Turning this armoire into a bunny house

Discussion in 'Housing and Environment' started by LunaBun, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. Dec 24, 2012 #1

    LunaBun

    LunaBun

    LunaBun

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    Hey all... I haven't introduced myself yet, but I've been a lurker here for several weeks. Im Kate. I have a 1.5 year old Holland lop... "Bun" that is technically my 4year old's but really? She's my baby. :)

    We are making Bun a new house for Christmas out of an armoire I found on Craigslist for pretty cheap. I really wanted something that wouldn't be an eyesore in our main living area so Bun could be more a part of the family. Right now she's in my daughters room... And doesn't get as much lovin as I'd like. She has some very limited out time these days because I discovered corners of a closet where the carpet is completely ruined. She likes to dig.

    Buns current gig:

    [​IMG]


    So... I have some questions about shelf height.... But first, here's the
    Project so far....


    What it was

    [​IMG]
    Rough Plans
    [​IMG]

    Inside

    [​IMG]
    Outside
    [​IMG]


    So, the plans show a 1/2 shelf at the top, which isn't going to work well. The armoire had a shelf at the top that was 9 inches from the top. The next shelf would be 15 inches below, and the bottom inside is 15 inches below that. Think that's enough spacing at the top for sleeping quarters and food/ hay? The level below that would have litter box..... And then there will be an x pen setup for now and then eventually .... More place to run. Probably NIC cubes around. Not sure, at least 4x5 to run.

    I think the inside back will be stick laminate... As well as the inside bottom shelves....
    Anyway. I'm open to suggestions.
     
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  2. Dec 24, 2012 #2

    Korr_and_Sophie

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    15 inches between shelves is good. NIC grids are 14 inches tall and that is enough space for many rabbits. You might want to leave a taller area in the cage somewhere so your rabbit and stretch upwards. So maybe doing 2 levels will work and leave the top taller.
    Stick on tiles will be good. You should have something to protect the wood as even a rabbit with great litter habits will miss once in a while. Putting something on top of the tiles is good as tiles tend to be slippery, towels, fleece or carpet will work. You could put it up the back too, there are some that look like wood so it can still look nice while being easy to clean.
     
  3. Dec 24, 2012 #3

    Blue eyes

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    Cool! I love the idea of doing creative things like this. So far it's looking good. I'll show a photo of how I turned an old kitchen oven cabinet into a cage for my rabbits. Please bear in mind that it is small-ish because my buns are out all day.

    I used the vinyl stick tiles for the walls of my cage too. I found I had to use super glue to get them to stick well though.

    I'd suggest you skip the ramps and just let them hop through the openings. Ramps just take up lots of space and usually aren't needed.

    What do you have on the inside of the doors around the mesh? It looks like plastic or tape? I was wondering if it was something the buns would ingest.

    As Korr & Sophie suggest, it's good to have some area of the cage that is high enough that bunny can fully stretch upward.

    Remember, your buns may choose their own spot for the litter box. With cages I've made, I've found that they tend to like more hidden areas for their litter box. That tendency works well because it also means the box is more hidden from view. If you choose a cozy spot for the box, it's more likely they will accept it where you put it. You can see where I put mine.

    I'll put a pic here of my "oven cabinet" cage followed by a youtube link that shows how I made it. That clip shows what the cabinet looked like before.(the photo showing on the youtube link is NOT the "before" photo. You have to click play to see the "before")

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [FONT=&quot][ame="http://youtu.be/Dd27D9yJ2zs"][FONT=&quot]http://youtu.be/Dd27D9yJ2zs[/FONT][/ame][/FONT]
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  4. Dec 24, 2012 #4

    LunaBun

    LunaBun

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    Thanks for your links... I love what you did. I wish I could trust Bun to be out more unsupervised. Perhaps in time. She's still young.

    Good eye. I've been worried about this. I added it last minute on a whim. It's a metal tape....used for duct work. I don't have a clue if she'd be interested in chewing it or not. I Think I should take it off? It keeps the wire from being pokey..... I wouldn't think she would want to chew it....but I can't imagine it'd be good if she swallowed it.

    I also realized that I don't know what the wood is the cabinet is made of.....and am worried because its finished.
     
  5. Dec 24, 2012 #5

    JBun

    JBun

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    It's probably a good idea to take the tape off, especially if you have a chewer. It actually can cause very serious digestive problems if she were to injest any of it. You could either fold the edge of the wire under so it can't cause any cuts, or screw in some wood strips over the sharp wire edges. I used plain 1x2's for mine. They may get chewed on, but it's no big deal to replace them as they are pretty cheap. I have some buns that are big chewers so I can't put anything like carpet in the cage cause it could get chewed and ingested. Some of my buns don't chew at all, so they get carpet. If your rabbit is a chewer, you'll want to make sure everything in the cage is safe in case she decides to chew on it. You may be ok with the finished wood. I've found that my rabbits are less likely to chew on finished wood than unfinished wood. If it concerns you, you could sand the finish off the inside, or you could buy edge protectors so she won't be able to chew on any of the edges.

