Register

Stuff inside the hutch

Advice on purchasing or constructing cages and hutches for your rabbitry.
1 year of membership
User avatar
Posts: 32
Joined: October 18, 2018
Location: Ontario, Canada
Canada Female
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 0 in 0 post
BunnyBucks: 231.00

Stuff inside the hutch

Post Number:#1  Unread postby swaggymama » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:48 am


Hi all - DH and I are having a "conversation" about how much hay the buns should have and where it should be.

One of us feels the hay should just be tossed in the hutch for the buns to do with as they please - eat it, sleep on it, use it as a toilet... and the other feels the hay should be mostly in a hay feeder so that it doesn't get all wasted.

Does it really matter how the hay is given to them? Can it just be tossed in by the handfuls (like, enough to cover pretty much the entire flooring) or should just a small amount be given loose and the rest contained in a feeder?

3 years of membership3 years of membership3 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 862
Joined: May 2, 2016
Location: California, US
United States of America
Thanks: 444
Thanked: 224 in 181 posts
BunnyBucks: 4,264.00

Re: Stuff inside the hutch

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Nymphadora » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:21 am


I think it depends a lot on how your hutches are built and what you are using the hay for. We use wire-bottom cages, and I only give the rabbits hay to eat or nest in (if needed). I think it makes an absolute mess otherwise, and I'd rather not have a thick layer of pee-soaked hay that my rabbits are sitting in and nibbling on (they don't seem deterred by the pee :x).

Since you do have colder winters, I could see giving them a box of hay to burrow into when it gets frigid... otherwise it's much cleaner and easier to maintain a hay rack for them to eat from, I think.

That said, I don't know that there's a right or wrong answer to this debate. If you're willing to frequently clean out the hay bedding, I don't think it would harm the bunnies to have more loose in the hutch.

:good-luck:

The following user would like to thank Nymphadora for this post
swaggymama

1 year of membership
User avatar
Posts: 32
Joined: October 18, 2018
Location: Ontario, Canada
Canada Female
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 0 in 0 post
BunnyBucks: 231.00

Re: Stuff inside the hutch

Post Number:#3  Unread postby swaggymama » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:45 am


The hutch is 75% plywood flooring 25% wire flooring; back is wood, one side is wood (where the "den" part is built), then the front and other side are wire.

What I have been doing, is putting a layer of hay in the den part, and a stack of hay in a feeder by the food/water. My buns have been huddling in that part... and have been going to the bathroom in the wire portion.

My husband has been grabbing a giant stack of hay and just dropping it in the hutch, it is basically everywhere. In the past 2 weeks, we've gone through almost an entire bale of hay.

I cleaned out the hutch this past weekend... and the amount of waste hay was ridiculous.

I am picking up a few bales of straw soon to put in their den for bedding for the winter...

Doesn't matter how much I tell him to stop putting more hay in, he just dumps it in anyway. I need him to stop, because I'm going to shove that hay where the sun don't shine! :x :x

3 years of membership3 years of membership3 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 862
Joined: May 2, 2016
Location: California, US
United States of America
Thanks: 444
Thanked: 224 in 181 posts
BunnyBucks: 4,264.00

Re: Stuff inside the hutch

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Nymphadora » Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:43 pm


swaggymama wrote:Doesn't matter how much I tell him to stop putting more hay in, he just dumps it in anyway. I need him to stop, because I'm going to shove that hay where the sun don't shine! :x :x

May I ask if he's doing other "rabbitry" chores as well, or if he's just giving them extra hay whenever he feels like it?

If he wants to be helpful, that's fine (and encouraged!), but if he's wasting hay without regard to how it's affecting your workload, that's not very fair. Maybe suggest that he does a specific set of chores (feed and water twice a day, or cleaning under the pens regularly), instead of random hay-stuffing?

My DH leaves the rabbits to me (I'm very particular), but if I need him to take care of them for an evening if I'll be late coming home from work he manages. Well, he gives them twice as much food as normal, but I can live with that in the rare case that I'm coming home late. :lol:

:good-luck:

The following user would like to thank Nymphadora for this post
michaels4gardens

9 years of membership9 years of membership9 years of membership9 years of membership9 years of membership9 years of membership9 years of membership9 years of membership9 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 7133
Joined: July 17, 2010
Location: Iowa
Thanks: 1
Thanked: 1075 in 953 posts
BunnyBucks: 36,700.00

Re: Stuff inside the hutch

Post Number:#5  Unread postby akane » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:13 pm


I had a guinea pig die eating peed on hay. If it grows even unnoticeable amounts of mold before cleaned out it can cause deadly GI consequences or even toxins. With a single row of wire cages I just toss it on top and let them pull it through. If I have stacked cages or solid I build wire hay racks or just round silos I can stuff it into quickly.

