We decideded to raise a few rabbits. My wife looked into how to raise them and which breeds were best for resale and for meat production. It seemed like a feasible way to raise quality meat quickly. We decided on the New Zealand and Lion head breeds though initially we were taking in any free rabbits that were a larger size.

We ended up with 7 rabbits very quickly. After some more research we were able to decide which rabbits to breed. We gave some of the lesser desired breeds away to other folks through the Facebook Backyard Meat Rabbits group. So with 7 rabbits, 5 of them being does, we were going to need a real rabbit hutch. I had some pallets stored for a large barn I am planning to build soon so I borrowed from that pile and bought two sheets of plywood and a few 2×3’s, and still had some leftover metal roofing. Now we needed cages.IMG_20151222_161952725(1)

After shopping around, it seemed that the most affordable setup was the Dumor stackable rabbit cage starter kit. We wanted them to be stackable so that we could make the most of our space. After we purchased them, I began to assemble them….then I saw there were no instructions on how to stack them and the frames had no real way of stacking! I looked all over the internet for some sort of instructions or video or even a better picture….NOTHING!

IMG_20151124_122639587_HDRMy handy neighbor came over to assess the situation with me and we came up with a plan to modify the cages so they would stack. First, we came to the conclusion we needed some sort of dowel or stick to fit inside the metal frame tubing so that the framing on the top cage would fit over the same dowel snugly so that the cages would stack firmly.IMG_20151124_122651955_HDR

My neighbor had some small pieces of oak trim laying around. He cut them into 3 inch strips and planed/sanded them down to the right thickness. Then we nailed a small trim nail through the center of the wood strips. I took them over to the cages and tapped them into the top of each frame tube of the bottom cages. Then I placed the top cage over and fit each corner frame tube down over the rest of the oak strip. It fit very snug and firm. IMG_20151124_122644518

I am happy with the way it came out but VERY dissatisfied with Dumors claim that they are stackable out of the box. Anyone else have any other ideas?IMG_20151203_103206931_HDR

 

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Hello fellow readers!

I have kept my promise and I have built something new with a few pallets. I recently came upon a great source of pallets that are in great shape. They are chemically treated, so they will last quite a while. They were used to haul cardboard so at least I know there aren’t any REALLY toxic chemicals on the wood other than what would be in regular pressure treated lumber.

12122653_10153702124083478_7960561557761858400_nSo anyway, I used about 5 pallets to build this coop. I also have a gracious neighbor who gave me two landscaping timbers to use as bottom rails. I mounted the bottom frame on cinder blocks and field stone.

I then bought some hardware cloth and stapled it across the bottom so that the chicken12115535_10153702124208478_6588436197097495638_n manure would fall right to the ground. I made sort of a lean-to roof out of 2X8 lumber I bought and left over 12107281_10153702124708478_5713115505629419724_nroofing that I STILL had leftover from my other pallet barn project. I had the roof sloping so that the west wind would not have a damaging effect should any storms come along.12049402_10153705627458478_136994185988808480_n

I cut out a small entrance door for the chickens, and a human door so we can access the inside. I also built one egg laying box. I will add two more as they all fight over getting a chance to use it. I placed it next to an area where I cut down some brush next to an 12140852_10153728626728478_4030075741522017953_novergrown field. I have a small area of that fenced in. Once I get more fencing, I will increase their forage area.

Ever since they started using it, 12074656_10153744043178478_4754959207487340399_nthey have been laying eggs MUCH better than they were. Although where they were prior wasn’t the most ideal for them, they really worked over our new garden area and turned hundreds of bags of leaves into fertilized, rich, soft soil!

12063333_10153744000423478_8519027066427334673_n 12046864_10153743999693478_4268920681116930929_n 12039496_10153743999198478_1620982966691752573_n


It’s been a while since I posted updated pictures of our Pallet Barn. We have since poured a concrete floor and set up the dividing wall for the goat area. Pouring the concrete was a learning experience. The floor was too large to have any kind of way to scree it level and I did not have a large float so I did it by hand. So with the help of my brother nephew it turned out ok…not perfect, but ok. I am satisfied with it.

Concrete floor (4.5 yds)

Concrete floor (4.5 yds)

I also made use of more pallets for the goat area. The only new material I purchased for this was the wire mesh and the hardware for the gate.

Divider for goat area.

Divider for goat area.