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Thread: A blank canvas bunny enclosure! Help please!

  1. #1

    Default A blank canvas bunny enclosure! Help please!

    Hi all, I'm a new member... I am an animal professional but am getting my first pair of bunnies in a few weeks!

    I have a covered bay of 7ft x 4ft which I am getting the hubby to make into a predator - proof aviary with 13mm welded wire. There will be a line of paving slabs along the back, and turfed area in front (7ft x 2.5ft), hopefully with a mound over a play tunnel 😊.

    My question is; as this is a permanent enclosure, do I need a huge hutch? The RWAF says a minimum of 6ft x 2ft, but this will severely reduce their exercise area, and as they will never be shut inside the hutch, surely they only need a sleeping bay and protection from very cold weather? I am looking at a small hutch of 3ft x 1.5ft with 2 tiers: is this sufficient? Why would they need a bigger one? I have space and could put a bigger one in if necessary?

    Thanks for any tips in general anyone has 🙏
    Regards!! Xxx

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Hi. Will the Bunnies be protected from the wind? In my opinion a 3' hutch would not be a good idea as the ramp will be far too steep when the Bunnies get bigger. The other problem I see is if they decide to spend all their time on the ground as this will be too damp/cold and they do need a nice dry place to spend the cold wet months especially at night. Our Rabbits need to be in a dry area overnight in particular as they are not as hardy as their wild counterparts.

  3. #3

    Default

    Really good points, thank you!! Yes, the hutch will be their winter quarters when it gets cold and windy, won't it?

  4. #4
    Mama Doe
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    I would get a bigger, single tier hutch (or equivalent) and put it up on blocks (bricks or breeze blocks) and on a slabbed base, so the rabbits can also go underneath it. You can put a long external ramp up so they can sit on top of it as well (may need some sides to stop them falling off, though) - which basically gives you 3 levels at one part of the enclosure. The hutch bed area can be stuffed with hay in the winter to provide a warm, dry, draught proof area, with room to move about in the worst weather.

    I would also put some decent mesh under the turf to stop bunnies digging out and predators digging in.
    A roof covering (eg corrugated plastic or corrugated bitumen roofing sheets) would give some shelter from sun & rain.

  5. #5

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    Thank you, yes they have half metal, half clear plastic roof... I like the idea of a viewing platform, I had forgotten to include this 😊. So the hutch still needs to be quite long you think even though the sleeping area will only be small in whichever I get?

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper
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    Bunnies don't sleep in the bedroom part of a hutch as they like to be able to look out.

  7. #7
    Mama Doe TheBee's Avatar
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    I would definitely put your hutch on tall legs with either a hole cut in the bottom and a step up into it, or a platform up into it. Is the run completely weather proof? If so I probably would go for a smaller hutch, I have some 4ft hutches in some of my enclosures (with the door taken off, of course) that are fine for protection but only because I have a proper roof on the enclosures themselves so they can be out 24/7 without getting wet etc. 7 x 4ft does only give 28sq ft and really a pair of bunnies need 60 sq ft or more; would it be possible to attach a runaround system perhaps to another run?

  8. #8

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    Thank you for your advice. Yes, the enclosure will be totally covered, but 2 sides mesh so not weatherproof (ie wind). I am now thinking of a 5ft two tier hutch which is raised slightly to allow access underneath and a long ramp up. It is slightly bigger than 7x4 and they will have access to a garden run (hopefully permanent if I can figure a way through the flint wall!!). Does it make a difference to their space requirements that they are dwarves? Thanks so much for your help!

  9. #9
    Mama Doe
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    You can fit a catflap or Runaround tunnel through the mesh to allow access outside of the enclosure. It may need reinforcing with a piece of external ply, and a hole cut through that, but it will bolt on through the mesh. You need to make sure that it can also be safely closed off to prevent unwanted escapes and no access for predators.

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