the does full time since if it's not put where they usually pee, they don't make a mess in it. Sometimes somebunny will decide to go in the nestbox, then we will switch it out with a different one and put it in a different spot.

There's occasionally a period of time before the babies are weaned and out of the box that the doe may not be cleaning them while being fed. At that point, if the litter in the box isn't deep enough, it will get soaked and the babies will be damp or even wet and susceptible to becoming cold. We now have wire bottomed nesting sites and no longer have that problem, but otherwise changing out the nesting material around weeks two to four may be necessary to keep the babies dry.
 

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