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Weekend Repairs – Brooder & Rabbit Housing

May 29, 2013

Some time ago when storms went through, our little brooder was destroyed by falling limbs. None of the chickens were hit, but the corner of the brooder was destroyed. It’s been out of commission since then, and we’ve been desperate for space for growing rabbits.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat we didn’t see initially is the back clear wall was cracked too, down near the bottom. It was a barrier, but a rabbit or young bird could get through if pushing on it. Not good!

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Although this was constructed for chicks, the solid floor also lends itself to extra rabbit housing in a pinch. It’s been a pinch! So it was time to fix this at last and get some of the growing monsters into new, more roomy digs. We don’t have the luxury or mentality of some to just throw it all out. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We started with a piece of metal on the inside to block the cracked piece. The entire 6′ piece couldn’t be removed as we don’t have another piece to go there – so will strengthen it and put a 2nd barrier. This keeps youngsters from getting to the damaged spot (lower right corner here) and it can be braced on the outside too.

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Instead of clear, this time we went with white pvc – a little stronger and hopefully not as brittle, and lets less sunlight through. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Below – the opposite end, which has poultry netting, was reinforced, feeders and a wire basket-turned-hay feeder was attached to the wire. This allows more feeder space for young, fast growing rabbits, and plenty of hay they can nibble, allowing a bunny buffet of items.

They also get ‘weeds’ – clover, dandelions and other things from up front.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA light chain (on the left side, prevents the door from opening too much and breaking the hinges. The stick on the left holds the door open for cleaning or servicing. Each end has a door that pops up like this, allowing access to the entire hutch for cleaning, working with the occupants or other tasks.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith bedding (shavings and dry leaves are both used for bedding those floors that are solid), feeders and water and hay rack filled, Twisty and her litter born March 30 have plenty of room to stretch out. There’s even room for a few extras, which we don’t normally do – we moved (see other photo) a few crossbred young does into the mix. Important to do this right at the time everything is new – does, especially mama does, can be territorial and sometimes don’t share well. Twisty is pretty laid back, and having been moved to a new area herself, the newcomers were accepted well.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe dark brown ones here are 3/4 Giant Chinchilla 1/4 Silver Fox. They will be held back for the expansion and become meat producers for our customers who seek high quality meats.

Until our “monster hutch” goes into construction, this seems to work out well so far.

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