Between the shorter days, the wet weather, and my crazy work schedule, I haven’t gotten much work done on the rabbit cages. This may have been a good thing. As I neared completion of cage number one, I started to think about the colony setting more.
We’d pretty much decided that we would eventually do a colony style enclosure, but we’re going to use oversized cages first. And then it occurred to me. Why am I spending time, money, and sweat on cages that we intend to stop using?
Why not just go straight to the colony and just isolate the buck to control breeding?
So now we have a buck cage and the plans for a rabbit run. Standard wisdom is ten square feet per adult rabbit in a colony setting. So the existing cage will fit inside the run so the buck is near the does, and the pen itself will be 10×15 feet. Gives enough room for nearly a dozen adult rabbits (don’t forget the cage takes up space) so it should be fine for two does and a growing litter, as long as the litters are spaced out a little.
It’ll go here right next to the house. For cost effectiveness, the run itself will be enclosed by poultry netting. Yes, I’m aware they are capable of chewing through it. To discourage this, there will be lots of things to do (and chew) inside the run. They’ll try to get out only if bored or crowded. Also going to line the perimeter with logs and sticks. It should keep them occupied.
Rabbits tend to tunnel, so the floor of the enclosure will be welded wire fencing. But they will want to tunnel so I don’t want to completely ignore that. The best boxes and shelters will be connected by drainage pipe so they can feel like they’ve got a warren going.
But here’s the coolest part. At 6.5’x4′ the one completed cage is roughly 26 sqft, or nearly enough for three adult rabbits. It’s certainly large enough for three juveniles to grow a bit while I construct the permanent run!
So a Rubbermaid tote with a hole in it becomes a shelter, and we can go get some rabbits just as soon as we find a good deal on them!