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Thread: Outdoor Housing Tips & Examples

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    Wise Old Thumper Elena's Avatar
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    Default Outdoor Housing Tips & Examples

    This thread covers outdoor housing.

    Please note that whatever type of housing you choose rabbits need space! And lots of it!

    The RWAF suggests that rabbits have a hutch of at least 6ft x 2ft x 2ft. With an attached space, or minimum 8 hours exercise, in an area at least 8ft x 4ft x 2ft. This gives an ideal minimum area of 44 square foot. Bigger is better!!

    Table of contents:

    Part 1 - Links
    Part 2a - Hutches
    Part 2b - Examples of hutches
    Part 2c - Improving an old hutch
    Part 3a - Sheds
    Part 3b - Examples of sheds (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
    Part 4a - Playhouses
    Part 4b - Examples of playhouses (1) (2) (3)
    Part 5a - Runs
    Part 5b - Examples of runs
    Part 6a - Aviaries
    Part 6b - Examples of aviaries
    Part 7a - Dog Kennels
    Part 7b - Examples of dog kennels
    Part 8a - Bike Sheds
    Part 8b - Examples of bike sheds
    Part 9a - Runaround System
    Part 9b - Examples of runaround system
    Part 10 - Winter Care (1) (2)

    If anyone has links or pictures to add or would like their pictures removed please PM me directly and I'll get it sorted
    Last edited by Elena; 23-01-2012 at 05:50 PM.

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    Wise Old Thumper Elena's Avatar
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    Hutches:

    What are they?

    A hutch is a wooden structure and the standard idea for rabbit housing. It normally consists of one enclosed area with a wooden door and one larger open area with one or two meshed doors. They are also often available in double or triple heights and with runs attached underneath.


    (Photo from www.deemillen.co.uk)


    (Photo from Forsham Cottage Arks)

    What are the advantages?

    Hutches are easy to find. They are usually 2-3 foot high so don't take up much space in a garden.

    What are the disadvantages?

    Most hutches on the market are far too small. The minimum is a six foot long hutch that is two foot deep and two foot high. There are seven and eight foot long hutches available as well as three foot deep and high hutches. Hutches also need an attached run of at least eight foot by four foot as hutches alone do not provide enough space for proper exercise.

    OK, so I want to go for a hutch, what do I do now?

    Look for a big, sturdy, well made hutch. It might cost more to find a well made hutch from proper materials but the benefits are that it won't need to be replaced so quickly. Cheap hutches often leak or get chewed, before eventually falling apart. Mesh should also be galvanised and 19 gauge or better. Chicken wire is not substantial enough and can be chewed by both rabbits and predators.

    It's often a good idea to lino the floor of a hutch to make for easily cleaning. Some rabbits chew so covering exposed surfaces is also a good idea.

    Good companies for hutches are:



    What to look for in a hutch (With thanks to Daniel):

    "Joinery Grade Scandinavian Whitewood is fine, the best to use is Joinery Grade Scandinavian Redwood. Most places called them European redwood or whitewood. In terms of hardwoods i have no idea as the price makes it far too much to be worth it.

    Redface WBP plywood is fine and cheaper than the stuff B&Q and the alike sell, but both are fine, you need WBP and still it should be treated to use outside.

    Mesh wise, Weld Wire Mesh at least 19G, 16G is better. As for the square size, i only use 13x13mm and 25x13mm, 13x13mm is better as it stops flies getting in. Prime Welded Wire Mesh is better because as itís galvanised before and after the manufacturing progress so double protection. Not all suppliers sell prime mesh.

    In terms of how a hutch is built, you want a solid roof, no tongue and groove roofs, no hinges roofs; you need a solid roof to be waterproof.

    Plywood should be at least 9mm thick if used for a hutch, floor, roof or walls. Cladding should be 12mm thick and the edges (end gains) of the cladding should be coved to stop moisture soaking in the end gain.

    As for treatment, any pet safe treatment is fine however Iíve not found a manufacture of Tanalised Timber that says itís safe for rabbits. Iím not using it to I get proof itís safe, I donít believe in the ďmy wife had rabbits for years with Tanalised timber so itís fine and safe to use).

