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Blog, Evergreen Rabbitry

“Our Pallet Rabbit Hutch #2: How We Built it”

3 Sided Rabbit Hutch. 2 small sides with one, long breeder side, for a momma doe and her litters.

We are back at it again, this time a bit different! I mentioned in my last Rabbit Hutch post (linked) we would be doing a 4 sided hutch next. This time, however, we have decided to make it a 3 sided hutch, instead. Two sides being for our 2 breeder bucks, and one longer side for 1 of our breeder does. We have full walls to divide them for their own fully, separated spaces. We also personally use rabbit runs so that our Rabbits have more room to roam in the yard! This hutch design is still enough room for our breed of Standard Rex Rabbits, and even more roomy if you have a type of mini Rabbit breed! The smaller sides could be used to separate the baby doe/buck Rabbits, an still be close to the mother doe who is right next door, but we personally just use the two smaller sides for our bucks right now!

This hutch is the same general idea from last time, just a little simpler and smaller by a few inches. Same basic material list from before, just with a couple things changed, or taken off. My husband says this one is a much simpler design than the previous, although still similar, due to less brackets on the frame work part of things.

Here is our step-by-step guide, hope you can use it for your hutches! Also, this one cost about the same as last time, maybe even a little less because we already had leftover materials from other projects. So, it was around $200 total cost.

Materials:

  • 5-6 pallets. (We just used what leftovers we had from the other hutch build and also some scrap pieces of plywood and siding that we had around.)
  • 8 door hinges
  • 3 Door handles
  • 1 x 1/2″in wire mesh flooring *(know the size mesh flooring needed for the size of Rabbit breed you have. We have Standard Rex, but if you have a smaller breed, maybe look into a smaller mesh flooring, and/or maybe putting a flat lid in there for their feet to rest on. occasionally).
  • You can use the same mesh for the doors as well, but we used different smaller mesh wiring for that.
  • 4 locks of any kind (we used a 2 1/2″ inch barrel bolt lock for main doors and a 1″ or .5″ smaller for the small side door).
  • 3″ inch mending plates, 4 for each door (we also had extras from last time, so you may see two different ones in the pictures).
  • vinyl roofing ( 3 sheets of 8′ roofing)
  • box of 1 1/2″ in nails
  • box of 4″in screws
  • box of staples (to staple wire flooring down)
  • box of 2″ Wood tight screws.
  • Optional: paint, and primer.

Step 1:

For the beginning obviously its to start the frame, the height for this Frame was about 2′ off the ground and roughly 2′ for inside height. Attach the legs to the sides of the bottom/floor frame. Place a beam in the middle for stability, and a beam on top, in the front that will later be used in regards to the roofing. Then place those two side beams on top, (both sides) for the roofing as well.

Picture for step 1.

As always, please remember not to paint the inside of hutch. Rabbits will chew on the wood and would be at risk of ingesting the paint, so try to be careful when painting the  outside! Also make sure no staples, or pointed wiring is going to poke them or be loose enough to be found and eaten. Rabbits *can* eat anything, even if it isn’t good for them!

Step 2:

Next it is painting the frame, and placing divider walls. This one was just custom fit with a couple trimmings done, so that it was a tight fit. Those measurements were; Height: 1.5′ and in length about 4′ this is rough estimate. That little wall divider was about 19″ x 23″in. Before putting those wall dividers up, staple down that wire flooring! Also, we now have cut and placed the 3 pieces of plywood across the top for the roofing. Roughly, the sizes were, 5.5″ x 3′.

Picture for step 2.
Picture for step 2.

Step 3:

Now we place the outside walls. Sizes for back wall, were a little over 2′ x 3.5 ft. Sizes for front wall was 2′ x 21″ and side wall that’s boarded has about 28″in boards. Notice, we are still using that temporary bottom board to keep the walls looking straight.

We like the glass bottles, so far! although we have the plastic ones, as well. The glass makes it easy to see if water is dirty!
Picture for step 3.
Picture for Step 3.

Step 4:

This step is solely for painting, paint all of the outside, next after this will be making and painting doors before being put on hutch as well as attaching the roofing.

Picture for Step 4.
Picture for Step 4.
We use these kind of pellet feeders as well! They work great for us!

Step 5:

Now for the doors, there will be three, the two side doors are both, 23″ x 20″ and the front smaller door, is about 14.5 x 22″. Hammer the plates on each corner from and back, paint them and hinge them to the hutch, with their handles. Attach the roof. We cut our roofing to about 66″ long overhanging about 3-3.5″ inches. Once we applied the roof, there is a gap in the front between that and the door frame. attach a piece of wood to cover that gap or you could even put smaller wire across it, if you wanted. We put a board. Now, once doors are done and painted staple some wire (mesh, or you need something sturdier than chicken wire) onto the doors and if needed, cut out the holes for water bottle and/or pellet feeder.

