Rabbit housing

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by gohammergo, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. gohammergo

    gohammergo Active Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Hi all,
    I have recently acquired three Rex rabbits, two does and a buck. Currently they reside in a large steel mesh cage. I am going to make some wooden hutches for them soon and have a question about it.
    1) What is a good wood material? Will plywood or osb work, or do they have to be made of solid boards. Years ago I had a few rabbits and they ate a hole through the osb (or waferboard) and ran away. Are they attracted to the glue used in plywood?

    They have just mated and will need to be separated soon, so I will be making three houses. How long can the babies stay with the mother?

    I have also heard that you can mate a rabbit with it's parent, but now with it's sibling. Is this true?

    Thanks in advance for any input. Happy New Year, John
     
  2. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    815
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    Actually, wood isn't considered a good material. It absorbs the urine, which makes sanitation harder. Rabbits chew it. No, they aren't attracted to the glue, they just like to chew stuff. If they don't, their teeth grow too long. Wire mesh, 1"x1" can be bent into cages and fastened with J-clips, and you can add a wooden roof and a nest box with some straw in it to each cage. Wire cages are very nice and easy to clean.

    I would seperate the kittens at 8 weeks, that is the normal time for weaning.

    Breeding a rabbit to it's sire or dam is fine by me, but I consider brother-to-sister breeding to be too close.

    Hope that helps
    Alexandra
     

  3. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

    Messages:
    1,508
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia
    Yes, wood absorbs urine. Rather hard to keep the cage sanitary too. A standard wire mesh cage is MUCH easier to keep clean! Xandras Zoo has a good suggestion.

    A lot of folks like to wean rabbits when the litter is 6 to 8 weeks of age. They'll have to be weaned and bucks will need individual cages no later than 12 weeks. After that, most bucks start trying to establish territories and chew each other apart. I let the girls stay together longer as long as they're getting along: usually they do, and it's fun seeing them cuddle up and groom each other. :)

    Inbreeding is something you *really* don't want to mess with unless you know what genetic problems to look for, and you're willing to cull ruthlessly. Mating a rabbit with it's parent is generally considered "safer" than mating with a full sibling, but inbreeding does carry risks. Breeding more distantly related rabbits (cousins, grandparent to grandoffspring, aunt/uncle to nephew/niece) is a better bet.