Unfortunately now that it is spring, ants decided to take over my doe's and babies nesting box. Will the mother still accept the box even though I have cleaned it? Also, what is the best way to keep ants away?
I have my cages suspended from the ceiling of my chicken coop to reduce wasted space so I never had this issue but your best bet kill the ants, if your not against poisoning them they are most likely coming from out of the ground from the hive I would locate this spot and put some of those gel traps. If you clean the box it should be fine I mean wild rabbits most likely deal with ants a bit being they burrow into the ground to nest, I am not sure as to what cinnamon is to rabbits but I used to sprinkle cinnamon around my bee box as it was a deterrent to most insect also borax the laundry soap works great as a barrier as the coarse soap actually cuts the exoskeleton of insects even cockroaches, its so good at keeping bugs away it is used in waterfowl mounts as a natural preserve and insect repellant.
I clean the nesting boxes out atleast once after the babies are born not wash it down but remove old hay and any droppings just to ensure no kits get any infections and have never seemed to have any trouble with the mothers as domesticated rabbits don't mind human scent unlike wild rabbits which is why we can handle the kits without the mother rejecting them. Also I only ever put my nest boxes in on day 28 of the pregnancy to ensure mom doesn't get use to using it as a bathroom.
Something else that may work give the cage or hut a nice little rinse down as ants leave behind chemical scent trails to find the way to food and home cleaning the area my wash away the bread crumb trail they are following to the box.
They are pretty big and have a wooden frame, I could move them but it would be a little difficult. I agree, the ants seem to like the spring, but I'm just thankful it wasn't fire ants, we have a ton of those in my area.
Could you try moving them to a plastic bin of some sort? My does never had a problem with me moving babies to a different box for whatever reason, once they had already started taking care of them. As long as the box was in the generally vicinity of it's location.
I moved the doe and her babies and sprayed the hutch with bug spray, I waited about a week before placing them back in. Now that the babies are older, they don't need the nesting box. Thank y'all for your help.
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