If you have just found out your pet rabbit is pregnant and you’re raising rabbits for the first time, you’ll need to start preparing for the birth! One of the best ways to do this is to provide your doe with a nesting box — a place where she can give birth to her babies and keep them warm and safe during their first few weeks.
The prospect of having baby bunnies in your home can seem a bit daunting, so finding the right nesting box which your mother rabbit will be comfortable in is very important. This will ensure the whole process is smoother and the baby rabbits are safe, secure and looked after.
Below, we have complied a buying guide of everything you need to know about rabbit nesting boxes, including their uses, what to look for when buying one and even some of our top picks out there on the market today. If you want to know more, keep reading on.
Why Does My Rabbit Need A Nesting Box?
If you have a pregnant doe at home, a nesting box is a necessity. These nesting boxes replicate burrows that rabbits would give birth in in the wild, often not being much bigger than the rabbit themselves and lined with grasses to create a soft and secure area for the baby rabbits to be born in.
Your doe needs a rabbit nesting box in her cage before she gives birth. This should be placed in their hutch at around 28 days gestation, a few days before she gives birth. If you place the nesting box in too early, she won’t understand what it is for as her motherly instincts won’t have kicked in yet.
Even if your rabbit is not pregnant and not preparing for the birth of babies, a nesting box can be a wonderful thing to place in their home. As we mentioned above, it is almost like a burrow to rabbits and replicates the life they would have had in the wild. It also doubles as a great place to hide, snooze, rest and stay warm, which is particularly important if you live in a cold climate and your bunny is outside.
Types Of Rabbit Nesting Boxes
There are a few different types of rabbit nesting boxes available. It will be up to you to decide which type is going to be best for your rabbit. This is often dependent on whether they are using it for birth, or just as a place to hang out!
A wooden nesting box is the most natural feeling to your rabbit. However, wood can be a bit more difficult to keep clean and sanitize. A clean environment is very important for mother rabbits and the kits.
A plastic nesting box is a good idea if you are worried about keeping your nesting box clean. They are much easier to keep sanitized. However, they are not always as durable and do not feel as natural to your rabbit.
A metal rabbit nesting box has two benefits: it is easy to clean and is sturdy and durable. However, again, they do not feel the most natural to mother rabbits.
A grass rabbit nesting box is not as common, and is often used as just a place for your rabbit to hide and play, rather than a space for a doe to give birth. However, as they are made of hay and grass, they are completely edible and very good for your rabbit’s teeth and digestive system.
Factors To Consider When Buying A Rabbit Nesting Box
There are a few things to consider when you are purchasing a rabbit nesting box to make sure you get the right one for your bunnies.
The most important factor to consider is the size of the rabbit nest box. Traditionally, these nesting boxes are not much bigger than does, and they just need enough space to move and turn around in. Too big, and the bunnies won’t feel safe and they will struggle to keep their babies warm.
However, if you are using a nesting box as a space for your rabbit’s to sleep or play in, the size is completely up to you! You may want to give them a lot of room, or you may want a smaller space that they can rest in.
As we have mentioned above, there are a few different materials your nesting box can be made out of. The most common are wood, plastic, metal and grass, although some homemade nesting boxes are made out of wire, too. The material of your nesting box will be dependant on what your rabbit likes and a few other factors, such as cleaning.
If your rabbit is giving birth, then the nesting box needs to be the right space for them. It needs to be the right size and the right material for them to feel comfortable in. However, if the nesting box is simply a place for your rabbit to enjoy, curl up in, and perhaps sleep in, then you have more freedom when it comes to purchasing one.
A rabbit nesting box is going to be no use if it breaks easily! Look for something sturdy and durable that will keep your rabbit safe. A rabbit nesting box needs to be kept in the rabbit cage for up to 3 weeks after your doe has given birth, so keep this in mind.
