We had a couple days of spring thaw here last week. The snow all but melted (so much so that the creek in the barnyard overflowed its banks with nothing falling from the sky!) and the temperatures were in the 50's to near 60. Something about that kind of weather is enough for me to feel like spring is coming, and it's time to get busy with all the winter projects if I have any hope of completing them before we start plowing. The warm weather meant not just the snow was thawing, so it was a great opportunity to get the frozen manure out of the corners of the hog pens and chicken houses. It felt like spring cleaning!
The next project we stated was replacing the main rabbit hutch. I enjoy my rabbits and usually keep 5-6 does (females) in the main pen, plus I have smaller & moveable pens to separate out the buck (male) and any does about to give birth or pens of young rabbits I'm raising up to sell. But the main hutch has been in bad shape for some time. It was well-used when it came here quite a few years ago, so it's simply lived out its useful lifespan. Wood is rotting and sagging, wire needs replacing, and we decided it wouldn't be worth the effort to try and rehab it. So Dan told me to dream up some plans to make something really interesting, and we'd figure out what would be possible with the materials on hand at the farm. So I came up with a nice big living space (8' x 3') with two separate lofts(2' x 3'). While you don't normally think of bunnies as climbing animals who would use a loft, our girls are well used to ramps. They have a nice yard to play and graze in, and use a ramp to get into the hutch where the food, water and shelter is. So we put two lofts in. I fancied it up by outlining bunnies on the doors, Dan cut them with a jigsaw, and those are the windows. We have real windows in the center, and large doors with wire on the bottom. This pen should last for a very long time. The sides are made from cast off pieces of steel roofing. The roof is green and the sides a nice purple. Once we escape from the deep freeze, I have some leftover paint in nearly the same shades for the wooden parts. It's a great thing to get all the construction leftovers from Matt & Dan's contracting business...we always find uses for them at the farm, and they never go to waste! Literally, the only thing bought for this pen was the hardware cloth for the floor. The rest was found and/or recycled!
The purple bunny palace, or our new hutch.
I know it's hard to see...but here's Dini up in the loft (it doesn't help that she's all black, except for her nose...) It did not take long for them to adjust to the indoor ramps!