Nest box timing?

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Laur

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I know they say to put the nest box into the cage a day or two before due date. My daughter is eager to do it soon, although we are only halfway through. Are there reasons other than cleanliness to wait? Will she be less likely to recognize it as a place to build nest if it goes in sooner? Last time, her first litter (DOA) we put it in way before. She liked to sit on it but did not really sit in it or poop in it. She also did not give birth in it, but had a stuck baby and hours of labor before giving birth to one dead kit. Both pregnancies, as soon as she got pregnant, Reva got very busy "redecorating" her cage , moving things around, piling shavings up...Yesterday she (and I swear I am not making this up, somehow got her hayrack off the cage wire and onto the wire on the opposite side. (Wasn't very straight, in fact it stuck straight out perpendicular to the wall, but I thought it incredibly impressive none the less.) I am not sure what my point is on the last part of the details, except that at the time it seemed like she calmed down a little after we put the nest box in (even though it is unclear, in retrospect, what she thought of the nest box.) She dug a deep tunnel into it, like a burrow right after she got it but did not seem to have a flurry of activity a day or so before the still birth. Anyhow the main question is, will she get used to the nest box and not give birth in it, if it goes in too soon, or are the reasons for keeping it out only cleanliness?
 

JBun

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Usually the main reason some don't put it in too early is because some rabbits will end up using it as a litter box. But if yours doesn't and she seems to like having the box in there, I don't see any reason why it couldn't be put in early.
 

majorv

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We waited until 2-3 days before the due date just for that reason...they either started using it as a litter box or just sat in it.

About 5-6 days before the due date we would put extra hay in the cage each day and watch the doe’s behavior. When she started gathering it and trying to nest we’d put it in. That seemed to work best for our does, and it was usually a couple days before due date.
 
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