The next and almost final step is the side door for the breeder side of this hutch, the sizing for that is 10″ x 12″ in door. No pictures for that yet, because we aren’t breeding our other doe quite yet. But, it is the exact same style and size as the other hutch’s side doors, if you need pictures and for that! (that one is linked in the top of this post). Mark where you want it cut it out and screw on 2 pieces of wood on the back to hold those boards together, and attach hinges and lock. If you used plywood for this side wall, the back stabilizer boards are really not needed, since it’s all one piece. *You may have to touch up the paint a bit on small side door, due to cutting it out, it may scratch the paint, a tad.

Picture for Step 5. No front board, yet. That was done after.

Step 6: Finishing Hutch!

Our yard is not level, so we had these temporary boards underneath them to build it on level ground.
Newest addition, next to our first build! (2 sided breeder Rabbit hutch)

Now we are finished with this 3 sided Rabbit hutch! Like stated with the last couple pictures, we are waiting to remove the temporary leveling boards under the legs, until we deconstruct our straw bale garden beds. We will use that dirt and straw to level out the ground underneath these hutches, this new one is on part of the most sloped area of our yard, so once we deconstruct our beds, the temporary boards will be gone! Now that it is September, we will be doing that very soon!

This hutch is really sturdy. Whether you paint it, or just use a clear coat to protect the wood, it looks so fresh! I’m thinking both of these hutches will last us a good long while, before we have to build new ones or even fix them up! I’ll give an update in a few years!

Next up for our DIY projects, is a chicken coop! That one will be fun, because it will be with a shipping container my husband got from his work’s scrap pile. Anyways, that will come soon, so keep an eye out for that post as well! Can’t wait to have our own chickens again, and grab eggs from our backyard!

Blog, Family

“Trusting The Lord, While Moving Your Family.”

From a hike in Oregon, we did on our honeymoon.

Dream Home

I have a good list when it comes to where I want our family to settle down at. I want to have a farm on 5+ acres, I want to have room for our kids to play in our own orchards and pastures, with plenty of farm animals. I dream of a small, cosy home right in the middle of it all, where I make all their meals and we gather with family. Most importantly somewhere safe, and hopefully a great community around us. With the world the way it is right now, I have come to find that I’ve asked myself, and God quite often if that is selfish, or if that is not meant to be for us. Regardless, I know I will still love our life, just as I do now if we never have that specific, down to every detail, dream.

Housing Market

We have always kept an eye on the housing market just in case something golden shows up out of no where, but every piece of it that we pursue turns to dust and we get the door shut in our face. It’s frustrating, not knowing where we will move, what we will get, and how it will turn out, but I know God provides and He has not failed us yet, nor will He ever. We found a beautiful property, a great price for 7 acres, it was close to both our families, and it even had a sweet old, 1900s (falling apart) house on it. It was the “something golden” we were looking for, so I thought. It seemed so fitting for us! We tried to go after it, and it didn’t work out. Then it got re-listed 2 months later! We tried again, and still couldn’t do it. We had gotten our hopes up over that property, but it wasn’t the right one for us. 

The Lord’s Plan, is Not Our Own.

Where we will be putting down roots and settling our family, is so unknown. My husband and I talk all the time about where we see ourselves building a home, and honestly it used to be we saw ourselves right here forever, but not anymore. As far as we can see, of course. If it’s here in this state, or across the entire USA, I really could not tell you. Regardless of where we see ourselves, I’ve accepted the fact that God has different, better plans for our future. I felt pretty guilty for the way I acted beforehand, being frustrated when I just needed some patience. I know the Lord is good, and I know He takes care of us. So, I changed my attitude, I prayed [for forgiveness], and I thanked my husband for being encouraging.

I’ve told the Lord so often, that I’m thankful for having what we need, that I will be happy with whatever we have, regardless of the specific requests I’ve given. As long as our little, growing family is healthy and safe, I’m happy! With what is going on in the world, everything is so uncertain; safety is so uncertain, and not because of sickness, but because there is so much hatred down every corner. It can be scary, especially if you have little ones to take care of. I just encourage you to trust the Lord, He will provide. So, as hard as it is, I’m trying not to worry too much about where we will end up, and where we will build a home, because it’s already taken care of by the good Lord himself.

