Some pictures of my hutch setup

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Preitler

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Hi, since questions came up in another thread here are some pictures of my hutch setup :)

I have 5 hutches which can be connected to two complexes, currently it's configured 1-1-3. One buckling, my two seniors, and the two breeding does with 10 kits from 3 litters (6m, 8w, 3w)

This are the two hutches on two levels built into the side of the barn, buckling on top, seniors in the lower one. The wire cube on the left that replaced a door is a hay rack that can be filled from outside. The "shelf" in the right center of the picture is the foldable ramp for the top hutch stowed away. There is a nestbox (inside the barn) and hidy house (elevated) in each of those two hutches, and they are connected (now blocked) by an ascending tunnel that runs behind the rear wall inside the barn.
I used Ikea Salma storage boxes as litter pans under the slotted floor, not a good choice, they are not UV-resistant and become very brittle in the cold.
Hutches3.JPG



The other 3 hutches are seperate units standing free, now all connected by tunnels. Left one was added recently, the tunnel runs from the top to the right - so the kits can only use it once they are agile enough to get up there. The middle one is the oldest hutch still in use, just changed the solid floor to wood slat floor last year. On the right is the big one, I think I'll stick with that design. Big doors, several levels and hidey houses, wood slat floors (also the upper levels) with mortar troughs (cheap and durable) underneith.
The simple hanging levers to keep the doors closed work well.
The hutch area is fenced 2,2m high, I took that pic standing at the door.

Hutches1.JPG



Some pictures from the inside, the tunnel connecting the two hutches on the right, floor and hay rack (accessable from outside, with lid (to keep kits from climbing out) and perforated back (to keep forage fresh).
Hutches2.JPG

Hutches6.JPG


Since forage spoils quickly on a solid surface there is a table made with chicken wire right outside in the shadow of a huge lilac where I can spread it out, stays ok to feed for up to 2 days.
Hutches4.JPG

This is what it all looks from the outside. The hutches are allready surrounded by Topinambur (Jerusalem Artichoks), those will grow another 1-2m and provide shadow and good micro climate (and winter food). The rabbits have free roam from the fence in the front to the neighbouring white house, on the left is no fence but a small creek they do not cross.
The fenced part on the right is divided, 1/3 is my vegetable plot, the rest including the Topinambur is my seniors space during daytime, they have a big house with insulated roof there so they can ride out even a severe thunderstorm since they are cut off from their hutch (the others can go back in any time)

Hutches5.JPG

My buck and his spayed cuddlebun Dotty live in the ustairs garden and in my house.
 
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rockyhillrabbits

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That's a nice set-up! Looks very spacious and shady. I love the hay rack. It's always neat to see how other's keep their rabbits.
 

BuffBrahmaBantam

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Wow. Thanks for sharing photos. That is an incredible set up and I bet your rabbits are very happy. Does your buckling/breeding buck have his own hutch then and kept separate from the does and retirees?

Do you worry about weasels being able to get in? We used 1/4 inch mesh around all our openings because we were concerned about weasels being able to get in. We have a 4*6 ft shed for 1 doe and her soon-to-be litter, and the buck is in a 4*4 hutch.
 
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Preitler

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The buckling currently in the hutch is a growout that goes to freezer camp soon, and my breeding buck is my free range house bunny and has a spayed doe for company, no cage or hutch. and they have access to the front yard during daytime.

No weasels around here, but there are marten and foxes. I think we all get along well enough now. One evening this year a doeling refused to go home, so I set the box trap. Around midnight the rabbit had changed her mind and was sitting at the fence door to be let in, right next to the trap with a marten in it. Intresting enough, they don't cause much problems. One fox was a problem years ago (RIP ;) ), hence the fence around the hutches, the wildlife camera and if it picks up something a motion detector with a noisy tool hooked to it, like an angle grinder.

I once had a rat steal half a litter out of a nest one by one, it had chewed an opening into the wood slat floor. Once I noticed something was going on the matter was quickly resolved. It is very rare that a rat pops up, and there aren't many mice either, I attribut that to the predators around.
I rather react to problems wen they pop up than preparing for every imaginable eventuality.
 

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