Should I put a roof over my rabbitry?

JHP Homestead

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More specifically, the aisle of my rabbitry. Obviously, the cages themselves have roofs over them. Here is a couple pictures of my current rabbit setup:
Facing East
A296AC8D-A499-406D-A530-D762F43F2FC5.jpeg


Facing West
AC7815B8-EA90-42C6-A552-114BECBF79A9.jpeg

(Please excuse the falling apart water lines, the freeze a couple days ago pushed the connections apart and I haven’t taken it down for the winter yet)

DH really wants to extend the roof on each side inwards extending over the walkway, so that the whole rabbitry is roofed in. I have some reservations, so I thought we’d see what you guys think.

My main worry is that it will be way too dark in there. There’s already a half wall (extending from the roof halfway to the ground) behind the South row of cages, and we will be putting a similar half wall behind the North row too, which blocks the wind.

So that would leave only the West end and the bottom couple of feet on the North/South sides open. That doesn’t seem like it’d let much light in. Would we need to have lights on in the rabbitry all the time for the rabbits?

I like the idea of protecting them from the elements more (although we’ve had no issues with the cold at all) but I don’t want them to be living in the dark and needing artificial light all the time. Anyone else have their rabbits in a shed? What do you do for light?
 

Nifty

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Hey FYI: we've added this to our featured items on the Homepage!
 

misfitmorgan

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Baymule

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Years ago when I raised show rabbits, I had a barn for their hanging cages. It was open at the bottom on 3 sides for ventilation, but securely wired up to keep predators out. The front, south side was open, wired, to let light in, but really it was never dark in there. I loved the barn, it was SO much easier to care for them in bad weather. I had electricity in the barn, but I never left lights on all the time. I even had a phone extension in it because when the phone rang in the house, by the time I got to it, they hung up. I had a grooming table set up where I could take them out of their cage, tattoo ears, administer medication, whatever was needed.

I vote YES! and agree with your husband.
 

Xerocles

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I thought about you this morning. As I was standing IN THE RAIN, stuffing a nest box and watching a first time mama to be, to see what her reaction to it would be. You're probably so well established in rabbits you probably don't do silly things like that. But even for routine feeding, watering, and cleaning...my vote is to cover that center courtyard with SOMETHING. Preferable that will let light pass through.
 

JHP Homestead

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Alright, you guys talked me into it! :D =D

I looked into that clear polycarbonate, I think putting some of that in as skylights will work great to let extra light in. Thanks for suggesting it!

DH wishes I’d made this post weeks ago. He’s been trying to talk me into it for awhile, so now he’ll be reminding me of my procrastination each time I have to stand out in the snow and cold to take care of the rabbits :rolleyes:. Next year, we stay dry!

Thanks everyone!
 

Duckfarmerpa1

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Hey, I noticed you have a rain barrel...do use use rain water for the bunnies? We did for a bit...then I was told it was very bad for them....so now I use Only filtered tap water. I’ve never heard anyone else tell us if the rain water thing was a fact or not. My hubby would be thrilled if I used rain water for animals besides pigs...lol.
 

JHP Homestead

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Hey, I noticed you have a rain barrel...do use use rain water for the bunnies? We did for a bit...then I was told it was very bad for them....so now I use Only filtered tap water. I’ve never heard anyone else tell us if the rain water thing was a fact or not. My hubby would be thrilled if I used rain water for animals besides pigs...lol.
That’s actually just a raised barrel so we can use gravity lines to water our rabbits. We fill it from the hose once a week or whenever needed. If I could figure out how to get rainwater up that high without a pump, I’d probably use it though. We’re pretty far from any major city so I wouldn’t think our rainwater is overly polluted and our well water tastes terrible, so I don’t know that one would be worse than the other :idunno

We do use rainwater for our chickens though. I put a gutter on our chicken coop and the rainwater collected there is given to the chickens.
 
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