Confession: i’m having some problems with my rabbits. Respiratory problems. Potentially flock wiping out problems. Problems that may be infections and devastating OR as simple as environmentally induced stress. Worthy of an entire blog post, i’ll leave the details to the side for now and focus on the strategies i’m employing to improve the housing for my rabbits.
We’re renovating the barn to be a secure building, with doors to close out predators and walls to block out foul weather. I’m getting frustrated at how long these repairs are taking, but that’s what happens when you work every stinkin saturday in the month of November and only get 1 day a weekend to work, slowly, on such a monumental task. We almost have the first door finished and should get it hung this weekend, completing one wall’s exterior repair – yay! BUT we still have the biggest job ahead – repairing the major rot of the second short wall and repeating all the siding and door building on that end. In the meantime, i’m doing some major cleaning up and getting the new cages ready for my little wards to have a better ventilated place to reside and make lots of healthy babies.
My new hanging cages are totally awesome AND i finally got the second two dowels i needed to hang the next two banks. I can’t wait to post that ‘how to’ for you to be inspired by for your own rabbit project. But as clean and new as the new banks of cages are – the walls surrounding them were dirty, moldy, mossy and just plain gross. Enter: hose, bleach, Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds and some Kilz. (Hazel looks intrigued)
I hosed down all the walls, including the upper joists, knocking off the majority of the nasty green moss/mold that may or may not be noxious. I then scrubbed all the walls with a bleach/Sal Suds solution, let it sit then hosed it back off. Once the walls were slightly dry (i have no patience) i painted it all with Kilz to further kill any mold spores and seal in the dirt i didn’t feel like cleaning off. Over this i’ll be painting with some free paint from the Marion county waste place to make future cleaning a breeze. It already looks so much better and is much less dusty! The old chicken wire up in the joists was covered in some real nasty dust and i’m sure there’s still plenty up there, but a good hose off certainly improved the situation.
Rabbits have very sensitive respiratory problems. If you can smell ammonia, the levels are too high. If the logging road traffic dust hurts YOUR lungs, your rabbits are suffering. This is goingt to be a long term project, trying to reduce the dust but maintain ventilation. I see a big ole’ greenhouse/poultry house fan in the barn’s future.