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Thread: Hutch v playhouse, and rabbit safe wood treatment

  1. #1
    Warren Scout
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    Default Hutch v playhouse, and rabbit safe wood treatment

    Hi, I've just posted in the introduction forum as I'm a newcomer both here and to rabbits. We are looking to adopt a pair of rabbits and I want to make sure everything is just right for them I've been looking at what would make a good home and discovered very quickly what you all know - pet shop rabbit hutches are not up to the job! A bit of googling brought me to this site and the suggestion of converting a playhouse into a rabbit home, which appeals to me (and my husband likes the idea of doing some diy!). So, we've found one that looks like it might be suitable - it's 4 sq feet which I know isn't huge, but it looks like it will be adequate? It says that the wood has been treated to prevent rot but is that likely to be safe for rabbits to chew on? It doesn't say what chemicals are used, just that it's treated. We'd need to weather-proof it anyway so maybe a layer of that over the top would make it safe anyway?

  2. #2
    Mama Doe
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    Playhouses make really good homes for rabbits. They are better than a traditional hutch as they give more space, and you can spend time in there with them. They are also much easier for cleaning out. They can be insulated inside with sheets of polystyrene (eg Wickes) between the supports and covered in sheets of thin ply - this is very easy to paint.

    Most paints suitable for sheds are OK once dry. Lots of people on here like the Cuprinol Garden Shades (or Wilko's own version). I've used standard shed paint externally and white emulsion on the inside of the last one I did. Lino on the floor also protects the wood and makes cleaning so much easier.

    If you are adopting, you need to check with the rescue what their housing requirements are. A wendy house with an attached 6'x8' run or aviary (you can buy panels to DIY) would probably be sufficient - but best to check and go bigger if you can.

  3. #3
    Moderator Graciee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveTree View Post
    Hi, I've just posted in the introduction forum as I'm a newcomer both here and to rabbits. We are looking to adopt a pair of rabbits and I want to make sure everything is just right for them I've been looking at what would make a good home and discovered very quickly what you all know - pet shop rabbit hutches are not up to the job! A bit of googling brought me to this site and the suggestion of converting a playhouse into a rabbit home, which appeals to me (and my husband likes the idea of doing some diy!). So, we've found one that looks like it might be suitable - it's 4 sq feet which I know isn't huge, but it looks like it will be adequate? It says that the wood has been treated to prevent rot but is that likely to be safe for rabbits to chew on? It doesn't say what chemicals are used, just that it's treated. We'd need to weather-proof it anyway so maybe a layer of that over the top would make it safe anyway?
    Hey, welcome!

    So I'd be worried about things that have been pretreated personally as it could be toxic. I was looking for wood to use outside and ones that were treated to prevent rotting had anti fungal stuff on them which I'd guess is toxic. I went for a safe wood and painted it.

    I paint my outdoor stuff in Cuprinol garden paint, which is safe for bunnies and protects the wood.

    If you're rescuing, I'd speak to the rescue about size as sometimes they have different rules etc on where they rehome too, and will be able to advise you on what size would work with an attached run and the size for that too


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  4. #4
    Warren Scout
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    Thank you, this is really helpful! I think I'll have to look again at playhouses then, because it sounds like this one won't be suitable because of the wood treatment. And thank you both for the tip about speaking to the rescue - I will do that tomorrow.

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper
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    I have a few Playhouses, two 4 x 4s and one 5 x 4 and I would always opt for the bigger one as although it is just 1' bigger, it makes so much difference inside. I also have a 7 x 5 shed and this is also a good size for 2 bunnies. I have never had a problem with the treatment they use. A lot of folk attach an aviary to the side with a catflap or tunnel so bunnies can come and go as they please. Foxes can be a problem so whatever you buy must be very safe as they can bite through Chicken wire so you must use wire mesh. I think it's 16g. There are some lovely examples on the Housing thread, also on the RWA website. Runs or aviaries are better on slabs so bunnies can't dig out or predators dig in.

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper *lily*'s Avatar
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    Hello and welcome!

    A large shed with attached run would be your best option in my opinion! Rabbits can never have enough space!

    Alternatively, have you considered having your bunnies living free range in the house? A much cheaper option as all you will need is to rabbit proof cables and supply a base for them!


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  7. #7
    Warren Scout HouseOfRabbit's Avatar
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    Depending on your budget, you might find Manor Pets useful either to buy from or as inspiration. Website is here - https://www.manorpethousing.co.uk/

  8. #8
    Warren Scout
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    Thank you! Unfortunately the manor pets option is outside of our budget and house rabbits won't work for us either, for various reasons. However, the rescue seemed happy enough with our plans which is good news!

    Eta: there will definitely be a run! Looking at either 8 by 8' or 7 by 9, depending on the exact location.
    Last edited by OliveTree; 21-09-2019 at 04:48 PM.

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