Pros/Cons Outdoor Hutch With Indoor Access

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Troller

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Moving from an apartment to a two story ranch home soon (hopefully) and it got me thinking on how to house my two bonded Flemish. An idea was to buy an outdoor hutch and leave it on the patio with access to the kitchen so they can to go in and out as they please. Something that looks like this ImageUploadedByRabbit Forum1400560118.504687.jpg

I'm listing some of my concerns as well as some positives and would like some input. The house is in Long Island NY, so its not rural, just suburban, but I do hear raccoons and cats tend to roam around.

•The patio deck is on the 2nd floor so I hope predators would be less likely but I'm not sure.

•NY gets all four seasons, and sometimes Winter and Summer are sometimes extreme. Now I'm not so worried about them in the hutch but I would be worried about going indoors, basically from one temp to another.

•Cleaning would be much easier on me with this type of set up but is it worth the risk?

•The connection point would probably be a pet flap in the patio doors, will this cause heating and a/c issues costing me higher bills?

•The most important, will this allow the bunnies to be happy? See right now they have a room to themselves but can only come out during the evenings into the living room (they share that room with the birds so I dont want the birds to have access all the time so it means the rabbits can't freely move about) which makes me feel that they keep to themselves because of that. Either way my new set up will allow for all day access around the house (so long as someone is at home) but I wonder if an outdoor hutch will make there separation more or less pronounced.
 

Bville

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It sounds like a good set up if the rabbits get to choose where they want to be. The temperature fluctuations might make them not want to go out in the winter, but you might have to just try it and see what they do. If you buy or make a hutch that is high off the ground and has a roof, then I think it will be safe from ground predators and predatory birds. I have my rabbits permanently outdoors on my deck in hutches that we build that are 3' off the ground and we haven't had any problems with the local foxes that have a den just two doors down. I don't know if its the fact that the deck is off the house or if the hutches are tall. I watched for tracks in the snow all winter and never saw the foxes come up the deck stairs. I know they sell those hutches in your picture as made for outdoors, but honestly I looked at them and didn't think they'd hold up to much weather so I had my husband build ours.
 

ChocoClover

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I had an outdoor hutch. I live way out in the middle of nowhere. Predators went for the chickens, not the bun.

The hutch was pretty secure. It had a sliding lock and the beatbox area (it was a chicken coop originally) was weighed down with landscaping stones.

The only real problem with the hutch was that it was hard to get my lil guy out. I had to crawl inside and grab him, then crawl out again.
 

Azerane

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If the rabbits have constant access to the indoor/outdoor setup, then I should think they will naturally adjust to the changes in temperature, as long as you introduce them to the set up when the weather is mild.

You will need to prepare for predators, you never know what could stop by. Just make sure everything is nice and secure.
 
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