After building the rabbit hutch, my wife and I built a couple of hide-away boxes for the rabbits to get into. The box also acts as a birthing box, a place to get out of the cold winter wind, and a place to get off the wire of the cage.
The problem is, the rabbits have been urinating in the box.
The floor, the walls and the bedding material are soaking up the urine. This is creating an unsanitary situation for the rabbits. Something has to be done to fix the problem. So what I did was remove part of the floor of the box.
From what I am observing the rabbits tend to urinate and poop in the corners of the box and cage.
The box was removed from the cage.
All of the old bedding material was dumped out onto the ground.
The bedding material that did not fallout was scrapped out by hand.
Box was turned upside down and placed on a table.
I decided to cut 6 inches off the width of the floor.
Screws were removed from the section of floor that was going to be cut out.
Skil-saw was set to 3/8 – 1/2 inch deep.
Section of the floor saturated with urine was removed.
Sawdust was wiped off the box.
Box was turned back over and placed back inside the rabbit cage.
Fresh straw and pine straw was put in the box for bedding material.
While the box was out of the cage the rabbit was freaking out. She acted like someone had stole her home. She also acted like she wanted to get through the wire between the sections of the cage and get on top of the box that was on her brothers side.
The next morning she acted like she was very happy, as she was running in and out of her box. I imagine she liked her nice clean box not having a stench of urine.
I had to secure the food bowl to the floor. As long as the rabbits could move their food bowls, they would dump the bowl over which would result in spilling their food onto the ground. I am pretty sure the chickens did not mind the rabbits spilling their food, but I minded.
Raising rabbits for TEOTWAWKI
In a previous article we talked about meat production after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI. In that article we looked at chickens, rabbits and pigs. For the sake of discussion, and to treat our rabbits in a humane manner, lets plan on breeding the does every 3 months. That is 4 litters a year, and lets plan on 6 kits in each litter. This gives us a lowball number of 24 kits per year.
With a butcher eight of 3 pounds at 8 – 12 weeks old, we have 72 pounds of meat from a single doe over the course of a year. This gives us a little over a pound of meat every week from a single doe, two breeding does would equal around 2 pounds of meat a week, three breeding does would provide around 3 pounds of meat a week over the course of a year.
The more does we have in the breeding rotation the less they would have to be bred. Instead of breeding the doe every three months, maybe do a 4 months rotation?
Importance of the rabbit boxes
The rabbit boxes provide the rabbits with something to sit on top of (which comes naturally).
The rabbit boxes act as a hide box for when the rabbit becomes scared.
The rabbit box acts as birthing box for the kits.
I want to get these boxes ironed out so the urine does not build up on the inside. This will provide the rabbits with a natural and humane environment. If cutting the corners out does not fix the problem I might just remove the entire wood bottom.