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July 3, 2013

Rabbit dwellings

We have now almost finished the rabbits' part of the barn.

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Once we’ve completed the barn, we’ll be moving the rabbits from their current location, having all our animals in the same place for the first time. And the setup will be changing somewhat.

Right now, the rabbits live in a colony style environment. We have three different areas – one for the females and their young, one for the weaned babies, one for the male. Each area has an inside portion and then a large outside area too. In theory it’s a wonderful setup. However, practically speaking, it has had its issues. The does make burrows all over the place, and it is very hard to monitor each doe’s litters, health, food, etc. Plus it is a pain in the ass to keep clean. So, we are going to try something different, combining the best of cage and colony.

rabbitDwellings

Each rabbit will have a cage (much easier to clean and monitor), with a buried, brick burrow area too (for constant temperatures and privacy). We will open three cages up together, so that three does can live together, keeping the social aspect and giving them all more space. But we will also be able to close the doors between cages if we need to keep a doe separated (if she fights or prefers solitude when birthing, etc.).

rabbitDwellings2

There is a one way door between the cage and burrows, which we can close when we need to catch a doe easily. All in all, a lot easier for us, while maintaining some of the nicer colony aspects for the rabbits.

We have to finish the feeders, waterers, manure trays,etc. but it’s getting there, and it all looks awesome in the barn, which is really starting to take shape.

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