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Budding homesteader
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm getting ready to make my cages, and I'm ordering some supplies from Bass Equipment. The cages will be 30"x30"x18" for bucks and 30"x36"x18" for does. (I'll work on grow-out cages later.)

I already have the cage wire, wire cutters, J-clips, and J-clip pliers. I'll get dropping pans locally. Below is what I'm planning to order for each cage. Am I missing anything? Any other suggestions?

Complete Door (12" h x 17" w)
Door Hanger
Floor Spreader
Fine-X II Feeder (11 1/2") and Feeder Cover (11 1/2")
Econo Hay Rack (11 1/2")
2 Liter bottle conversion kit (makes a 2-liter bottle into a watering bottle)
Relax resting board


I'll have Cals and Brazillians. The feeders are large to accomodate weekends out of town.
 

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At risk of being boring :boring: I'll make the same comment I always do about cages. Will you be able to grab a bun at the back of a 30 inch deep cage? If you're not sure, consider making the doe cages 24" x 48" instead... just slightly larger, but more accessible.
 

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The problem with the 2-liter water bottle converter is the 2-liter pop bottles crush, causing the water to leak out.
What i did is make a sleave from 1 bottle to support the sides of the one that held the water. Cut the top and bottom off one bottle and slit the side. tape it around the water bottle. Even doing this the bottles crush. I have never had one last the whole time it takes to raise a fryer litter.
I finally ended up using those for small 1 pint bottles and buying 32 oz waters with harder plastic bottles for my fryer pens.
It's not the bottle kits fault, it;s the cheap plastic they are using for pop.
 

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Budding homesteader
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
At risk of being boring :boring: I'll make the same comment I always do about cages. Will you be able to grab a bun at the back of a 30 inch deep cage? If you're not sure, consider making the doe cages 24" x 48" instead... just slightly larger, but more accessible.
I just measured my arm from shoulder to fingertip--28". Do you think that's long enough for a 30" deep cage? I went out to the one cage I have so far (30"x36"x18"). I can reach almost to the back of the cage, but it's a stretch. What about the buck cages? The main reason I chose 30" wide is because that's how wide the 1" x 1/2" cage wire is, and I'm trying to make the most efficient use of it.

What do you think of my proposed order?
 

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Budding homesteader
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The problem with the 2-liter water bottle converter is the 2-liter pop bottles crush, causing the water to leak out.
I'm anticipating that when we get our barn built, I'll be able to put in an automatic waterer. If the 2-liter bottles can keep me going until then, I don't mind replacing the bottles every now and then--we go through enough of them around here anyway. Do you think that would work?
 

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I curse my 30" deep cages every time I have to take a rabbit out. The bucks are not such a problem... they are less skittish and since they host the dating parties, they are out less often than does and their kits. I can reach almost to the back of the cage too... but fingertips are not enough to get a good grip on a rabbit.

I'm low-tech and low-cost, so I am the wrong person to ask about extras. If my rabbits need a resting board, they get cardboard. Pop flats work great and they have a lovely time chewing them up. The remains compost easily. I use thrift shop crocks for food and water. In winter I make water containers out of 4/$1 freezer boxes. One is pierced and wired to the cage for a holder. The second fits inside it like a liner and holds the water. So far they are holding up very well and if the liner need to be replaced, the cost is negligible. The damaged one can be salvaged as an extra holder.

When I started with chickens, I bought an expensive hanging waterer and feeder. The waterer was a pain to fill, sometimes came apart when being inverted and the feeder was difficult to adjust so the feed had the right flow. Having it hanging there was an attraction to rodents and nuisance birds. I thought I needed these things and I wanted everything to be perfect for my critters. They could care less. Now I use dollar store dishpans and they are every bit as healthy and happy.
 

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I'm anticipating that when we get our barn built, I'll be able to put in an automatic waterer. If the 2-liter bottles can keep me going until then, I don't mind replacing the bottles every now and then--we go through enough of them around here anyway. Do you think that would work?
Yup. I used to use the water bottles...using left over pop bottles. Im using crocks now. Anyway...i never had a problem with them leaking. I thought they worked fine. You need to change and give a new bottle every once in a while but they work good and are cost efficent.

I like your order sounds good! About the inch thing. I would think two inches wouldnt make a difference?? The only reason you wouldnt be able to catch the rabbit would be if it stuck its head in the corner...even then you can snatch the rabbit and pull it closer!!!!!
 

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Out of curiosity, are your arms shorter than mine (28" shoulder to fingertip)?
LOL, Trinityoaks, you made me get out of my nice warm nest (blankets and pillows in my recliner) to find a tape measure. :nono:

You might be okay. My arms are 27 inches and I think the lost inch is in my fingers... my hands are quite small. Could be another reason I have trouble grabbing rabbits at the back of the cage.

The doors on my cages open out and down and are just a couple inches smaller than the front of the cage, which gives me full access. So my problem is not with the cage itself... it's with my short arms and fingers, I guess. :shrug:
 

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what I do in my deeper cages....a garden hoe ... oh ...should make it clear...the hand sized ones ...they add about 8 inches to my grip and they are about 4 inches across...basically large enough to get behind a bunny and pull forward...just like a hand would. Doesn't hurt the bun. Moves them close enough to latch on them a bit more securely. after a bit of training they go oh...the hoe is coming...what say we move up to the middle or front of the cage? :) Seriously...doesn't hurt them...just moves them forward a bit.
 