An Oregon beach.

If you are also hoping to move your family right now, you probably know how difficult it is to find something and how dangerous the world is right now, on top of everything. Maybe, you even had your mind set on a specific property that didn’t end up working out. I’m here to tell you, I understand the frustration and the worry, but God is still good! His plans for our lives cannot be altered by anyone, but Him. As for the worry of the dangers that this world holds; be smart and proactive, but don’t let fear control you. As for dreaming of a farm, or whatever your dream home is, I’d say it’s okay to want that as long as you are happy with what you have currently! I’ve seen the Lord work in other people’s lives, and I’ve definitely seen Him work in our lives! So I don’t doubt He has a wonderful home, just waiting for us (and for you) to find. Just keep working towards it!

In the meantime, I will give thanks for what we do have, and I will pray for the things we hope for. We all have a tendency to become selfish in our desires; It’s a sinful fault that we all have, unfortunately. We just need to be thankful for the things that we have been given no matter how small. However! that’s another topic for another time and I don’t want to trail off. I just encourage you to also, give thanks for what you have, pray for what you hope for, and have patience in the waiting because the Lord does provide.

Blog, Family

“Our Little Girl, and Why There Are No Portraits.”

First beach trip. A success! (this live sand dollar was put back)

The Reasoning:

My Husband and I have always been fairly private people, only telling close friends and family the details of our life. With starting a blog that is about our life, I knew we would be sharing much more than we’re used to. While public/social platforms can bring encouragement, inspiration, and help connect people. It can also bring unwanted attraction, and it has people on it who will, and do violate other’s privacy. While there is a lot of good people, there unfortunately will always be bad people too.

Our child is still pretty young, barely a year old! My husband and I have made the decision to keep her and future kid’s faces, off the blog and off social platforms. The wide web does have its perks, but because of the dangers that it holds and how easy it can be to find things and people by using it, we are just trying to be cautionary to keep our sweet, little ones safe. We will try to keep their faces off the internet’s feed, for as long as we can. Social media, does collect our personal information and that’s not something we feel too comfortable with, especially when it comes to our children. 

We know that there is already information and photos about our life on these platforms and such, but because our child hasn’t really been on there yet, we want to give her a fresh start away from social platforms. We also don’t want to continue to feed those collections with our personal photos, and information. Unfortunately, it is dangerously easy to find out anything about whoever you want, through public records and social media. All you really need is some free time, and patience to dig into the past.

Nature walks, with her Daddy. Who obviously, is in deep thought.

As For Us:

We’ve both had social media accounts and have had our pictures everywhere so we are much more loose with our own photos, just because they are already on everything anyways. We will most definitely still talk about how we raise our kids, and kid-related things on this blog and social platforms. They will also be known on our Rabbitry page too! The only difference is, you won’t see portraits of them or know too much personal details about them. I understand the mystery of that! but we like it better this way, at least for now. 

Reminder:

If you are one of the many parents out there that does it differently, we are not trying to attack you at all! Like I said before, social platforms can be a great way to connect, especially if you have relatives or close friends that you don’t get to see often! We are just sharing our personal reasons, so that it doesn’t seem too weird that we say we have a child, but then her cute little face, is never shown.

Our future:

Right now, we are trying to find a balance between blogging about our life, and not sharing too much at the same time! As our child gets older, and we have more kids, we might reconsider putting up all their photos, but it will be a while. So I hope you still enjoy these other photos that I try to add! Our little one is still a very big part of our life, obviously, so I can’t leave her out of the blog, too much. On that note, I will add just a couple fun facts! 

Her name is Beatrice, and we love her so! She has much to learn, but knows everything somehow as an almost one year old. We can’t wait to have more little ones, and fill our house with more little smiling faces! So again, everyone does it differently, and I hope you enjoy the pictures I will add in replacement to all the, more personal portraits.

Blog, Family

“Preparing For, and Choosing to Homeschool.”

Most of these books are linked below! However all are good reads!

Why We Want to Homeschool:

If you think about it, we have been teaching since our babies were born. It makes sense to just keep the ball rolling. Personally, I believe it’s our duty, as parents to guide children in all ways. Towards the Lord, and through life. I don’t believe the world is doing a very good job at such, or that it should be doing that job at all. We can’t rely on others to teach our children, while we sit back and watch. Our schools are taking it upon themselves, to teach its worldly views, and to install into our children’s minds that they are anything, but the image of God

Now please note, that’s not to say that every teacher is bad, or that your kid is going to come out of it with no smarts or even that they will leave their faith after, but I do think the schools highly encourage all of that. I know Christian people who went to public school and turned out just fine. However, we need to be the ones equipping our children with a strong, Godly foundation before the world tries to equip them with it’s faithless, lies. I don’t believe putting children in public school is encouraging their Christian walk, or that it is beneficial for our kids at all. Why are we as parents, scared to take them away from the danger that public school holds? We our their parents, and we are their teachers. Not the government, and not the schools.

