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Thread: Bedding confusion

  1. #1
    New Kit billybones's Avatar
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    Default Bedding confusion

    Hello, I'm a first time rabbit owner currently waiting for a pair of Belgian Hares. I have had a custom hutch built which is 6x3 feet. It doesn't have a bedroom area, it is one open space inside. I'm wondering what would be the best type of bedding to use for warmth and comfort? I'm considering Megazorb with a layer of straw or hay, just straw or just hay. They will have a litter tray with a hay rack above it. If they're bedded on hay will they still use the litter tray? They have a 10x30 foot run attached to the hutch which they will have all day access to but will be locked in the hutch overnight for safety.
    Thank you for any advice and opinions you can give me.

  2. #2
    Warren Veteran joey&boo's Avatar
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    Hello. Their hutch sounds lovely but I'd add a box / hidey hole for security. I've only had indoor bunnies but I've owned bunnies for a long time & would summarise their litter habits as variable (I've had impossibly messy buns through to exemplary litter trained ones). I use underbed storage containers, big ones, as do many people on here. I use megazorb with lots of hay on top which works fine for odour control. Having big litter trays means a nice space where they are likely to hang out for a good munch & poo together I change trays daily & give them a further hay top up at night. Bunnies always seem to get excited about the arrival of fresh hay so eat more this way

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    New Kit billybones's Avatar
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    Thanks joey&boo for the reply. I forgot to add that the doors of the hutch are solid wood and not mesh so when they're shut in at night they're not "open" to the elements etc. Do they still require a bedroom area for security? If they do I will have one added �� There is a window (Perspex) to allow for natural light.

  4. #4
    Mama Doe
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    I would give them some sort of nest box at one end - something that can be stuffed with hay. They will need somewhere to keep warm in winter, etc. and they do like somewhere to hide. Anything will do - a small hutch with the door taken off, a large plastic carrier, cardboard box (although it may get wet and have to be replaced frequently), etc. It will also provide another level for them to jump up on or maybe sit underneath.

    eg: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wooden-Cat...4AAOSwRJ9Xg9DC

    I would also use lino on the main floor and just put a large tray (eg underbed storage box) in for hay - probably with a hay rack above it so they can nibble and poo in one place. It keeps the main floor area clear and easy to clean, with less wasted hay. If the lino is too slippy, use a couple of layers of newspaper on top and just roll up and dispose of it as needed. Daily maintenance is then down to a quick sweep out and spot clean of the tray, with maybe a weekly full clean out.

    Jack's Jane recently gave a link to this non-slip lino:
    https://jrflooringdirect.co.uk/budge...ght+Green+7093

    I would be a bit worried that a solid hutch with no mesh would get too warm at times. Can you mesh the window and use the perspex only in really bad weather? Rabbits are quite hardy and develop a thick winter coat to keep warm. If they are shut in every night, their coat may not become as thick and they could suffer when they are out in the day. It's equivalent to having a rabbit indoors at night and out in a run during the day. As long as they have somewhere that is sheltered, warm and dry, they cope well with the cold - and often choose to sit out in wind and rain at night.

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper tulsi's Avatar
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    If the run is secure it will be fine for them to be out in it at night as well. Rabbits are most active at dawn and dusk so being shut in at that time would be unfair.
    [IMG][/IMG]

  6. #6
    Alpha Buck louise200's Avatar
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    Hi there,

    I've got a large hutch with no bedroom section (after lots of trial and error with bunnies making it clear via trashing of the hutch that they didn't appreciate my bedroom creating efforts :-)

    So I've insulated under the floor (it's on 3 ft tall legs) with foam boards cut to size and then all around the outside top bottom, back and sides has a thermal cover made of silver foil bubble wrap for good measure. The hutch sits within a solid roofed and partially tongue and groove cladded aviary.
    Inside floor is lino and on top is newspaper and they have a large litter tray at each end which are filled with newspaper and hay on top. Then a hay rack as well above each (which they rarely touch I did have a platform in there but took it out because they never used it for anything.

    In the winter I tried putting in cosy cardboard boxes filled with straw and snuggle safes and they would go crazy chewing it all up and throwing it about the place into water bowls etc. and would push it and block their pipe (and they used to use bedroom area as toilet only in the old hutch as well and sleep in the open section which is why I deliberately didn't put one in new hutch)
    I ended up using one of those large grow bag trays and it fit pretty well between their 2 litter trays covering all along the middle 'floor section' of the hutch. I lined with newspaper and then that whole space filled with deep straw and 2 snuggle safes buried in. Success, they really love this setup, although will still wee in it all a little, but the tray aspect makes cleanup easy as like the hay trays just roll it up and bin it. It's never got below 0 in there over winter and so far hasn't got overly warm in the recent hot weather we've had. So far so good.

    Hutch has got 1 solid door and 2 meshed doors and they have nightboards which fit into the mesh door frames, with 4 fairly large ventilated sections which are left uncovered. The vents are really important otherwise the hutch will get condensation and mould.

    I'd also try and give them access to their run 24/7 if you can and this will be important in summer when it gets really warm too. I've been awake at 3am a few times and seen them all sat out in the freezing cold, lol.

    Good luck and apologies for the essay

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    Alpha Buck louise200's Avatar
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    Just to add, all bunnies are different and my friend 's pair use regularly and keep their bedroom section pristine, literally barely a stray poo, it's incredible. So worth trying different options to figure out what they like as well

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    New Kit billybones's Avatar
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    Hi, I have a mesh door that can be used instead of a solid one in warmer weather because I too was worried about overheating. I am going to section off a 'bedroom' area now as suggested. The entire hutch is waterproofed inside and out so can never become wet or damp. They will have a large litter tray (with hay rack above). Thank you for your comments

  9. #9
    New Kit billybones's Avatar
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    I would love to allow them access to the run 24/7 as I know dusk and dawn are the most active parts of the day. I will be testing the run security (from foxes) prior to allowing it though. Thanks for commenting

  10. #10
    New Kit billybones's Avatar
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    Thank you, it's not an essay, it's all good information for a newbie! I really want them to be able to have 24/7 access to the run but I want to be sure it's fox proof first.
    Sounds like a bit of trial and error to see what their preference is regarding a bedroom.

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