Now that I have sold the last rabbit kit from spring breedings, I have a much better view of what and who I have for winter breedings. For winter breedings I will have one more doe than last season, and enviably, one more litter of kits. This means that I will not have a comfortable enough or large enough space for kits to grow up in after they have been weaned. Especially if Clementine has another litter of eleven!
The health and cleanliness of our rabbits is very important to us as is the welfare of all our animals and insects. So this fall/early winter we will need to build a “grow out pen” for incoming rabbit kits. It will also be a time to upgrade our rabbit play pen with matching wire fencing and some AstroTurf. The area itself has worked well with recycled materials, but it looks a little tacky. I’ll admit it.
What we plan to do is to redo the wire fencing on the 10′ x 10′ foot rabbit play pen and make it extend all the way up to the deck above. This should keep predators out when we put this new grow out pen inside. Basically we will have a large winter hutch with legs inside of an under-deck enclosed kennel.
As you can see, we will make the grow out pen 3′ feet deep by 9′ feet wide and 5′ tall. While it will have a wooden frame, I want to use the same corrugated PVC roofing material that we used on the main rabbit shed for this grow out pen’s walls and roof. Hopefully the PVC material will be easy to scrub down in-between breeding seasons.
The new grow out pen will be divided in two sections with a wall in order to separate the young bucks and does. We don’t need any surprise litters around here! It will also be on 2′ foot tall legs so that rabbits can still use the space underneath to play in. When the grow out pen is in use, I can even put plastic tubs underneath to catch droppings.
As always, we will keep you up to date on progress and share a tutorial with you so you can make your own. Construction on this project will probably take a weekend or two in September or October.