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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > New House, New Bunny Environment
Last Post by Eepster at 10/02/2011 2:29 PM (14 Replies)
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User is Offline berkua
33 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2011 7:58 PM

So, I just bought a house and I am in the process of moving.  Luckily I didn't move too far away, and I can gradually move everything over to my new place.  I was just in the basement of my new house, and did a quicl survey of the area.  The house is not very large, so I am going to have to put my bunny in the basement, and I had some questions for those of you who have a similar situation.  First, let me asure you, I will be getting my little guy a friend, so he is not so lonely when I am not around (I will be need advise on bonding, as well, such as do males do better together, or shouls I get a female companion for my buck?) 

On to some pressing matters.  The floor of the basement is cement, we will have a dehumidifier running, keeping the basement at the appropriate humidity levels.  My concern is the cold floor.  I will have an area rug down, with a big dog pen clipped to his cage.  I put his dry food the the cage, so he has to jump up there all the time, giving him some exercise while in the pen, and his litter box is all the way on the other side of the pen. 

I was just standing on the floor barefoot, and it is pretty cold (will be colder in the winter).  There isn't heat in the basement at the moment, so it will be fairly chilly down there.  Will this be alright?  I will have the area rug down, but are there other things I should be doing to ensure he is comfortable?  My brother suggested a little nest of some sort.  I was thinking perhaps I could get a big rubbermaid tub, flip it upside down with the lid still on, cut a door, and line it with hay for the bunnies to dig in and sleep in (and nibble on). 

Any advice on this matter will be greatly appreciated.  I want my rabbit and his eventual friend to be comfortable and happy.  Also, I don't want them to get sick ... I know rabbits live out in the wild and take care of themselves, but I'd like to give them to right tools to do it.

Thanks in advance!  and any advice on the bonding of a new bunny and whether to go with another male or a female wouls also be appreciated.

Take care!


User is Offline LoveChaCha
Rabbit Warren
6569 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2011 8:19 PM
Hi there and welcome

When my dad and I were selling a house, my rabbit had to go into the garage, and that place was really cold - maybe in the 30s-40 degrees. She did quite fine. Rabbit's fur is for keeping them warm I also would put a blanket over her cardboard box, and stuff it with hay so she could keep warm. She now lives in an apartment, so she doesn't need to worry about it getting that cold anymore

As for a friend, I would allow your rabbit to choose his own friend. Is he neutered? Are there any shelters around the area?
PhotobucketPhotobucket85207e9097ee11e18cf91231380fd29b_6

User is Offline Huckleberry
972 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2011 8:20 PM
What about those foam rubber mats?
http://www.amazon.com/ABC-Alphabet-...B000GYZ46A
That one is pretty expensive and a bit overboard but they may have cheaper ones in department stores or d.i.y. repair stores (Lowes, Home Depot)
Or for a cheaper solution.... a couple of cinder blocks with a big board on top, maybe some blankets or cardboard to soften the board a little.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
15797 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2011 2:52 AM
I'm thinking I would do both the foam mats and an area rug over top. The foam will insulate them from the floor, and the rug will protect the foam and be easier to clean up.

How large of an area are you making? Will this be their primary "out-of-cage" exercise space also? If so, you would want to lay down carpeting everywhere in the area, not just under their pen or condo. Concrete can be irritating to bunny feet. Is it possible for you to completely bunny-proof a room in the basement and maybe install a gated door so they can have the entire area?
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline berkua
33 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2011 5:33 AM
Thanks for the replies! We are actually pulling up all of the carpet in the house and installing hardwood flooring. It didn't occur to me until just now, but we will have a whole bunch of carpet remnants from all of the rooms. I'll take the carpet from one of the smaller rooms and pop it down for them to exercise on. Unfortunately, the basement is so large that I can't block off an exercise area without spending a bunch of money on more pen, or some other kind of boundary ... it is almost inevitable that they will be trotting around on cement. I don't really know what to do about that. I don't want to keep them confined to their pen all the time, it wouldn't be much of a life for them if I did that.

Maybe they'll know that the end of the carpet is the end of their area? Probably not, but one can hope! Also ... I'm going to have to keep a pretty good eye on them, because the entire basement has exposed fiberglass insulation covering the walls! Man oh man, like I said in the title ... new house, new bunny environment and I have to figure it all out before I bring them over here.

Again, thanks for the info! I've got some planning to do.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
15797 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2011 5:58 AM
With your description, it sounds like you will need to create a larger penned-in area. A cheap(er) way to do this would be to make a frame from 2x4s and cover with chicken wire, maybe a 10x10 foot area? This would keep them in their designated space, but wouldn't cost as much as getting multiple xpens. Some members have posted bunny areas in the habitat section where they've done things like this in a basement.

