Will wood chips work in place of hay for a kindling nest for kits etc?

rachels.haven

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I think she started using pine shavings and newspaper because the handbook for raising meat rabbits commercially at the time said to use it (...in the 80's...), and they were also raising them in the suburbs so hay and straw was hard to find. The rabbits were probably totally pellet fed then. (I was a kid so I don't remember) Shavings and newspaper may also have been cheaper on the commercial scale. Hay and straw are probably fine. I think I used the shavings and newspaper and let the doe stash hay as she wished. The does seem to like ripping and shredding the paper. Printed paper makes their feet black.
 

Nao57

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I think she started using pine shavings and newspaper because the handbook for raising meat rabbits commercially at the time said to use it (...in the 80's...), and they were also raising them in the suburbs so hay and straw was hard to find. The rabbits were probably totally pellet fed then. (I was a kid so I don't remember) Shavings and newspaper may also have been cheaper on the commercial scale. Hay and straw are probably fine. I think I used the shavings and newspaper and let the doe stash hay as she wished. The does seem to like ripping and shredding the paper. Printed paper makes their feet black.
Hauling around stray and hay bales when you don't have a truck is a pain also.
 

rachels.haven

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Lol, my record is 15 hay bales in the tarped minivan with the seats removed, no truck yet...My poor van got sent to live with me, where minivans go when they're very very bad.
No clue on what I can carry as far as straw goes as I'm allergic to wheat and barley straw and it's $15/bale here anyway so what's the point?
You can do the whole transporting of bales truckless, but it takes some doing and thinking. One bale can go quite far in a rabbitry. Hay men will also sometimes deliver. Newspaper, at the time my parents were learning and setting up their habits, used to come in decent quantity and be free or almost free to read around the table and I guess discard and you could ask for your neighbors and friends and get plenty. I don't remember because I was so young when they started but they may have began with ONLY newspaper in the box and refined it by adding shavings to absorb on the bottom.
Hay isn't pricey for rabbits, btw. You've got to figure out what works in your system where you're at though. Just watch out for nest box eye. Change your nest box media or nest boxes themselves to something else if problems arise for you in your setup /climate. I remember something about avoiding glossy color magazine print as well. Not sure if it's wives' tale or based in fact. There are lots of those running around.
 

Nao57

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Lol, my record is 15 hay bales in the tarped minivan with the seats removed, no truck yet...My poor van got sent to live with me, where minivans go when they're very very bad.
No clue on what I can carry as far as straw goes as I'm allergic to wheat and barley straw and it's $15/bale here anyway so what's the point?
You can do the whole transporting of bales truckless, but it takes some doing and thinking. One bale can go quite far in a rabbitry. Hay men will also sometimes deliver. Newspaper, at the time my parents were learning and setting up their habits, used to come in decent quantity and be free or almost free to read around the table and I guess discard and you could ask for your neighbors and friends and get plenty. I don't remember because I was so young when they started but they may have began with ONLY newspaper in the box and refined it by adding shavings to absorb on the bottom.
Hay isn't pricey for rabbits, btw. You've got to figure out what works in your system where you're at though. Just watch out for nest box eye. Change your nest box media or nest boxes themselves to something else if problems arise for you in your setup /climate. I remember something about avoiding glossy color magazine print as well. Not sure if it's wives' tale or based in fact. There are lots of those running around.
Actually your response gave me courage.

Who cares what other people think! The point is if you are accomplishing your goals and making something with your life.
 

rachels.haven

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The key is finding out what works (in all areas of life). Other people do their things because it works for them. They're not you and the factors in their situations are different than yours. The paper and shavings are a good fallback either way.
If you're a first timer just be aware that a young rabbit's first litter may not go well because THEY need to figure it out. They usually do.

Personally, in your place I'd go try hay because I like it. But don't let not being able to get it stop you.

Edited because I'm a blabber mouth when tired. Oops.
 
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Ridgetop

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What type of wood chips are you talking about? Are you talking about landscaping wood chips? or shavings and sawdust? Commercial landscaping wood chips are often treated with chemicals. Not safe. Sawdust is too fine and can cause breathing problems. Wood shavings like you buy for bedding for stalls are fine.

I always used a 2"-3" layer of shavings - not wood chips - in the bottom of our homemade wooden nest boxes to soak up urine and fluids than a layer of straw on top. this worked for us for 30 years. The only problems we ever had with shavings was using them for our dairy goats - some people said they had problems with mastitis when bedding on shavings or sawdust.

We washed out our nest boxes and sanitized them between litters. I used bleach if the boxes were badly caked, but usually washing out with water and 48 hours exposure to full sunlight was enough. I never had any disease problems from shavings. Problems arise if you don't check your kits when they are born (and every couple of days after as well) and a dead one gets buried in the bedding by mom. This can be nasty.
 

Ron Bequeath

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The bottom of my nesting boxes was a small wire, so we used a thin layer of wood shavings and hay over that. You can do your own research of which shavings to use for rabbits, there’s a lot of information already out there.
I have also used woodchips. sawingdust, and put hay and/or straw over it in both wire bottom and solid wood nest boxes. All methods along that line work great. I got my sawing dust from my uncles wood shop. But be cautious, we found that black walnut chips and dust will do damage to an animal because of the amount of tannins in it. We put it in the dog's coup and before we realized what was causing it, it had burned the poor animal's nose. It took 4 months for the nose to heal completely. So immediately removed it. Just a word of advice.
 

Ron Bequeath

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What type of wood chips are you talking about? Are you talking about landscaping wood chips? or shavings and sawdust? Commercial landscaping wood chips are often treated with chemicals. Not safe. Sawdust is too fine and can cause breathing problems. Wood shavings like you buy for bedding for stalls are fine.

I always used a 2"-3" layer of shavings - not wood chips - in the bottom of our homemade wooden nest boxes to soak up urine and fluids than a layer of straw on top. this worked for us for 30 years. The only problems we ever had with shavings was using them for our dairy goats - some people said they had problems with mastitis when bedding on shavings or sawdust.

We washed out our nest boxes and sanitized them between litters. I used bleach if the boxes were badly caked, but usually washing out with water and 48 hours exposure to full sunlight was enough. I never had any disease problems from shavings. Problems arise if you don't check your kits when they are born (and every couple of days after as well) and a dead one gets buried in the bedding by mom. This can be nasty.
Most wood chips that are made by the highway departments and the like are not treated. It depends on the placement of the sawdust. Under the wood chips it is a absorber of urine and moisture. Straw lets moisture past through, hay absorbs it black walnut chips burn animal's noses no matter where it's placed in the box.
 

Silly_me

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Don’t know about wood chips but along with hay and straw that is readily available to my rabbits, I keep the dog hair when I brush my big dogs and I add big clumps of dog hair when the rabbits start to make a nest
 

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