    Legs, a hutch should not be built with the side timbers using as legs too, as this means the roof and floor is not supported. The legs should be attached after the frame is made to support the roof and floor.

    Insulation, if you insulate the hutch you need to add airflow, so attach vents, at least one vent each side not including the door. Line the inside with plywood to hide the insulation."
    Last edited by Elena; 19-10-2012 at 07:05 PM.

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    Examples:








    From this thread



    From this post



    From rabbitdan










    From Jenova



    From this post
    Last edited by Elena; 17-01-2012 at 06:58 PM.

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    Fluffers Hutch and Run Improvement Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffers View Post
    Thought this may be useful to others who may be thinking of ways to improve their current accommodation, particularly weather/fox proofing. I also wanted a before and after type record to send to new would-be bunny owners as I find pictures offer more encouragement and clarity Many of the alterations can be applied to sheds & wendy houses too

    6ft x 2ft x 2ftx Hutch & run combo (Rydale I believe) bought off ebay started out like this:


    Increased height of run by adding a 4 inch plinth around the bottom (now 24 inches) I later found that the other benefit of this is that it provides a wind break for the buns + more shade in the summer Added bolts to doors, lino to hutch floor & painted inside & out:

    Cosy additions were installed

    Added sides & additional grip strips to the ramp:

    Winter weather proofing began by adding corrugated plastic to the run lid, making shutters for the meshed hutch doors & an end panel for the run (using exterior ply). The end panel made SUCH a difference, stopped the rain from blowing in & soaking everything & everybun:


    2nd end panel and 1/2 front panel for the run were made (the back of the run is against the fence but with a 2-3 inch gap so still plenty of air circulating):

    ...and finally, a 4ft x 3ft extension was added (we put a door in the front of the existing run soon after it was first acquired for this reason but also so that the buns could hop in and out for supervised free ranging time)



    The paint used is Wilkinsons own 'Willow' from their 'Colour your garden' range. It is water based so dries quickly & very easy to use

    Please note: This accommodation is used as foster rabbit housing (i.e. temporary) and the MINIMUM size a pair of rabbits should be re-homed to. Larger set ups should be considered wherever possible (even for small breeds of rabbits). Aviarys, sheds or wendy houses with attached runs are ideal and a must for larger breeds such as giants.
    Stator's ramp

    Quote Originally Posted by Stator View Post
    Using decking planks you can make them quite steep, although this example isn't very steep:
    Last edited by Elena; 07-11-2014 at 02:11 AM.

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    Sheds:

    What are they?

    A shed is a garden building for storing items.


    (Image from www.shedsworld.co.uk)

    What are the advantages?

    Sheds provide a larger area, tend to be cheaper for the space provided and are available secondhand. They are also readily available and are taller than hutches providing space for levels and tall toys.

    What are the disadvantages?

    Due to their size sheds don't work so well for smaller gardens. They may look unsightly although a lick of paint and some ingenuity can make them look beautiful.

    OK, so I want to go for a shed, what do I do now?

    Look for something that will last. You might want to insulate to help keep it cool in summer and warm in winter. Boarding the inside stops the rabbits from chewing the edges. Many of our members have made second levels with shelves or a hutch. A low hutch with a flat roof can easily be used by putting a smaller stool next to it for a jump up or a ramp to the top. A hutch on legs can also be used by building a ramp up to the smaller doorway.

    It's also a good idea to have some space outside so the rabbits can have some fresh air, runs and aviaries can be connected with a cat flap or tunnel. If there are windows in the shed it can be a good idea to mesh these, especially if there are a lot as the shed may get quite hot. You may also want to make a low down barrier that you can step over when you open the door otherwise they may run out!!

    Please note that plastic and metal sheds are not suitable as they get too hot in summer and too cold in winter.
    Last edited by Elena; 23-01-2012 at 11:45 PM.

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    Examples:



    From this post





    From this thread














    From this thread






    From this thread
    Last edited by Elena; 17-01-2012 at 01:47 PM.

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    Last edited by Elena; 17-01-2012 at 01:48 PM.

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    Last edited by Elena; 17-01-2012 at 01:51 PM.

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    From this post












    From this post
    Last edited by Elena; 17-01-2012 at 01:52 PM.

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