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New here, bunnies coming and house done!!

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New here, bunnies coming and house done!!

Post Number:#1  Unread postby MamaJ » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:56 am


Hello all! I have been lurking here for a few weeks, learning as much as I can before our new bunnies come on Sunday! I built them a hutch myself - we live in Buffalo, NY, so it's gonna be cold this winter. I am getting 2 Rex bucks. They will be 8 weeks old this week, and are from the same litter. I'd love any advice and tips on keeping them warm and happy for the winter!

I made storm doors for all of the upper doors - one is clear plexiglass, and the others are corrugated plastic. Should I cover all of the upper doors? Will they be warm enough? I plan on putting newspaper, then wood pellets, then straw on the floor of the nesting area (at least until they're litter trained, and then maybe just the straw). The lower part, I was planning on just leaving open so they can have some fresh air!

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Last edited by MamaJ on Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New here, bunnies coming and house done!!

Post Number:#2  Unread postby olafthebunny » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:10 am


Hey! Welcome to RT!

Me and my sisters bunnies live outdoors, and are usually fine. I'd say they'd be warm enough, if you just put lots of hay in there. That way if they get too cold they can warm up with the hay, or if they are fine, they have something yummy to munch on!
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Re: New here, bunnies coming and house done!!

Post Number:#3  Unread postby SixGun » Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:02 pm


Welcome to RT!
Your hutch is beautiful. Great job.

I wouldn't cover the doors, at least not permanently. If they have a place to get out of the wind, they'll be just fine.

Are you planning on keeping the bucks together permanently? I know some people say that littermates can be raised together, but, I've never done it.

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Re: New here, bunnies coming and house done!!

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MamaJ » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:11 pm


Thanks for the welcome!! I am planning to house them together permanently. The breeder seemed to think they would fine, so here's to hoping that she's right!!

The covers I made for the doors are totally removable - I'm just totally unclear on how cold is too cold, and how much ventilation is necessary. There is a gap at the top below the roof, and the doors are by no means air tight. I had though about just covering the 2 right doors, but I don't know how to decide! Will it be obvious if they're cold or hot?

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Re: New here, bunnies coming and house done!!

Post Number:#5  Unread postby SixGun » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:57 pm


In my years of raising rabbits in Wisconsin, I never had one get cold other than a few kits who wiggled out of a nest box. Rabbits have a high internal temperature, they're going to stay warm under that fur. Especially if they are in good condition. With hay/straw/litter and a box to get out of the elements they are going to be great, IMO.
I think ventilation is important, to cut down on disease and to keep them comfortable.
You can tell a rabbit that is warm by panting/fast breathing and moisture around the nose as they get really much too warm. I couldn't tell you about cold, I've not seen it happen.

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Re: New here, bunnies coming and house done!!

Post Number:#6  Unread postby MamaJ » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:01 pm


Ok - good info! So if you were me - which doors would you cover? The back is solid, and then there is a side, and three on the front (the far left is a storage space). All of them? None? Only on bitter cold days?

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Re: New here, bunnies coming and house done!!

Post Number:#7  Unread postby SableSteel » Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:24 pm


I'd cover the second to the left, this would give them the warmest place (because it is already protected on one side by the storage part), but only take up a small amount if they didn't want the warmth then.
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Re: New here, bunnies coming and house done!!

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Marinea » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:00 pm


Welcome!

What a nice hutch. And I agree with others, if you have an area of the hutch where they can snuggle in some hay that blocks a good part of the wind, they should be fine.

One thing to think about: litter box training a rabbit is not a given. I think I see wood floors in your hutch. If one or both of the buns resist the litter box, that wood is going to need regular deep cleaning. Many folks here advocate wire floors for that reason. You can work around it, just be prepared.

Another thought. Rabbits don't always get along. They can do fine together, and one day the fur is flying. You might want to have a plan B in place in case you need to separate them.

Please know I am not trying to discourage you. I just believe in being prepared and trying to know the good and bad going in to a new situation. I wish I had gotten some lessons when I fell into rabbit keeping. Good luck!
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Re: New here, bunnies coming and house done!!

Post Number:#9  Unread postby MamaJ » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:37 pm


Oh wow - you guys are great! So much great advice already! I really hadn't thought too much about the boys not getting along (new to rabbits, here!), but the nice thing is that I modified this hutch from plans where each section was a separate cage. So this would be extremely easy to turn into 2,3 or even 4 separate spaces!

The floors are wood - and I really debated about that. I was worried about the cold, and also sore hocks (I've read that Rex are particularly sensitive),. We are planning to neuter also - to help with longevity and aggression issues, so hopefully that will make them easier to litter train! We'all have to see how that goes...I enjoyed making this house for them so much, and I am looking forward to trouble shooting any issues that might come our way!

Also, for your viewing pleasure...here are pics of the buns that the breeder sent me a couple of weeks ago...I can't stop staring at them!!!
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Re: New here, bunnies coming and house done!!

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Marinea » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:53 am


Very handsome!
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Re: New here, bunnies coming and house done!!

Post Number:#11  Unread postby ButtonsPalace » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:51 am


How cute! If neutered they'll probably get along fine, because it seems to me issues occur when there isn't enough space they fight... Which is funny because I kept three does in a 5 foot long cage and they loved it (It was Grandma, Mom, Daughter; I had three generations, it's a long story as to how it happened though XD). When my does were together in the winter I would board the front of their cage when it snowed and gave them tons of hay to sit on. It was a pretty bad end of the winter last year and it was about 3 foot of snow where I was (That's a lot for me).
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Re: New here, bunnies coming and house done!!

Post Number:#12  Unread postby SarniaTricia » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:56 pm


Welcome MamaJ
I have a friend that breeds Rex and they are very lovable cuddly bunnies.....

That being said, I housed a pair of males that got "into it" just after some of my females started giving birth.... good thing I had a spare carrier cage! One ended up with bits out the other ears and the other almost lost an eye!

Also there is a condition called rabbitosis (spelling?) You will need to check this site for more information. There is no cure and you will end up with a lot more rabbits once these boys give it to you.... :lol:

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Re: New here, bunnies coming and house done!!

Post Number:#13  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:41 pm


Welcome, MamaJ :welcome:

You've already had great advice from our members, but I just wanted to suggest an alternative to all-wood flooring. If you use heavy 14 gauge wire, 1" x 1/2" for floors, it will be more-or-less self-cleaning and it provides excellent ventilation in summer (heat being harder on rabbits than cold). In bitter weather, it is possible to add a solid layer of cardboard or thin plywood to minimize drafts. It can be discarded when it becomes too soiled to use. You may not be able to modify this hutch (it's very nice!) but keep this in mind when you build more.

Rabbitosis, as SarniaTricia has told you, is a virulent addiction to getting more and more rabbits. Many people who hang out here at RabbitTalk fall victim to this affliction. :lol:

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Re: New here, bunnies coming and house done!!

Post Number:#14  Unread postby olafthebunny » Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:45 am


Aw! The bunnies are soo cute!
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