Rabbit raising in the basement??

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by TerriA, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. TerriA

    TerriA Well-Known Member

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    Hi, there.. I must be getting too old for Nebraska winters. I HATE snow, ice and most of all, the cold. I have 13 angoras out in a drafty barn that dh refuses to insulate. It is dark and cold. (not enough light) and very drafty. The bunnies I have are top notch, great pedigrees, etc. I am almost ready to give up on them due to having to go outside to do chores. Not lazy- but the cold just bites my feet and hands regardless of how well bundled up I am and I need to be able to groom them too. I wanted to possibly get a free mobile home moved onto the property but dh nixed that idea too.

    SOOOO.. before I totally give up on the bunnies, I started brainstorming. We have a finished basement, lots of light and warmish (not 70 but about 65 degrees). One of the rooms used to be used as an office. Furnace is inside this room along with 2 double closets. It is carpeted but easily taken up. I am thinking of replacing the carpet with tarp and making a pvc cage hanging system (light weight and cheap) and converting that room into a bunny haven for the winter/possibly summer too since the heat was unbearable for them here this last summer.

    They would be up against painted cement walls so I think putting up tarp/old shower curtains behind/sides of cages would help with urine spray and still allow lots of light and air. I would have to get a few more litter trays and possibly urine guards but otherwise, does anyone have any tips or ideas for me?

    Am also thinking of using newspapers to line the litter trays and making sure they all are cleaned every day and the waste taken outside. (Rolling lined garage can?)

    THANK YOU!!!

    Terri
     
  2. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think I'd be most concerned about ventilation. Not only for the bunnies themselves, but for the smell of them getting into the house. They can be a little rank sometimes. :)

    If you really kept up with cleaning their litter trays it might work out ok. You could always hook up a small ventilation fan to air the place out, too.

    Jennifer
     

  3. halfpint

    halfpint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We keep our rabbit in the basement. I use the Pet pine cat litter in the tray and dump the trays into the compost about every 3-4 days. Without the pine litter the smell gets bad within a few hours. It doesn't take very much litter to control the smell. Would your rabbits get any natural light? We keep ours next to a window (the sun never directly shines in this though) so he gets a good bit of natural light.
    Dawn
     
  4. TerriA

    TerriA Well-Known Member

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    Ventilation... GOOD POINT! Especially in the winter with propane heat.. I guess that might be a problem unless I use very good sanitation practices. I have read that using vinegar on the trays after cleaning will help cut back on smell.. and I have some ag line that I could sprinkle in the pans too if need be. But I just figured on cleaning out the pans every single morning.. and spot check/clean in the afternoon as needed, too.

    The room has south and west windows and has a nice amount of light (natural AND overhead). My primary concern other than grooming them is being able to breed them. We don't have any other pets inside (other than a caged laughing dove upstairs) and we have too many cats (want one? <G>) that are able to get into the bunny barn (I said it was drafty! LOL!!)

    I am a ways from being able to get it set up due to lack of litter trays and I would need to build the hanging cage system. I am thinking of using 1.5" PVC for the tops (front and back) and 2" pvc for the sides for extra strength. Double decker system to save space. Do you agree that the Pvc would be cheaper than buying the legs? I figured out it would cost me $136+shipping for just the legs I would need.... am betting I can make it with pvc for less than half that.

    Thank you for the input! I appreciate it very much!!! :D

    Terri
     
  5. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    I keep 9 in my bedroom, I use litter trays with wood stove pellets and clean them in the evening. The trays are washed out every day too, so that there are no urine stains on the bottom. No oders and healthy rabbits. You should take a look in some of the House Rabbit Society shelters scentless and they must have 35 rabbits in an insulated, heated room.
     
  6. midkiffsjoy

    midkiffsjoy Bedias, Texas

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    I bleach out our pet rabbit's tray about once a week. DH had said something about kitty litter but I'd been against it cause I use the poop in my garden bed. I dont know about ventilation, but I'd try it. Angoras cant be left outside in our Texas summers. Have been putting off getting them till I could build a bunny barn. GOOD LUCK!!!
     
  7. Tucker

    Tucker Well-Known Member

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    Hi Joy ,, there is a kitty litter I believe is called Feline Pine ,, (halfpint called it Pet Pine) ,, its made from compressed pine dust ,,

    if you used that ,, like kitty litter ,, you could add it to your garden no problem ,,

    but the wood stove pellets Kendra is talking about ,, might be more economical ,,

    used / made the same way but buying those in the big bulk bag would be cheaper than the big bags of kitty litter ,, I'd think ,,, :confused:


    Kendra how much does the bag of wood pellets cost ??

    How much does the big bag of pine kitty litter cost ??


    'I' have a outdoor cat :D


    My concern would be the fact that the rabbits will have to be in the room with the furnace ,,, I'm thinking it (the air) will be real dry ?? anyone ?? could the too dry air in the house affect / effect the rabbits : do you run a humidifier in the winter ?? ,,

    if the furnace is in this room ,, is the air intake in there too ?? do you have to leave the door to this room open ?? if you have to open a window in this room ,, for fresh air for the rabbits ,, will this effect your entire homes temperature ??


    you'll need to change the furnace filter more often I'd think because of floating hair and rabbit dandruff ,, :confused: maybe ..

    and I too would be concerened about smells ,, with the adults I can see that you could clean every day ,, stop smells by being real good with cleaning ,,

    but if you decide to breed // keep in the house year round ,, 1 - 2 + does with 6 - 8 kits each at a time will take a lot of cleaning after to avoid 'thinking' you smell them upstairs ,,

    and you need to think about having space for at least 2 ex-large cages (1 for each sex) for growout pens if you are going to raise the fryers old enough to eat ,,

    hub likes to wait till the fryers are 10 - 11 weeks old ,, "till they get some 'size' on them" "quote" ,, he really dislikes butchering :bash: ,,

    and even if I don't rebreed the does ,, "I" think you just can't leave kits with moma much past 6 - 7 weeks ,, 'my' greedy does will take advantage of the full feeders for the kits and will get fat ,, even if I leave a few (doe kits) with her to 8 - 9+ weeks ,,

    I 'think' that my does tend to start weaning their kits anyway around 6 wks ,, so thats when 'I' start weaning ,, the biggest 2 - 3 kits 1st day ,, wait 2 - 3 days another 1 - 2 and so on leaving the smallest till last ,, but thats just me ,,


    I'll quit rambling now
     
  8. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    Uhm, Tucker, I think you might've meant Xandra. Even if you didn't, I'll answer you anyways.

    Here in Canada, wood stove pellets cost about $3 per 40 lbs at the Home Depot/ Home Hardware. Very cheap. They're far better then shavings inside the house because they don't stick to everything. Man, you should try sitting down and picking off all those little shavings from your fleece hoodie. Takes for EVER. Wood stove pellets control odor very well too. When they get wet they turn to dust, so cleaning is easy. I think it's the best bedding out there.

    Only problem is stores put them away for the winter. Home Hardware will get some down from storage for us, Home Depot won't. We don't have anywhere to store all summer's worth, so we end up going to Home Hardware.
     
  9. rickd203

    rickd203 Well-Known Member

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    :cowboy:

    I have my rabbits in the basement. I was keeping them in the garage but I didn't want to keep going out in the rain and snow. The garage isn't heated and I would also have to keep changing frozen water bottles. The basement doesn't get much outside light so I put a light on a timer next to the cages.