Beyond safety of cleaning it out often enough and not letting them eat spoiled hay you have to consider how much waste is acceptable. Since I had horses the amount a rabbit wastes seems pretty insignificant. I was also getting $2 alfalfa bales (50lb squares) much of the time and then $10 50-60lb organic alfalfa/clover/grass mix squares for just chinchillas and rabbits. We knowingly sacrificed entire bottom levels of the alfalfa bales to any moisture from the floor and just tossed them at the end of every year. Occasional wasted slices from the other bales weren't really a big deal either except I had to go haul those about 4 at a time in the SUV for awhile. Mostly just annoying but waste and sweeping it out the stable door was never really my concern. It was the fact it needed cleaned out so often to avoid health risks that made me not throw hay on the floor of a cage except in quantities they'd clean up completely within 12hrs.
http://s1321.beta.photobucket.com/user/takakageri/library/
Failing might just mean you are trying to climb instead of swim https://youtu.be/evathYHc1Fg

The following user would like to thank akane for this post
michaels4gardens

Site Supporter
7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 6426
Joined: November 16, 2012
Location: Ontario
Thanks: 123
Thanked: 1758 in 1466 posts
BunnyBucks: 32,470.00

Re: Stuff inside the hutch

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Dood » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:53 am


Hay rack or in the nest box for youngsters to have it easily accessible

Mine are on wire and they all have resting mats to get off it if they like, so no need for a floor of hay

On the coldest days (-20) I will give them straw to help insulate against the weather

The following user would like to thank Dood for this post
michaels4gardens, Nymphadora

1 year of membership
User avatar
Posts: 32
Joined: October 18, 2018
Location: Ontario, Canada
Canada Female
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 0 in 0 post
BunnyBucks: 231.00

Re: Stuff inside the hutch

Post Number:#7  Unread postby swaggymama » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:23 am


Nymphadora wrote:May I ask if he's doing other "rabbitry" chores as well, or if he's just giving them extra hay whenever he feels like it?


Nah... it`s all me - he just does what he pleases with disregard as t ohow it affects my routine, schedule, whatever you want to call it... I monitor water intake, food intake... whether there's an increase or decrease... I weight them... I handle everyting like that... and he just goes and does what he feels like - I told him I don't want them having too much of an apple, for instance... he gave them each half an apple. Like DUDE, I just TOLD you... now STOP!

If he wants to help, hey great... you can help by doing what I say you can do and not doing what I say please not to! :x :x

3 years of membership3 years of membership3 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 862
Joined: May 2, 2016
Location: California, US
United States of America
Thanks: 444
Thanked: 224 in 181 posts
BunnyBucks: 4,264.00

Re: Stuff inside the hutch

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Nymphadora » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:47 am


swaggymama wrote:If he wants to help, hey great... you can help by doing what I say you can do and not doing what I say please not to! :x :x

:x :lol:

Yup, if he were a kid I'd just padlock the cages... but I'm guessing an adult could figure out how to undo that if they really wanted to. :?

Tell him he absolutely has to knock it off with the treats unless you can supervise, though. Pet rabbits and breeding rabbits have very different needs, and while I wouldn't want a pet getting fat either, it could be very detrimental to your breeders. Fat rabbits don't get pregnant very easily. Not to mention rabbits can pack a lot of fat internally (around their reproductive organs) before they ever start to "look" fat. So tell him to quit it, or the whole rabbit-raising adventure may never produce as well as you would expect. (Personally, in a case such as this, I'd go with the "scared straight" program.... exaggerate a bit if you must, to get your point across :twisted: ).

I guess if he really must spoil a bunny, spoil the grow-outs a week before butchering...

1 year of membership
User avatar
Posts: 32
Joined: October 18, 2018
Location: Ontario, Canada
Canada Female
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 0 in 0 post
BunnyBucks: 231.00

Re: Stuff inside the hutch

Post Number:#9  Unread postby swaggymama » Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:22 pm


That's EXACTLY why I'm trying to be really anal about measuring and recording EVERYTHING!

I don't want to get into a situation where I think she's not eating... when all along she's been fed by someone else... or have fat buns... to him, 'it's all good, they're just rabbits!' but to me 'I want the wagyu meat of rabbits, not the walmart special!'

