Rabbits Online > Pet Rabbit Discussion > Housing and Environment > First rabbits and need some help

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Old 08-12-2017, 01:55 AM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Default First rabbits and need some help

I recently ended up with six rabbits and may have twelve more to bunny sit over the winter.

These are 3/4 Flemish giant cross.

So far I think I have most of their requirements met but I want/have to build a hutch/play area for them for the winter.

The problem I'm running into is this... most info out there seems geared for house bunnies, the rest of the info is for commercial meat bunnies and these aren't either lol.

These are pets, but outdoor.

The winter temps here get -25 on average to -40

There are wild rabbits here as well.

I'm getting a HUGE mix of information from locals with rabbits.

One says they don't need insulation in the winter.
Another says 2x6 with pink household insulation and a heat lamp.
Another says just give them a pile of square hay bales and they'll be fine.
One says heated wood hutch.
Another says 100% wire or steel hutch in a barn...

See the problem here?

So I'll give you my plan so far and ask again few questions.
Winter is quickly approching and I don't have long to get this built.

I plan to build a basic wooden rabbit hutch... divided into compartments.
Each compartment is for two rabbits.
The size of each compartment is 2.5' x 3'.
A slanted/hinged roof for access.
A pull out tray floor for cleaning.
One foot off the ground with the ground level surrounded by weld wire.
A 6x10 play pen.
Separate compartments and play area for the males.
I have 250 watt red heat lamps for the compartments.

Ill draw up a plan and try to post that as well.

My first question is... exactly what temperature is the winter range for rabbits?
So I know what to aim for in the hutch.

How do you keep it warm and ventilated at the same time?

Lamp placement?

Where does the bedding go and the food hay?

I see most of these hutches are divided into a nest box area and an area with a wire screen... does I think have to be designed like this, or can it be one enclosed box to maintain the heat?

I could line the interior with sheet metal... to keep them from chewing it, and to keep the wood from rotting... is this necessary?
Or can I get away with just wood?

For two big rabbits is 2.5x3 enough in the hutch. Considering they will have a big play pen area.

Ive heard the three hop and 2x3 times the length rule. But nothing I've seen fits those rules. Some are just slightly larger than the buns, others are the size of a house bedroom for one...

Atm I'm thinking of building this hutch from 2x2 with 1/4 ply or Osb.
Using insulative foam board as insulation.

If between the foam board, straw bedding, and heat lamps it's still too cool I'm thinking of stacking straw bales around the exterior walls.

Yep electrical will be bunny proofed.

The person I got them from said they wintered in a wooden hutch, no heat and survived the winter.

Honestly I don't see how... at the low temps we get. But hey... they seem to have survived. So idk...

The info I'm getting is really all over the map.


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