Blog, Evergreen Rabbitry

“Rehoming, and Buying Another Rabbit.”

Finally, we re-homed, Tyrell.

Sticky Situation: Rehoming Tyrell


As many of you may know, we got a Blue Rex buck a few months back, now. Unfortunately, It was a very sticky situation, straight from the beginning. The owners, were not completely honest with us at all, and the rightful owner, left the buck in the hands of a relative for us to meet with, because she was leaving the state, for schooling. This relative, however, knew nothing of the Rabbit, other than to drop it off to us, so he could answer no questions. 

I also found out, right before we left that he had been in his same, tiny cage for 10 whole days while they were gone, just before we picked him up. His rump, was covered in his own fecal matter said the relative, and he had to clean it off the buck’s bottom, before they gave him to us. He was also molting, which wasn’t a problem as all Rabbits molt, but he just looked, a little rough. I thought “well, he probably will get better super quick, and I can’t leave him like this with someone who has no clue what to do.”

Tip #1: Never buy an animal, because you feel bad, unless you fully have plans to commit to rehabilitating that animal, as you may not find a good home for it as quickly as hoped for.

We use these for their pellets! As our Rabbits dig in bowls.

Well, after that, the actual owner sent me his pedigree over email, and then told me he was “a product of genetic testing, nothing to worry about”. Compared to my other Rex’s, he looked a little off, quality wise. Not super noticeable, but definitely something was different. I contacted a few breeders, who said that is probably fine, and truly is nothing to worry about, but he still just looked off to me.

Over the next couple weeks, he wasn’t getting healthier, even with my efforts, to fix him up. So, we put him up for “sale” hoping someone would want him. We communicated to other breeders about our situation, and researched a lot more; we came to the conclusion he needs a pet home where he can get special care. Sadly, no one around here wanted to take in a Standard Rex who cannot be bred, or used for meat.

Luckily though, we finally found a small rescue local to us, who takes Rabbits and contacted us.  Long story short, we have successfully re-homed Tyrell, to someone who can treat him so much better! I should have never put myself in that situation, and if I had known what to look for better, I would have seen the quality he was, was not great for our breeding standards, at all. I just got too hopeful I could fix it quick, and didn’t know enough about what good, quality Rabbits look like.

Tip #2: It’s okay to say no to a breeder, if you are not comfortable with how the animal looks or acts! The breeder should know, the buyer has the right to say no, and it may just not work out. That’s just a risk, when it comes to selling animals, it might not always sell to the person who is interested.

So anyways, I’m glad that whole situation is over with, and I will not make the same mistake, twice (hopefully). I could not risk him, bringing sickness to my other Rabbits due to his poor health, and his weakened immune system, or for him to get worse through Winter.

New Buck:

Welcome, Corduroy!

This next buck, I researched like crazy for, and persuaded my husband a tad bit too, as he wasn’t, cheap. Good quality usually, if not always, isn’t. We both know that, however and with that, on top of the fact that we will not be buying another breeder Rabbit for a while (that is the plan if everything goes accordingly) is why we are comfortable with going forward. 

We do not want to end up with another, Tyrell situation, and I have not bought from this breeder before (it was a recommended breeder) so I asked her a ton of questions and told her that we have dealt with bad breeders previously, she was honest and open to all my questions, so I think we scored there! So far, the Chocolate Buck named “Corduroy” looks great! Can’t wait to see some babies from him and one of my does this Spring!

Planned Breeding Pairs: Spring 2022

So we have 3 does, and 2 bucks. The pairs that I have in mind to use, are listed below. I have one doe who may throw Charlies (almost all white; 10% color or less), just due to her coloring, and she also was pretty, small for a Standard Rex. She took longer to gain weight, and we don’t want that for our Rabbitry, as we are hoping to sell them (and use them ourselves) as meat Rabbits and/or show Rabbits in the future, however, I still would like to see how she does, if she has big, healthy kits, regardless. If not, and she produces smaller Rex’s I will re-home her, and hopefully keep a doe, from one of our litters, who is better suited for giving good sized, and good colored offspring. I’m really hoping she works out though!

