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Thread: Waterproofing the run? also insulating the hutch ideas?

  1. #1
    Young Bun
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    Default Waterproofing the run? also insulating the hutch ideas?

    I have posted pics before of my new runaround set up - a double hutch attached to an 8ft x 5ft run. I am now worrying about the winter.. Bringing them in is not an option and our shed is going to be full with guineapigs - they could JUST fit in it ..but would be confined to thier hutch which I dont really want to do..... so need some ideas on how to make the hutch warmer outside - it can reach -10 here in North Yorkshire - The tunnel may bring a draught into the hutch though - do I need to close it off at night? I was thinking about fixing some polystyrene to the outside walls and underneath and some layers of bubble wrap and old blankets, inside lots if layers of newspaper, megazorb and straw and hay - snugglesafes at night... then a piece of taurpaulin weighed down with bricks on top? It would make it dark in the hutch though, but they can still go out via the tunnel for a run IF I leave it open?. never tried fleece - do they chew it and would this be warmer than straw/hay? I also was wondering about making a raincover for the run that doesnt puddle with gallons of water in the middle! has anyone else made a type of waterproof cover that the rain can run off? Ideas please!!

  2. #2
    Mama Doe sierra*323's Avatar
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    I'm moving my house rabbit outside in 2 weeks so am looking at hutch insulation early! There's a carpet shop near me that often leaves big offcuts outside for cheap, and I also have some of that clear plastic flooring stuff you sometimes find in caravans and utility rooms... so I'm going to try and make my own fitted hutch cover. Hopefully I can figure out a way to extend it over her permanent run (the smaller one she has access to at night).

    My mum has used bubble wrap for her rabbits in the past with success, other than that just loads of straw and bedding. I might find a cardboard box and put it inside the bed area as an extra layer of insulation when it gets cold enough, maybe stuff straw around the outside as well as inside.

    I suppose it depends on your rabbit about fleecy bedding - mine enjoys destroying anything fabric if given the opportunity so a definite no for me!

  3. #3
    Warren Veteran
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    Last winter it got to -20C here and my rabbits were kept outdoors all winter and they were fine. This is what I did last winter:

    At night (no access to run, only a single hutch):
    - First covered the whole front of the hutch with a single bedsheet.
    - Next, covered that with single duvet cover (this is thicker than the bedsheet).
    - Next, covered that with some plastic sheeting (or taurpaulin).
    - And finally, covered that with another duvet cover (this cover is held down by the legs of the hutch so it doesn't flap in the wind and keeps all the covers together).

    I put bricks on top of the hutch which keeps the layers all close together. Layering I found is the best way to keep warmth in. Even when it was -20C here, the water in the hutch never froze so that shows that inside the hutch, it was always above 0C. Their hutch always has thick hay in it so they can snuggle into it for warmth too.

    During the day, they went out into their run which has thick hay on the floor and I provided Snugglesafes for them. On the really cold days, they spent most of the day sitting on the snugglesafes for warmth. And when it was below 0C all day and all night, I reheated their snugglesafes whenever they got cold, so they always had a place of warmth to go to 24/7.
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    Alpha Buck cooldarls's Avatar
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    hi, I covered the outside walls and roof of the hutch with loft insulation for B &Q, It was bubble wrap with silver sheet on both sides so the bubble wrap was in the middle. then we covered all this with clear plastic sheeting and blue tarpolin. the front of the hutch was covered with a shower curtain that was opened in the warmer days and weighed down at night. Bramble had the option of going out at night as he did not like being locked in at night and used to bang and bang till he was allowed out. In side the hutch dad built and box to go in the ded area with about 3 inches space all the way around. this was connected to the opening of the bed area and the gaps all the way around the edge was packed completely with straw as i read this would work best for insulation. they also had snuggle safes when it was really cold.
    my bunnies seemed happy with this and looked healthy all winter. I think getting them out intime to get a nice big winter coat is a good thing too.

    hope this helped.

