Rabbit barn plan

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RubyRed

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I have been planning out various aspects of my future rabbitry and I’ve gotten to the rabbit barn. I have also realized that I have no experience building things! So I’m going to share my wobbly ideas and hope that someone can add in some recommendations.

The plan:
Under the deck there is a small space halfway enclosed with privacy trellis. I am thinking of continuing the trellis around the support posts of the deck to create the “barn”.

The issues:
The ground is not level in this space, so water will stream through when it rains. I have no idea if this is easily fixed. Should something be put there to direct the water flow away? Or do I build a free-standing platform so the water runs under?
The privacy trellis also has large holes, and it is raised a few inches off the ground, (to prevent rotting when water comes through, I think) so this makes it easy for predators such as raccoons to climb through and get to the rabbits.

I'm thinking of rigging up curtain rods on the ceiling and the ground and having hooks added on the top and bottom of a heavy plastic shower curtain, so I can sort of slide that over to cover the sides of the “barn” at night. I will also have to put some sort of hook on either side of the “wall” so the curtain is firmly in place and animals cannot sort of squirm under it. (I really hope that makes sense. I may attach a quick sketch of what I mean with the shower curtain.) The curtain could also keep the rabbits fairly dry if it rains, but the problem is that I’m sure animals could still chew through the curtain or find some way to get past it if they tried.

I want to keep this area looking nice without wire all over the place but I’m not sure if that’s even possible. I would love suggestions, even just whole new ideas for what to do with this space. I’m sure my idea sounds silly to those of you who regularly work with wood, etc. but I really just have no experience with this sort of stuff and I’m hoping to build some experience!

Screenshot 2022-06-07 10.13.01 AM.png 1654611337247.png 1654611355037.png 1654611398060.png 1654611451606.png
 
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andymay27

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This is so weird! Your under deck looks just like ours and I’m also in the planning stage.

I don’t have any privacy trellis but I’m not going to add anything at first to keep good air circulation.

The only water issue I have is the dripping from above. I’ll probably staple a sloping a tarp to the rafters.

Fortunately I don’t have any running streams on the ground bcs I’ve spent lots of time getting the whole area to slope away from the house already.

I’ve got a friend who’s a big shot in several gravel quarries. He’s donating enough old conveyor belt to cover the whole area.

It sounds like you’re going to go with a colony? I explored that approach and decided to go with hanging cages to avoid chasing runaways and to better control my breeding schedule.

Since the cage trays are ridiculously expensive, for each cage I plan to build a galvanized ‘cone’ from the cage bottom to a double 5 gallon bucket system on the ground. The top bucket will have holes for urine to drain into the bottom bucket and leave the manure in the top one.

Please keep us posted!!
 

RubyRed

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Water drips may be a problem, now that I think about it... I'll have to keep an eye on that. I'm wondering if waterproofing and sealing the deck would resolve the issue. We're also going to be getting the house renovated so maybe I can get underdecking installed while we're at it.
I'm hoping for permanent solutions for the area so I don't have to be constantly fixing areas up, and I definitely do not want to be dealing with drips!

I've been looking at stacker cages but hanging cages are definitely an option. I'm just worried about not having enough space for all of the rabbits.
 

ladysown

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with colonies you actually need MORE space just so you know. I would find a way to redirect the water OR build something higher than the water channel.

The lattice gives good air flow, and some shading from the sun. Good thinking to leave it in place. If you do a colony you'll have wire everything, including the ground unless you build something solid and permanent that they can't dig through. You wire everything for two reasons: predation and escapees.

Curtains will NOT keep predators out. You can't just think of coons, but possums, weasels, rats etc.

If it were me using this space I'd put up cages along the lattice so they are away from the house (think bunny pee being flung but both bucks and does). Build them out of GOOD cage wire (1/2 x 1 on the bottom GAW), and 1x 1 on the sides GAW. Do not use hardware cloth or chicken wire. OR you can choose to build them out of solid wood and maintain an excellent cleaning routine with them.
 
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RubyRed

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Would you still bother covering the lattice (hah, forgot the word for that) with chicken wire to keep predators out if the rabbits are in cages then? That was my concern with the lattice.
 

andymay27

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with colonies you actually need MORE space just so you know. I would find a way to redirect the water OR build something higher than the water channel.

The lattice gives good air flow, and some shading from the sun. Good thinking to leave it in place. If you do a colony you'll have wire everything, including the ground unless you build something solid and permanent that they can't dig through. You wire everything for two reasons: predation and escapees.

Curtains will NOT keep predators out. You can't just think of coons, but possums, weasels, rats etc.

