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Shed Hutch Build

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Shed Hutch Build

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Rosalaun » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:27 pm


So we've finally got the 'big' shed built, and I've been given a section that's roughly 7.5ft front to back, and a little more in width. Whilst the other half of the shed has been having the shelving built for use as storage, my rabbits have been living a little like this:
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Please excuse the mess - it's literally been a building site in there! We've got Jet and Jinx (bonded sisters) loose in the floor pen, my older buck Fiver in the hutch, and in recent months he's been joined by a blue buck (Arkas), and an indoor cage on top of their hutch with a chinchilla broken doe (Ash).

Over here wire hutches are just not the 'done' thing - having been stalking on here a fair while and doing research, I do understand the benefits! But having a normal solid floor is space-saving and I don't mind cleaning poo-corners every day, so these are solid floored :)

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Just trialing one of the hutches and working out any flaws, so for now just one (of what will be four) blocks is being made. I'll be making the blocks in pairs so that they can be connected, with a removable divider board - so my bonded girls can have a double hutch which can be split up later if need be, same for larger litters. Above is most of the wood cut for the fist block frame, funds at the time meant it was easiest for me to buy 2 packs of wood without the two extra boards I need to finish off. I instead spent all my money on the polystyrene insulation boards!



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And here we are up to date as of today - the basic frame is all together, just lacking one more rectangular frame to sit on the bottom so that I can enclose that bottom hutch. I've also put in one floor so that I could test build a divider, and painted with a safe wood preservative.

Tomorrow the wood for finishing this block, and to build the second block, will arrive. Not sure on the time it will be coming, but I'm eager to get on with it! The back will be boarded to insulate it a little. The left side has a kick board to stop bedding getting thrown around and will be mesh, I'm hoping this will give a bit of a balance between insulation and air flow.

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Re: Shed Hutch Build

Post Number:#2  Unread postby ozemba » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:27 am


Looking good! Your bunnies sound like they've got it pretty good, especially with these new hutches coming along!

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Re: Shed Hutch Build

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Rosalaun » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:48 pm


Thank you! My purse won't be liking me much after this, but hopefully the rabbits will be.
Finished off the last bit of shopping for the hutches, I'm putting vinyl flooring down in the hutches to protect the plywood flooring, and also have some narrow boards to pin the edges down with and stop the rabbits lifting the flooring up. So with all the supplies fully sorted, I'm hoping tomorrow will be productive!

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Re: Shed Hutch Build

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Marinea » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:19 pm


Those bunnies look well loved.

Please post updated pics when you get finished.
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Re: Shed Hutch Build

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Rosalaun » Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:49 pm


They are much loved <3 I would have liked to use them for meat whilst working towards show standard, but I live with family who would disagree so for now the rabbits that I have are here to stay, with me breeding low numbers for my workplace (private pet shop) and keeping what I can. If I don't have plenty of animals to look after, I end up sat on the computer all day being bored, so they are my way to feel a little more productive.

I've accidentally spent about 10 hours today outside working on this block, and managed to get one hole done well enough for the newest addition to the group to live in.
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Can see above the kickboards on the side to stop some of the bedding being thrown out of the cage, but mesh for airflow on the side. With the lower half of the shed wall being breeze block, it is fairly cold so the back is solid for insulation.

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The bases have all been lined with vinyl flooring, the edges pinned down with a thin bit of stripwood - I'm expecting this to get nibbled on so it isn't glued down in case it does eventually need replacing.

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The side where another block will eventually be attached, divider board is offset to the inside, meaning the blocks will be butted up to each other and joined with metal plates. I'll probably also add a wide strip of wood/plywood over the gap between the two cages (it's inevitable that they won't butt up tightly with my building skills!) to stop any bedding or poop getting stuck in the gap.

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Currently looking like so - the door needs re-setting as it dropped once I removed my wedge (need a bigger wedge!) and I also realised that the hinges have a little more movement than I thought and the door swings inwards a little, so I've quickly screwed on a little block of plywood to stop that, and will work on something tidier for the next blocks.

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And this little madam is the reason I've had a rush day! Wasn't planning on getting any more just yet, but magpie is a pretty rare colour over here, especially for mini Rex.

I'm back at work tomorrow so will have to have a break, next jobs will be getting doors built and painted (need some more short screws), and the top half of the block meshed.

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Re: Shed Hutch Build

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Marinea » Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:39 pm


Looking really good!

If I may, I have one tiny suggestion. I see one turning piece keeping the door closed. When all of the hutches are occupied, I see the potential for a bit of movement, which could lead to a dislodged door lock. I would suggest adding a second turning piece at the top of the door where "down" is locked. That way it will stay locked no matter the movement.
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Re: Shed Hutch Build

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Rosalaun » Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:27 pm


Thank you, and thanks as well for the sound advice - that's a very good point! Will add that on to my to-do list. Admittedly the current latch was just thrown on in a bit of a hurry so it is tight for now, but may well loosen as the build settles.

-- Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:27 pm --

Slightly late update, I've had the first block finished and in use for a few days now!
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Ended up putting a block on the doors that sits horizontal just below the twist-latch, that solves the issue of the door swinging inwards, as well as eliminating the risk of the latches getting loose and opening themselves. Still have the overhead latches though, just in case... Having cleaned them out I can say the vinyl flooring does make things quicker, no poop stuck to the floor that I have to pry off, so that's a bonus so far!

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Got the second frame built today, and have painted what will be the underside of the floor & inside of the backing panel. At work again for a few days so this may be the rest of the progress until Thursday, will be cutting the floors to fit, attaching the back panel & painting the opposite sides of these. I should have enough flooring left to line 2 holes, so need to go shopping for another small piece of vinyl at some point, but finishing 2 more holes will be enough for the space I need at the moment.

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And excuse the blurry photo, was just getting dark. I've managed to find some nice big hay racks online, ordered a couple to test and now have to wait for them to come back in stock to order some more. The two boys that have these at the moment aren't big hay eaters, so it's nice to not be throwing away hay they've trampled into the bedding.

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Re: Shed Hutch Build

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Marinea » Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:58 am


Looking good!
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Re: Shed Hutch Build

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Rosalaun » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:27 pm


Alrighty kinda getting there! Done as much as I can do for the time being, went and bought some more flooring today but I'm mostly out of wood and have enough space to house my current rabbits so will call it 'done' for the time being.

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The mesh is only a certain width so I had to build the doors the same size as the others, I will eventually screw batons of wood to fit inside the frame rather than having the odd baton screwed onto the outside, but this was much quicker at 7pm in the dark xD

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So we have 2 does housed next door, able to start introducing them now so we have a mesh divider in there. As long as they get on, they will eventually have the double hutch to share.

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And the floor above has the already-paired does in the full length (slightly under 8ft) hutch. The wood warped so while I managed to line the front up fairly well, the back insisted on not going straight, so I did attach a strip of plywood along the floor and rear wall join to stop any bedding going down the gaps. I was planning on this anyway thankfully so not a problem there!

The magpie and one of the black does are both due to kindle next month (first litters for both), so the next focus will be building nest boxes. For now I'll give this a break for a few weeks, test it out and generally see if there's anything I want to change (the baton on those right hand hutches is definitely on the to-do list) before I buy more wood and work towards finishing it. At the moment those two unfinished pieces are making for good storage though!

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