Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Rabbit Adventure Begins

So if you haven't figured it out yet, I'll fill you in: we are raising rabbits. This is part of 4-H which we started this year with the three older children. I am excited about the opportunities with 4-H...community service, oral presentations, leadership, and all the stuff they learn with their projects. We are in the rabbit project, where we learn all about rabbits and then plan on going to the County Fair with them. All rabbits can go to fair, from the cute mini-lops that will just show, to the more plain-Jane ones like the New Zealand's that we are raising for show and then also the meat market.

But before you buy rabbits you need cages. This was a lot harder to get than I thought it was going to be. All the pet/feed stores we visited had the kind of cages where they need bedding and then walk around in their you-know-what. (Yuck) Not only is it better for the rabbits to have all wire cages but it also smells better too, which was a huge plus for me. So what do you do when you can't find any wire cages? (Not even on Craigslist!) Make your own! And don't you think that when you make your own you save money? Yup, that's what we thought too...

This started in our garage with rolls of wire mesh and wire cutters.


Then we used J clips to connect it all together. (Which we had to buy a special J clip clipper-tool for) This took a full day and my poor Sweetie had some sore hands.


Then, since the cages can't sit directly on the ground, some type of frame is needed. We didn't have space to spread 4 cages across our yard so we decided to stack them. Off to Home Depot for some 2x2's and screws...


I think we ran out of metal brackets so there were at least 2 trips there and back. Notice Bookworm in the next picture, my cowgirl...

After measuring, screwing together, then taking apart certain pieces because they were really not 2x2's, we stood the whole contraption up.


So far so good. We still needed to figure something out for their business, (you know...) so back to Home Depot for someway to protect the poor bunnies on the bottom. We also kindly gave the top rooms a roof. Now that looks better.

We put it in the spot we planned to put it in and realized that a window eave was preventing it from going back all the way and now the thing was sticking out on our lawn. So my faithful working bunch proceeded to actually move our lawn line out 6 inches and replace the bender board. We also needed to wrap it in tarp to protect our house from bad aiming male rabbits. This added up to two more trips to Home Depot.

Finally, (and in case you were interested) rabbit p**p is supposed to be a really good fertilizer. So good, that when one lady at my church found out that we were raising rabbits, she called dibbs on my first two bags of the stuff! Since no one wants to crawl under our hutch and clean it out periodically, we thought it would be smart to actually collect the stuff in something, so back out to Home Depot we went. (Actually, I think we went to OSH for this one...the people at HD were getting to know us too well...) The collection system has only been working for a few days now...I'll let you know how it works.



It's amazing but we completed this whole project in 1 week. This last Saturday we went to a rabbit show and bought a doe, and she had to wait in a transport cage for a few hours while we finished up her 5 star accommodations. Here is Flo, soon (we pray!) to be Momma Flo, hanging out in her new abode.


And our adventure continues! We still need a buck (nothing is going to happen without him) and we would really like one more doe too. Then we have breeding, picking out babies for meat pen, showing at fair and selling the rest of the litter. Fun times ahead! Stayed tuned to find out what happens...

2 comments:

  1. Wow! Not a project for the faint of heart! You have a wonderful husband.

    --Nancy

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  2. Wow Charlotte - WHAT a project!! Will be fun to see what happens!

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