No matter what you are using the rabbit nesting box for, you want your rabbit to feel comfortable and warm inside. This is particularly important if your rabbit is giving birth, because the kits need to be kept at the right temperature. If your rabbit lives outside, they can use a rabbit nesting box to keep warm in the winter months.
What Goes In A Rabbit Nesting Box?
In the wild, the doe would place grasses she found in her nesting area, making it soft and warm before placing a final layer of her own fur pulled from her body.
When you are filling a rabbit nesting box, you should start with a pad of clean corrugated cardboard on the bottom of the box which has been cut to match the size of the floor. Then place half an inch of wood or pine shavings in the box, followed by any type of soft grass hay. The box should be filled quite high with hay, so it is warm and cozy for them! Bermuda grass or alfalfa hay is often advised.
Right before your doe is about to give birth, she will pull fur from her own body, just like she would do in the wild. She will actually use her breath to fluff the fur into a cotton-like lining, insulating the box and making the perfect space for her bunnies!
If you’re now ready to find the perfect rabbit nesting box for your rabbit, take a look at our top picks below, all available to you on Amazon.
The Best Rabbit Nesting Box & Hideaways Reviewed
1) Miller Small Animal Nest Box
This rabbit nesting box from Miller is made of metal and constructed from rust resistant galvanized steel. This means it is extra durable and will last a long time. Secure and comfortable, your rabbit will feel like they are in their burrow and is the perfect place for does to look after their young. It comes with a wooden floor that is easily removable for cleaning and soft under your rabbit’s paws. The edges of the box are also rolled, so your rabbits can easily get in and out of the box without hurting themselves. 18 inches long by 10 inches wide by 9.5 inches high, this rabbit nesting box is great for a range of rabbit breeds.
- Burrow Or Den Substitute
- Secure & Comfortable
- Sturdy Design
2) Ware Manufacturing Wood Den Hide Out
Give the smallest of animals a safe and secure place to hang out in this wood den. The large size is perfect for homes with multiple pets because it gives them all of the room they need. At less than 12 ounces, it’s light enough that you can pick up and move the habitat whenever you want.
Many customers like the fun design that uses alternating pieces of red wood and wood with a natural stain because it adds a bright pop of color to any space. All of the wood used in this den is suitable for chewing. You do not need to worry about your pets becoming sick or hurting themselves when they chew on it.
While you can use this wood den as-is, it’s possible to make it more fun for your pets with other toys and bedding that you tuck inside. You can use this wood house right on the floor or as part of a larger enclosure, too.
- Den Suitable For Chewing
- Plenty Of Space
Wood Nest Boxes – Large
Another item I like from Wood Nest Boxes is this large 12Wx18Lx12H wooden nesting box. This box is ideal for your doe and her young because it is tight and secure, and it is also the ideal size for smaller bunnies to roam around in while remaining safe. I feel that this box is completely safe for rabbits to chew on because it is made of unfinished wood. Because it is extremely strong and long-lasting, fully constructed and ready to use, it is ideal for preparing for birth.
- Easy to assemble
- Value for money
This hay Bungalow from Oxbow is not specifically designed to be used as a nesting box, but more as a space for your rabbit to hide out and sleep. Made of 100% all-natural Timothy hay, this little house is 100% edible and encourages chewing within your bun, but is not easily to clean and therefore may not be sanitary enough to house kits. This bungalow will keep your bunny entertained throughout the day and replicates a burrow in the wild so they can feel comfortable and secure. It also supports your pet’s instinctual hiding behaviors. With no wires, chemicals or threads, it is completely safe for your rabbit too.
- Hand-woven For Rest And Relaxation
- 100% Edible
- 100% All-natural
5) ZALALOVA Bunny Grass House Handmade
The handmade design of this grass house will make any small animal feel right at home. Suitable for both bunnies and guinea pigs, it’s also a good option for chinchillas. Small animals often want to run and hide because loud noises and bright lights scare them.
