The rabbits have been living in the shed, but with winter coming, we needed that space back for straw, hay and the remote possibility the sheep take refuge there if the weather gets severe. We were also concerned that such a large space wouldn’t hold the bunnies’ body heat like a more compact house.
Will and our friend Adam, who helps out on the farm each Monday (thanks, Adam!), constructed a building on stilts that is four rabbit cages long and two cages wide. Now all four does have their own cage, as do the two bucks. The walls on all sides are hinged for easy access when feeding/watering the rabbits, and can be hung in the open position to provide plenty of airflow during the summer heat.
As for the rabbits, the big California mama finally gave birth. The litter was huge, but four days later all the bunnies were dead. One explanation could be the cold nights. Another, that the babies kept getting out of the nest box and Will had to move them back – we think all that handling may have caused mama to abandoned them.
Right after we moved all the rabbits to their new home, the younger California doe had a litter of only two, and both were dead when Will found them. We now have two heat lamps in the rabbit house and are waiting to see if the two New Zealand’s give birth. Depending on whether or not the heat lamps can sustain those bunnies, we’ll decide if we want to attempt any more breeding this winter, or put off making bunnies until April.