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aka avdpas77
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I'm getting ready to make my cages, and I'm ordering some supplies from Bass Equipment. The cages will be 30"x30"x18" for bucks and 30"x36"x18" for does. (I'll work on grow-out cages later.)

I already have the cage wire, wire cutters, J-clips, and J-clip pliers. I'll get dropping pans locally. Below is what I'm planning to order for each cage. Am I missing anything? Any other suggestions?

Complete Door (12" h x 17" w)
Door Hanger
Floor Spreader
Fine-X II Feeder (11 1/2") and Feeder Cover (11 1/2")
Econo Hay Rack (11 1/2")
2 Liter bottle conversion kit (makes a 2-liter bottle into a watering bottle)
Relax resting board


I'll have Cals and Brazillians. The feeders are large to accomodate weekends out of town.
You are going to have a lot of stuff to learn with. :D

You'll do fine :)

The next cages you build, and the next equipment you buy, whether from Bass or the flea-market, you will know a whole lot more about what you want. I would suggest some things, but you already have what you need, and methods and ideas will come to you. I will say, that I build my own nest boxes from scrap wood, and drill a bunch of 1/4 inch holes in the bottoms (er...make sure they will fit through the door :) ) they are not as sanitary as metal and wire, but warmer, the rabbits liked them best, and they worked well for me. I had extra, so I could wash/spray them out and dry in the sun for at least a couple of weeks in between uses, and if they got to chewed up...or gross. I would simply build some more. All this you can do over time. The learning and the improvising is half the fun.

You didn't mention it, but you probably already have it, if not, get some of the plastic "edge" strips to put around the cut opening for the door. I think they make metal too. Your rabbits and your forearms will thank you. :) My doors opened "out" my rabbits didn't much like doors that opened in... but they may work great for you.
 

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Ugh, I can never find the measuring tape when I need it. I am 5'4" and have new zealands in 24" deep cages. Another half a foot deep I would not want. I got 48" long cages with two doors on the front. I'm happy with this size. Should I ever have need for a smaller cage, I can put a divider in, making two 24" x24" cages.

I like the longer cage for the rabbits because it gives them a potty area, rest area, and food place. I think they are 18" high. My rabbits probably feel they should be higher.
 

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Budding homesteader
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You are going to have a lot of stuff to learn with. :D
Yeah, I guess! :) I think I have too many perfectionist tendancies, and I stress over doing things "right" the FIRST time.

I will say, that I build my own nest boxes from scrap wood, and drill a bunch of 1/4 inch holes in the bottoms
That's pretty much what I was looking at doing, although I'm considering wire bottoms instead of wood. I do know for sure that I DON'T want all-metal nest boxes!

You didn't mention it, but you probably already have it, if not, get some of the plastic "edge" strips to put around the cut opening for the door.
:eek: OMG!!! I DID forget that! THANK YOU!!!

My doors opened "out" my rabbits didn't much like doors that opened in... but they may work great for you.
Based on a couple of other threads, I'm going to go with doors that open out.
 

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Budding homesteader
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I am 5'4" and have new zealands in 24" deep cages. Another half a foot deep I would not want. I got 48" long cages with two doors on the front. I'm happy with this size.
What about dropping pans? Do you just use two 24"x24" pans side by side? If so, how well does that work?
 

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Budding homesteader
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The doors on my cages open out and down and are just a couple inches smaller than the front of the cage, which gives me full access.
Hmmm. . . I like that idea. . . Now I'm totally rethinking my cage design. . . :stars: :stars: :stars:
 

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Budding homesteader
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
what I do in my deeper cages....a garden hoe ... oh ...should make it clear...the hand sized ones ...they add about 8 inches to my grip and they are about 4 inches across...basically large enough to get behind a bunny and pull forward...just like a hand would.
Hmmm. . . That would work. . .
 

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Hmmm. . . I like that idea. . . Now I'm totally rethinking my cage design. . . :stars: :stars: :stars:
Before you rethink too much... consider where you are going to place your food hoppers and water bottles/nozzles. If you go with the full size door, they have to go on the side and that takes room and is harder to access. You may be able to have a 3/4 size door and still fit them in on the remaining quarter.

I did think of one more thing you may want... some kind of hay rack, if you will be feeding hay. It keeps it much cleaner and reduces waste. Bass probably has them ready-made or you could make your own.
 

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I use the bottle kits on the larger soda bottle (and the smaller ones, if I have them) Seems to work fine on those. I'm considering a watering system this year though, filling bottles (and thawing them) gets mighty old after about the 60th time! My rabbits are too stupid to not dump bowls, I got some of the plastic lock on crocks, which of course, some of them are chewing to bits (I have very few of the plastic coop cups left that I bought last year, darn it!)

If you're going to make a 30" deep cage, make the door big enough so that you can crawl in, since you'll need to to (pick one) Grab the doe who won't come out for breeding, grab the kit to tatoo, rescue the kitsicle that has wedged self into the floor, clean the back corner said doe has made an icky poopy mess in...

Did you get babysaver wire? I know some use the urine guards, my rabbits hate them and make it their mission in life to pry them off the sides of the cage!
 
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