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Kiwi-Arbor-Rabbit-Hutch

 
Casey Christopher
Posts: 4
Location: Treasure Valley, Southwest Idaho
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Friends -
I'm trying to add my first livestock to my suburban 1/3-acre spot, and I have designed a combined hardy kiwi arbor and rabbit hutch that I'm planning to build this summer.
I would appreciate your feedback about the design. Please note that the blue boxes in the diagram indicate the walls between the six rabbit spaces (4 @ 24" x 30" and 2 @ 48" x 30").
I envision the kiwi vines growing up over the whole arbor, providing shade for the rabbits when the vines are grown.
Thank you. - Casey
Filename: Kiwi-Arbor-Rabbit-Hutch Design.pdf
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[Download Kiwi-Arbor-Rabbit-Hutch Design.pdf] Download Attachment
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1401
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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I think it looks pretty neat actually. And if you protected the base of the vines -- some chickens could run through there occasionally to eat the worms that will congregate in the rabbit poo and scratch up the area to eat insects that might attack the vine.
 
Karl Teceno
Posts: 91
Location: Portland Maine
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I am in Maine. I have something similiar. But it has a roof of KalWall under grape vines. Then I have my compost pins underneath the rabbit cages. The rabbit poop falls right in. The grapes provide shade in the summer but allow the sun in in the winter.

Karl
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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Hi Casey - looks like a nice design. I built an enclosure along somewhat similar lines when I started raising rabbits. At the time I was living on a suburban 3/4 acre lot. I placed mine under 2 mature oak trees, so I didn't have to grow any shade for them.

A few suggestions on the design...

I can't tell if there is a waterproof roof of some sort on top of the arbor. If not, I would recommend one. Rabbits will appreciate the shelter from the rain/snow.

Adding in some corner angle braces may be helpful in providing more rigidity and strength (lots of triangles).

I suspended my hutches using wire that was attached to the rafters. It worked pretty well to make it easier to get under the hutches and rake out the manure. If you go that route, use LOTS of wire to make sure it is stable. Once you have a good sized doe or buck running around in the hutch, it gets crazy if the hutch can move at all!

I was able to rig up a central watering system by hanging a 5 gallon bucket from one of the nearby oaks and runing 1/4" tubing to each hutch with a watering station. If you are going to incorporate this, make sure there is room to get the watering line to each hutch without the line coming near the sides of any hutch. the rabbits have very sharp teeth and the tubing doesn't stand a chance if it gets too close

Since you are in a pretty cold climate, think about drafts/wind, as well. Can you design some wind-breaks using fences or other plants to keep the rabbits from getting hit by the prevailing winds? Rabbits are very cold hardy when they can get out of the wind.

good luck with the project!
 
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