How to set up cages

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by treehugger, May 6, 2005.

  1. treehugger

    treehugger Active Member

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    I just got my cages today. There are 3 12' long hutches with 4 cages in each hutch for a total of 12. I am needing some ideas on setting them up as far as how far off the ground and things like that. I really need the input, I hope to set them up in the morning.



    Thanks
     
  2. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    Kind of depends on how you want it set up. What kind of a building or shelter do you have for them? If you don't have a lot of space, you can stack them if you put pans underneath the cages, or some time of system to keep the droppings from the top rabbits going on the bottom ones. For the easy to work with idea, you want to put the cages at a level that you can reach in all the way without having to squat or stand on your toes. If you stack them...I think the bottom row has to be up a certain distance (I'm thinking 24", but will need correcting) to keep cool breezes off of them as well as the moisture from the ground.
     

  3. treehugger

    treehugger Active Member

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    I do not have a building to put them in. I was going to leave them outside. I live in east Texas so I thought the heat would be too much for them inside so I assumed keeping them outside would be fine.
     
  4. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    Check out Moopups post in the thread titled
    Making cages or buying them. Which is better.
    He had a neat way he does it. I am hoping he will
    post a pic.

    I was thinking I can use the plastic or metal wavy looking
    sheet for a roof and drop tarps for winter and bad weather.
     
  5. treehugger

    treehugger Active Member

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    Thanks Ranchlady,

    I would like to see a picture also. I do not have any type of shelter for mine though. The person I got them from had a rack built and 2 of the cages back to back. I was wondering if I set them up in a single row if I could get a piece of corrugated metal and just lay it on the top of the cages. I would overhang about 6" all the way around, this would surely keep the weather and sun off of them. I could really use some more input from the experts out there.

    Thanks
     
  6. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    There will be pictures posted later today, Fla Gal is the pic tech around here and she is presently elbow deep in a DSL puter set up, I have learned just to stay out of her way dureing projects.

    The hanging system is very basic, a pair of posts with a cross mounted 2x4 on each post (30 inches long), then 2 -10 foot 2x4s mounted horizonally with lag screws. The cages are hung with masonary tie wire. The bottom of our 18 inch high cages are at 39 inches up from the ground. The posts are standard 6 foot 6 inch - 4 to 5 inch diameter, with a notch chainsawed out so the 30 inch pieces fit flush. The notch is 1 1/2 deep and 3 1/2 inches tall so it all mounts flush both top and side. The posts are 20 inches into the ground.

    The final roof is going to be corrigated fiberglass with about a 9 inch over hang.
     
  7. daytrader

    daytrader Well-Known Member

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    I would not use meal for the roofing. Try the courigated plastic. That metal can turn your cage into a oven if it is not reflective.
     
  8. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

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    Pictures are worth a thousand words. This setup isn't finished yet. We will be getting the fiberglass panels (the wavy ones) as a roof. For now it's just plywood on top with visqueen held down by rocks. If it rains we drop the visqueen.

    Mitch predrilled holes so the wood wouldn't split and used 5/16th by 3' lag bolts for the ends and cross members on the posts. There are two end posts and one in the middle.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    For joining the 2x4's in the middle he used 5/16th x 1-1/2' lag bolts so they wouldn't go through the wood.
    [​IMG]

    A view of the cages hung with wire from the 2x4 runners.
    [​IMG]
    Hey Elizabeth, these are the three buns we got from you.

    And just for giggles and grins here's a picture of the Californian, Momma Bun we have. She looks fat because she bunches herself against the wire to be close to her waterer. Her behavior indicates it's almost time to bring out the 2 liter soda bottles that's had water frozen in them.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My Babies!!!!!
    I miss them, but nice to see they have a nice new home. sigh.
    I'd miss them more if we didn't have 40 more of them at home, lol!!!!!
     
  10. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

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    :haha: :haha: :haha:

    By late September or October we'll most likely have our first batches of babies. Thanks for the warning! :p
     
  11. treehugger

    treehugger Active Member

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    Thanks for the pictures! I think I have some poles that size and treated 2"x6" Since the rabbits cant get to the lumber does it matter if it is treated? I ask this because I only have treated and I would like to not have to purchase more. I live in East Texas would the setup in the pictures be adequate for my climate? In the first picture it looks like you could put another cage on the fence side or is just the way I am looking at it? It looks like the cage is flush with the roof frame edge. Will the fiberglass panels hang off of the side? if so how many inches will it hang over. Is it necessary to cement the posts in the ground.

    You have a very professional set-up and I hope mine will be half as good. I thank you so much for taking the time to add the pictures.

    Thanks again!


    Treehugger
     
  12. treehugger

    treehugger Active Member

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    I forgot to mention that the posts I have are creosote and the 2"x6" lumber I mentioned earlier is pressure treated. Will either of these be a problem? They will not be where the rabbits can touch them but I am green and there may be something I am not noticing.


