Are two tier hutches okay for breeding?

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en16649

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Hey there,

basically I have two set ups at the moment - a two tier hutch inside a “greenhouse”/conservatory situation and a wendyhouse/shed with a run attached to it. I’m currently debating which to use if I was going to breed my current doe.

I’m leaning towards the two tier hutch because it’ll be warmer over winter then the shed and is easier to regulate temperature, it’s brighter, and they’d have access to an indoor run section in the greenhouse too. I’m just worried as the “nest” section is at the top that the kits could get a bit over confident and fall down the ramp. Has anyone used these hutches and are they safe to use for breeding? The ramp has a “guard” but I don’t trust the kits to not be idiots and launch themselves down it. Thanks!
 

Martha2000

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Hi, they should be fine. The kits can’t move much until they are 2-3 weeks old and they should be able to go down the ramp then. How steep is it? Just do what you think is best as we can’t see your setup but they should be fine!
 

majorv

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You’d be surprised how far a newborn kit can go, or climb. Don’t underestimate them. If you can block the ramp such that the doe can jump over it but the kits can’t climb it you should be okay until their eyes are open.
 

Preitler

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Kits start to venture out as early as about 12 days as soon as they open eyes, I rarely notice their first attempts because they are very careful. In nature no problem since they are at the bottom end of a tunnel, getting back to the nest is very easy.
A steep ramp, steps, or drops can be traps during their first excursions or when dragged out on the teat, elevated nests are way riskier in that regard.
There are things that can be done though to minimize that risk, like blocking the ramp or whatever with a smooth, ca. 6" high, slightly inward sloped barrier that has a shallow ramp outside (kompressed hay, rough wood,..) so that the way out is way more difficult than back in. More difficult than the ramp or step. No wire or grid, kits can climb incredible well.
The doe can easily get over that and might even appreciate when the kits are confined to the area around the nest for a few more days. Put some of the does food there since that's when they start on solids too.
 

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