Things have finally dried out to a point I can work on some much needed outdoor projects. With all of the rain, I have reworked the placement of the rabbit hutches in the enclosure. We need more room to install an outdoor sink and a small door in the fence to back the wagon in for loading and cleaning out.
The hutches needed to be be painted too. With rabbits, you really have to be careful with the wood you choose to build the hutches. Being a part of the rodent family, they are constantly looking for something to chew on to wear their front teeth down. I have tried my best to cover areas in their cage with 1/2 inch hardware cloth. But, rabbits also like to "pick" at anything that sticks up too, including bits of wire. They sometimes will pull it loose and then chew the wood! So, choosing safe untreated wood is a good thing. When painting the cages, I only painted the outside and edges that were covered with some sort of protection.
As you can see, I also decided to add plastic bins under each cage. Believe it or not, rabbits pretty much drop their manure in the same area each time. It's usually near their food source. Knowing that, I positioned the bins to catch most of it. In the bottom of each bin I've added about 1-1 1/2 inches of sawdust pellets that are used in horse stalls (also in pet store cages) to absorb moisture.This is where I had planned on putting my composting worms, but with fire ant issues I have changed my mind. There isn't an effective way to organically treat fire ants and I don't want the rabbit yard contaminated.
The manure bins will save on some shoveling and waste. Another lesson I learned about too much rain is that the manure was breaking down so fast under the cages that I was losing a lot of it. Plus now it will be much easier to let the rabbits out of their hutches for exercise in a clean area. I will keep you posted on how its working.
Phase number three is to finish out the entire roof between the rabbits and chickens. I would like to be able to let the animals run loose in that area at times and not worry about the hawks and boy, do we have some huge ones here that would love a chicken or rabbit to eat!