We do not plan to get anymore outside breeding Rabbits, as we will just keep offspring of certain pairs to breed in the future or switch out, if these ones can’t breed for some reason. Currently, they are all first timers and anything could happen, as they are still learning. I am and will be preparing for all the things, in regards to their breeding process. I am still learning the ropes of genes, and color pairings, how colors work together, and how some don’t. With that said, I’m not confident enough to say what color offspring, these pairings will throw. However, I do have a general idea, and I hope I will be somewhat close, if not correct! We’ll see how great that turns out, though. I will let you know!

Pairings: Spring 2022

#1: “Blackie” x “Cottontail” (Solid Black buck, Broken Castor doe #1).

#2: “Corduroy” x “Flopsy” (Solid Chocolate buck, Blue Otter doe).

#3: The Test Pairing: “Blackie” x “Mopsy” (Solid Black buck, Broken Castor doe #2).

Blog, Evergreen Rabbitry

“New Experiences In A Beginning Rabbitry: Real vs False Pregnancies”

Flopsy, and Cottontail. 2 of 3 breeder does.

Although we have researched a ton about (Standard Rex) Rabbits and how to care for them, what to expect when breeding, and all of those things. We still don’t have much experience with it! We’ve only been at it since this last June, so in total, about 5 months. If you have followed along, you probably expected (as did I) baby Rabbit pictures everywhere, around the 20th of September! Unfortunately, baby Rabbits never came.

First Breeding: Expected Litter

We decided to do one breeding with 2 of our 3 breeding does in August, to get September kits, just before it got super cold out. All precautions were taken, as they bred for the first time— both the buck and the doe’s first time! That went smoothly, he fell off quite dramatically, twice! I took that as a good sign, and expected a litter in 31 days. We bought a Rabbit the very same day, who also got bred (at the breeder’s) for the first time as well. The breeder had said, the doe never lifted her tail, but there was still a chance she could be expecting. I originally didn’t expect her to be, but both Rabbits started acting different around half way through. I got high hopes there would be 2 litters, for sure.

I saw them looking a bit bigger, acting different (affection wise), eating different amounts of hay and pellets, and drinking more water. So, I became hopeful that both breedings had turned out successful! The day before the due date, one doe pulled just the smallest amount of hair, but enough to see tufts of hair, in the hutch. I figured she was in the process of doing such, and I had just interrupted it. The due date came and went, and still no good reaction to the nest boxes and no hair pulling, any further. I am assuming, after thinking on it, that the doe who pulled hair, had a false pregnancy. She did just move to a new place, around different bucks and such, so that makes sense. Where as the other doe, wasn’t showing any signs at all really. I think, she never showed signs and I was just hopeful for her to be, and that was all.

 I never knew how difficult it would be to identify a true pregnancy, from a false pregnancy! Or how to tell if that’s even what happened, with them.

Probably going to get this, for some of our messier Rabbits!

Waiting Until Spring: More Hopeful

Now, I have decided that since they both did not take, and it is now Fall,  I will try again in the spring time, hoping they will be more willing to try again! I’m starting to think its better this way, as there were a few times, one of my does escaped! I had to fix and tighten, a couple things on the hutches. I will just continue preparing our set up, for the baby Rabbits, this Spring. We cannot wait to have them, and gain that experience! I’m sure once we have a few litters, it will be much easier to tell the difference between a true and false pregnancy, in the does that I have. Once we get into the swing of things, I may try to breed them through Fall/Winter, but that all depends on how it goes, and how my Rabbits handle their pregnancies!

