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Rabbits unerground?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by paradox, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. Nov 24, 2012
    paradox

    paradox Enjoys Recycling

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    Hi all. Well phase one is pretty much done other than a few needed tweaks. I would post pics but I can't get that to work for some reason. We created what looks like a raised flower bed out of landscape timbers to bury the coolers in. It is filled up with dirt with only the lids of the coolers exposed. It will eventually have a hinged lid that can lock down just as added security and also to keep any serious rain out of it. For now we just have extra cinder blocks on the lids to keep the rabbits from pushing their way out of the top hatch. One side of the bed has 3 tunnels made out of 6 inch pvc pipe coming out of it. Each one leads into a separate cage. The cages are just standard wire cages in a single line and sitting on cinder blocks to keep them off the ground. We also have a 5 gallon bucket that gravity feeds water through pvc down to each cage where they can drink from those little water nipple valves. We put our females in this section and we sat and watched them for a while as they explored their tunnels and got used to their new homes. All is well for now. Only time will tell us if we have flaws in the system. If it works out ok we will do another one next to it for the bigger rabbits.
     
  2. Nov 25, 2012
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    Sounds cool - keep us posted! :)
     
  3. Dec 10, 2012
    paradox

    paradox Enjoys Recycling

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    [​IMG]

    ha there! I finally got a pic to load. So that is the cages with pipes leading back into coolers. It is actually filled with dirt now and has a metal roof over the cooler area. This locks the lids down, keeps rain out, and ads shade. The roof flips up if we need to open the cooler and check on anybody. I will post some pics of that later. Also so far the girls are still using the bathroom outside which is great. They have arranged their hay inside the coolers and some have pulled fur to make nests. Can't wait to get the one for the bigger rabbits built.
     
  4. Dec 11, 2012
    mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy Power Conserver

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    Just an idea... I've never tried anything like what you are doing.

    But using the system you are using with the landscaping timbers and burying the coolers.. Wouldn't it be simpler and more "rabbit chew proof" to just make the boxes out of cinder blocks instead of coolers? I'm thinking you could use blocks for the floor and sides and have either a couple of cap blocks or a hinged lid on the top. Just thinking out loud...

    Interesting idea though. It's got me thinking as we lost a few rabbits to heat this year too. Around here I could almost buy the rabbits an air conditioner for what the landscaping timbers and spikes would cost though.

    Someone else also mentioned the rabbits chewing the plastic. I think that would depend, as the OP stated, on if the rabbits have anything to get started chewing. I use plastic barrels for feed and have never had anything chew one because there are no places they can get a start on chewing them with the plastic being smooth with no angles. I've also used the bottom halves of plastic barrels as tubs to raise rats, mice, hamsters, rabbits and such in years ago when I was raising stock for pet stores. I'm not sure how these coolers are on the inside, but it "might" work. Since you are doing it without cost it seems to be a win-win situation. If it works everyone here will learn from it. If it doesn't, you aren't out a lot of money and still learn something.
     
  5. Dec 11, 2012
    paradox

    paradox Enjoys Recycling

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    @ mississippifarmboy We started to try to make the boxes out of cinder blocks but some quick math told us we didn't have enough to do that and still have any left to prop up the cages. But if you have several I bet it would work great. That cement will probably be cooler in the summer than plastic will too. Also we had tons of landscape timbers already so we used them, but I bet you could just mound dirt up around whatever you use for boxes and be good to go. And a tarp on top of that would keep rain out for you. I think you could use a variety of different materials for all of this just depending on what you have lying around. We managed to get through this project with only having to buy the water nipples and a few pvc connections for the watering system. The rest was rescued from the barn or repurposed from something no longer in use. We have had a few nights below freezing and they really love their little hidey holes. We will have to check what kind of temperatures the boxes get up to in the summer though. Not sure if it will be cool enough on its own. However, if we tossed an ice bottle into the cooler I bet it would be plenty cool. We were giving them ice bottles in their cages last year under a shade tree and a shade tarp with lots of airflow and still lost our buck. So I am hoping this is a cheap fix for that problem. Let me know if you adapt this to your own materials and try it. You never know when I might need to expand and not have these same materials to work with, so I will take any ideas that people want to volunteer :)
     
  6. Jan 6, 2013
    tortoise

    tortoise Wild Hare

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    I tried PVC underground tunnel to an insulated chamber - total failure.

    I left my rabbits in a fenced area of the garden last year. They dug their own tunnel and chamber. It was pretty neat. The tunnel was about 8 feet long.
     
  7. Jan 6, 2013
    paradox

    paradox Enjoys Recycling

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    Tortoise - can you tell me what went wrong with the pvc to chamber? I am still watching for problems to develop and would be glad for a heads up on anything that might go wrong.
     
  8. Jan 6, 2013
    tortoise

    tortoise Wild Hare

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    I must have had too much of an angle. They wouldn't go in or out. I've always used PVC tubes as shelters and hiding spaces, so I'm fairly confident it was my design and not the materials.
     
  9. Jan 10, 2013
    ninny

    ninny Lovin' The Homestead

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  10. Jan 12, 2013
    Blaundee

    Blaundee Power Conserver

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    And you wouldn't have to worry as much about flooding...
     

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