Thursday, December 6, 2012

DIY Rabbit Nest Box Tutorial

I'm pretty sure building a nest box can be done numerous ways, but this is how I chose to do it. I thought maybe it would help someone out there, so I am going to share my how-to with you. 

Our black mini-rex doe, Raven is due on the 24th of  December and since these are our first babies, I didn't have a nest box for her. I looked for one at Tractor Supply and a few local pet shops. I couldn't find one under $20. 

Next, I tried Google. I found tons of plans for making them out of wood, but I don't have any plywood on hand nor the tools to cut it with, so a making a wood nest box just wouldn't work for us. There was a video showing how to make one out of a Rubbermaid tub, but I didn't think that would be a good idea, because your rabbit eating plastic isn't a good thing. Finally, I saw a video on YouTube that showed a glimpse of a wire nesting box lined with cardboard. I thought, "I can do that." So I did.

First, I gathered up my supplies. 

J-clip pliers, j-clips, wire cutters, and wire.
My biggest tip for you is to use heavy duty tools and really stiff wire.
Since I didn't have a pic of the actual j-clips in the photo above, they on the left in the photo below in the plastic container. Don't buy those j-clip pliers in the package on the right. They are very cheap made and will bend on you in the first 2 minutes. Do like I said and get a really heavy duty pair like the ones in the photo above. They are made out of steel or something. There is no bending those suckers. 
Once I got my supplies together, I started cutting wire.  As you can see from the pictures, I used bits and pieces of several kinds of wire. I didn't run out and buy a new roll. I just used some I already had here on hand. I used 1/2 in x 1/2 in squares for my sides, back, and bottom. I used 1/2 in x 1 inch for the front, and 1 in x 1 in for the top. Like I said, I was just using scraps I had on hand. If I were going to buy wire though, I'd do it all in 1/2 in x 1/2 in. 

Here are the sizes of all the parts for your nest box.
Bottom: 9 in x 18 in
Sides: 9 in x 18 in 
Back: 9 in x 9 in
Top: 9 in x 9 in
Front: 4 in x 9 in
I clipped all the pieces together and went a little overboard with the clipping actually. But, I wanted it to be sturdy.

My back piece I didn't have the exact size I needed so I had to use a little extra to make it work. If you go by the dimensions above, you won't have clips in the middle of your back like this.

When I had it all put together, I took a heavy duty file and smoothed down any rough points. I didn't want Momma or babies getting scratched.
For the cardboard liner, I just took a big thick cardboard box and cut it out with a box cutter. (It is best to use cardboard that doesn't have ink on it. I'll have replace some of mine.)

Here are the sizes:
Bottom: 8.75 in x 17.75 in
Sides: 8.75 in x 17.75 in 
Back: 8.75 in x 8.75 in
Top: 8.75 in x 8.75 in
Front: 3.75 in x 8.75 in

When all the pieces were cut out, I put sides, back, and front pieces in. I put the bottom piece in last to hold everything in there real snug. 
And there you have it. It was easy, and didn't cost me a penny because I had everything on hand.
Now I just need to get my cage moved into the back room, fill this baby with hay, bring Raven in from the hutch, and wait. Wish us luck! 

If you decided to make one for yourself, let me know if you have any questions! 

I'm sharing this post at Repurposed Ideas Weekly.


Anonymous said...

Ha, I wonder if it was my wire nesting boxes you saw on Youtube. Good work!

Alana Jo said...

Could have been :D