back yard rabbits

New Rabbit Habitat!   After having our bunnies in cages for so long we have finally built a new enclosure for them along with many new features.  Our rabbit program is made up of about 8 or so core females and 2 males.  The numbers bounce as they breed and having 30 rabbits at one time is not out of the ordinary.  Wire cages come with problems.  Some rabbits feet don’t do good on wire.  For those rabbits that do poor on wire there is but one fate.   Also, the heat of summer is upon us and they are a lot of work to keep cool- frozen water bottles, misters, etc. just to keep them alive in town.  Lastly, breeding can be haphazard as well.  If we don’t put them together- no breeding and even when we breed, there are times it don’t take.  SO, our long time goal has been to get the program on the ground, and “free range” our herd.  They can supplement grass, be cooler, no foot issues and get more exercise.  Above is the new run.  It is 50 feet long and 13 feet wide.  We dug in one side of the fence and the other lined it with blocks to keep them from digging under.  This is an experiment of sorts and we are keeping a few stock in pens while we see how this works out.   We built 5 holes with 5 gallon buckets with the bottoms cut out and cinder block “tunnels” for entry and then made a long box with 6 individual holes to the right of that… again, seeing what works.  The box on the right will also have cinder block entrances later- we ran out of time today.  As you can see we have put tubes out for them to run and play in as well as a huge feeder that holds 40 pounds of feed (white tube in foreground).  A lickit is attached to a 25 gallon barrel for water.  This way we can feed and water in bulk and not spend so much time taking care of the rabbits.   We are really excited to get this project moving finally.  There is still more to do.  We will enclose the top next to protect from predators.   This area will accommodate 12 rabbits eventually- plus offspring as we get them!  The buckets and box are semi buried in the dirt. The holes being in the ground will be more natural AND cool (the box nest have no bottom so they can dig in to the cool earth.  We measured the temp inside at about 10 degrees cooler than outside!  We hope that our bunnies will do what bunnies do and produce even more and maybe do it year round.  For those that don’t know- male rabbits go sterile when it gets hot- around 87 to 90 degrees.  That puts a halt to production in summer.  I hope this overcomes that.  Time will tell.