Nothing in the school system being taught, is something that as a Christian, I can agree with. So, I will not put my children into it. While I do have honest, personal opinions, I’m not attacking those who chose to put their kids in public schools. If that is what you chose, or are choosing to do, then that is your choice as their parent! I just highly encourage you to think about why you are, and what your child will gain from it’s teachings. You don’t have to have a fancy college degree, to be successful. Lots of billionaires have proved that, already. Beside’s my obvious distain against public schools, I do just personally love homeschooling. My husband and I both have been homeschooled in the past, and want to with our children, as well. 

If you have decided to do public school;

I just encourage you parents, to give your children constant guidance along the way, because it will be very difficult for them, as a Christian! I encourage you to be very communicative with your children about what is being taught daily, and what the Lord says about it! Young children especially! If you don’t agree with the schools, but don’t know what else to do, there are plenty of homeschool groups that will gladly help you! and the Lord will guide you, so have no fear! If they have little to no guidance from you, how will they ever combat the worldly lies that they are being taught with in and from schools?

How We Are Prepping:

Right now, we have one, almost one year old. I personally like to somewhat plan ahead if not a full plan, then at least most of one. So while our daughter is still anxiously trying to learn to talk more, walk and run, I am anxiously trying to prepare for what we will do for her major homeschooling! I have read a few books while I was pregnant and on a side note, during pregnancy is when I found out I actually do enjoy reading books! Anyways, the books I read were so good! I will list a few down below that I would recommend to anyone. 

Homeschooling or not, I definitely think the ones listed for the mothers will help any parent, (especially those who have their kids in public schools).

As of right now, it’s more so just lots of reading to her, following along on others journey’s in homeschooling, listening to songs while we play, and looking at different curriculums/ideas to teach. I see homeschooling as much more than just math, english, history, etc. It’s complete guidance, in general that we are giving our children. So when I research, I’m researching how to guide Godly children, not just ideas for the required classes, at home.

When I was homeschooled, my mother had followed the traditional school year’s schedule, but I have heard many others just make their own schedule that worked for them. It all depends on what, and how you want to do it. Some only did certain “classes” one day a week, while others did the same “class” 3-4 days a week. Honestly, you can do whatever, because the options are unlimited with teaching from home.

Books I Recommend For The Moms:

Culture-proof kids linked here! Great book and I highly recommend both parents read it! It’s on Amazon, along with these others shown below!

Great read to better understand what the Founding Fathers were doing for the US and to learn some of our country’s history.
So great for homeschooling mamas!
Will always recommend this one, for any mama
This book, is great for both parents. Perfect conversation starter between parents and kids!

Books I Recommend For The Kids: Mostly fun ones!

We love all of these stories, for our Beatrice!
What we are reading to learn the ABC’S, and it’s also a song!
Going to get for our little one, soon!
A bible for kids, we have bought this one as well!

Reading these books really gave me great ideas, and encouraged me as a mom. I know I will be (and have already) referring back to them later in the future. Books will be our main source of teaching/learning for a long while. They are already something we enjoy doing to teach our daughter now! Reading is such a simple, efficient way of teaching them, because you can read anything. If you have a kid (or kids) you know how much they soak things in. I believe the phrase is, “children are like a sponge.”  So let’s provide them with all the goods to soak up!

Whether you have a kid, or you are trying to prepare because it’s in the near future, I encourage you to read! You might find you actually like it, if you don’t already. We are major influences on our children, that is a fact. They are more likely to pick up a book, or at least want you to read it to them, if they are too young to read it themselves. I can’t wait to pick out more books as time goes on, and our Beatrice gets older. So don’t mind me, periodically sharing a stack of books for kids and their moms here and there!

Blog, Farm

“Farm Dogs: LGD vs Herding Breeds”

My old boy, Doc. He was an amazing example of the Aussie breed.

I had to bring up the farm dog topic considering dogs have been a big part of my life, and eventually will be a big part in the protection of our future farm (and family). There are two main types of farm dogs. LGD breeds (Livestock Guardian Dog) and Herding dog breeds. My husband has never really had either type, but I have grown up around Australian Shepherds, my whole life. They are a herding breed. We will be getting an LGD soon, and I can’t wait! Training dogs has always been something I enjoy doing, so I love to get experience with different kinds.