The insulation is very concerning to me. I don't know much about what is in it, but my guess is that this could be fatal if ingested.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Ripley
73 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2011 7:15 AM
The exposed fiberglass is the biggest issue for me. If your bunny eats it or shreds it and inhales the dust it would probably be fatal. Being around exposed insulation is not all that safe for people and it's worse for pets. The cheapest solution would be buy some really thick plastic sheeting and staple it down over the fiberglass (like plastic walls). This will allow you to get the insulating benefits without having the hazard. Of course bunnys will be able to get through the plastic sheeting so best to keep them away from the walls or cover the lower levels of their area with some plywood or something bunny proof. The more expensive route would be drywall.

Instead of using just the carpet from one smaller rooms why not use all the carpet you tear out for the basement/bunny area? Like Beka said, using 2x4's and chicken wire you can create a decent sized pen and it would be cheaper than buying more puppy pens. You might even have enough carpet form the upstairs to cover their entire penned in area (I'm not sure how big the house is/how much of it was carpeted). Laying down foam or something insulating under the carpet would help a lot with the cold floor issue.

Do you have pictures of the space?

User is Offline tobyluv
South Carolina
673 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2011 5:56 PM

The exposed fiberglass is a big concern and it really should be covered up.  Even if your rabbit didn't ingest any of it, I would be afraid that some tiny particles might be floating in the air and would get into the rabbit's lungs.

You could use a cardboard box stuffed with hay as a nesting box, or you could build a wooden house. At the Sanctuary where I volunteer, we have used houses made from plywood (untreated) and stuffed them with hay. The houses are 12" high, have a top, bottom, back and two sides, but are completely open in the front, and have a small arched opening in the back, since rabbits don't like to feel trapped. It's basically screwing 5 pieces of wood together. The top and bottom are 24" square, the sides are 12" x 24', and the back is 12" x 24" with 7" x 7" arched opening.

Regarding bonding, there is usually the greatest success with a male and female pair, but it can also work with same sex pairs. Here is the HRS page on bonding: http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/...tions.html

 


User is Offline Eepster
754 posts Send Private Message
9/29/2011 7:01 PM
Another concern about basements is flooding.

User is Offline berkua
33 posts Send Private Message
10/01/2011 1:10 PM
Thank you all for your responses. I have been working on the house, and have not had a chance to take a photo of the basement, but it is pretty much how I described it. It is a large 1000 Sq. Ft. basement with exposed insulation and a sump pump. We will be installing a dehumidifier and a blue flame heater to offset the humidity and to keep the temperature at a comfortable level all year round. At the moment, my rabbit is at home with my parents where he is being taken care of while I fix up the new house.

I am not going to lie, I am concerned about the basement. It is a sticky situation ... I can't put him in one of the rooms upstairs, the basement is a hazard for him at the moment ... I'd hate to give my little guy up, but I don't want him to have a crummy life either.

Tough situation all around, but I am thinking long and hard on it and will hopefully come up with a scenario where everyone is happy and comfortable.

Any input is greatly appreciated!



User is Offline kamdynandsunshinesmom
882 posts Send Private Message
10/01/2011 5:33 PM
I actually had this problem years ago with one of my rabbits. I had to move them to the basement because the house wasn't big enough and my dad got sick. I also had a dehumidfier down there and ran it all the time I did have heat down there my rabbit was near the heat. I put the cage on top of a pool table I didn't use anymore. It actually worked out really well. I had an exercise pen and would bring up for some of the day when I was home. So I understand where your coming from. Rabbits are good at colder tempature changes. They just can't adjust to high tempatures. I hope everything works out great for you. Putting your buns cage ontop of the carpet will also help. Just make sure it isn't the bottom of your rabbits floor because some bunnies love to chew.

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10469 posts Send Private Message
10/01/2011 5:37 PM
A temporary solution to the exposed insulation would be to tack up some old sheets or what not to the framing, to cover up the insulation. tack it every 6 inches or so so curious bunnies can't get under it.

User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
15797 posts Send Private Message
10/02/2011 9:33 AM
There isn't anywhere upstairs you can have a small corner for the bun with an xpen or condo?
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline berkua
33 posts Send Private Message
10/02/2011 11:39 AM

I actually am going to keep the bunny upstairs until I figure the basement situation out.  I ran it passed my fiance and she is alright with it.  I love my bunny, but pets can't trump family and relationships.  So, this is good news.  I just won't dedicate as much space to him as he is used to.  When I lived at home, he had half of my bedroom (I attached a full xpen to his cage, so he had a place to jump into to eat and had some room to hop around).  I am attaching photos of the room he'd be in at the new house.  Suggestions anyone?  It is a 10' x 10' room with a small closet.  I was thinking that his cage and half of an xpen would be plenty, and then I could let him out and about to get some exercise. 

Again, this is only a temporary situation until I can get the basement up to bunny code, which will require some planning. 

Thanks for all of the replies!

 

 

 


User is Offline Eepster
754 posts Send Private Message
10/02/2011 2:29 PM

I would not put any animal that isn't accustomed to swimming in a basement with a sump. If the power goes out and the back up sump pump*  fails or it's battery wears out, the basement will fill with water very fast.



*If you don't already have one get a rechargeable battery back up pump ASAP.

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