Preparing for the new bun (dwarf)

Discussion in 'Housing and Environment' started by Kyva, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Mar 25, 2013 #1

    Kyva

    Kyva

    Kyva

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    Hey all. I'm new to the boards, but not new to being a bunny mommy. I had a bunny many years ago, whom we couldn't bring with us when we moved. It's okay, she's with family, and I don't like the idea of taking her from them.

    That said, hubby and I are preparing to bring our first bun to our new home which is a 1 BR, 1 bath apartment.

    I know I already posted in the breeder/rescue area today, and I'm happy to report that we did find a lovely dwarf at a small pet shop (not Petsmart or Petco, but a family run shop we've been to many times). They have our bun on hold until I have everything ready for him.

    According to the store manager, he's a dwarf. He's a whiteish blue color, and if I remember correctly, he has the blue eyes. I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what type of dwarf he is. I was told he'll get no bigger than 5 pounds.

    With that out of the way, I'm not sure what dimensions I should make my NIC cage. I was going to start with just the floor and a second level, but seeing many of the cages here, it looks like 3 may be better?

    From what I've read, dwarves stand at around 8 inches tall when sitting on their hind feet. So, should I leave each level at just one cube tall (the ones we got are 13" X 13 "), or do two cubes just to be safe? I'm worried if he falls double his stretched out length, he may injure himself.

    Oh, and he's only 11 weeks old.


    Fortunately, I found the cubes at Kmart for around the same price as Sears, along with my zipties. I was able to find fleece blankets at our local dollar store for $3 each. We'll also be ordering cloroplast from the sign shop right under us (we live above them) at cost. They can cut it to whatever size we need, which is great.

    Oh, and I got the binder clips we need. Hubby works at a pet food store, so as far as bottles, food and such like that, we're covered.

    Am I forgetting anything? Also, if anyone can tell me if 1 or 2 cubes high per level is best for a dwarf (actual breed is unknown, sorry) I'd really appreciate it.

    Thank you all so much!

    ~I apologize for being kind of all over the place. I'm in the process of making my cage walls and posting :) :thanks:
     
  2. Mar 25, 2013 #2

    whitelop

    whitelop

    whitelop

    Morgan

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    I would go with 1 cube high for levels. You could probably do 1/2 a cube high, that way he'll be able to jump up with no problem.
    Congrats on the new bun! It sounds like you have everything covered!
    I would just make sure you ask what kind of food their feeding him at the pet store, so you can either get the same kind or transition the bun slowly to the new food. Other than that, it sounds like you've got it all together!
     
  3. Mar 25, 2013 #3

    Kyva

    Kyva

    Kyva

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    Whitelop, thank you so much. I should probably stick with 1/2 a cube for now, at least until after he's acclimated...maybe a smidge more than that so his ears can stand up :)

    I did think of some questions since my last post though. For the shelves, the images I've looked at, folks are either using dowels to hold up the shelf, or something I can't make out. It looks like some shelves are just held in place with more zipties, but I'm not sure.

    Also, when you put the cloroplast and fleece on shelves, how do you hold it in place? With more binder clips? I have looked at the guides, but they never really said how to keep things in place.

    Don't mind me, I'm just an OCD mommy.
     
  4. Mar 25, 2013 #4

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member

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    Half a cube is pretty short, and it makes it hard to get in there to clean. You want there to be enough room for your rabbit to be able to stand up, and for you to reach in and sweep, change litter, feed. One grid high is usually good, but can sometimes be a bit high for smaller rabbits. You can go just below that, around 11 inches, and if it is still a bit high for your bun until it's full grown, you can always put a box step in there.

    Here are a few different pics of condos, and one that I really like. It has shelves on each side and an open space in the middle, to make it easier to get in there and clean.

    http://rabbitcondo.com/lara-and-harrels-deluxe-wide-rabbit-condo
    http://rabbitcondo.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/condofortwo.jpg

    You will need to use dowels unless you use thick enough plywood for the shelves. You also ziptie the shelves in place even if you use dowels. The dowels are to keep the middle of the floor supported. The fleece is secured with binder clips, so that when it gets dirty you can just unclip and wash, and the coroplast will just be secured with the binder clips as well. If you want to, you could ziptie the coroplast to the wire shelf if it's needed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  5. Mar 26, 2013 #5

    Kyva

    Kyva

    Kyva

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    JBun, thank you so much for the reply. So, you an use binder clips inside the cage (to hold the shelves together)? Sorry if I'm not quite getting it yet. My thought is three levels where the middle level is on the right, and the top level is on the left. I was thinking of one grid long per shelf, but now that sounds too small.

    I like the cage you linked. Sadly, our tools are limited, so we're mostly playing with grids, cloroplast and fleece I think. I'm sure we'll upgrade though.

    I'm home all day, so Cucumber (the name hubby came up with) will likely be out to play with me for around 6-8 hours a day.
     
  6. Mar 26, 2013 #6

    Kyva

    Kyva

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    Lesson one of bunny condo making:

    Needing to move the desk just so you have room for said condo doesn't mean you need to move the bookshelf next to it. I just spent half an hour removing books and shelves, to move the bookshelf, only to realize it was fine where it was :)
     
  7. Mar 26, 2013 #7

    PaGal

    PaGal

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    You should be able to find dowels at Wal-Marts in the craft section or other similar stores. Also, at home improvement or hardware stores.

