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Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by dewey, Dec 6, 2010.
Or how about bermuda hay and shavings? What do you use?
i always used hay
I use hay normally, but i have switched to straw which is more absorbant and works better for me.
I use grass hay, which is softer then straw.
The straw I use is mostly fine stuff, so it's soft enough. It's the mom pulling hair that makes it soft anyway.
I use three inches of wood shavings, for absorbancy and insulation, grass hay packed into the box with a hollow in the back of it, to give her an idea of where she should drop her kits. If she does not pull enough fur you can use dryer lint under the babies for more warmth, chop the lint in half inch pieces first if it has a lot of long strands or human hair in it. Grass hay is good because its soft, provides something for the babies to chew on when they first try food, and doesn't usually have sharp edges that can poke babies in the eyes.
Hay....don't need absorbency unless you are putting your nest box where she usually pees. I just always placed mine in the opposite corner of her "bathroom" and this keeps the nest box... just a nest box. She will pull her own down for softness, so the hay quality doesn't really matter.
Kits urinate on their own right from birth, usually on each other. Large litters can literally soak the wood chips under them. Kits sweat in the summer, and produce condensation in the winter, nestboxes can get get wet without the doe urinating on her kits. Wood chips make the box easier to clean, pull the fur out, dump the box, replace the wood chips and hay and remake the nest. I use wood nestboxes, not easy to sanitize them well. Always clean the nestbox out on the 7th, 8th or 9th day, before they open their eyes, it cuts down on nestbox eye infections. Hay quality does matter, rabbits are very sensitive to molds, dust and some toxic plants that can be found in poor quality hay. The kits will chew on and eat whatever you put in their nestbox, whether its straw, hay, newspaper etc, its going into their gut. I prefer to give them good quality grass hay to start the switch over from mothers milk to solid food. Granted I'm breeding for show rabbits, so my husbandry practices are a bit regimented after all these years, and I'm big on prevention. I really hate nestbox eye, haven't had a case in a few years now, figure its due to my being so picky about nestbox cleanliness. Your mileage may vary.