Friday, December 13, 2013

Bad Hare Day

Even though we have been trying to improve our rabbitry setup (and it has definitely been coming along), we were not - until very recently - able to purchase hanging feeders and set up our rain-barrel watering system. What this meant is that the rabbits would consistently sit in the food dishes to eat, and for some whacked-out reason they would sit in their water dishes as well. And what happens when animals' butts come into contact with anything you wouldn't want poop or pee on? They poop and pee on it! Or in it, in this instance.

We were very good about washing out their food and water dishes daily, but if a rabbit wants to take a drink at 3am and they pooped in it at 2am... well, we aren't awake to take care of that.

SO! Suddenly a bunch of the rabbits got the sniffles and sneezes. One of the runts of our Rex/New Zealand mix had a big white booger on his nose. Crap!!!

We have been giving them echinacea in their food, and it actually seems to be helping a lot, thank the lard (yes I meant to say lard).

That big giant child containment unit that I wrote about in my previous post got an overhaul thanks to Ryan and his uncle, Brian. Even still, it was not the proper setup for a venture that we hope to get certified by the USDA and MOFGA.

Now, I have actually been trying to write and complete this post for about a week now, but have been finding it a challenge as we've been gearing up for Christmas, plus we've had appointments and general "things-to-do" that has eaten up a lot of our time. We came into more money via our GoFundMe campaign and were able to go buy some proper welded wire material to make our own cages!! Oh, and also thanks to our wonderful donators our water warmer for the rain barrel is here!

This is the welded wire we bought: it is .5" x 1" squares, and is 3' x 87' long.

J-hooks and j-hook pliers for bringing the cage pieces together.

Ryan snipping the cage material...

Me cutting the cage material... (aren't these photos riveting???)

Just an idea of how the j-hooks work to bring pieces of the cage material together.

So this is the first cage that we made... it's really too big (3'W x 6'L x 2'H), but whatever. Our rabbits will have an extra roomy space for now! ;)

Ryan suspended the cage from the rafters in our second garage so that they would be up off the floor. This will not only keep the pee and poop out of the cages, but will also make it easy for us to reach in and take the rabbits out when needed (although it might still be a bit of a challenge since we made this particular cage unnecessarily deep).

Happy wabbits! (They love the heat lamp)

Bunny pile!!

This is our new buck. He's a purebred New Zealand, so once we breed him with our big NZ mama (she is seriously huge now... she's gotta weigh at least 15 pounds) we'll have a little of purebred NZs! :)

Our next step is to build some ramps that connect to the underside of the cages, and a trough with soil in it. The pee and poop will slide right down the ramp and into the soil trough, where it can be used immediately as compost!