South Mountain Rabbitry
Knoxville, Maryland - ARBA #B198


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The South Mountain Nestbox
You'll find that most commercially-available nestboxes don't work all that well for Flemish Giants. They do need extra space, and many of the larger commercial ones are made of galvanized sheetmetal. I don't care for these boxes, as they will corrode, and if gnawed, your wabbits will be ingesting the zinc dip that is used to galvanize the metal. They also conduct heat, and kits that are up against the metal in cold weather will lose heat much more rapidly than a wood nestbox.

I developed this design from a common open-nestbox design, and sized it up to fit the South Mountain Hutch. It requires nothing more than a 2x4-foot piece of 1/2" thick plywood (1/4" doesn't work and anything thicker than 1/2" gets too heavy and expensive) and some finishing nails, and you can build it in less than an hour.


2x4' sheet of sanded 1/2" non-pressure-treated plywood (about $16 at Home Depot)
About 2 dozen 4d finishing nails (1" - 1-1/4")

Cut two trapezoidal pieces nose to tail, the back edge 10" and the front edge 5"
Cut a 14"-wide section for the floor.
Nail sides to floor, 5 nails on an edge, then measure across.  Should be 14-7/8"
From the remainder of the plywood, cut a section 14-7/8" wide
Cut the back, 14-7/8" wide by 10" tall
Cut the front, 14-7/8" wide by 5" tall
Nail the front and back in place with 4 nails each.
You should have a piece remaining, 14-7/8" wide by 9".  Use that for the top overhang.  Nail in place with four nails.
From the remaining scrap, cut a piece 14-7/8" wide.   That's the bottom lip.  Nail in place with two nails.

Make sure nails haven't penetrated into the interior.  If so, take a punch and drive them down into the wood.  Sand corners.

You'll end up with one small piece of scrap, about 4"x9".

What follows is a sketch of the cut points, dimensions and indications of which cut piece is which. Note that it is not to accurate scale. Refer to the measurements indicated above.

Note: in actual use, I find that the topmost overhang sometimes constricts the doe's movements, and you may find that omitting it solves this problem. The bottom overhang is important to keep kits in the box when they're young. Once they're old enough to hop over that bottom overhang and get out of the box, they are almost always big enough to hop back in, too.

Here's what it looks like completed:

This design is Copyright 2012, Scott Wenzel and South Mountain Rabbitry. All Rights Reserved. For reprint/reuse permission, contact us.
(c) 2009 South Mountain Rabbitry - Maryland's First Flemish Giant Specialists -- Flemish Giants from the Blue Ridge

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