Except for a few details, we are FINALLY finished with the rabbitry! Both Nate and I are so glad it's done as it has taken up most of our free time lately. He doesn't believe me when I say I don't enjoy huge time-consuming projects like this. I enjoy the end result and what it means for the homestead, but such a project takes me away from other tasks. We both only have so much time in the day, so it is a major item off my list as our little micro farm continues to grow and we lay the foundation for self-sustainability.
I spent alot of time researching rabbitries online and talking to Nate about how we could modify them to fit my ideas. I'm so lucky to have someone who can translate my ideas into something real and tangible. Though I know sometimes he wishes he wasn't so talented!
My plan was to have eight holes, four over four with sloping droppings boards beneath the upper cages. Here you can see the basic framing with a lattice wall along the back.
I also needed to be able to clean up the droppings from the upper cages, so we created a little alley behind the cages. Eventually I want to place worm bins beneath the sloping boards to catch the droppings for vermicomposting.
Here Nate is installing the roof and the droppings boards.
Here is an interior shot with all of the lattice doors closed.
And, this photo is of the finished rabbitry with all of the doors shut. There are four doors across the front and two side doors that open to the alley. We chose to use lattice on the exterior to hopefully provide some predator protection, good ventilation and weather protection. On really cold nights we can always hang plastic sheeting for extra protection, but being able to take advantage of breezes in the summer will be especially nice.
The rabbits moved into their new digs this morning.
I didn't notice until I opened this picture that the upper right cage is not exactly level. Oops.
What I like about this setup is the cages hang independent of one another unlike the stackable hutch system with the pull out trays I was using. Since the cages were connected to one another, I could never just clean one cage at a time and I couldn't turn them over to clean them thoroughly. Also, I really hated the pull out trays. They always smelled and looked dirty no matter how often I emptied and cleaned them.
Oh, and after almost three years of housing animals, the garden shed is mine again.
Now I need some more rabbits.