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Forum HABITATS AND TOYS Plywood for DIY Hutch

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    • Eric Roberts
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      Hello,

      I’m new here and am trying to make a hutch for a newly rescued bunny and I am not sure what plywood to use. I know that there are a lot of woods to avoid and I have spent hours and hours going trying to find a plywood type to use.

      These are the three that I have narrowed it down to:

      There is this one but I don’t know if it is kiln dried or not. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Plytanium-3-8-CAT-PS1-09-Square-Structural-Plywood-Pine-Application-as-4-x-8/3604520

      There are also this one but while it is made of maple, it seems to held together by some sort of soy-based adhesive, and I know that soy is also bad for bunnies. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Plytanium-3-8-CAT-PS1-09-Square-Structural-Plywood-Pine-Application-as-4-x-8/3604520

      Lastly, there is this one, but I can’t really find information on the wood type or how its bonded together. https://www.homedepot.com/p/12mm-Sande-Plywood-1-2-in-Category-x-4-ft-x-8-ft-Actual-0-472-in-x-48-in-x-96-in-454532/203414055#product-overview

      Will any of these plywoods work? Do you have any better suggestions? I am hoping to use sheets that are 4ft x 8ft.

      Thank you for your time and help!


    • Hazel
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      2574 posts Send Private Message

      Is this for outside or inside? CC cages are very popular and easy to build, if you’re keeping the bun inside (which I would suggest). Or x-pens.


    • Eric Roberts
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      8 posts Send Private Message

      She is going to be primarily outside because of my living arrangements but I will also be bringing her inside periodically. This hutch though will permanently be outside.


    • Hazel
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      Keep in mind that you can’t move her back and forth between outside and inside if the temperature difference is more than 10 degrees Celsius (17 F), otherwise she will be at risk of respiratory illness. Also, her coat won’t develop properly for either environment if the difference is too great. Also, RHD is spreading rapidly across the US, depending on where you live it would be highly dangerous for her to be outside without being vaccinated (which might be hard to do since the disease and thus vaccines are fairly new).

      I would really suggest to keep her indoors if at all possible. If you’re planning to have her inside part of the time, you will have to set up an area with food, water, litterbox etc for her anyway, so why not let her stay? Sorry if I sound pushy, it’s just really not advisable to keep them outside, for many reasons. If you’re interested we could help you figure out any issues or concerns you might have about having her in the house permanently. 🙂


    • Eric Roberts
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      I didn’t mean that I would bring her in for days at a time, just for a couple hours every few days. I’m not sure if that’s unhealthy.

      I am simply not allowed to have her in the house overnight, nor am I allowed to let her free roam at any time. It’s not my house so that isn’t anything I can change. I do plan on getting her vaccinated in the next couple of weeks. I live in Southern California and already saw a few cases in cities close to me on the map.


    • Hazel
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      Any sudden temperature change above 10 C is dangerous, even if just for a few hours unfortunately. You sure are in the RHD danger zone there. 🙁

      Is she going to stay in the hutch only while outside or is there going to be a free roam area she will have access to?


      • Eric Roberts
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        Ok I will definitely keep the temperature change in mind. I will be letting her out into a large fenced off area of the yard for a few hours a day so she can run around supervised. I have spent the last week picking all of the weeds out of the yard and checking for what she can eat and what she shouldn’t.


    • DanaNM
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      6049 posts Send Private Message

      I’m glad to hear you are getting her vaccinated, RHDV2 is def in S CA and is spreading rapidly this time of year. Thankfully it seems like there are a lot of vets in LA and SD that have the vaccine.

      In S CA we also have to worry about Myxomatosis, and unfortunately we can’t get the vaccine for that, so it’s important to provide protection from mosquitos for any outdoor housing and runs.

      Of course indoor housing is ideal for lots of reasons (disease, social interaction with the rabbit, keeping track of the bun’s health in general), but it sounds like you are trying to improve the situation for a rescue bunny? And thankfully the temperature differences between inside and outside in S CA won’t be so extreme, but you will want to have a plan for dealing with the heat in the summer.

