How to help with nest building?

by Cee

I have a doe that is doing this "haystache" thing! Thanks so much for posting the picture I had never seen this behavior before and thought we just have one silly rabbit.

We bred this doe in February for the 1st time and she lost two babies. I found them still born a few days after her due date. She did not build a nest, she pulled no fur, but had bedding scattered all over her cage, much like you described the chinchilla spreading her fur around the cage. It was very cold, the kits were frozen, one was much smaller so might've been a peanut. We decided to give her a second chance in warmer weather and bred her 4-14. so she should be due to kindle in next day or so.

For this time it looks like she has a bit of a nest in the nest box. I lined it with newspaper that she has moved around and added bedding and hay to. Do I need to add anything else to help with the nest or be concerned if she doesn't pull fur again?

***** Karen Sez *****
Exciting times! Give a doe what she needs, and she will usually know exactly what to do. The haystache indicates that instincts are driving your doe - a good sign. :-))

If you offered her a nest box already packed with shavings, straw and hay, then your doe already has all she needs.

If you like, you can also throw a large handful of hay into the nest and let the doe use it for any "remodeling" she thinks she needs to do.

Just keep a close watch on the evening of the 31st day. This way, if she happens to fail to pull enough fur, you can step in (once she has completely finished with kindling) and groom some additional fur out of her coat. But, I'm guessing she'll probably do a fine job this time. Certainly hope so!

(PS: Your doe looks a bit thin in the picture, but maybe it's just the angle. You might want some black oil sunflower seeds on hand and give her a tbsp/day once she kindles - it'll help her make enough milk for her kits. Luck!

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