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Outdoor Hutch Ideas for High temps?

Advice on purchasing or constructing cages and hutches for your rabbitry.
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Outdoor Hutch Ideas for High temps?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Sagebrush » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:15 am


Hello all. I know it has been a heck of a while since I was last on but I have some questions for those who live in high temp areas. DH and I are moving down to Las Vegas Nevada at the end of the month. I am getting back into school to finish my tech program and we are buying our first place together. Anyway.... I am wondering what you all do to help keep your buns cool during those high temps. The temp ranges are a low of about 60*F to a high of 120*F +. Now having lived in Nevada most of my life and raised rabbits here, I am just unsure what else I can do to help keep them cool. Shade Cloth, frozen water bottles, fans, and frozen tiles. Is there a good design for the hutches that work better?

I have my Himi house bunny Tiny. But I am raising Mini Rex for both pets and as meat for us. I have found that 1 adult is enough to make 1 meal for DH and I.

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Re: Outdoor Hutch Ideas for High temps?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby hotzcatz » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:03 am


Under a shade tree, as much ventilation as you can get, out of direct sunlight at all times, white roof and an automatic water system so they never run out of water. Big overhanging eaves to keep the sun away from the hutches.

A double roof system works pretty well. Either an upper roof or a shade tree and then a lower roof with air space between the two. That keeps direct heat from coming in from the roof.

Elevated off the ground with a wire floor allows for ventilation for the hutches here.

The other option would be an underground burrow? Although I don't know if you could get deep enough that it would be cooler?
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Re: Outdoor Hutch Ideas for High temps?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Homer » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:12 am


Hi Sage! I was doing some research on this a few years ago and underground is possibly your answer. I never tried it but it makes sense if you have the room. http://www.raising-rabbits.com/support-files/rabbitbreedingsystemforhotclimate.pdf A lot of good ideas here but think it would depend on soil type.

We run temps here from -15 to 110 in the summer. I tried bottles, shade cloth, water systems etc. and still had losses to the heat. Got tired of losing them and moved them and their hutches to my shop (w/ AC and heat) 6 or 7 years ago. Problem solved. :D

...Try giants. The wife and I get 4 meals out of one. :twisted:
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Re: Outdoor Hutch Ideas for High temps?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:27 am


Hi Sagebrush! So nice to "see" you back with us. :D

Those temperatures sound brutal. I'd be happy if it never got higher than 75 F. at most. But then, I'm Canadian, eh? :canada-fireworks:

I saved this link a long time ago because I thought it was interesting. Hope it's helpful!
http://ressources.ciheam.org/om/pdf/c08/95605275.pdf

And, hey, don't be a stranger, eh? :grouphug2:

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Re: Outdoor Hutch Ideas for High temps?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Nymphadora » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:23 am


Not from my own experience, but I saw this at another breeder's house... misting fans hooked up to a thermostat. Any time the temps would get above 80 degrees, his misters would kick on, as well as a fan. Kept the rabbitry nice and cool! :D

Add that to the other suggestions people have given and I think your buns should survive the Nevada heat. (For what it's worth, the day I saw the described cooling system in action it was 110 degrees by noon).
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Re: Outdoor Hutch Ideas for High temps?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby shazza » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:11 am


misters only really work if the air is dry. which i imagine nevada is, but i figure i'd point that out. it gets very hot here in texas, but it's so humid that misters can do more bad than good.

we have a white roof with pink insulation under it, fans (no mister,) and a wide eave on our shed that is open so the breeze blows through it easily. the shed faces south so we just needed walls on the east and west sides to block the sun. if it was over 90 degrees i would bring out frozen gatorade bottles for the rabbits, though honestly most of them pushed the bottles away and refused to sit next to them. but they were there if they wanted it, i guess. misting just the insides of the ears works too, it helps evaporate some of the heat, but isn't as cloying in the humidity as misters on a fan would be.

buying rabbits that are built to withstand heat is also pretty important. show rabbits are tough because they have to abide by a standard, but if you're just doing meat rabbits, look for ones that have a thinner/shorter hair coat (like an inch length max,) and the biggest ears you can find. of all my rabbits, my a&m composites - bred by the ag college to be heat-tolerant - had the least amount of trouble this summer. they barely seemed bothered at all, really. AND the buck sired two litters in july and august.

i've only lost one rabbit to the heat in two years, but the heat is also a big reason i'm packing up and moving north :p the bunnies aren't the only ones that hate it.
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Re: Outdoor Hutch Ideas for High temps?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Sagebrush » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:59 am


Thank you all for the great ideas! I will definitely NOT be a stranger :lol:. I had been considering doing a burrow type system, having read that here somewhere before. Now what if I tried it as a raised garden that their burrows would then go into? Almost 3 years ago I made this for my Momma.
Raised gardenbed.jpg
Raised gardenbed.jpg (133.11 KiB) Viewed 161 times
It is a total of 48" to the top of the wood. When I filled it I did about 3/4 fill with gravel for good drainage. Then the rest up to 4" from the top was filled with organic soil. Would it work if I put the burrows about half way down? That way there when I go to water the garden it would help to cool the clay burrows where they will reside during the heat. I was thinking of it as a living roof to help keep it cool, and of course I could grow things that the buns and I happen to enjoy :mrgreen:

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