Rabbit cage experimental build

Eggscaping

Enjoying Life!
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Lakeside, Oregon
I never imagined how good these were gonna turn out. You did a great job. It's definitely an idea others could replicate.

I've got a few rabbits that like to dig out their pellets. I've never used the big feeders. They look easier than feeding everyone daily. I also had troubles with the hay racks. My bunnies would pull them off a lot, plus one ended up with it caught in its hair. Mine are half lionhead.

Did the breeder use the water bottles? Mine will only drink out of crocks. I apparently have spoiled rabbits. :)

I think senior experienced doe is better than an untried one. So you got a good selection in my opinion.

You will need to give them wood to chew on. Either fresh branches, or blocks of wood. Otherwise they will slowly chew your wood to wear their teeth down.

@21hens-incharge come look at this wonderful idea. :)
Thank you so very much for your kind words! I am pleased and gratified! The shelves are expensive but I hope their strength and the ease of cleaning will make them worth it.
I plan to make the hay mangers out of cage wire, filing off any sharp pieces - and hanging them on the outside of the cages so the hay can be pulled inside the cage through the wire. Does this sound like a good idea?
Yes, the breeder says he uses small crock dishes as well as water bottles - he has to use the dishes at shows, because he does show his rabbits, so the rabbits are used to both. The feeders I've ordered clasp onto the cage and have a grate at the bottom so 'dust' and debris can fall through.
I have a rack in my bathroom to hold magazines..and it looks exactly like the hay mangers Amazon sells. I think I can replicate that myself.
As for trimming teeth...I do know they have to chew and that the teeth never stop growing. We watch a lot of TV veterinarian shows! A friend told me there is a long-abandoned cherry tree orchard on the outskirts of town, I hope to get non-sprayed, natural fruit tree branches for them. As for tooth trimming...is this something we can learn to do, or do they have to go to a vet for that? Also, here is a picture of the doe that the breeder sent. He says she's a double show winner, bred to his best buck. She is expensive, but the fact that she comes with babies on board justifies the cost to me. He says her name is Valentine! We will go to pick them up tomorrow. About 2 hours away, so we can get there and back before dark. (With no stops along the way as per corona virus specifications).
 

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Eggscaping

Enjoying Life!
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Nice job!

I only had one food scraper. For that bunny I put a flat tray under the feeder area. It worked ok to catch the spillage and she would eat it from there. She only did it when she was grumpy with kits.

Yup they need a way to wear their teeth down. It is a good idea to do weekly tooth checks to make sure you hey stay aligned and are wearing well. I had an elderly buck who must have injured his teeth somehow. He was great for many years ,hen suddenly his bottom teeth were outside the upper. He had to have them trimmed every month.

I look forward to pics of the new kids.

By the way heat is way worse on bunnies than cold.
Thanks for your caution - I read that about heat/cold, so they cages are all snugged up against the garage. That spot stays in the shade all day long. If necessary, we have large fans, but Lakeside is a very temperate place - not too hot in the summer, not too cold in the winter. TONS of rain, but the structure we built around the cages has drop-down tarps as well as a roof, to keep rain off them yet allow lots of ventilation.
 

Eggscaping

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I would like to ask for help and clarification. I've had my three new rabbits since last Friday, so, for five days now. My plans were to make a sort of tractor for them to alternate days/times out on the grass, having more exercise than in their cages - and never for them to live all their lives in the hutches. I mean, they are nicely sized for a rabbit their size - the dimensions are, 28 inches wide, 45 inches long including the next boxes, and 20 inches high. They can stretch out, sit up on their hind legs with erect ears, and hop around, which I read was necessary for a rabbit to be able to do in their hutches. But I also, as said, planned to put them out in the yard in a mobile pen/tractor for exercise. Our yard was idle with no one and no structures at all on it for several years and we use no pesticides so I figured munching on grass was safe.
However, the breeder said, "Don't put them down to run around on the ground, they can get coccidiosis!" From this I deduce that he keeps his rabbits in a hutch situation all the time and they probably have no resistance to "stuff that's in the dirt".
I don't plan to expose the senior doe, who is due to kindle on the 27th. to anything new, but...how would I deal with that afterwards? Is there a way to develop the correct immunities in the new babies? How about the other 2 adults and the senior doe after kindling?
(Including a couple new pictures because they are so CUTE)
 

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oldhenlikesdogs

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We have a pen that's built on concrete for mine to run. I couldn't take all that digging. We bring grass and tree trimmings to the rabbits.

