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Where do I keep them?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby OneAcreFarm » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:04 pm


Alrighty! You have decided on a breed (or three or four!) and now you just need to figure out where to keep them. Sounds simple enough....you will need the following:

1) A cage, or cages

2) A place to put said cage/cages

3) Somewhere to purchase said cage/cages

4) A way to keep said cage/cages clean and tidy

At first glance, these don't seem too difficult. However, once you start really looking into it, the challenges start to pop up.

There are MANY different brands, styles, types of cages or hutches on the market. They are not all equal and they can and do function quite differently. There are a few things to think about:

a) How many rabbits will you have? (to start with....they always seem to multiply!)

You will need one cage for each doe, one for each buck and at least one growout cage for every two does. So, if you start with 2 does/1buck, you will need at *least* 4 cages.

b) What breed of rabbits will you have? (this will determine the size/style of cage/hutch you need)

Dwarf breeds can use a shorter height, commercial breeds will need a taller, larger cage and giant breeds will need a more supportive type of floor.

Figuring out the perfect spot BEFORE you rush out and get cages will help you out in the long run. Better to look at all the options now, than to have to redo it all later. Things to consider:

c) Will the rabbits be raised indoors or outdoors? (you may need cages with drop pans...)

Indoor rabbitries generally use cages with drop pans. These are emptied regularly and may or may not use some kind of absorbent material in the pan, ie. shavings, bedding pellets, etc. Some use slant boards and collection receptacles instead. Outdoor rabbitries have a few options, letting it fall on the ground, slant boards to channel the waste to a specific spot, worm beds beneath to collect the manure. It is important to have this chosen and planned for ahead of time. Also, you want to buy rabbits from a location that houses them similar to the way YOU plan to house them. You don't want to buy from an indoor, climate controlled barn in Michigan if you plan to raise them outdoors in Texas!

d) How much space do you have? (this will determine your layout)

If you have more vertical space than horizontal, look at stacking cages to maximize your available space. Is your space long and narrow? Put cages on the outsides with an aisle down the middle to give easy access to both sides.

Once you have this all figured out, you will need to find either a place that sells the cages or a place that sells the materials to make the cages. Feed stores will often carry cages or cage materials. Local pet supply houses are also a good resource. There are several online retailers that sell quality products you can order and have shipped to your location as well. Here are a few:

http://www.klubertanz.com

http://www.bassequipment.com

http://www.kwcages.com

http://www.bunnyrabbit.com

http://www.frycages.com

* if you are in or near the Houston area, Bryant's Small Animal Equipment in Channelview, Texas is THE BEST place to get cages and supplies.

If you are looking at wire mesh cages, and I strongly suggest that you do, keep the following in mind:

1) Look for 14 gauge, Double Dipped, Galvanized AFTER Weld (GAW), wire mesh.

2) 1"x2" for the top and sides, 1/2" x 1" for the floor.

3) Cages for breeding does should have "baby saver" wire, or a row of about 4" at the bottom of all four sides where the wires are closely spaced to prevent kits from crawling to the edge and falling out of the cage. THIS IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT!!! Kits can and will crawl a long distance if they happen to get pulled out of the nestbox when nursing.

4) In general, sizes for commercial rabbit cages are 30" x 36" x 18" for breeding does, 24" x 30" x 18" for bucks and open does, and growout cages of at least 24" x 30" x 18".

5) Make sure the doors are large enough to accomodate the nest boxes you plan to use. Have them made as large as possible and decide if you want them to swing out (and which direction) or swing in.

6) Don't cheat on quality to get quantity! You will regret it in the long run...

7) If you plan to construct your own cages, have the following:

• Eye protection ("You'll put your eye out!")
• Gloves (only if you plan to actually *use* your hands afterwards)
• Heavy duty wire cutters (two pair) or a grinding wheel
• Needle nose and blunt nose pliers (at least one pair each)
• Measuring tape/sharpie to mark wire (don't trust your eyes to remember where)
• Good quality J clips or C rings and two heavy duty appliers (a buddy is helpful!)

In addition, you will need feeders, watering devices, resting boards and a place to store all your various and sundry rabbit care supplies, of which there are many!

Hope that helps!
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Re: Where do I keep them?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby cnichols » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:08 pm


hehe I just read that on your website! :D

I've put my home built hutch over our compost pile! The compost pile is 10 ft. x 5 ft. and has a nice sturdy frame around it (except the front of course) that is "closed". We made it out of a "ramp" we had going up to the deck (which was "disassembled" so we could re-purpose the wood). The hutch has 4 cages that are approx. 30" x 36" x 24". It's great because the dropping and urine go right where they'd be going to begin with! :)
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Re: Where do I keep them?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby jollysrabbits » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:10 pm


I like it OAF can you make it a sticky! might help alot of people.

