Taj Majal Bunny Nest

by Roberta
(Perth, WA, Australia)

My Pepper bunny appears to be pregnant. Piglet, the buck was de-sexed today so hopefully this will be the last little accident. (I do not have the gift of sexing bunnies) I calculated 28 days from when I think she fell pregnant. On what I considered to be day 28 frantic nest building began (Friday - 3 days ago). In Australia trying to buy a kindling box is impossible and the one I made from cardboard was devoured in one night.

Since then Pepper has packed the rather sizable sleeping area of their bunny bungalow with straw, newspaper, cardboard, several fluffy cat toys she got hold of when I wasn't looking, a large square of polar fleece, a designer bunny bed with a hood which is on its side forming part of the fortification and several card board rolls they had to play with. She would have had the full size bunny rug up there too if I had not taken it away in fear she would hurt herself dragging it into the loft. She fell down the ramp once and that was one time too many.

Two questions--
1. how long from nest to kindle and when should I panic if no babies appear? She has a lumpy tummy so I am positive she is pregnant.

2. I am going to have to clean this straw, paper and cat toy mega structure at some stage for the health of the kits when they do appear, at what stage would it be safe to rearrange a little to remove any waste etc? Today Pepper has been very calm and laid back indicating she has finished construction.

****Karen Sez****
Fabulous! So funny...

But, do I see slats under the 'Taj Mahal' nest? Meaning, can anything fall out to the space below? If so, please put something solid on the bottom of the entire nesting area. The little kits can fall through some pretty small spaces...

To answer your questions:
1) 3 days from nest to kindle, only because you told me that she started building on day 28. Conception to kindling is 31-32 days. 99% of the time, the rabbits deliver exactly on day 31. No need to panic, but if no babies by day 35, she wasn't pregnant. That said, if she's 'lumpy,' you'll get babies, lol.

2) Yeah, if I were you, after putting something solid underneath all the pieces in there, I'd also give it a layer of shavings if possible. The shavings help soak up moisture, and keeps the nest sweet-smelling. As 'lovely' as the nest is, the rabbit won't miss all the toys she stuffed in there. Feel free to yank 'em all out now. While you're at it, give her big handsfull of hay and straw to use in case she thinks she needs to embellish the nest.

Then once she's delivered, you can check the nest as we recommend you do, make sure no placentas have been swept under the rug, and no dead babies are stuffed into the corners. After that, the nest should take care of itself for another 2 weeks (unless the doe is a complete pig).

Good luck, and have fun!

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