Chewing away at Hutch!! Help!

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erinmoveit

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My two buns are eating destroying their home.

anything they can get their teeth on their chewing. I knew when I got a rabbit safe wood hutch that there would be some nibbling. But it's starting to destroy the integrity of the hutch. Around the "windows" and the steps are the worst. There are a few places that they are chewing on the walls that could eventually lead to a hole.

Is there anything that I could spray on the hutch that would discourage chewing? From the pictures you can see that they are able to come and go in teh hutch as they place. They also have a variety of toys and chews.

The issue is largely with my Peanut (the female)

Secondly, how can I replace that "ladder". I dont want them to get hurt on it with exposed nails.

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Imbrium

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you could try rubbing ivory soap on it... works for some bunns, though mine seem to have built up an immunity to its ickiness ><

you could use hardware cloth (1/2'' wire mesh) to cover areas where they're chewing if you can clip it tightly enough that no pointy bits stick out.

as for the ramp, have you tried taking it out to see if they'll jump up and down without it? the doorway doesn't look all that high - my tiny bunnies could probably make the jump with ease since they jump in and out of their NIC condo.
 

erinmoveit

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The ramp seen in the last photo is just going from in/out the hutch. The ramp that I'm having problems with is inside of the hutch and separates two levels that are 2-3 feet high. That seems like a big jump!
 

Imbrium

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ahhh, ok, they definitely need the inside ramp. not sure how to go about fixing it aside from making a new one, though.
 

erinmoveit

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i actually tried the chicken wire, but they still chew on any exposed wood that they can and I really cannot cover the entire thing in chicken wire (lol, i've tried). I had NIC cage before, but we have no many animals. They are all very nice to the rabbits, but I want something with enough structural integrity to withstand a child pulling on it or a dog bumping into it. This was perfect until the eating began.
 

wendymac

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Well, the nails were to hold the strip of wood on, that they've chewed away. I'd pull the nails out, for starters. You should be able to unscrew the hinge that holds the ramp in and remove it. I'd just go to Lowe's (or somewhere like that) and get a board cut to the same measurements (Lowe's will cut your wood for you). Then get some furring strips cut to the width. When you get home, just nail the strips on, attach the hinges, and you should be good to go. Not sure what to do about the chewing, though...maybe give them strips of plain wood to chew on, scattered everywhere?
 

erinmoveit

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what kind of wood should i use/is safe? Obviously they will chew it lol, so i want to be sure they're at least safe while they're eating their home. :dunno:
 

Nela

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Both my girls absolutely ruined their hutches. Maybelle even ate through one of Rolo's hutch's legs and I was scared it would collapse. *Facepalms* If at all possible, I would suggest tiling the walls (just need construction glue, silicone, and tiles - some have had success with vinyl sticky tiles) and adding metal strips to all the exposed edges. However, to be honest, if there is quite a bit of damage already, perhaps you'd just want to let them ruin it and do the tiling when you get a new hutch in the future.

As for the wood, it should be safe as long as it wasn't varnished or anything. :)
 

Elliot

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That is why I got rid of the hutch. Worse idea...whoever thought it was smart to make them from soft wood!:rollseyes I got a nice double stack ferret nation for Elliot instead. End of problem, and it is so much sturdier and easier to clean!
 

Desma

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When my bunny was younger and loved to chew on wood, my husband made her a indoor rabbit hutch that is just adorable and it was mostly made of wood. I solved the problem of the chewing of wood by offering a couple pieces of substitute wood for her to chew on. That worked. Just look up and be careful of what tree branches you can offer to a bunny that is not toxic. You can also put a piece of regular carpentry wood in too for them to gnaw on that. I used to hear then noise of her chewing on the wood sometimes by hearing her fling the piece of wood around like a toy. So, if you decide to use ivory soap like somebody suggested that seems like a pretty good idea, offer the substitute chewy pieces along with it.
 

wendymac

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Oak is what I would use...it's a hardwood, so it'll take them a tiny bit longer to eat it. LOL The furring strips are super cheap (like $2 for 8 strips that are 8 feet long). I'd cut some of those up and toss them everywhere around the hutch. It might distract them from the actual hutch. I only have one doe in a hutch, and she's not a chewer so it hasn't been eaten yet. *crossing fingers*
 

holtzchick

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I also had a hutch for Peter and he completely destroyed it to the point where I had to rebuild with spare pieces of wood I could find. I ended up eventually throwing it out and got an xpen for Phoenix now instead.
 

erinmoveit

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Wow, thanks for all the ideas and information. In hindsight... I should've expected this. If they make a rabbit safe hutch (so that it's safe when it is chewed) then they're gonna chew! Has anyone ever tried any of that Bitter Apple (?) spray that is supposed to deter larger domestic animals from chewing?
 

erinmoveit

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lol, i figured. I just gotta find something they don't like to nibble. maybe i'll buy some and put it on a treat and see if they eat it. So no one thinks there is any harm in trying this?
 

whitelop

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lol that would be funny to cover the walls in toys.
I've never had a bunny who chewed things they weren't supposed to.
But I know a lot of people give dried pine cones. I don't know how many pine trees you have where you are, but if you got some pine cones then they might like them.
Also for chewing and digging and going nuts, a lot of people give phone books. My bun just laid on her phone book and used it like a plate. She never tore a single page. lol

I'm sure you have all kinds of toys and stuff like that. But like other people suggested, get little blocks of wood to get them to chew. But I think a lot of times buns like to chew the "forbidden" wood, not the wood they're supposed to chew. Also like others said, rub some ivory or dove white bar soap on there and hopefully it will deter them long enough for them to find something else to chew on and they'll forget about the hutch. haha.

Apple branches and pear tree branches are safe for them to chew on. Along with willow branches.
I hope that helps. Other people had really good suggestions too, so hopefully something will help! Keep us updated.

Oh and I would replace that ladder, ASAP! It doesn't look that hard to duplicate, but those nails are a little scary. If nothing else, you should remove the nails!
 

erinmoveit

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As soon as I noticed it, I took it out (well, right after I took a picture). we found something to cover the space as well. Just showing the extent of her chewing! They're living sans hutch until I can do all the repairs. I"m sure they're enjoying it :)
 
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