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Re: Where do I keep them?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby OneAcreFarm » Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:11 pm


jollysrabbits wrote:I like it OAF can you make it a sticky! might help alot of people.


Think I did, but I will check!
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Re: Where do I keep them?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby coffeenutdesigns » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:10 pm


I will be in the Houston area at the first of July. I will have to check out Bryant's....if my DH doesn't drop me on the side of the road at the mention of rabbits, lol.

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Re: Where do I keep them?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby OneAcreFarm » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:33 pm


coffeenutdesigns wrote:I will be in the Houston area at the first of July. I will have to check out Bryant's....if my DH doesn't drop me on the side of the road at the mention of rabbits, lol.


Let me know when you will be around and maybe we can meet up for....wait for it...Coffee! :coffeebath:
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Re: Where do I keep them?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby SarahMelisse » Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:44 am


coffeenutdesigns wrote:I will be in the Houston area at the first of July. I will have to check out Bryant's....if my DH doesn't drop me on the side of the road at the mention of rabbits, lol.

:rotfl: That's my every day!
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Re: Where do I keep them?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Mickey328 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:54 pm


Great post, OAF...super to have it all in one place. I gleaned the information here and there on the site and found it extremely helpful. I took all the advice, as well, and don't regret it for an instance! I like to be as frugal as possible, but that doesn't always mean spending the least you can on something...imo, it means spending your money wisely. I buy pretty much all my clothes at thrift stores and even wait til those are on sale, LOL. A $2 used shirt will perform the same function and last just as long as a new $20 shirt.

When it came to getting cages, I opted to spend the cash. In the long run (and not even that long, I think) it will be much more cost efficient. I did a LOT of research and checked what I could get on CL locally and decided that it really wouldn't be much cheaper for the initial purchase, and since many were made with wood and lower quality wire, we'd spend more time on fixing and replacing things.

Again, following your advice (thank you so much!), we ordered our cages from Klubbertanz...the prices were reasonable for the excellent quality; the cages are all uniform (which will make building the rabbitry easier). I ordered 6 of them, which should do for a while, but I'm sure our herd will grow and we'll be placing another order. The only tiny complaint I had was the time it took between order and shipping. Knowing that, I'll place my next order earlier :)
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Re: Where do I keep them?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Demamma » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:31 pm


has anyone here used Fry cages? They look like nice cages that are affordable.
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Re: Where do I keep them?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby AnnClaire » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:23 pm


Bunnies over compost:

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Since then, I watered the compost under the cage and it has dropped almost 18", so plenty of room for the bunny berries :P
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Re: Where do I keep them?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Grandmamoo » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:51 pm


We keep our rabbits in homemade cages. Because ours are Flemish Giant crosses, most of our cages are large. We also have 4 big cages for the fryer rabbits. We use the droppings in our gardens.

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Re: Where do I keep them?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby CWD » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:29 pm


Great post, wish I could have read it several years ago.
this would have saved me a lot of work and money.

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Re: Where do I keep them?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby GlitterMomma » Sun May 05, 2013 7:10 am


:goodpost: Very helpful post :)
You make choices every day and almost every hour that keep you walking in the light or moving away toward darkness. Some of the most important choices are about what you set your heart upon
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Re: Where do I keep them?

Post Number:#14  Unread postby Cspr » Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:12 pm


Thanks for this. While I have the area and layout planned, I am curious about a few things, just because I'm so new to all this.

I'm going to be breeding Mini Rex and American Astrex, so roughly 4-6 pound bunnies. I will have four cages--two does, one buck, one grow out--and I'm sure that will increase as time goes on. I plan on 24x18 or 24x24 (I'm leaning towards 24x24). The first cage I purchased was from Bass Equipment. Very well made and a walnut can barely fit through the wire at any point (which I presume makes it somewhat safer?) and the new cages I'm getting will have urine guards, but I'm unsure if those actually help (for kit saving, not urine guarding--I know they help with the latter!)? Otherwise, what would you suggest for "baby-saver"? I keep hearing this, but I don't see it for sale anywhere. Would 1" (l) x 2" (h) w/ or w/o urine guards be acceptable?
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Re: Where do I keep them?

Post Number:#15  Unread postby Hattie » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:11 am


We built a version of this http://breyfamily.net/bunnycage.html
Ours is bigger and we used the squares covers in cardboard and outdoor carpet to build levels instead of ply wood. Hattie loves it. Three levels to hop around on when she can't be out running the house. Cost us about $80. I would add a pic of ours but I can't get it small enough to post here

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