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Wooden or wire rabbit hutch floor?

Discussion in 'Everything Else Rabbits' started by FurryFiasco, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Apr 15, 2018
    FurryFiasco

    FurryFiasco Chillin' with the herd

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    P.S. - Just to be clear, I'm building an outdoor stacked hutch for three bunnies (each with her own level), with the total floor space of each level at 12 square feet (6' wide and 2' deep). The nesting area would take up 1.5 feet of the width, leaving 4.5' for running around. The run area would be enclosed on three sides, with the other side covered in hardware cloth. I've allowed several inches of headroom on each level for the flooring setup, with trays and all of that. Advice on the whole setup would be appreciated too!
     
  2. Apr 15, 2018
    Bunnylady

    Bunnylady True BYH Addict

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    Most of my rabbits live in all-wire cages in my rabbitry, but when I build hutches, I make the entire floor with wire. Part of the structure is surrounded with plywood, and in that more sheltered area, I lay a piece of plywood on top of the wire. That way, it can be removed for cleaning or replaced if it just gets too nasty.
     
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  3. Apr 15, 2018
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    You will need to be able to open the top of the enclosed area, so you can look in on litters. I still advocate for a removable nest box. It's just easier to keep clean if you can take it out.
     
  4. Apr 16, 2018
    Tale of Tails Rabbitry

    Tale of Tails Rabbitry Loving the herd life

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    We raise meat rabbits and have two-row, hanging, stacked cages with a front door, all wire.

    I also have a kindling suite hutch, as we call it. It has a wire cage side with baby catching wire up 4 inches. This wire side is encased by wood down to the baby catching wire. The cubby side is wood with a wire floor. Both areas have a door and I can slide a thin wood piece between the two to inspect kits without mama interference, although I usually don't have to use it much.

    We improved the cubby with a drop nesting box, which has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is the doe has to hop up on the narrow side and then over the lip to get out to the wire cage. A clinging-on kit will usually fall off if not the first hop by the second, move around, fall back into the nest box and find its siblings. We have not lost a kit yet to exposure since we made it, but I did once find a blind kit in the wire cage when it was warm so it survived. Before, we lost an average of none to three per kindle with a removable nesting box.

    The downside of a wire drop box is it is exposed on all sides. We use cardboard that we can easily replace with each kindle and a heating pad under the wire bottom with cardboard insulating between the kits turned on when it goes below 40 degrees. We breed from fall to spring in the southeast.

    Another thing I have notice, having used the two set ups in our nesting boxes is that the kits tend to stay in the drop nesting box several days longer than the other. I am thinking it is because their cubby is darker and quieter so they stay there. But I have a rotation breeding schedule so they all are moved out about 14 days after kindling. I place mama and them in a regular cage and provide a removable nesting box for them with fresh hay until they are out of it more than in.
     
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  5. Apr 17, 2018
    FurryFiasco

    FurryFiasco Chillin' with the herd

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    Wow, these are all really great suggestions! I'll have to think about it before I decide which way to go on some of these details...they do seem to have their pros and cons! Thanks so much for all of the advice! :)

    I do have one more question, though - when you make your floors out of the proper wire, how long do you usually find it to last? Have you ever needed to replace it?
     
  6. Apr 18, 2018
    mystang89

    mystang89 True BYH Addict

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    Everyone will have to excuse me if I repeat what someone else says as I haven't read all of the comments. It's 630am and my eyes are barely open.

    Both homes that I've lived in I've made wooden rabbit hutches. I wouldn't put wood floors in. To unsanitary unless you clean it everyday. I would use wire for the floor and have a piece of wood for the to use if you are worried about foot hock.

    I used to use a board for that reason but since moving to my new house I haven't put one in with mine. Simply forgot the small things like that and a year later no sore hocks.

    I wouldn't use hardware cloth. Everytime I used that the rabbits would pull it apart. EVERYTIME. I would use https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/ga...JXdYXoNxPNQhlMKAmBn7RABRcoA5LtrxoCn8EQAvD_BwE
    Then you won't have to go back, take out the old fencing, cut new fencing to fit the doors and finally fanigle the stupid fence through the door (which is smaller than the floor space) and Hammer it in.....yeah, fun times...

    I raised rabbits for 6 years or so now, maybe more and using this wire I have never had to replace it. You will need to clean their she'hair it, clean the wire occasionally because of their pee but all that is really just maintenance.
     
  7. Apr 18, 2018
    FurryFiasco

    FurryFiasco Chillin' with the herd

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    Wow, thanks for the early-morning advice! :)

    It really seems like the good wire is the way to go! Do I need it for the walls too, or would simple hardware cloth do the trick there?

    I am having a difficult time finding it locally or online. I thought I found one product on amazon.ca, but it would cost me $85 (plus tax and shipping) for just enough wire to cover the floor (double that to do the walls too), and it turned out to be 16-gauge and galvanized before welding!

    I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. I've been looking at Home Depot, Kent, Home Hardware, etc...but I can't seem to find this wire anywhere. I found one product at Home Hardware that's the right dimensions, but it's 16-gauge and I'll have to call and see if it's G.A.W. 16-gauge does seem to be the more common wire, so if I find something like that would it be okay? I know 14-gauge was recommended, and I'll keep trying to find that. It's just proving to be a bit of a challenge!
     
  8. Apr 18, 2018
    mystang89

    mystang89 True BYH Addict

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    16 gauge I think would be fine. They're rabbits, not dogs. Unless of course your rabbits are constantly attacked by raccoons, foxes and other such animals.

    As far as the walls are concerned what I do is generally to make the walls out of wood and then use whatever I have left about half the wall. When I run out I generally turn to hardware cloth. Yeah, it's two different materials and if you are concerned about cosmetics then you'll be put off by it. I never have had my rabbits complain to me about what it looked like though.
     
  9. Apr 18, 2018
    Hopalong Causually

    Hopalong Causually Loving the herd life

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    Doing an on-line search for "rabbit cage supplies" should give you many options.They may not be the most economical sources, but Bass Equipment and Klubertanz Equipment Co. probably have any kind of wire you could possibly want. I built all my hutches from wire from Klubertanz and am well pleased with the result and their longevity.
     
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  10. Apr 18, 2018
    jjaazzy

    jjaazzy Exploring the pasture

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    I raised rabbits years ago, had about 80 of them. I built individual 2 x 8 hutches, and the reason I used 8 is that is the length of the 2x4 when you buy it. Why have waste? I used 1/2 x1/2 hardware cloth around the whole cage and bottom, plywood tops. I'm in Florida so heat is an issue cold is not. I always put in a piece of plywood to save their feet for when they wanted a break. And used 12" x 12" 2x4 edged nest box with a plywood bottom. It worked great. Everything stayed clean I don't remember the nest boxes ever getting ugly. I used coastal hay for those they build their own nest. the other reason for less wood is males tend to jump spin and spray, need more be said about that! Also less wood - less mites. Mites in your bunnies is horrible.... horrible. as for the sagging a couple cross members of 2x4 across the width of the bottom gives good support.