Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Moving Day

We spent some time this morning moving the rabbits out of the barn and into their new homes on the grass.

This is where they lived in the barn. I built the cages and Don hung them on the wall so that they would be out of the way of the goats and their waste would fall through to the floor of the barn (instead of sitting just a few inches from their noses).

These are the new outdoor cages. They were constructed by using the info from this website. The cage is 2' x 4'. We used 2x4s to build the frame, with thin plywood for the roof and the sides. The cage is surrounded with 1"x 2" welded wire to keep out predators. There is also 2" x 4" welded wire covering the bottom to keep the rabbits from digging out, while still allowing them plenty of access to the grass below. The back foot of the cage is the nest box, with a floor so they can get up off the ground. There are 2 doors on the top: 1 above the main part of the cage and 1 above the nest box for easy access if needed. Each rabbit has their own.

On the way to their new summer homes, the rabbits got pedicures. It was all very posh, I assure you, though I don't know if they typically wear leather gloves when giving pedicures at the spa. I'll have to look into that.
Don't they look comfortable? They were requesting a massage while I was at it, but I put my foot down.
Oh man, that is gonna affect my tip, isn't it?

After the nail trimming, they got to check out their new homes. They seemed to enjoy it.

The cats also seemed to enjoy having them on the ground. Rosie, who happens to be smaller than the rabbits, was desperately trying to figure out how to get into the cages with them.
That's Annalise in her nest box.

The rabbits will be moved to a new patch of grass at least once a day. It will give them a constant source of fresh green food, as well as move their "fertilizer" around.

We are hoping that now that they will be in a lot more sunlight, that they will be ready for mating. The barn was quite dark most of the time and I am told that darkness can really affect a rabbit's "mood". We are ready to get these ladies bred and start getting some kits. In fact, Meagan was practicing opening the door over the nest box and pretending to find babies.

All in all it went very well, except for the unfortunate too-close nail trim. It did, however, take most of the morning when you include the other animal's chores. We haven't even started school yet. Good thing today is our "easy" day.

1 comment:

Prairie Chick said...

RABBITS!!!! Now it's my turn to chant "thou shalt not covet thy neighbours..." Rabbits are next on my list of "animals to be acquired", well right up there par with the 2 calves anyway.....

I enjoyed this post so much and can't wait till we have some of our own.