    Thanks
     
  13. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Our cages are 30 by 32 by 18 high; yes there is room for another full size cage and a reduced size one also at each end of the set up. Here in Florida there are size restrictions for all animals dwellings. The smaller size one at the ends will be 27 by 32 by 18, adequate for young rabbits, but not adequate for breeding stock. We put them together to make it easier to service their needs, they can be viewed via a back side window with a electric lantern in the night time.

    Your 2 by 6 treated lumber can be ripped down the middle to be at 2 13/16th to still provide the weight carrying capasity needed, when mounted on edge.

    The roof of corrigated fiberglass will hang over 9 inches to each side, that allows 3 - 48 inch pieces to be taken from a 12 foot sheet; 30 + 9 +9 equals 48 inches. Bet you can tell I used to do a lot of cypherin around lumber! Jed Clampettet taught me a lot before he disappeared off to Hollywierd! :cool: Of course Ellie May musta have withered away as an old maid at about 18 or 19 years old.......

    We have sandy soil, no cement is needed around the posts bottoms. Different arrangements will be made if this years hurricanes again threaten. Four last season was many more than enought. The last time one came through at 'danger close range' was Donna in the 60's.

    The cages are wired directly up to the bottoms of the horizonal 2 by 4's, this allows 3 1/2 inches of dead air space above the cages and their rooves, enought to not allow radiant heat penertration into the cages. Any breeze helps in Floridas hot sun. Ignore the background poverty in the pics, we are almost ready to escape this pit neighborhood, and are looking daily at alternatives.
     
  14. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

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    We used untreated wood but it might be possible that as long as the creosote from the posts, arsenic and I think copper sulphate from the treated 2 x 4's won't be dripping rain into the cages, feeders, or on the hay you should be ok.

    Painting the posts and boards with a non-toxic paint might take care of that unless the paint isn't renewed when necessary. Another thing to think about is the part of the creosoted post underground will leach carcinogenic chemicals into the soil and I wouldn't use the rabbit poo that falls in that area. I wouldn't want to put it on the garden or any other plants - especially the edible stuff.

    For myself, I prefer replacing wood to digging out a big hole to remove contaminated soil.
     
  15. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Here at a later date it has became obevious that modifications are needed to the basic design. By adding a nest box which is mounted on the backside, the main runner support is starting to sag and pull away from straightness, about 2 inches so far. Also the nest box side of the structure droops a bit; the structural member can be fliped 180 degrees and rebolted in the future.

    My currant approach it to add diagional gussets at the cross beams that carry the main runners, and add a couple of horizonal braces at the points where the nest boxes mount. An additional runner beam, mounted with the flat side up to the vertical existing beam via lag bolts is also considered. I will provide pictures once this is completed.

    The nest box is 14 by 16 deep, this is not yet big enough to accomidate a full grown rabbit, the new boxes will be 16 inches wide and 20 inches deep, still at 12 inches height. The lid is hindged and overhangs 1 and 1/2 inch for rain shielding, it also needs a coat of light colored paint to preserve it.

    The main roof will feature an overhang of 9 inches each side and be mounted with a hindge in the backside and 'top over center' locking brackets so the roof can be raised to service their feeders, think of step ladder metal braces in referance to 'top over center' brackets.
     
  16. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, there nees to be a good 24 inches of roofing in the front and bak of the cages. If not, the rabbits will be living in constant sun most the the day, with shade only about mid day when the sun is directly above. The ideal set up, IMHO, is a 12' roof. Hang cages 2' inward. That gives for a nice 4' walkthrough, and the rabbits wil be in shade most of the day. Whatever is done, DO NOT MAKE SIDE WALLS(unless it will have AC. Both TX and FL weather will do them in in no time without good area for air circulation.
     
  17. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Here in zone 10, a tropical environment; the sun hits the cages and boxes from daylight until about 10am. After that the afternoon sun is blocked due to the house being to the west of the cage racks. The rabbits can block the morning sun by getting next to their nest boxes, mounted on the east side of the cages. And this is with a non overhang temporary roof.
     
  18. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

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    As long as some form of shade is present. Just wanted to throw that out as I didn't catch it before.
     
  19. HoosierDeb

    HoosierDeb Well-Known Member

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    Here's a pic of my rabbit barn. I just got all these rabbits from some friends who are not going to raise these breeds any more (French and Mini Lops). I'm just getting into them. I converted my chicken "barn" (12x20 quonset-style fabric covered portable garage) into the rabbit barn.

    [​IMG]

    I made the cages you can see in the middle. They are banks of 4 cages 12 feet long. Each compartment is 24"x36"x18" and they are for my French Lops. The rest of the cages I got with the rabbits and are also banks of 4 cages 24x30x18. There are two of them along the right side, one across the far end and a set of 2 at the end of the FL cages with an ailse between the bank at the back and that set of 2. If I really wanted to squeeze it, I could move the center rabbits to the right a little and put another row of cages along the other side but the aisles pretty tight. I may have to though, if I get any more rabbits. I do need to get some shade cloth for the ends though. The building runs east/west and the sun comes in one end or the other most of the day. The breeze through there is nice though.There are big maple trees on either side of it so it's shaded but there is enough gap between the house and the east end and the trees in the back area that let the morning and afternoon sun in.