Vela Creations is an in-depth resource for off grid living. The site documents our research and experiences, hoping that they might help others interested in pursuing this lifestyle. This blog is designed to document our day to day experiences as we build our new, sustainable homestead. If you are interested in seeing more photos and videos, we have a flickr account at the following url:

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rabbit Cages

SANY7551 We love the colony style of rabbit keeping, where the rabbits get to hang out together instead of being in separate cages. It just seems like they are happier (due to companionship) and more healthy (because they can exercise). However, we have encountered a fairly large flaw with the system.

They have a large pen outside as well as an inside space, and many of them had started having their litters in burrows they made outside. Not only did this pose a problem with keeping track of whose babies were whose (now that we have a doe getting pregnant every week and babies a week apart look fairly similar), it also put the babies at risk, like when we had that freak cold front, we found five babies dead outside. There were also some casualties with trampling, when older litters would run over burrows of newborns.

So, we have come up with a compromise. We made two cages that we hung in the air inside. A couple of days before a doe is due to give birth, we put her in one of the cages. She then stays in there until her babies open their eyes (about a week to 10 days), by which time they are not nearly so fragile. We can count the babies, know their colors, and monitor them a lot more closely in that first crucial week this way, and yet they still get to be with the others for most of the time. We have tried it out with a couple of does and it worked great.

We now need to make two more, and when we do we'll post a how-to article.

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