    I would do away with the ramps as well. They don't seem to work well and they take up a lot of space. I've found that either putting a low shelf as a step up to the next level works well, or making the next level low enough that she will be able to just jump up to it, usually lower than 14 inches works well, depending on the size of your rabbit and how athletic she is. You might find it helpful to look at the different NIC condos people have built, to see the different shelving ideas that have been used. Here's a link for a rabbit condo that I really liked.

    http://rabbitcondo.com/lara-and-harrels-deluxe-wide-rabbit-condo

    The cabinet is going to make a beautiful rabbit home. I'm excited to see the finished product!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  6. Dec 24, 2012 #6

    Blue eyes

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    Thanks.

    I agree with Jbun that the tape should come off. I know my rabbits would chew on it. As far as the wood finish, I had to consider the same thing. Since you have the mesh on the inside, they shouldn't be able to get to that part of the wood. If you use stick vinyl on the inside back, that'll take care of that. The floor, however, you may want to consider a sheet of linoleum. The square vinyl tiles may have gaps that will allow pee to seep through.

    A prior bun I had tried to chew that 1x2 in the inside corner of my cage. That was finished wood. I bought some clear plastic corner molding and stuck that on (it comes with adhesive already on it, just peel the strip of paper off). That seemed to do the trick.

    One of my buns just turned 1 yr and the other just turned 2. Is your girl spayed? With good bunny proofing and a limited area, she should be able to be let out. You can always start by using an xpen around her new cage. If you do decide to expand her roaming, though, I'd suggest you wait until you've completed her new cage and she's stayed in there exclusively for 48 hours. I've found that limiting them to their new cage for 2 days allows them to establish that new cage as "theirs." This makes it so much easier when you gradually increase their roaming area because they then take ownership of their new cage and see it as their space, their territory. (and they also go back readily to do their business)

    You may also find you will have to modify once everything is complete. I originally had just the tile on the lower level. That worked fine for the first pair of buns I put in there. Later, when I got Mocha, he couldn't deal with the tile. He'd slip everytime he tried to get up to the 2nd level. (Sapphire had no problem). So I had to add a mat to the lower level (visible in 2nd photo).

    Please do keep us updated with your progress. This sounds like such a fun project! Can't wait to see it complete.
     
  7. Dec 24, 2012 #7

    Nancy McClelland

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    We put tiles down on the carpet areas Commander Bun-Bun liked to dig at or used layers of cardboard to cover and to barricade.
     
  8. Dec 25, 2012 #8

    LunaBun

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    Tape removed. Glad you all suggested that.

    Put up the stick tile today and then Shelf install will be under way. So excited!

    Merry Christmas!
     
  9. Dec 28, 2012 #9

    LilLops

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    Hey this looks great! I've been hoping to do a project like this for a while, with a sideboard or entertainment unit, but i haven't found one suitable yet. I love the idea because they are so much more sturdy and attractive than nic cages and tiny boxy pet shop hutches. I also like the fact that the blend in :) keep up the good work!
     
  10. Dec 28, 2012 #10

    LunaBun

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    Thanks! I found the armoire on Craigslist used. I paid $75...which was $25 more than I'd wanted but it was also exactly what I'd been looking for. I've been searching for about 6 months. I've searched since and haven't seen anything remotely like that for the $$$
     
  11. Dec 28, 2012 #11

    holtzchick

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    Nice, please feel free to post the finished product!! :) I did something like that with an old bird cage and I ended up using just a white piece of wooden backing for the back held intact with brad nails.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Dec 28, 2012 #12

    cwolfec

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    I LOVE these ideas! I like re-vamping furniture for human use, but wow! I love that you can do this for your sweet animals :D

    I'd like to see the finished product too!
     
  13. Dec 28, 2012 #13

    whitelop

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    I can't wait to see how it looks either. Its inspired me to keep an eye out for something like that to make a new cage for my bun. She's in my kitchen and it would be nice to NOT have a big ugly cage in there. But if she was inside a nice piece of furniture, it would look so much better!
    Thanks for sharing this!
     
  14. Dec 29, 2012 #14

    Blue eyes

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    Love this! I can't tell, though, what's in front. Is it open in the middle section there, or is it glass or screen or something? It's like an indoor aviary.
     
  15. Dec 29, 2012 #15

    holtzchick

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    The doors are open lol
     
  16. Jan 13, 2013 #16

    LunaBun

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    I'm excited...today is move in day...I just dragged the armoire/house into the house from the garage so that some glue can dry....hopefully later today everything will be ready to go. I still haven't quite configured the bottom run part...I want to get it into place and then take some measurements. I have some wire cubes and wood ready to go...here's a quick preview...

    image.jpg
     
  17. Jan 14, 2013 #17

    JBun

    JBun

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    Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod Staff Member

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    That looks great!!! It'll be fun to see what your bun thinks of the new place :)
     
  18. Jan 14, 2013 #18

    tonyshuman

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    I tried to do this with some bookshelves and my guys didn't want to be up high, so they didn't use the shelves. Not all bunnies like to jump up and older bunnies certainly don't, so you may want to keep that in mind as Bun gets older. I also didn't know what to use to hold down the mesh--thanks for the helpful idea with the wood strips, guys! One day when I grow up I will have nice things... like a nice-looking bunny cage!
     
  19. Jan 14, 2013 #19

    Blue eyes

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    More pics, please! Looks great from what I can see.

    I see you have no ramps (which I never use), but I was picturing larger openings between levels. I have no idea whether that makes a difference or not. I've just never seen it that way.

    What did the height end up being between levels?
     
  20. Jan 15, 2013 #20

    holtzchick

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    Love it!! Post pictures with it :)
     

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