Yesterday marked the third month since the tornado on April 29th 2017 and devastated our homestead in Canton, Texas. Since that time, we have been working as quickly as possible to get the rabbitry back up and running at full capacity. As you may have read in 'TAP Rabbitry: The Rebuild, Phase One: New Cages' we have built many new replacement cages and were been waiting for our new metal carport to be brought and installed on the property. Once again, our friend Steven Coyne from 'Texas Rabbit Barn' and author of the 'I Grow Vegetables' blog to came over to help with the initial part of phase two, and I am sure I will need his help again once we start moving all the bunnies into their new home.
So after six weeks, two of our replacement out buildings were delivered, including the one in which we will be using for the new bunny barn/hutch. I will say this, these guys that put our metal buildings up worked at a breakneck speed. We could definitely tell they had been doing this for a while as they completely assembled two buildings in under five hours, and that is with taking time to eat lunch. Really, it was pretty impressive. If only the factory could have been this proficient in making and or cutting the parts to assemble the buildings. We have bought metal buildings from two different companies in the past, and while they are relativily inexpensive compared to wood structures, the tiem you have to wait is really frustrating. If any company could reduce the turn around time to two to three weeks or less, I think they could definitely corner the market, but I digress.
Once the new bunny barn was in place, it was time to finish stretching the fence and get the barn area fully enclosed and hopefully somewhat secure from predators. So now we have two areas on either side of the bunny barn with 6ft high chain link fence for our Black Jersy Giants, and a 6ft high chain link fence that totally encloses the rabbit barn. Thanks again Steve... Once we had finished with that, it was time for the big gun to come in and give me a little fatherly advice. You see my father served for twenty-two years in the United States Air Force (USAF) in Civil Engineering (CE) which is the maintaince arm of the USAF. There are few things that he cannot do when it comes to plumbing, electricity, painting or carpentry. He is quite the 'jack of all trades', even if we do butt heads sometimes. So I asked him to come over, hang out, and play 'straw boss' to make sure I setup and wired all of my electrical outlets correctly.
Fast forward to a week later, I finished wiring all the electrical outlets and ran all the wire up to the junction box which I had wired off the main power pole when the new home was delivered. The only thing left to do was have my work inspected and hook it up to the live wire. Fo this I once again called my favorite electrician, my father. He came out looked at my work and gave it a passing grade, so next he helped me to make sure the power was safely turned off and we hooked the bunny barn to the power grid. Amazingly, none of the breakers were tripped and there was no smoking at any of the electrical outlets and they all had power, YEAH!!!
Next, we will start on phase three, moving all of the rabbits into the new bunny barn, and setting up the automatic watering system. For this I am sure I will have to beg, or plead for help from my friend Steven Coyne from 'Texas Rabbit Barn' and author of the 'I Grow Vegetables' blog as I am sure I will need his help once we start moving all the bunnies into their new home. Actually, I have never had to beg, Steve usually calls me to ask what needs to be done on our homestead, and how can he help. We could not repay hom for all of the hard work he has done and the projects he has helped me with.
So there you have it, the hutch is just about ready for the rabbits to be brought in from the temporary area under the tree in the chciken pens and be placed in their new home. I purchased the additional 3ft side skirts for the bunny barn/hutch on the recommendation of another breeder that has a similar setup. I have noticed that on some days there is not as much breeze and the temperature is a couple of degrees warmer that the area just under the trees where the temporary rabbit hutch is. So we purchased a couple of barn fans to hang from the top of the beams to help circulate the warm radiating air from the metal roof. While the extended sides will definatly keep the rain out, I am not sure If I am going to like them as much as I thought. Only time will tell.