A damp rabbit hutch makes the inhabitants sick. At the very least, rabbits feel much more comfortable in a normally dry housing. Damp food and damp bedding are prone to mold growth. This is another important reason to keep outdoor hutches, aviaries and indoor rabbit hutches well protected from moisture on all sides.
Moisture-resistant hutch materials
Outdoors, the hutch is unprotected against wind and weather – or rather, the outdoor stable is supposed to provide just such protection. In the following section you will find some information about different materials with advantages and disadvantages.
Metal is extremely weather-resistant and therefore durable. It lets moisture from the outside simply roll off. But metal strongly absorbs temperature differences. In summer, this can cause inhospitable environmental conditions inside the rabbit hutch.
Plastic, on the other hand, is at best a temporary solution for outdoor hutches. Even though it is rainproof, plastic quickly deteriorates under the influence of moisture, UV light and temperature, even causing the walls of the hutch to break.
For aviaries, a combination of concrete for floors and base walls and wood for the other exterior elements is well suited. Appropriate ventilation, bedding and regular cleaning provide ideal outdoor conditions for ornamental and breeding rabbits. However, aviaries are costly to build and require a lot of space.
Wood is best suited for outdoor rabbit hutches. However, it should be a solid wood, for example, the Robinia or Douglas fir. Treating the exterior surfaces with appropriate glaze is safe for the rabbits and supports the moisture-repellent properties. It should be noted that wood as a hutch material is a welcome occupation for the cuddly rodents. Therefore, the lifespan of wooden hutches is not particularly high. Nevertheless, rabbits feel comfortable within such four walls of the hutch. With any choice of material, additional protection from rain and moisture is important for the health and well-being of the animals.
Additional protection of outdoor hutches
The roof of rabbit hutches is protected waterproof with tiles made of bitumen or sheets of tar paper. Slight slope of the roof in this case conducts water better than a flat roof of the hutch. The weather side of an outdoor rabbit hutch should be close to a house wall of the main house or gazebo. This will help keep rain off the hutch walls during storms.
A location near trees, especially deciduous trees, is unfavorable. This is because, in addition to wetness, the blowing in of leaves during stormy periods also means that the animal inhabitants are adversely affected.
Wooden feet under the rabbit hutch prevent wetness from below.
Wooden feet under the rabbit hutch prevent the influence of moisture from below. However, they can be used with sufficient stability only on a guaranteed level surface. Additionally, metal shoes around these wooden feet as well as the edges of the rabbit hutch are wetness-proof. Bitumen sheets under the hutch better keep moisture out, even on uneven surfaces. An underlayment of concrete or paving stones or an underlayment of waterproof pond liners also provide optimal support for moisture protection. A metal plate is also suitable for this purpose.
Hutch indoors: suitable materials and measures against the influence of moisture
Indoor hutch are mainly made of plastic. This winter or permanent quarters for rabbits usually consists of a plastic tub under airy metal grids. Rain does not pose a threat to indoor hutches.
However, humidity or splashing water can very well affect the hutch. Therefore, damp rooms are out of the question for the installation. A subfloor under the rabbit hutch made of unheated tiles, screed, natural stone or concrete is hygienically harmless, but disadvantageous at low floor temperatures. This is because plastic does not provide insulation for temperature differences. Insulation mats solve such a problem, or the installation on carpet or wooden floors.
When cleaning stone and concrete floors, putting away plastic rabbit hutches is indispensable. This will prevent water from splashing into the hutch through the walls.
In general, rabbits, bedding, hutch walls and furnishings should not come into contact with heavy moisture or even intense wetness. This is because the bedded materials will then deteriorate rapidly, even with regular replacement. Unfortunately, rabbits also eat hay that is already “faltering”. This can cause life-threatening illness.
In addition to wetness protection from the outside, therefore, some drainage of moisture between cleaning intervals should also be provided by internal liners under the litter. This will keep the barn in a hygienic condition longer, whether it is made of wood or plastic or any other barn material.
Protection from rain and moisture is as important to the durability of rabbit hutches as it is to the well-being of the rabbits. In addition to choosing an appropriate material, protecting all sides of the hutch and choosing a moisture-proof environment are also important. Some protective measures can already be effectively implemented through the choice of location and a rabbit hutch that is already well equipped in advance.
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