Hopefully someone who runs bunnies on the ground will help out.
 

RiverOtter

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The main problem with running rabbits on the ground isn't coccidia, for which there are cheap and effective medications, but the extreme diet change. They stuff themselves on grass and weeds until they're sick. The cure is to wean them onto it. Start with a small handful that you pull up and feed them, then two, etc. When you can give them enough that they have some left in an hour, you can range them to your hearts content.
An easy way to let them out without getting huge amounts of grass is to take the plastic tray out of a wire dog crate and put them in that on the ground. Be sure to cover it for shade! It's tempting to wean them onto grass by slowly increasing time in it but inevitably as soon as you try it, that's when the child falls and skins a knee, the phone rings, someone leaves the stove on, the doorbell rings, the dog takes off ... something.

A warning! Most fruit trees are ok, but NOT cherries! Cherry bark ad leaves are fatally toxic to a lot of animals. Apples, pears, birch and maples are all great. Oak has a lot of tannins, of which a little can soothe an upset tummy and a lot will upset it more. Willow is a natural source of aspirin.
 

Eggscaping

Enjoying Life!
Premium member
Dec 4, 2018
760
4,862
376
Lakeside, Oregon
The main problem with running rabbits on the ground isn't coccidia, for which there are cheap and effective medications, but the extreme diet change. They stuff themselves on grass and weeds until they're sick. The cure is to wean them onto it. Start with a small handful that you pull up and feed them, then two, etc. When you can give them enough that they have some left in an hour, you can range them to your hearts content.
An easy way to let them out without getting huge amounts of grass is to take the plastic tray out of a wire dog crate and put them in that on the ground. Be sure to cover it for shade! It's tempting to wean them onto grass by slowly increasing time in it but inevitably as soon as you try it, that's when the child falls and skins a knee, the phone rings, someone leaves the stove on, the doorbell rings, the dog takes off ... something.

A warning! Most fruit trees are ok, but NOT cherries! Cherry bark ad leaves are fatally toxic to a lot of animals. Apples, pears, birch and maples are all great. Oak has a lot of tannins, of which a little can soothe an upset tummy and a lot will upset it more. Willow is a natural source of aspirin.
Thank you for your insight and help! I've been giving them just small amounts each day of clover, fresh grass, and some greens from the garden. So far so good. I had read that branches of fruit trees were mostly good except for any tree that bears a fruit which only has one stone! Such as, cherry, plum...weird, isn't it? Again, thanks!
 

PattyNH

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Great job building your hutches! Mine are a similar size and my bunnies do well in them, however I have Mini Rex which are rather small. Mine do live outside, but on a 3 season porch in the winter as it gets cold and snowy here (NH). What breed do you have?

I echo the issue of the wire shelving being spaced too far apart so I'm glad you added hardware cloth. I know with Mini Rex they suggest not having wire bottoms on cages as their feet are rather sensitive. Not sure to what extent this is accurate, but I'd rather play it safe.

I let my rabbits spend time in the grass and haven't had an issue with them overeating, but that is good information to have as I may have just overlooked any symptoms. I do feed them green, leafy vegetables pretty regularly so that may play a factor as well. As other's have mentioned, they do need to be covered - for protection from the sun/weather as well as predators. I'm building my buns an outdoor play areas and was considering using an outdoor carpet for part of the area instead of them being completely on the ground. I need to check into what kind would be safe for them, but this may be another option for you.

Congratulations on your new endeavor into rabbits! My first litter arrived yesterday with 8 (!!) kits :love Best of luck!
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