Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

MaggieJ inspired me with talk of metal/wire shelves.

I found some 24" x 48" steel shelving units (Gorilla Racks) on Craigslist. Bit of a drive, but he was selling 2 for the retail of 1!

This might be bigger than we need, but the 24" x 30" (18 tall) cages seem like theyre going to be too small for nest boxes, and the buck is a REAL sweetie and he likes playing.

These will be stacking, since weve got raccoons around (we have a baited live trap near the rabbits), we'll probably start about 3' high, and have the cages 2-high on each shelf. That will give us one good size mom/baby, mom/baby, huge buck, and one spare cage/hole.

The wire cages will be separate (not wired onto the racks) for more thorough cleaning. We have wood hutch/holders right now, and the buck and one of our does are messy. We just want to have larger cages and better sanitation before we breed.

Were going to make poop-chutes out of corrugated plastic (campaign signs!)

Has anyone built breeding doe cages with a drop-floor like this: http://www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/8246-Leaf

It seems like a decent ideas for the kits, but id worry about mom tripping when there isnt a next box in there....

The roofs we built on our current hutches are large enough and water proof, so weve got that down :) The sides/windbreaks will be removable for the summer.

Any other ideas if you were going to make yours again?
 

·
aka avdpas77
Joined
·
3,411 Posts
Hello all!

MaggieJ inspired me with talk of metal/wire shelves.

I found some 24" x 48" steel shelving units (Gorilla Racks) on Craigslist. Bit of a drive, but he was selling 2 for the retail of 1!

This might be bigger than we need, but the 24" x 30" (18 tall) cages seem like theyre going to be too small for nest boxes, and the buck is a REAL sweetie and he likes playing.

These will be stacking, since weve got raccoons around (we have a baited live trap near the rabbits), we'll probably start about 3' high, and have the cages 2-high on each shelf. That will give us one good size mom/baby, mom/baby, huge buck, and one spare cage/hole.

The wire cages will be separate (not wired onto the racks) for more thorough cleaning. We have wood hutch/holders right now, and the buck and one of our does are messy. We just want to have larger cages and better sanitation before we breed.

Were going to make poop-chutes out of corrugated plastic (campaign signs!)

Has anyone built breeding doe cages with a drop-floor like this: http://www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/8246-Leaf

It seems like a decent ideas for the kits, but id worry about mom tripping when there isnt a next box in there....

The roofs we built on our current hutches are large enough and water proof, so weve got that down :) The sides/windbreaks will be removable for the summer.

Any other ideas if you were going to make yours again?
I have not seen cages quite like this. Many people like the "dropped wire nest boxes" and say it prevents newborn bunnies from clinging onto a teat and getting pulled out onto the wire and freezing. I put a lot of money into my strip cages, using the heavier "before and after" galavanized floor wire, and the best wire I could get. These cages have lasted (I still have them) while standard cages break down and start rusting in the (urinating) corners after several years. The are also built so I can move partitions for larger or smaller rabbits if I change breeds. For this reason, I have not wanted to cut any hole in the sides or bottoms. Doors of course have to be there, so I planned the location of the doors (the cages are currently 4x 30 inch deep, 36 inch wide cages. I have the doors placed with extra space in the middle of the front, so that I could change them to 5 unit cages instead.)

Everyone comes up with a cage design that will work best for them under the circumstances they are in. I opted for changability and longevity. I decided after the first few years that my rabbits would always be in some kind of shed, so the "hanging strip" design was settled on. I don't keep them on concrete floors; I like having worm beds directly underneath ( heh, and if I am lucky enough to have an outbuilding with a concrete floor, I will have a better use for it.) If I wish, with four wood fence posts, a couple of boards, and a little roofing, I can hang them outside and have a "hutch" with no wood touching the cages.


I am always looking for a "better way" and I would be greatly interested in seeing your set upwhen you get done. You can bet that if Maggie uses it, it will be a good idea. Now, please excuse me, I have to google Gorilla Racks :)

Hmmm, these are what we have in the basement to keep our bulk food on.....
I wonder if J would notice if they dissapeared :bash:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,103 Posts
I did mention second-hand steel shelving as a strong and cheap way to build quick and easy cages. You still need proper floor wire, of course, but the shelves work well for sides and tops.

Raccoons present a real problem, however, if they can get their hands through the wire of any cage. I know I've mentioned more than once how a raccoon dragged a several-week-old cockerel through the 3/4 inch bars, eating as it went. :eek: This pen had been rat-proofed, but the raccoon still managed to kill and eat the cockerel. Apparently they thrust a hand in and wiggle the fingers. When the curious chick (or bunny) comes to investigate, they grab it and pull it little by little, eating it alive. Quite horrible. I heard the hen squawking and ran down with my flashlight to investigate, but the raccoon had gone by then. I secured the hen and remaining chick and went back to the house. The dratted raccoon came back later to eat the rest of the carcass.

The reason I am dwelling on this is because in areas where raccoons are a problem, it is likely best to have a second barrier (my summer rabbitry is a chain link structure, rather like a dog kennel), electric fencing or a trustworthy dog. I'd worry about rabbits with nothing between them and the raccoons except their cage wall, whatever material it is made of.
 

·
aka avdpas77
Joined
·
3,411 Posts
I don't have rabbits now....soon again I hope. This is my rabbit shed, doesn't need to be this fancy. I have raised several kinds of animals in it....therefore the outside fence. Look at the bottom, you will see it has an "electric fence" wire. I have learn down here in the land of dogs, *****, possums, minks, weasels, and snakes, that it is the only way to go. One good fencer can be used for every building and pen you have. If you have larger animals, you may already have one.



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
964 Posts
Garnet, I've never raised a litter to adult age yet; however, I am thinking you may want one or two grow out cages per doe? What is the norm?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
271 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all for your thoughts.

The steel shelf frames are going to be the wire-cage holders. It seems a lot of hutches are wood and wire together, but I think its easier to clean them well when its just a wire cage, put in a holding-structure.

We got our bunnies right after the fair, they were in lower single hutches with their moms still, is this not a good idea?

Maggie- would be a good idea indeed, we had our chickens in a small 4X6' dog enclosure we put a roof on. Since weve moved, were a bit limited on space. Were thinking about moving them onto the deck....

o&itw- Nice shed! We are kinda limited on space, but might one day get a building built. Were kinda winging this. i DO like the electric fence idea.

Skip- can you tell Im new at this :) we can make a slightly larger cage for the buck, and he can move over in a single cage to our larger wooden hutch-holder. The does can be 2-high on one gorilla-rack, and the grow-out cages will get made before they need the room on the other gorilla rack...? that would be 24" x 46"....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
You can probably re-wire a fly/insect zapper to make an electric fence.
shouldn't be too expensive to do if you have an unused one.

An electric fence charger goes from $25 to $250.

You should also think about a 12V fence charger if you don't have power near by.

An old car battery can power the charger for weeks on one charge.


dcarch
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
964 Posts
GarNet Moth, I'm totally new to breeding rabbits. I have young ones here which will be 8 weeks in a few days and cannot believe how quickly they are growing. They are new zealnads. There are five kits and I have two 24x48" cages available to them, but am thinking they will be okay in one. I'll start with the one and see how it goes.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top