I just want him to stop meddling LOL

3 years of membership3 years of membership3 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 862
Joined: May 2, 2016
Location: California, US
United States of America
Thanks: 444
Thanked: 224 in 181 posts
BunnyBucks: 4,264.00

Re: Stuff inside the hutch

Post Number:#10  Unread postby Nymphadora » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:26 pm


swaggymama wrote:to him, 'it's all good, they're just rabbits!' but to me 'I want the wagyu meat of rabbits, not the walmart special!'

Oh my gosh, I love that!!! :laugh2:

Site Supporter
5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership5 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 736
Joined: February 15, 2014
Location: Austria
Austria
Thanks: 100
Thanked: 238 in 183 posts
BunnyBucks: 4,042.00

Re: Stuff inside the hutch

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Preitler » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:37 pm


akane wrote:I had a guinea pig die eating peed on hay.


I found that rabbits are very squeamish about anything soiled. I take advantage of that by painting wooden structures they are not supposed to gnaw to splinters with diluted rabbit urine, even after being rinsed they don't touch it.

An old guy down the road keeps his rabbits old farm style, just puts hay into the overcrowded, much too small solid floor hutches, no hay rack or so, enough so there is always a dry layer of wasted hay under there feet. He doesn't clean that out until it is more than half a foot high, takes about 2-3 months I guess. I cleaned out several hundreds kg of manure (8 hutches) once when he got sick, a third of the hutch volume was filled with compost. The rabbits dig their nests into this stuff.
Point is, despite this awful curcumstances his rabbits are reasonable healthy.

I give mine hay in racks, they waste enough anyway. I'm not too quick removing the wasted stuff, as long as there is always a fresh layer on it, about every week or two, liquids drain through the grate. In summer, when I feed mostly fresh forage that isn't much different as long the weather isn't too humid to let the top layer dry out. Uhm yes, in summer there are a lot of flies sometimes...

1 year of membership
User avatar
Posts: 32
Joined: October 18, 2018
Location: Ontario, Canada
Canada Female
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 0 in 0 post
BunnyBucks: 231.00

Re: Stuff inside the hutch

Post Number:#12  Unread postby swaggymama » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:12 pm


They seem to mostly be using the wire portion for their bathroom needs, and I have a large plastic tub under that which catches the droppings, which are just the perfect size to usually just drop right through - and I've found that a once a week cleanout of the hutches seems to be fine - up to 10 days or so. There is hardly any smell, either.

7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership
Posts: 2455
Joined: May 25, 2012
Location: Florida, zone 9b
Thanks: 17
Thanked: 346 in 259 posts
BunnyBucks: 14,460.00

Re: Stuff inside the hutch

Post Number:#13  Unread postby GBov » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:50 pm


swaggymama wrote:
I just want him to stop meddling


If his help is ummmmm, UNhelpful, can you ban him from your rabbits?

I got rabbits while married, they became a huge problem for my husband as I used to spend time with them (hence I was being selfish :roll: ) so while I still have rabbits I am now blissfully divorced. :D

The following user would like to thank GBov for this post
michaels4gardens

3 years of membership3 years of membership3 years of membership
User avatar
Posts: 862
Joined: May 2, 2016
Location: California, US
United States of America
Thanks: 444
Thanked: 224 in 181 posts
BunnyBucks: 4,264.00

Re: Stuff inside the hutch

Post Number:#14  Unread postby Nymphadora » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:50 pm


GBov wrote:I got rabbits while married, they became a huge problem for my husband as I used to spend time with them (hence I was being selfish :roll: ) so while I still have rabbits I am now blissfully divorced. :D

:rotfl:

Yes, caring for other creatures made you so selfish!!! :P :lol:

The following user would like to thank Nymphadora for this post
michaels4gardens

7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership7 years of membership
Posts: 2455
Joined: May 25, 2012
Location: Florida, zone 9b
Thanks: 17
Thanked: 346 in 259 posts
BunnyBucks: 14,460.00

Re: Stuff inside the hutch

Post Number:#15  Unread postby GBov » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:59 pm


Nymphadora wrote:
GBov wrote:I got rabbits while married, they became a huge problem for my husband as I used to spend time with them (hence I was being selfish :roll: ) so while I still have rabbits I am now blissfully divorced. :D

:rotfl:

Yes, caring for other creatures made you so selfish!!! :P :lol:


Ah, but I wasn't waiting on him hand and foot while loving on the buns. :roll: Did I mention the blissfully divorced bit? :lol: :lol: :lol:

The following user would like to thank GBov for this post
MaggieJ, michaels4gardens, Nymphadora

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests