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Canada winter friendly outdoor tunnel for Flemish

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CritterCountry

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Hi. We have a beautiful outdoor bunny house for our crew. We have 4 rabbits ranging in size from a Netherland Dwarf to a Flemish (so far they really are all female-fingers crossed!). They have their own house they share and have an outdoor run (already 5’x12’ and plans to enlarge). I’d like to make a tunnel that will attach their house and their run. But I want it to be accessible all year round-we live in the prairies so our winters are typically -25 with lows reaching - 40 for a few weeks (translates to -13 to -40 Fahrenheit). I expect it will need
To be insulated and we want to keep it above ground, to be accessible to them. Any ideas re: diameter required? The gals are only 4 months old now but I’d like to make it the right size for full grown!
 

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Blue eyes

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Do you have a photo of the hutch and run so we can see (1) the distance and (2) how the hutch and run are made (to ascertain how something like a tunnel may attach)?
 

CritterCountry

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We are in the midst of making it (the shed) comfy: Insulation, Windows and enrichment)...The shed is 8’x 5’x8’. There is only about a 2ft gap between it and the run....and the run is 6’x12’....we may enlarge it this season or next. No plans to breed or add more bunnies (and we “think” all are female-lol)
 

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Blue eyes

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I house my rabbits indoors. Is that something you've considered?

As for the run, is it able to be moved or is it anchored to the ground? Somehow a hole will need to be made in the fencing to allow for entry from the shed. I was thinking it might be easiest to move the run right up against the shed and then have something like a doggy door on the side of the shed that goes directly into the run.

It sounds like it gets extremely cold where you live. Perhaps some others who have experience housing rabbits outdoors in extreme cold will chime in with suggestions.
 

Toffee and Valentina

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Hi from Vancouver. I don't know if your buns would enjoy or survive Prairie winters.... And your summers might be too hot for them. My buns are indoors so I can't add too much value. I could not tell if you have a roof over the pen but you should. Make sure your buns are protected from overhead predators. All the best!
 

klvanun

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Hi, my name is Kelly and I lived in Northern Saskatchewan for 8 years (West of Prince Albert). I had 1 bunny that my husband wanted me to have outside but the temperatures are just so cold out there that I ended up moving him inside (he got really depressed and even with a heat lamp it was too cold, he got no exercise because he wouldn't move away from the warmth). I had also talked to some friends/farmers who raised rabbits (meat and pet) and they would have issues with the rabbits digging burrows and ending up outside their pen and eaten by predators.

Also just a bit of information on housing 2 female unspayed bunnies (not sure if you are planning to spay them) ... It's possible to keep them together unspayed but very very very unlikely. There have been cases where two female buns (usually litter mates and raised together) have remained friends after they hit sexual maturity but it's a very rare case. It's even more rare if they're unrelated and introduced to each other later in life. Their hormones just drive them into too strong of a territorial mindset to want to get along with any other bun unfortunately. But depending on the personalities of the individual buns, I do think would be possible if one were very very lucky. I would be prepared to have a way to separate them if needed if they do start fighting. My concern would be that the little dwarf of yours would get pushed in a dominance war out and would freeze to death.

Let us know how you make out! I miss our acreage in Saskatchewan but not the weather :)
 

Cloverhouse

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You could get a plastic drum, cut holes in both ends and use that as a tunnel between. That would be strong enough to keep predators from getting through it, or just make a tunnel from plywood made into a long box. Do you have some kind of fencing under the pen to keep them from burrowing out and predators from burrowing in? Rabbits are great diggers, esp females.
 
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