insulation for rabbit hutch?

Jurassic Wolf

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Jun 27, 2018
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Im getting two outdoor rabbits soon, in a large pen (8x8) under my back deck. The area is completely enclosed and mostly weather proof. For a house area I want to use this dog house
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00028J0EW/?tag=backy-20
But, since its basically just 4 thin peices of wood screwed together, i was wondering if I should add insulation. If I should, what type should I use, and how should I prevent the rabbit from getting to it?
 

sylviethecochin

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We used to keep a lot of rabbits when I was a kid. They were meat-types, so if you have dwarfs, this may not be a good idea, but we used to just fill the entire hutch with hay (amazingly good insulator) and let them eat out their own burrows. They can be trained to "go" outside really easily, so you only have to do minimal cleaning. I'd make the entrance smaller than that and be prepared for them to chew on the wood unless you coat it in something that tastes nasty.
 

Jurassic Wolf

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Ok, thanks. I've heard that straw can have mites, is that true? I would rather use straw than hay because its warmer and cheaper
 

sylviethecochin

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Ok, thanks. I've heard that straw can have mites, is that true? I would rather use straw than hay because its warmer and cheaper
Improperly stored hay can have bugs of many types, because it carries more nutrients for bugs, and it's leafy, so there are more hiding places. If it gets damp, it'll go moldy much faster than straw would. Bad hay (there are many grades of hay) can carry a lot of dust. Alfalfa hay carries a lot of calcium; I wouldn't use it for rabbits.

Straw ain't edible. At least, not any more than grass is for humans. I've never noticed that it's warmer. It is cheaper, and it is good insulation. Oat straw has a pretty golden color.

We used hay because we had goats and cattle and we made hay. So we had it on hand. We used good quality grass hay for the rabbits and didn't have trouble.

Short answer is, you can use straw. I wouldn't do it if I had rabbits, because I like them having a good, constant supply of food on hand. You're probably planning on feeding your rabbits an almost entirely pellet diet, though, so straw's likely a very good choice for you.
 

Jurassic Wolf

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No, my rabbits diet will be probably 80% hay, I've just heard that straw was better, but i don't know if there's any truth behind that. The rabbits will have an 8x8 pen with that dog house thing inside. If i have the hay where the litter box is, which isn't really near the dog house, is that okay? Or should I use hay in the dog house as well, so that they can nibble all night?
 

sylviethecochin

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No, my rabbits diet will be probably 80% hay, I've just heard that straw was better, but i don't know if there's any truth behind that. The rabbits will have an 8x8 pen with that dog house thing inside. If i have the hay where the litter box is, which isn't really near the dog house, is that okay? Or should I use hay in the dog house as well, so that they can nibble all night?
Straw can be a better choice, depending on climate, availability, and your own management practices. Do you clean regularly enough that mold and bugs wouldn't be a concern? Are you purchasing good quality hay? I've pretty much outlined the pros and cons above.

Rabbits don't need to eat at night, (and even if they did, they can get their lazy fluffbutts out of the hutch and go a few feet in the dark) but they do need to eat throughout the course of the day for proper nutrition. If the hay is available for ten+ hours a day, you're golden.

Hay is usually better than pellets for good rabbit health. It doesn't need to be in the hutch; that was just more convenient for me as a keeper. If you want to use straw as bedding, that's a perfectly viable choice, especially if you live in a wet area or have problems with bugs.
 

chickens really

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No, my rabbits diet will be probably 80% hay, I've just heard that straw was better, but i don't know if there's any truth behind that. The rabbits will have an 8x8 pen with that dog house thing inside. If i have the hay where the litter box is, which isn't really near the dog house, is that okay? Or should I use hay in the dog house as well, so that they can nibble all night?
Straw is hollow so hold in body heat. Straw is bedding and a great insulation. Hay is feed...:frow
 

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