Cleaning a rabbit hutch brooder

catchthewind

Songster
8 Years
Jan 27, 2011
366
4
113
Vancouver Island
Hi again!
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I've tried searching and didn't really get much that was relevant, so hope I'm not repeating questions. We were given an old rabbit hutch, and it's very large. I want to move our chicks from the tiny little tote they're in to the hutch. I think they'll be much happier. It is fairly gunky. We know the person we got it from. The hutch housed one pet rabbit who died of old age. My concern is that because it's wood, it might be hard to disinfect properly. Can I just scrub out the mud and goop and then use a bleach solution and rinse it? We don't have sun right now, in fact it's snowing pretty hard, so I can't put it outside to dry, but I thought if I scrubbed/bleached/rinsed it tonight, and then maybe blow dry it tomorrow to make sure it's completely dry, it would be okay. I just don't want my chicks to get some weird rabbit disease or something.

Also, someone on another of my threads mentioned I should get a red bulb, and others suggested the 100W bulb we were using is probably too hot. I went out today and the only red bulbs I found were 250W, so I just bought a 60W white one. Since the rabbit hutch is so big though, might we be better off going with the higher wattage red one or is the white one okay? The room they're in is very warm (noticeably warmer than the rest of the house). They are two weeks old and six weeks old.

Also, if it's sunny again in the next few days, can the six week olds go outside at all for short periods? The temps probably wouldn't go higher than the 30's and 40's even with sun, but I don't want them to be so used to the heat in the house that I'm not able to acclimate them to outside.

Thanks again!
 

FMAFarms

Songster
8 Years
Feb 20, 2011
439
4
109
Rural Michigan
I wouldn't be too concerned that the hutch is made of wood. Most coops are, too! Use a disinfecting solution that is about one tablespoon Clorox to one gallon hot or boiling water. If you can get a paint scraper, use that to help get extra goo off the hutch, then open it up to let it dry... perhaps in a laundry room?

I've never heard of a 100 watt bulb being hotter than a 250 watt bulb; it's the other way around, and the heat will depend on how high above the floor of the coop you position the bulb. I'm concerned about the 60 watt bulb, though. I'm not sure a regular house bulb will provide enough heat for your two week olds... they should have their ambient temp at about 85 degrees right now. The 100 watt (125 watt??) should be fine if it's clipped on, since it will be closer to the chicks that one that hangs (which wouldn't work inside a hutch).

Our friends let their hens out in the snow every day, but those are fully feathered hens. I'd wait on 6 week olds.
 

catchthewind

Songster
8 Years
Jan 27, 2011
366
4
113
Vancouver Island
Quote:
Oh, the paint scraper is a great idea! I have extras, since we've been painting.
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Good point about most coops being wood.

I've never heard of a 100 watt bulb being hotter than a 250 watt bulb; it's the other way around, and the heat will depend on how high above the floor of the coop you position the bulb. I'm concerned about the 60 watt bulb, though. I'm not sure a regular house bulb will provide enough heat for your two week olds... they should have their ambient temp at about 85 degrees right now. The 100 watt (125 watt??) should be fine if it's clipped on, since it will be closer to the chicks that one that hangs (which wouldn't work inside a hutch).

Sorry, I guess I wasn't super clear. I know the 250W is hotter. What I was saying is that I was told to try and find a red 60W heat bulb, but all I could find were either 250W red bulbs, or 60W white bulbs. I wasn't sure if it was better to use one that would be hotter, but red, or colder, but white. The room they are in is 75 degrees, and the little tote is definitely quite a bit warmer under the light. They have been sleeping on the side with the light, but when they're awake they range all over it. The tote they're in now is too small, and I think the reason they're sleeping under the light might be because it's really the only place to sleep? One reason I'm hoping to have this hutch figured out asap, so they can have a lot more space. Once they're in the hutch, the light will be quite a bit further from them so it might be better to go for the higher wattage one anyway.

Our friends let their hens out in the snow every day, but those are fully feathered hens. I'd wait on 6 week olds.

Okay, good to know. Thanks!​
 

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