Monday, August 1, 2011
Our New Zealand White Rabbits and PVC Hutch
We just picked up two rabbits (New Zealand White), six cages, a small bag of feed and some medicine for one of the rabbits... all for just 10 dollars!!! This was given to us by a family in a facebook group called, "Alternamoms." The female (Nibbles) had a saggy bottom, and the male (Thumper) had ear mites. The medicine was for the ear mites. Wow, WHAT A DEAL!
First order of business, I built a hutch/cage stand out of 1 1/2 inch Schedule 40 PVC. This turned out to be pretty nice after I was finished. Check the video below to see the setup. The reason for PVC is that it would stay cleaner and would not be susceptible to rot or germ harboring. Cleaning consists of hosing it down.
Video: Rabbit Hutch (taken on cell phone). You must be able to watch You Tube Videos.
This PVC hutch was the result of a modification that I made to someone else's design. I found his design on http://www.raising-rabbits.com/rabbit-hutch.html. I hang my rabbit cages from 1/2 inch conduit.
Second order of business is this dang heat! It has been in the hundreds here, so I have been forced to learn about how rabbits cope with the heat (that is they don't at all). I have learned to place their treats in the freezer, place tile below them (which has the double purpose of allowing their feet to rest off of the cage bottom), and fill soda bottles in the freezer to place in cages where the rabbits will lean against it and keep cool. Their ears are their most efficient method for cooling off. Some people spritz cool water on them, but this is a risky means to cool them off. When we first got them, we were a little shaken, because the male was a little lethargic, however he has recovered with a little of our TLC. His ear mites are biting the dust as well.
The rabbits that we have are going to be the mating pair, since they are too old to provide meant anyways. Their children will be the meat producers, unless we choose to generate another mating pair. My ultimate goal in any of our productions is to have too much available, so we can either make some extra cash off of them or to help others. I know that we will be able to use their hide, but I am not sure what for yet. Hope today was informative.