about a year and a half ago a friend gave me 2 rabbits, a male and a female, i read a couple of straight forward books on keeping meat rabbits and following the advice in the books i built two 3′ x 3′ x 1′ wire mesh cages and hung them from the inside of my chicken coops larger “run” area… the rabbits seemed miserable from the start, sitting lifelessly in the corners of their wire cages.
i imagined there must be a better way soo i started digging out a little used portion of the chicken coop, re-enforcing the under ground wire mesh to keep racoons, dogs and possums from digging in, filled it back in with about 6 inches of dirt and straw and transferred the rabbits as quickly as possible… and they were soooo happy! they immediately began exploring their new digs.
the female had a small litter of 3 bunnies inside an old hollowed out cedar stump i’d put in her pen to give her some privacy. we still kept the male and female (+ 3 bunnies) separate and i was beginning to realize that it would soon be getting pretty cramped inside mamma rabbits pen so i started working on a bigger and better rabbit house… i dug out an old thimble berry patch next to the chicken coop and decided to build this one down as well as out and up. while happier on the ground in the new pen the rabbits didn’t really get to dig as the wire was only about 6 inched below the floor of their pen. in the new rabbit house i dug down about 2 feet and after building the frame wired it all up and down, filled it back in with dirt and turned the rabbits loose. again they seemed sooo very pleased to have more room to move and run about. with the next litter mamma rabbit had 6 babies and this time i kept the male together with the whole clan. they all seemed to get along nicely for quite some time. buck, the pappa rabbit, did indeed pester mamma now and then but he seemed to give up after a while and she seemed to have no problem letting him know she wasn’t interested. the young rabbits grew quickly eating mostly weeds from our garden, they dug and impressive network of tunnels and rooms in the new rabbit house. the underground was soo extensive that when surprised all 8 full sized rabbits would jump up, run and dive below ground. all 8 rabbits would be below ground at the same time! i did however eventually separate buck from the group after about 4 1/2 months as he was starting to incessantly attempt to hump every rabbit in the house. he was a bit depressed after i took him out… so i thought if i build another house and find another breeding female buck can spend a few months with each family in turn…
soooo…. i built another rabbit house. here is a photo album documenting the process. i’ll update it with more pics as new family members arrive.