  5. #5
    Young Bun
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooldarls View Post
    hi, I covered the outside walls and roof of the hutch with loft insulation for B &Q, It was bubble wrap with silver sheet on both sides so the bubble wrap was in the middle. then we covered all this with clear plastic sheeting and blue tarpolin. the front of the hutch was covered with a shower curtain that was opened in the warmer days and weighed down at night. Bramble had the option of going out at night as he did not like being locked in at night and used to bang and bang till he was allowed out. In side the hutch dad built and box to go in the ded area with about 3 inches space all the way around. this was connected to the opening of the bed area and the gaps all the way around the edge was packed completely with straw as i read this would work best for insulation. they also had snuggle safes when it was really cold.
    my bunnies seemed happy with this and looked healthy all winter. I think getting them out intime to get a nice big winter coat is a good thing too.

    hope this helped.
    Wow - briliant ideas!! thankyou to everyone - I never thought of loft insulation fom B& Q - did you just nail it on or cover it over loosely? Shower curtain as well - so simple - why dont I ever think of these things? lol!! x

  6. #6
    Warren Veteran chelle's Avatar
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    I agree with all said above and am also currently planning a cover for the run that doesnt pool the water on top & be a mission to tip it off without drenching the enitre run area...I will post pics if I succed...but am thinking away at the moment.

    Fleece blankets...I use these in my hutches...they have little smiley bite marks here & there...but otherwise they dont seem to fussed to eat them. If you have used snugglesafes and they havent eaten the fleece covers..you may be ok...I didnt leave them fleeces until I knew as mine did like to chew fabric too...but the fleece doesnt shred so I think it doesnt make them so keen in a way...but they great to use and snuggly too!

  7. #7
    Warren Veteran Crunchie's Avatar
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    My pair never really ate their fleece and they've had a lot of it over the winters.

    However I tend not to worry about insluating and rather try and create a warm pocket in which they can snuggle up if they so desire. My hutch was never insulated and the shed only has a bit but both of my rabbits were fine even last winter when it was really cold.

    What we did was lay fleece blankets on the floor where they liked to sit at night in the shed (under a shelf). We'd pile the blankets up and put two snuggle safes in there as well and the rabbits could come and go as they pleased. Most of the time though they would sit in the run no matter how cold it was out there.

  8. #8
    Wise Old Thumper Blackberry & Co's Avatar
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    Mine are in an aviary which has been boarded on 3 sides with a plastic roof, and runs on the front.

    The runs are half covered on the tops anyway, and closed in on one side. Over winter we cover the rest of the top and another side with clear plastic which you can buy from fabric shops (like you get push chair covers made out of) so that the light gets in but not the rain.

    The hutches are inside the aviary, and I make fleece blankies to go in the box bedrooms and also on top of them. There's always pile of hay. They have lots of hidey holes stuffed with hay too.

    We have shutters on the front of the aviary too. And carpet is good on the hutch floors for added warmth (provided you don't have a chewer).

    It's this set up - with added carpet offcuts, fleecy blankies, clear plastic sheeting etc







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  9. #9

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    my run is waterproofed simply with tarpaulen (i have a waterproof cover attached to the hutch which was from scratch and newton).


    The tarpaulen from the run I got from B&Q it was 10 for something
    ridiculously big like 10mx10m... it folds over my 8ftx4ft run about four times over (includiing the sides all the way down to the ground). I fix it on at the lid of the run with really wide pegs you can get out of the poundshops, they are meant for pegging up large duvets and such like. To help the rain ruff off, simply place a piece of timber which is about half a foot high down the centre of your run, before placing the tarpaulen on top. this will create and apex-style waterproof cover for your run and is really cheap to do (as long as the roof of your run is weighty enough to withstand another piece of timber sitting on top of it!!) . hope this helps... and hope it makes sense!!


    Also the tarpaulen i find really helps hold the heat in because it's layer... but i will probably be fitting old bedsheets underneath it and the hutch cover come the colder weather.


    xx

  10. #10
    Young Bun
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    I've heard another option to snuggle safes is to heat a brick in the oven while you're cooking dinner, then wrap it in a towel and pop it in the hutch - works the same way.

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