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Need help with a hutch

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Quailgenes, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. Quailgenes

    Quailgenes Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 25, 2015
    Indiana, US
    I know not chickens but some things should stay the same right? I'm worried about the extremes of temperate where I live up north.

    I was reading about this where you make artificial dirt borrows:


    I want to simplify it by having basically a large run with 1/3 being the dirt filled shelter part for the rabbits.

    What is the best way to keep the temp comfortable? Should I stick to a more traditional well ventilated shelter instead? I'm not sure how to insulate or ventilate something properly.

    I not going to try and do the fan, misting etc type set up to keep them from overheating.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
  2. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2014
    I can't comment on constructing such a habitat, but can offer the following story. My cousin kept her rabbit in a pen outside. One end of the pen was under a big shrub and had a small, floorless dog house at that end. There was no floor to the pen at all. The doghouse was kept filled with hay. Before too long the rabbit had burrowed a hole in the ground that began in the doghouse and extended slightly downward and toward the shrub for at least 4 feet. We stuck a stick in and really couldn't tell how big it was down there, but judging by the volume of dirt kicked out, it wasn't an extensive tunnel. The rabbit lived in that pen for a couple of years. He seemed happy and content through our New England winters until one spring something ripped into the pen and dug him out. Not a happy ending to the story, but it does show that, when given the opportunity, rabbits prefer to live in burrows rather than above ground in little wooden houses.

    I can still picture that big old rabbit laying in the dirt sunning himself in his pen. I was always surprised that he never bothered to try and dig himself out.
  3. Quailgenes

    Quailgenes Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 25, 2015
    Indiana, US
    I read post like that where their rabbit will did a borrow but never bother digging their way out of the pen. I bet they know they get the best of both worlds. :) As long as I keep it predator proof at least. >.< Very worried about that..
  4. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Hello, here's my setup.


    Our first kits were born in burrows underground, but as winter came, we decided to give them some nest boxes for the purpose, to make it easier to monitor how the kits were doing in our cold temps. Here's what I came up with:





    So far, the coldest we've had has been about -25C (-15F), with 2 week old kits surviving through that no problem. We just had one litter last week, and they've been through -18C (0F) at one day old. As for the grownups, they've had no problems.

    These next parts require you to have taken a look at that link I posted. The only thing I've done as winter proofing is covering two sides of the open bottom part of the pen with clear plastic to keep snow out. The bunnies also have heated waterers to keep them hydrated at all times. I was a bit worried about our bunnies going into the winter months at first, but they really don't seem to mind the cold. Even the three week olds hang out in sub zero (F) temps and don't seem to mind it. Oh, and that nest box showed in the pics earlier, I've got one in the downstairs department, and two upstairs. Due to a new addition to our bunnies we had to separate the top from the bottom, so the ones living there don't have a chance to burrow underground like their downstairs neighbors, so they've got one box to sleep in, and the other to keep kits in, while the downstairs guys seemed to only use the plastic box until the kits were old enough to move out, after that all of them have been sleeping underground.

    The pic of the nest box in use is from this fall, now in wintertime I've made sure that it's stuffed full of straw, so that it provides some insulation also on the sides and top.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop

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