You can easily set up this house anywhere around your home to give your pets a safe place to sleep and relax. With optional ropes and hooks, it’s easy to hang this house on a wall, too. Also included in this set are tons of toys that tiny animals love. You get three lollipops made from real herbs and other natural ingredients along with four colored loofahs that animals will love to chew.
The carrots and grass cakes that come in the kit are also perfect for animals that love to chew because the toys are hard enough to work their teeth.
- Suitable For Rabbits And Other Small Animals
- Easy To Set Up
- Includes Lots Of Chewable Toys
6) CalPalmy Grass House
These extra large grass houses from CalPalmy measure 14” x 11” x 10’’ and are big enough for your full size rabbit or several bunnies, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, chinchillas and ferrets! Although these can be used for birth, these are better for just having around the rabbit hutch. This grass house gives rabbits the perfect place to hide and, 100% hand-crafted with natural grass blades, the natural scent of the grass will entice your rabbit and will make them want to nibble, gnaw and forage. This not only helps with their dental health but also keeps them entertained and free of boredom!
You can hide treats in the house and watch them try to find them, and the holes in the side of the house give them extra places to explore and hop through. This grass toy folds down flat for easy storage and transportability, too. You can buy in either a one or two pack.
- 100% Edible, Safe
- Comfortable Natural Grass Hideaway
- Comfortable Natural Grass Hideaway
7) Niteangel Wood House with Window
This Wood House from Niteangel is made of wood and can be used either as a rabbit nesting box or as a hideout for your rabbit. Fairly small, this is designed for smaller breeds of rabbits, yet gives them a comfortable and safe and secure space to explore and rest. Made of natural, solid wood that is untreated, it is completely safe for your rabbit to chew on yet is still very durable and will last you a long time. With windows, you can easily look inside to see your rabbit and is can simply be removed for easy cleaning when needed.
- Constructed from quality timber
- Natural sense of security
- Roof can be used as a habitat
Precision Pet Triple Nesting Box
Precision Pet also makes this hardwood nesting box, which measures 37.64 x 12.8 x 11.22 inches. This box is ideal for your doe and her young because it is snug and secure. It is also the ideal size for smaller bunnies to explore while remaining safe. The rabbits can safely chew on this box because it is made of unfinished wood. It is ideal for preparing for birth because it is extremely durable, fully assembled, and ready to use.
- For Use In Or Out Of Coops
- Helps Eliminate Nest Sharing
- Single, Double, & Triple Nesting Boxes Are Available
9) Kathson Woven Pet hay Bed for Hamsters, Guinea-Pigs, Rabbits and Cats (1ball+Bed)
Bunnies and other small animals will love curling up inside this woven pet bed designed just for them. At 10.2 by 7 inches, this bed is suitable for chinchillas and bunnies along with other small animals that like being in enclosed spaces.
As it uses pet hay, you don’t need to worry if you see your pets chewing on it because the bed uses the same hay that you feed them. Though you may want to put the bed on the floor next to your furniture to let your bunny relax while you watch TV, it’s also small enough that you can tuck it inside a cage or habitat.
In addition to the bed, this set also comes with a tiny ball made from the same hay. The ball is just the right size for them to play with and can encourage them to have some fun. Both the ball and the bed release a natural glass odor that animals love.
- 10.2 By 7 Inches
- Comes With Hay Ball
For more reading on Rabbit Cages & Hutches, check out these other guides:
- Best Rabbit Carrier Buyers Guide
- Best Rabbit Cage Guide
- Best Rabbit Hutch Reviews
- Best Indoor Rabbit Hutch Guide
- How To Clean A Rabbit & Cage
It is such an exciting time when your female rabbit is about to give birth, and preparing for her properly is very important. The right rabbit nesting box will make her feel comfortable and give her and her kits somewhere warm to be that will keep them safe! Even if your rabbit isn’t pregnant, a rabbit nesting box can be a great play for your bunnies to hang out and play. With so many purposes, why not get one for your bun?!