Okay, that’s a lie. I’m not ACTUALLY finished, but work on the hutch is sincerely about 1-2 days away from being complete. In fact it is so close that we have one of the cages completely buttoned down and secure. And not a moment too soon since Evo got out of her cage today once again.
We put the door frames up on monday and set about affixing the wire mesh yesterday. I really wanted to put the mesh up pre-door-frames but Chuck insisted this was better. Turns out that the only way to affix the mesh to the walls this way is to crawl into the cages. I weigh too much for this and am too large to fit my fat hips through the door frames, but luckily Greg is significantly lighter and slimmer. He generously crawled into each hutch to staple the wires in place along the door frames and walls. The fact that a grown man can fit into an individual unit of this cage should give you an idea of how spacious they really are. And the fact that each unit can hold well over 100lbs says that my construction is very sturdy.
We finished one whole cage and the second one only needs it’s wire for the door stapled in place. But because of Evo’s most recent breakout we decided the priority was moving her outside where she will be safer.
We brought out a pile of used hay and fur from Tasty’s old nest and dropped it around the hutch for the dogs to examine yesterday. And today we brought out huge handfulls of hay and thoroughly covered the bottom of the cage floor. While the breeze is still chilly we’re getting another warm-front through this week so there should be no serious issues with the transition to outdoors. It is the week after that brings up concerns as it will be dropping possibly as low as 10 degrees. Still, with extra hay and their shelter boxes the bunnies should be toasty warm. The hutch is well-ventillated to prevent the buildup of moisture which is the real problem for bunnies. In a dry environment with bedding and shelter they can easily withstand lower temperatures than we ever get up here.
Also the cages have a little design quirk in them that I built-in. The cages don’t have a built-in latch. Instead each cage has a pair of eyelets (one on the door and one on the frame) that a padlock slides through. The ONLY way to shut the door is to lock it with a padlock. This is not exactly required but I really wanted to make sure that my cages were always locked.
Today we finish the door on the second cage and start wrapping the wire on the third. And tomorrow we move Nutro outside and Purina and her litter into the empty grow-crate. Eventually all four rabbits will be outside but for now this is a good way to transition them.
Moving Purina is especially important as the baby bunnies have grown quite active. Momma is eating over 1lb of food a day at this point as her babies are almost 10oz each and STILL nursing.
At this point the babies are trying to explore and have been slipping out the wide bars of what was supposed to be a VERY temporary location. If we can get them into the grow-crate they will have deer netting stretched across solid bars for walls and will have both more space and less escaping!
luckily for Purina her babies are starting to eat solid foods. They won’t be close to weaning for another week or so yet (in the wild rabbits are typically weaned at 4 weeks) but right now they’re trying out their new teeth.
They have been seen to consume some of the hay and mouth on the pellets a bit. I also have some oats mixed into mom’s food that will entice them to eat it. And some have even been trying the water bottle. At this point I can’t even tell the runt apart from the rest because they are all healthy and active. Hoorah!
I also added a little page about my rabbitry. I linked to this blog in a few directories and ad sites so I figured having a page on my rabbits would be wise. It has a brief description of my rabbits and husbandry practices, the latter of which I am proud to be able to state. I feel like my rabbits are very well cared for and I like to show it. If you’re interested in one of my rabbits… Send me an e-mail! :3