    You may want to think about using a bowl for water instead of a bottle because buns seem to get more water with a bowl. If you choose to use a bowl I would suggest finding a heavy one such as a ceramic one so it is less likely the bun can push it around or knock it over.
     
  8. Mar 26, 2013 #8

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Dowels can get a bit pricey. A 1x1 can work just as well. It should fit through a grid opening since 1x1 is actually smaller than 1".
     
  9. Mar 26, 2013 #9

    PwnzorsNTittylwinks

    PwnzorsNTittylwinks

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    we have a dwarf, he just got weighed in at 4.4lbs :) but he has a 3 level 3x2 NIC cage and the levels are 1cube high. he is a year old though so maybe provide steps or ramps for him until hes old enough that he is comfortable jumping? how my levels are set up is the bottom is where is food and water are, along with some hidey places and his main litter box, then the second level is just 1x3 and covered with fleece, then the top is 3x2 minus one square that he hops up through and thats got hay, a smaller litterbox and all of his toys. he seems to love it! its floored with linoleum except for the second level and one square on top thats fabric so he has grip to jump down from.

    also, my rabbit uses a bottle but only because when he had a bowl he would constantly drink too much too fast and cough a lot, it was suggest by my vet to put him back with a bottle so that he had less water coming in. id rather him have to sit and drink for longer then him choking on water every time he drank lol

    And one more thing because I just saw your question, how i did my fabric areas is i got the chloroplast material and cut it just a little bit (like centimeter) smaller then the area i wanted fabricated. then i put pet bed lining (1$ for a square that is the exact same size of a nic cube at hobby lobby) ontop of it, and then i took fabric and folded it around and saftey pinned/double sided fabric taped it around, the pins and tape are all under so the bunny doesnt even know theyre there. and then this way it fits perfectly that tension keeps it in place while hes on it, and when i want to clean it (with a vaccuum to get the hair off) I just take it out, clean it, and then place it back in :)
     
  10. Mar 26, 2013 #10

    Kyva

    Kyva

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    Pwn, thank you so much! That's the same size I'm working on now (a 3 X 2). I was concerned, since many of the posts I've seen mention 2 X 4, but I just don't have the space for that one extra grid.

    I ended up getting the back wall and a side wall done tonight. I'll finished the other side and front tomorrow. I think until he's used to us and his home (and having read that some rabbits don't even venture to the upper levels for a few days) I'm just going to keep it to one level. I need to make a trip to the hardware store for the rods and such, and the cloroplast probably won't arrive for a week or so.

    Which is okay. He'll still have a place that's 'his' it just won't be the way it is in my head :)

    What do you all do for a cage top? I've seen folks mention poster board, but have also seen grid tops. Is there any preference? I assume grid tops are nice to hang things from ( hammock, toys, chewables).
     
  11. Mar 26, 2013 #11

    whitelop

    whitelop

    whitelop

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    Hammocks aren't good for rabbits! Its not very natural for them to jump in and out of them and sometimes they get stuck and hurt themselves. IF you do want a hammock, it should be like an inch above a solid shelf or floor. Somewhere they don't have to jump to get on and off of it. They can just step up into it.

    I don't personally have a NIC cage but I think a lot of people leave the tops open, as long as you don't have a full on jumper who is going to jump over the top.
     
  12. Mar 26, 2013 #12

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member

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    The binder clips are only used to clip the fleece to the coroplast and shelf, so it doesn't slip around. The walls and shelves are all ziptied together. If you look at that link in my previous post, there is a video tutorial, on how to assemble your nic condo. He uses plywood instead of coroplast though, but it shows how to put the walls and shelves together.
     
  13. Mar 26, 2013 #13

    Kyva

    Kyva

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    JBun, I didn't even notice the videos last night. Thanks so much for pointing them out. I've been following another guide. Same idea, only difference is that she uses 2 zip ties per grid instead of 3. I'm going to try and find more ties today (near impossible unless I have them shipped from somewhere else. Right now I'm working with a bag of 150 assorted zip ties from Kmart (different colors and sizes). I've been using the thickest ones on corners for support, which I hope is okay. Both of these videos seem to be using the shorter ties for everything.

    Also nice to see you can use a (dog leash clip?) to close the cage.

    As far as hammocks go, if I ever got one, I was going to have it real close to the shelf, as I've seen others mention concern of injury on here before.

    Thanks again :)
     
  14. Mar 26, 2013 #14

    PwnzorsNTittylwinks

    PwnzorsNTittylwinks

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    I got a hammock and had it hanging so it was like an inch or a two off the floor, and my rabbit just ripped it to shreds. it literally lasted one night. Unless you have one who isnt a big chewer then i wouldnt wast the money on a hammock. lol but then again frank will chew on anything (except wires, surprisingly..)
     
  15. Mar 26, 2013 #15

    Kyva

    Kyva

    Kyva

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    I'm not sure what our guy will be yet. I haven't picked him up, and am currently putting the finishing touches on his cage. It would help if this water bottle was air tight...
     

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