Herding Breeds:

My family has always been an “Aussie only” kind of family. Very biased, but who could blame them, they are an intelligent breed! Usually once people find a breed they like, they don’t switch, at least not for a long while. Australian Shepherd’s are one of many herding dogs bred and genetically driven to herd, just about anything on your farm. My old Aussie, would herd me when we ran around the back yard! There are Heelers, Collies, Corgi’s and many other kinds too, that are in this “Herding dog” category. They were all designed to help “round up” your herd, whatever that herd may be and if they have the chance to do so. All of them are intelligent, loyal, hard-working breeds, who are quick to learn and bred to guide the herd to a certain destination, or to keep them in a certain area. However, there is a significant difference between herding dogs, and Livestock Guardian dogs. 

On my List, to read next!

LGD Breeds:

Livestock Guardian dogs are another breed of “farm dog” if you will, that are bred for the farm life. Livestock dogs consist of many breeds. Popular ones are, Great Pyrenees, Sheepdogs, Maremma, and Anatolian Shepherds. Of course there are plenty others, just like with herding breeds, but these are most common. These breeds are similar; loyal, hard-working, smart, quick learners, and intelligent. However, they were made to be the sole protection. A barrier between herd and predator.

I think the main difference with these dogs is, they are meant to bond solely to the herd/flock or whatever animal its protecting and not to you, the human. While they are meant to obey and listen to you of course, they are meant to be out in the barn, not in the house on the dog bed. This type of breed thrives being bonded to it’s job, (a herd or flock). Where as an Aussie for example, thrives being bonded to the human first, who then gives it a job.

(Herding breed) Aussie to the left. To the right, (LGD breed) some type of Pyrenees/Maremma mix.

The Difference:

Herding breeds are driven to herd, corral, and to guide the other animals (or the children) on the farm. Where as Livestock Dogs, are bred to protect the animals of the farm. They are the watchers, the loyal lookouts. That is their job, not to corral the farm, but to save the farm from things that prey on the outskirts. Aussie’s and other herding breeds can be protective, my Dad’s Aussie does great at protecting him! However, there are other breeds better suited to do so, and better suited for that type of training. It’s not impossible, but it is more difficult to train a dog for something it wasn’t truly designed or driven to do in the first place. 

Personally, my husband and I both have not had our own LGD before, we’ve only been around other people’s. We will be getting one though, to protect our farm once it gets a little bigger. Our animals will need a protecter, and something that will help to deter predators. I love Aussie’s and in fact I have loved training them and being around them throughout my childhood but they, as well as other herding breeds, were never designed to be doing the work of protecting, full time. It’s not what they’re driven or bred to do. I also can’t have a dog that would rather be inside with us, instead of in with the barn animals. If you too have had Aussies, you know they are “velcro” dogs! LGD are herd first, people second kind of dogs. They still like you, but they love their herd/flock.

Also, on my list. Can’t wait to read it!

The LGD We Want:

We will be getting a Karakachan dog when the time comes. They are hard to find, especially in our area! but we stumbled across a breeder, and it seems to be just what we are looking for in a farm dog. Loyal, smart, hard-working, protective, quick learners, and good with kids. That was the main thing. We’ve read and researched about them all (one of the helpful things about the internet!) and we can’t wait to start working with an LGD Breed, and just learn more about them with all the day-to-day experience on our own.

I think a lot of people get nervous about LGD’s when starting out, because they are marked as “severely stubborn.” I think this mainly comes from the fact that they are the “boss” of the herd, they are independently driven to do their job, on their own without your help. If you come into it with no training and no one to help, then that smart, quick dog has a risk of learning bad habits and being stubborn, in a bad way. That is where we need to step in to guide, take preventative action, and to train them properly. Any smart dog can learn bad habits! I believe that it takes the correct training, and any helping hands who have the experience, as well. Don’t be scared to try owning a different breed, just because you haven’t before. As long as you prepare for that dogs needs and such, why not?

I have had a good amount of experience with dogs, and even hope to eventually do puppy training in the far future, but still every dog breed is different and it takes different techniques, and different training for breeds who have different drives! So I’m eager to train an LGD and learn more. I love researching different dog breeds, partially because I’ve worked with Aussies so much that now, it is time for a change! I also just enjoy training dogs. 

Next up on the “Dogs to Get” list that I have going, is a German Shepherd (for our protection, not the farms). Tell me, do you have a Karakachan, or other LGD? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear your family’s experience with them!