It Worked! (pics)

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Thatch, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    So, I've been holding off sharing my latest mini innovation to make sure it works and today I got conformation so I thought I'd share....

    As most of you probably know I raise my rabbits in a colony. For the most part this has all gone better than expected. I had some initial breakouts from the pen when they first went in but those were fairly quickly sorted. Well, we've recently had 2 litters born and as the babies mature and get more and more secure with their surrounding they are finding places that the larger rabbits could not exploit. For the last few weeks I've been chasing the occasional escapee and each time it happened I had to catch the rabbits and patch the holes so that (with luck) when I finally got all the little holes closed up I wouldn't trap a rabbit outside the pen.

    So, a fellow HT'er (it was MegZ ... shhhhhh) was over right when I had sprung a major bunny leak. There were four of the things running all across the goat pens. I had just figured out what they were doing (climbing a timber then squeezing through some larger gauge fencing) and it was going to require another strand of fencing all along the back wall. Again, I didn't want to trap them on the outside in case something might find them a convenient snack so I was trying to thing through how to approach things. Well, while showing Meg around I spied some large diameter PVC piping and I had an idea. I'd build a rabbit door for the pen... a one way rabbit door. It sounded like a good idea. I just couldn't figure out how to actually do it. I thought on it while I was patching the back wall of the pen and finally came out with this...

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully you can make out what this is. Basically it is a length of PVC (4" - 5" id) that has been wired into the wall of the pen. It is completely open on the freedom side of the wall. On the pen side it has, as you can (hopefully) see convening wires. These wires form a rather prickly barrier for anything wishing to enter from the cage side of the pipe, but spread easily open for a rabbit entering the pen.

    So, I've had this up for about a week now, never quite sure if it worked or not. Tonight I had another breakout. There just happened to be enough space in one small corner of the back of the cage and two of the rabbits exploited it. Well, I found a third trying to follow through, scared him back in and patched the hole. I grabbed the landing net and went after the other two. Grabbing one in the net, my wife started to take him back to the pen when the second got scared and headed for the pen. He ran up to the door, peered in it and slipped right through. Success. So, in the off chance that any more holes spring up (no really... I got em all now) the rabbits have an easy way to return to the pen and escape anything chasing them.

    I was pretty happy about it. Thought someone here might find the idea useful... or at least all you cage raisers could point and snicker if nothing else. :)


    J

    ADDENDUM ---

    Here is a diagram of the one way rabbit door

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

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    Now you just have to worry with predatory animals coming through the hole. I'd be interested in seeing a few pics of the whole setup if possible.
     

  3. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    Well the diameter of the pipe is such that nothing much larger than a 6 week old bunny will fit (it's starting to get tight for them) the adults don't fit. So, small cat and above are locked out. Rats would be a possible problem (they aren't a problem here) but I'd think they'd be just as able to climb the fence as go through the tube. The only other real predator issue we might have is snakes but I've not seen any around here that couldn't fit through most of the fencing with or without the rabbit door.

    I don't see predation being a problem. Of coure it wouldn't be the first time I've been wrong. If anything else develops good or bad I'll pass along the news.

    J

    p.s. I'll try and get a few shots of the set up later today
     
  4. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Has anyone done a colony long-term--like five years, ten years? How on earth do you keep the thing clean? I'm experimenting with pastured rabbit (portable pen moved twice a day), and seems to be working ok SO FAR, but the growth rates aren't as good as cage reared ones.
     
  5. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    Hey Thatch, good job!! :goodjob: I'm impressed! It's like an oversized mouse bottle trap, with the pen being the bottle!

    Thatch is right about the predators around here. Anything we have that would eat rabbit isn't going to use that pipe. So far, I've had fox and possum problems, and an assumed bobcat on a muscovy. We don't have weasel problems, thankfully. The neighbors claim coyotes are getting their cats....but those may be the cats that were trying to eat my chickens, so just call me 'coyote'. :rolleyes:

    Anything we've got is going over the fence, or through it, but that pipe is not a predator problem!

    Meg
     
  6. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Meg. I was pretty pleased to see them use it, not so pleased that they were out again... but so far the latest patch has held. It seems each time they get a growth spurt they are just big enough to reach a new hole. Since this is my first couple of litters in the cage and the cage is being recycled from another purpose I suppose I should expect it to take a bit before it's fully sealed. I'd be suprized if it wasn't all sorted now... but we'll see.

    As for long term colony set ups, I think that Cindy in IL is up to 4 years or so with hers. It's in that neighborhood. There is a big thread with her updates on it.

    On the topic of cleaning it's a snap. I augmenet pellet feed with both greens and timothy hay. The remains of which build up in the pen and after about a month I go in and rake the whole pen and toss the rakings onto the compost pile.

    J