      So for plywood for hutches, it kind of depends whether the bun will be in direct contact with it. If it will be the roof or side that the bun won’t really be chewing on, it matters a lot less. I’m guessing with your design you won’t want the bun to be chewing on it anyway, or she could escape. MDF is really what you want to avoid. If it’s something the bun will be chewing on, untreated pine planks are safe to use.

      Since you will be able to bring your bun in a bit each day, you might be able to slowly persuade your landlord/roommates to give the bun more time indoors. Sometimes once people see that the bunny is litter box trained and not destructive they change their tune about things. Getting the bun spayed will help with this too.

       

       

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


      • Eric Roberts
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        Got it. I was already avoiding going with MDF and aiming for untreated kiln-dried pine for the beams and such. She cant exactly chew the plywood since corners and edges shouldn’t be available to her, however the walls are made out of it so she could probably somehow chew it if she really wanted to. I am not exactly sure of any practical way to prevent mosquito’s from being able to get to her outside. Thats scary but I really cant bring her in, especially for now. Are there any other practical solutions to that?


    • DanaNM
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      6049 posts Send Private Message

      You can add insect screening to the outside of the hutch (this is a good precaution for RHD too, even with the vaccine). You can also talk to your vet about a product called Vectra 3d. It has off-label usage in rabbits but my vet has used it on rabbits for years and keeps mosquitos away. It should be used under direction of a vet though, and never use Frontline or other products containing fipronil on rabbits, they are very toxic to bunnies. You can find some more info on Myxo in southern CA here (aimed at Santa Barbara area, but should still be a good resource): https://bunssb.org/bunnies/myxomatosis

      Also if you are in a dry area, it’s less of a concern, but the usual things of eliminating standing water are good too.

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


      • Eric Roberts
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        I was planning to use welded chicken wire when I build her hutch but I can easily use pet-proof screen/mesh instead. I’ll definitely ask my vet about that when I take her in to get vaccinated soon. I am not really in a wet area but there is a riverbed a couple miles from my house and we still get mosquitoes.

        She wouldn’t be able to be protected against mosquitos though when she is running around the yard in the daytime. I have metal fencing that wont let her leave the yard or get near the planters, but it doesn’t have a roof and has giant holes. I am hoping that that would be ok because I cant cover the yard in mesh, nor can I let her run around inside.


    • DanaNM
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      I would prob do the welded wire first, then a layer of screen over the top, positioned so she can’t nibble it. (this is what they do at the rescue I volunteer at).

      There is a gallery on this site of safe outdoor runs: https://binkybunny.com/bunnyinfo/safe-outdoor-runs/

      We do encourage indoor housing on this site (since it’s a house-rabbit forum after all), but there are some really neat ideas for making outdoor runs that are protected from predators. You’ll want to make sure she’s protected from hawks and other predators, so you should think about adding some sort of roof if she will be unsupervised, even if it means it’s a smaller space. Also keep in mind rabbits are very good at digging under fences!

      You might also get some ideas for the hutch etc. It’s a lot more common in Europe for people to have full-on rabbit sheds attached to runs, which seem pretty neat to me.

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


      • Eric Roberts
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        Ok I will probably use both the wire and the screen in that case.

        Those outdoor runs look awesome but until I get my own house in a few years I’m stuck with sharing the backyard so a more permanent solution wouldn’t work. I understand that she might be vulnerable to predators without a roof on the run and might dig out of the fence, which is why she is supervised while she is outside every day. I want to do everything I can for her but I am also working with constraints. My hutch is already going to take up 18+ square feet of the small yard (the hutch has two levels) so I wouldn’t be able to block off more with a permanent run.

        That said, if anyone has solutions that can help me keep her safer while meeting those constraints, I’d love to hear them! I could cover the portable fences with the screen but I wouldn’t know what to do for the roof to prevent bugs getting in but have it also be removable.


    • DanaNM
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      I wonder if you could fashion a lid out of NIC cube grids for a run? You could maybe make a smaller area out of a couple x-pens as a play area, and attach a roof that way? Rather than trying to fence in the whole yard?

      . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  


      • Eric Roberts
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        That could work! I’ll definitely try to figure out a way to use my cube pieces to make something like that.

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Forum HABITATS AND TOYS Plywood for DIY Hutch