If it were me using this space I'd put up cages along the lattice so they are away from the house (think bunny pee being flung but both bucks and does). Build them out of GOOD cage wire (1/2 x 1 on the bottom GAW), and 1x 1 on the sides GAW. Do not use hardware cloth or chicken wire. OR you can choose to build them out of solid wood and maintain an excellent cleaning routine with them.
Do I need to fence in my under deck area to keep unfriendly critters out? Would old fashioned 48” tall wooden snow fence work?1654902710320.png 1654902710320.png
 

Big Mac

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I have been planning out various aspects of my future rabbitry and I’ve gotten to the rabbit barn. I have also realized that I have no experience building things! So I’m going to share my wobbly ideas and hope that someone can add in some recommendations.

The plan:
Under the deck there is a small space halfway enclosed with privacy trellis. I am thinking of continuing the trellis around the support posts of the deck to create the “barn”.

The issues:
The ground is not level in this space, so water will stream through when it rains. I have no idea if this is easily fixed. Should something be put there to direct the water flow away? Or do I build a free-standing platform so the water runs under?
The privacy trellis also has large holes, and it is raised a few inches off the ground, (to prevent rotting when water comes through, I think) so this makes it easy for predators such as raccoons to climb through and get to the rabbits.

I'm thinking of rigging up curtain rods on the ceiling and the ground and having hooks added on the top and bottom of a heavy plastic shower curtain, so I can sort of slide that over to cover the sides of the “barn” at night. I will also have to put some sort of hook on either side of the “wall” so the curtain is firmly in place and animals cannot sort of squirm under it. (I really hope that makes sense. I may attach a quick sketch of what I mean with the shower curtain.) The curtain could also keep the rabbits fairly dry if it rains, but the problem is that I’m sure animals could still chew through the curtain or find some way to get past it if they tried.

I want to keep this area looking nice without wire all over the place but I’m not sure if that’s even possible. I would love suggestions, even just whole new ideas for what to do with this space. I’m sure my idea sounds silly to those of you who regularly work with wood, etc. but I really just have no experience with this sort of stuff and I’m hoping to build some experience!

View attachment 30064 View attachment 30065 View attachment 30066 View attachment 30067 View attachment 30069
Two things smell, and flies this close to house.
 

KelleyBee

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Two things smell, and flies this close to house.
These were my very first thought, too. It would be so nice to have them right outside the door, but too many “barn” issues. Think also about drawing rodents and other barn pests right to your door.

We, too, are planning a change to our rabbitry. For me, the biggest issue is eliminating the trudging back and forth over snow and ice multiple times a day as I care for my herd. Currently, all of my supplies for them, pellets, water, hay, etc., are stored in my walkout basement. So I was in and out all last winter. Each back and forth traverse is another opportunity to slip on the snow and ice and break something (the older we get, the harder we fall).

Thus, we’ve come to realize that a three sided hutch is not the best situation. So, although my new rabbitry will be situated a bit further from my walkout basement door, the plan is to have all of the rabbits under one roof along with their pellet and hay and water storage. Keeping the stored water from freezing in an unheated building will be the trickiest part, but I’m sure I will eventually come up with a solution. by keeping everything under one roof, the hope is that come winter I will traverse the snow and ice once to go in, do my chores for the day, and then traverse the snow and ice once again to go back into the house.

To keep down on construction costs, it’s going to be a pole building built with all 4 sides open. Think “pavilion“ with a dirt floor. Then, we will use plastic sheeting (or some other low cost material) as a windbreak on the necessary sides. Over time, I am sure it will become more barn like as we slowly improve on the structure.

Best wishes to you as you try to work out your rabbitry.
 

RubyRed

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Two things smell, and flies this close to house.
I did think of the smell, but unfortunately the house is in a suburban HOA neighborhood with a tiny yard and there's really nowhere else that I could build anything.

I will only be keeping a few rabbits however, and in stacker cages, so I hope to be able to keep the smell down as the waste will be completely removed several times a week.
As for predators, I will be covering the barn itself with wire so I'm hoping they will be mostly deterred once they realize that they cannot get in. I am currently living in a different house close by, (this is a newly bought house) and I have never seen rats, possoms or really any predators other than foxes and (once) raccoons so I expect we won't have too much more trouble...
 

andymay27

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I did think of the smell, but unfortunately the house is in a suburban HOA neighborhood with a tiny yard and there's really nowhere else that I could build anything.

I will only be keeping a few rabbits however, and in stacker cages, so I hope to be able to keep the smell down as the waste will be completely removed several times a week.
As for predators, I will be covering the barn itself with wire so I'm hoping they will be mostly deterred once they realize that they cannot get in. I am currently living in a different house close by, (this is a newly bought house) and I have never seen rats, possoms or really any predators other than foxes and (once) raccoons so I expect we won't have too much more trouble...
Same here.
 
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