Friday, June 8, 2012

New Addtions to the homestead

Well, everything is doing well here on the homestead.  The Peas are growing tall, we have Blueberries ripening up, Spinach is just about ready for Harvest, the beets were a hit, and the onions and carrots are going gangbusters! We have had a wonderful Spring!

But backing up to Mother's Day, on our annual trip out to Flower World...the little missus and my kiddo both fell in love with some bunnies running around.  Skip forward some, and I began to notice Wild bunnies in our neighborhood, must be 5 - 7 of them, running around where the City Hall was, and now there is only grass.  Seems like somebody was pointing me in a new direction.

Fast forward again to just last week, and I found myself putting together wire cages for you guessed it, bunnies.

So today, I spent the day putting together a hutch for the bunnies, as we were to pick up two furry furies this evening.
Here I am in front of the frame for a two tiered rabbit hutch.  One of the cages is in the frame for measurement sake. Each cage is 3' x 2'x 18".  This two tiered hutch will eventually be 5' high at the back, and almost 7' long!

Here's a closeup of the construction.  It's made from 2x3's, and the cages will hang above trays for the bunny poop.  One cage on top, tray in the middle, another cage below, and tray below that.  The Hutch will hold 4 cages, the idea is for 1 buck and 2 does, with an extra cage for the litter.

Well, everything was going smoothly, I had the siding on the back and both sides,  when my lovely wife realized that this was going to be too tall for in front of the window!  After some careful deliberation, and more than a little head scratching, I made an executive decision to scrap the original plan, and push forward with a more moderate one.

My kiddo is peeking out from the left of the photo, her Beau Irving is seated (in red) helping me race to put the changed plans together, and my father (in background) giving sage advice (which we probably didn't listen to), my charming missus is taking the photo (thanks Luv)

So, the more moderate plan is to make a single layer hutch, with two cages inside for now, as we are only getting the two tonight.  This photo was taken 40 minutes before we were to leave to get the bunnies!!!.  The back OSB panel was used to make a temporary roof (I will be getting White plastic sheeting (not corrugated) to cover the roof) then the OSB will be cut down for the back piece.  The sides are not in the picture, but unfortunately didn't quite get on before we had to boogie.

Here is the "nearly" finished hutch, with rabbits, water, food, hay.  The sides are just laid up against the hutch now, I will attach them tomorrow.  The buck is in the left side cage, the doe in the right.  I will be adding more cages later.

Well, we hightailed up north to pick up the bunnies.  We got two New Zealand Red Rabbits, a solid Red Buck, and "Broken" Red/White Doe.  They are 12 weeks old, and weigh just under 6 lbs.  When full grown in 5 more months, they will push 10 - 11 pounds, and be ready to mate.  The litter could be; all red, "broken" red/white, or all white.  The idea is the litter will be used for meat rabbits.  Though some could be sold if there is a market.  

Now it's time to meet the newest additions to our homestead:
Mr. Nibbles our Buck.  He has certainly lived up to his name so far, nibbling on anything he can get is teeth on.  

This is Isis, she is our "Broken" red/white doe.  The term "broken" refers to any multicolored patterned rabbit, She is termed Heavily Broken as she is predominantly Red, with white belly, feet, and cheeks.  She is really shy, and more than a little bewildered by her new surroundings.

Well, this was a successful little project, one that I hope grows, and proves successful later.  I am already thinking about my next project, a watering system for the chickens, and possible rabbits, that will hold 5 gallons of water and allow them to access it at will.  It will use a 5 gallon bucket, and some PVC pipe.  If all goes well, I will post my project here.

Happy Spring to everyone!

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