Brainstorming underground hutches plus colony living

Advice on purchasing or constructing cages and hutches for your rabbitry.
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Re: Brainstorming underground hutches plus colony living

Post Number:#16  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Mon May 20, 2019 4:31 pm

GBov wrote:Sweet potato leaves are great in a stirfry. :D

great steamed, and boiled with other vegetables too
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: Brainstorming underground hutches plus colony living

Post Number:#17  Unread postby GBov » Mon May 20, 2019 4:58 pm

And if your sweet potato luck has tended to run to lots of vines and itsy spuds, it is nice that the leaves taste so good. :lol:

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Re: Brainstorming underground hutches plus colony living

Post Number:#18  Unread postby Ghost » Tue May 21, 2019 12:20 pm

Hi, Averydeadbird.

If you were to build such a setup your local climate will definitely effect how you wish to build your set-up. Because of this, you should set the location on your profile. It does not need to be exact, just your state is ok, if a big state, include your USDA plant hardness zone.

If I were considering this on my location, I would take into account that spring and fall generally get lots of rain. Rain during the winter is many times heavy, but some winter have fewer periods of heavy rain. Summers generally have few if any periods of heavy rain. The only times we get a heavy summer rain is if a hurricane ruminate moves into our area. For my location I would only recommend this as a summer time nesting. During the other times I would use only above ground nesting. This is base on my location not yours.

One thing about the underground setups is that it uses the soil as a heat sink. Some people get carried away, they think the soil is an infinite heat sink, it is not. The soil can heat up over time and the cooling effect stops once the soil warms up. That is why a suggest covering the nest with plants. They will keep the sun from striking the ground and heating up the soil.

From a cooling point of view, I would suggest digging into the existing soil rather that building a mound on top of the existing surface level. If you build a mound you increase the surface area between the hot summer air and the soil surrounding the nest. That soil can heat up from just the air. In ground also has a wider path for heat to move into the underlying soil beneath it.

The is where your local climate and clean-up time comes into effect. If I were to build in-ground it were to surly flood during the spring. So I would have include cleaning up after spring rains as part of my labor cost.

If I were to just try mounds. I would want to get some summertime temperature readings of what a core mound temperature is. I would highly suspect a mound is not nearly as good as in-ground. Mounds would get better with size, but I would guesstimate that you would need to go as large as a one dump truck full of soil size mound. This minimal size would be where mound would be comparable to in-ground. Having said that, I will qualify those statements with the fact that I don't know where you live, and those statements are subject to change if I were to get hard data. That is why I suggested getting the cheap temp probes to get some data.
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Re: Brainstorming underground hutches plus colony living

Post Number:#19  Unread postby averydeadbird » Wed May 22, 2019 1:27 am

Thank you for your thoughts, Ghost. I'm in California, zone 9. We get some heat waves of 110 degrees. My buns did okay - I gave them frozen water bottles and they didn't even lay next to them, from what I could tell. I was surprised at how well they tolerated it. On the other hand, one of my chickens died from heat exhaustion, and two died in the summer of 2017.

We also get heavy rains during the winter, so flooding is definitely a worry. That makes me lean toward mounds above ground level, even if they are not as good at heat sinking as below ground. I can certainly grow plants over the mounds.


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