New Rabbit Tractors

RT4-5_05Can you believe that the rabbit kits are nearly 8 weeks old now?  It was looking crowded in the kindling cages – there were 20 babies, after all – so we built two additional tractors this weekend. These are tractors number 4 and 5, and we made minor modifications to improve on the original design; specifically, reducing the width slightly to allow for a larger roof overhang (we get good storms out here). It’s all about continuous improvement!

RT4-5_PatchConstruction never seems to go quite as planned. We encountered the typical twisted lumber issues; even better, we discovered a roll of cage wire had a major defect (a gap where it was missing wire) that wasn’t visible until we had wrapped more than half the tractor and secured it with screws. Rather than undo it all to take the wire back, we patched it and continued on. It was a bad surprise, though, meriting choice expletives.

RT4-5_BandageAlso par for course, injuries were sustained. Screws aren’t meant to go into flesh, and when they do (courtesy of a cordless drill/driver and a slip off the intended 2×4), it’s not pretty. One of the construction crew had to take a break to bandage a slightly chewed-up thumb.

Oh, did we mention it was hot? And that construction occurred in a metal building? Seems to happen every time – the weather is either uncomfortably cold or hot, it just never cooperates. It would have been nice if it had been more like 65 degrees than 85, but at least we weren’t directly in the sun.

In the end, the tractors came out great and the kits settled right in. They seem to be spending more time in the bin shelters than the adults do, but they’ll eventually figure out how to climb up on top, too. They started eating grass right away, like they knew they were pastured rabbits.

RT4-5_01 RT4-5_02 RT4-5_03 RT4-5_04

The does didn’t seem to miss them, either…but being in a kindling cage with those hyper little ones was probably testing their patience. Loretta is due to kindle again in around a week, and she seems to be enjoying some “alone time” to haystache and burrow in the hay. With more kits on the way, we know that we’ll be building more tractors in the near future, but it should be (barring defects in the supplies) easier and less time-consuming with each iteration. Maybe we’ll build three at a time, next time…

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