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Are pine shavings really so bad?

Discussion in 'Everything Else Rabbits' started by FurryFiasco, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. Jun 4, 2018
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    If you need to insulate the hutches, a double wall stuffed with insulation would work as long as the rabbits can't get to it. I would not use fiberglass insulation but there is new insulation made of recycled fabric. If you know someone with sheep that doesn't use the wool, you can use that to stuff the walls. You couldn't keep the insulated walls on the hutches in summer though since the rabbits would get too hot. The insulated double wall panels would have to be able to be attached to the sides and then removed. You would still need the drywall pieces for the rabbits to sit on in the cold weather.
     
  2. Jun 5, 2018
    FurryFiasco

    FurryFiasco Chillin' with the herd

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    They're out in an open yard. Stacking bales of straw around them is a great idea! I'm guessing that they'll be peeing through the wire, so I thought the shavings would be good for holding it and preventing odor like you said. Does the pee soak into the drywall at all? Or maybe the rabbits just don't "go" there, that would be nice.

    So, how would this be - If I stacked straw bales around three sides of the hutch, and covered the doors with some sort of insulated material? I could then either leave some small part of the wire open, or just let the air come in from below (where there's an inch-wide gap along the bottom, between the tray and the wire. I could seal this off though). What do you think of that?

    Also, what if I tried it out and just saw whether or not they would use the nest boxes as litter boxes? If they kept them clean, could I leave it open for them? I'm not expecting them to be that tidy, but just in case. The PVC is a cool idea! I'll have to look into that.
     
  3. Jun 5, 2018
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    Absolutely you can try it. However, the danger would be - if you are planning to breed these rabbits- that they would learn to use the nest boxes as potties and then potty in the nest box after kindling. Big problem for the kits. If the rabbits pee or poop on the drywall pieces it just runs off.

    Rabbits will choose a specific spot in their cage to potty. Don't empty the tray for several days. Then check where the pile of bunny berries is under the bottom of the cage and you will see the rabbit always has a pile in the same area. put the box in a different location from the poop pile. This may keep them from pooping in the box. You have to make sure to place the nest box in a different location from the potty spot too when breeding rabbits. If you insulate the 3 sides of the hutches with straw bales, and give them a covered box to get into, I would not put anything on the door. There still needs to be plenty of fresh air in the cage. Too enclosed an area and the moist air can cause respiratory problems like colds and pneumonia. Rabbits are cold hardy, it is wet and heat that can harm them.
     
  4. Jun 5, 2018
    FurryFiasco

    FurryFiasco Chillin' with the herd

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    Okay, I think I have a good idea of what to do now. I think I'll block off the nesting area for at least a few days, at the beginning, and allow them to establish a litter area before I let them in and see how they do.

    If I use straw on three sides of the hutch, but leave such a large section of the front open, will the straw really make any difference? The wire door is 4.5 feet wide. Do you think it might help at all to cover half of it? This would provide a bit of a windbreak on that side as well, and they'd still have 2 feet of wire open, if that's enough.
     
  5. Jun 8, 2018
    Marie28

    Marie28 Loving the herd life

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    I know this is a little old but I cant help myself....

    We have a "hide" hole/nesting area. It has a removable wood floor for sanitary reasons. We only put pine shavings and hay (mixed hay/grass) for nesting. We have been doing this for over a year and never had any troubles with the adult rabbits using it as a litter box or mold. The babies on the other hand.... I would agree block it until they decide on a potty spot, also avoid putting food in it.

    I dont know about your breed but our silver foxes have no trouble in the winter. It got to Negative 20 degrees here. For us at least "hide" hole/nesting area has worked for us. It gives them a place to hide and feel secure while protecting them from the wind and rain/snow. And we have never had a litter born on the wire (Knock on wood).I think it goes along with instinct to hide the babies.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
  6. Jun 8, 2018
    FurryFiasco

    FurryFiasco Chillin' with the herd

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    Thanks for replying! You're not late at all. :)

    It's good to know that the nesting areas worked well for you. What sort of style are they? Mine are like the ones on the right hand side of the picture (on the first page), but they have walls with a hole to enter.

    My rabbits are Holland Lops...I can't seem to find much on how they do in the cold, other than that all rabbits are more or less cold-hardy. I guess I'll just do my best to make it cozy and see how it goes!
     
  7. Jun 8, 2018
    Marie28

    Marie28 Loving the herd life

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    This ours. Well the second type.The other one is 3 cages connected and a total pain to move...
    The door one the far left is the hide hole door, middle door opens up to the main part of the cage along with the door on the right.
     

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  8. Jun 9, 2018
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    If you need quick inexpensive shelter for the rabbits to put hutches in, look at thread on "quick inexpensive shelter for sheep" posted by Baymule. It shows several plans for making a Quonset shape hut with stock panel and tarps. This would shelter the rabbits without having to insulate their hutches. Hope this helps.