adding climbin & increasing chewing in an xpen: Honey's Habitat

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LakeCondo

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Not content with having Honey's cardboard hide box in her dig box, I wanted to increase her cardboard chewing opportunities & add climbing without reducing the space in her pen for running etc. I call the result Honey's Habitat. The structure is made from metal grates fastened together with zip ties, but the outside sheathing is a tube [if tubes can be rectangular] of cardboard so she can enlarge the doors & windows. Of course the cardboard can be replaced by just lifting it out & putting in a new one. My main problem is that Honey is so eager to get at a new cardboard tube that it's hard for me to get it in place properly.

I came across these wire grid panels from Omahafixture.com in a post from BugLady. [Thank you!] They come in 4 sizes: 16"x10", 10"x10", 14"x14", and quarter rounds 14" on each straight side. I made a 22"x20"x16"[sub] [/sub]high structure to fit into a 24"x22"x22" cardboard box for $13.60 plus $5 shipping [flat rate; free if ordering $100+. I placed it over Honey's dig box, so it doesn't need a floor to stabilize it. A floor would add another $5.20 [if made of 4 quarter rounds]. Then add the cost of cardboard boxes & flooring material, which I'll get to later.

TO BE CONTINUED
 

LakeCondo

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The habitat has a 2nd floor ledge that covers half the structure, ie 22x10 & is 10" off the ground [but less than that off the surface of the dig box]. There is a 3rd floor ledge made from a quarter round, requiring a 6" jump from the lower ledge. Honey is under 5 lbs, so those with a larger rabbit will have to use a larger [at least taller] structure. There are 2 entrances. Here are the directions for construction. [I'll give a diagram later, if I can. I suggest using pieces of string to put it together, then zip ties. String is a lot easier to reposition.

Take 1 10x10 & 1 16x10 & overlap to form a piece 22x10. Fasten another 10x10 to the 10x10 side at the end. Place so the 22x10 is in the back & the 10x10 is on the right of your surface & vertical. Place a 16x10 in the corner & attach. Place a quarter round over part of the 16x10 so it makes a 22x10 piece with a tail/triangle of grating on the left. Fasten to the 16x10 & to the 22x10. Put this aside for now.

Take 2 16x10s & attach them along a 16" side of each. Attach a quarter round into the corner. Then turn both pieces over & fasten them together to form the 22x18x16 high structure. Remember it will be more stable when placed over a dig box slightly smaller than 22x18.

TO BE CONTINUED



 

Nancy McClelland

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If it's card board you want, try making a box maze. I use the hay box and put cardboard boxes inside with precut holes which they enlarge. Our last one was three stories with the top being the fourth. I figured Nikki and Bambi would get all the way to the top as they only weigh 4 pounds. Imagine my suprise when I walked by the bunny room and found our 18 pound Checkered Giant Serena on top. She's a very active bunny, especially for her size, but I had no idea.
 

LakeCondo

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This is what the 2 pieces look like before they're put together, looking down from the top. Capital letters mean the piece is horizontal, small-case means the piece is vertical, D/d is 16x10, T/t is 10x10, & C/c is quarter round.


...0 ... .2.... 4.... 6.... 8.... 10.... 12.... 14.... 16.... 18.... 20.... 22
.............................................dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd
....tttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt
0 tDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD............................ 0
...tDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD|CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
2 tDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD|CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC 2
...tDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
4 tDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD|CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC 4
...tDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
6 tDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC 6
...tDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD|CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
8 tDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC 8
...tDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
10 tDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC 10
.....................................................CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
12 ......................................................CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC 12
....................................................................CCCCCCCCCCCCCC
14 ......................................................................CCCCCCCCCCC 14
..0. 2. 4. 6. 8. 10. 12. 14. 16. 18. 20. 22


..8. 10. 12. 14 .16 .18. 20. 22

6 CCCCCC 6
...CCCCCCCCCCCC
8 CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC 8
...CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
10 CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd 10
...CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd
12 CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd 12
...CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd
14 CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd 14
...CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd
16 CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd 16
...CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd
18 CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd 18
...CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd
20 ....................dddddddddddddddddddd 20
..8. 10. 12. 14. 16. 18. 20. 22
 

LakeCondo

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Sorry, I ran out of time editing to get the chart lined up. Spaces don't get handled well here.

I'm using cardboard as flooring on the ledges for now. For sheathing of course it would be good to find a supply of 24x22x24 boxes, but for most purposes, that size box would be extremely heavy when filled, so I don't know if they're available. Instead I got boxes whose length plus width equals the length [ie longest side] of the desired box. In this case a 12x12x12 box is ideal. Take 2 of them, open them along the seam, fold over the ends 2" so that you get a 22" side alternating with a 24" side. Tape the pieces together end to end on one joining place. Use duct tape if your rabbit doesn't chew it. If she does, you'll have to use something else, like glue. Tape the flaps together so you have a flat 92" [ie twice 24+22] by 24" piece.

Fasten the 24" ends together. Make the places where the boxes join the opposite corners from the doors. Mark, then cut, door & window holes. Make the door holes just a little bigger than the minimum your rabbit needs to get in. Windows can be just a 1" high by 3" wide slit until she enlarges them. Add the floor covering if you haven't already done so. Slip the cardboard over the grid structure & let your rabbit go at it.

Honey is a bit timid, but it took only a few hours until she'd made a 2nd floor window large enough for her to jump out of.

IMPORTANT If you're putting this in an xpen, the upper ledge should either be against high walls or be as far as possible from the pen's sides.

ONE MORE, I THINK.
 

LakeCondo

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The chance of this being exactly what you'd want is small, but I hope it gives somebody a rough idea of what they'd like to try. After that, get some grates from Omahafixtures.com or elsewhere & have fun.

In fact, if I had a free-range rabbit & had plenty of room, I'd start with a floor of 4 nic panels. I'd then build something about 30" on each side, give or take a couple inches. The 10x10s or 16x10s can be used as ramps & at least 2 more levels can be made as ramp, hallway on 2-3 sides to next ramp, ramp, hallway, etc. This would be great for multiple rabbits & giants.

This is more what the 2nd part should have looked like.


.
6 ........................ CCCCCC 6
................. CCCCCCCCCCCC
8 ......... CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC 8
...... CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
10 ... CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd 10
.... CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd
12. CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd 12
. . CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd
14 CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd 14
CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd
16 CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd 16
CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd
18 CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd 18
. CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCd
20 .............. dddddddddddddddddddd 20
8 ...10 ... 12... 14... 16... 18... 20... 22

 

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