Rehoming a buck:

Tyrell, is one of our breeder bucks. You may have heard of him, if you have followed along on our social media page, or I’m sure I’ve mentioned him on one of these Rabbitry posts. We bought him a couple months ago, now. He is a 1yr old Blue Rex Buck. His previous owner, was going away and had to get rid of her Rabbits. So, I saw his picture, he looked healthy, and we decided to buy him! However, as we are still very new to this, we are still learning what to look for, quality wise, in the Rabbits we get. So, we brought him home, and looked at him, compared to our other Buck and we just aren’t sure if we want to breed him for our Rabbitry. 

Like I stated previously, we are fairly new to this, and are still learning what to look for. We want the absolute best quality, considering we will be selling to people. He is a great tempered buck, nice coat of fur, but for a breeding buck we aren’t too sure, and that’s what we needed him for. He just doesn’t fit our personal standards, so far. In our Rabbitry, we got Rex Rabbits for being, versatile. He just doesn’t seem very versatile (as in being for meat rabbit and pelts, garden fertilizer, show rabbit, etc).

Tyrell.

With that being said, we have decided to try and re-home him, to someone who can get better use of him. With us, we need any room we can get and we cannot afford to have a buck who does not breed for us, currently. We are planning to do meat in the future, but not at this moment in time, as I know most people just cull the unwanted Rabbits they have. We just couldn’t with him, and not knowing really, where he came from at a year old now we didn’t feel comfortable, with that option. That is why we have chosen the route, of rehoming. 

We have yet to find him a home, but we sure hope someone pops up soon! because he sure is a great buck, and we need to get a new breeding buck soon, for our Rabbitry.

That is all the news, and updates for us right now. Wish it could have been more exciting, and had tiny little rabbit pictures, but its where we are with that! Was it hard for you, to distinguish the difference between true and false pregnancies, in your does when you first started out?

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, Evergreen Rabbitry

“How We Built Our Pallet Rabbit Hutch, and What it Cost.”

Forest, the Keeper of the Rabbits.

I really don’t remember quite how we got to starting a Rabbitry, all I know is my husband wanted to get our little one some rabbits, and here we are starting a Rabbitry! We researched quite a lot about building our own hutches for the rabbits and we had access to a lot of pallets. So, we found a pallet hutch design and went from there! This hutch has 2 sides, so it will be nice and roomy for each of our breeder does (girl rabbits) litters and, nest boxes. 

Material list:  

  • 5-6 Pallets (try to get the bigger ones, with wider boards. You might have extra boards when finished).
  • Two 2’x4′ ft pieces of Plywood
  • 8 Hinges
  • 4 locks any kind you want. (We used a 2 1/2″ inch barrel bolt lock).
  • 2 door handles
  • 12 Corner braces, L shaped brackets two to go in each of the frames base corners
  • 16 Tie Plate Bracket pieces
  • Roofing (we used a vinyl kind. It’s lightweight and doesn’t get as hot as metal roofing).
  • 1 1/2″ inch Nails
  • 4″ inch Screws
  • a box of Staples (to staple wire).
  • 1×1/2″ inch Mesh wire
  • Some Chicken wire
  • extra sand paper (for sanding boards)

Optional:

  • Paint
  • Tools to paint

The total cost with all these supplies came out to about $200, without the paint. With the paint (and we got primer) it would be about $250.

Step One: Deconstruct Pallets and Build Frame

First, the pallets need to be deconstructed, and we sanded ours down a little bit. You don’t have to if you have nice pallets, but it did help with the fairly scratchy pallets we had. Then we organized which wood pieces would be going to what part of the hutch and started building the frame. The sizes for our frame were; W 50″in x L 47.5″in the height on the inside of the actual enclosure was approx. 24″ at the back wall w/ an added 5″ at the front wall, (rough estimate). In front sides of the frame are set up to create a corner for the leg posts to sit in. Notice those corners in the picture. Make sure to put a center beam in the middle for that extra stability, and to staple your floor wire to something. Also, attach all the frames base, corner braces onto the inside of the frame.

The Frames Base/floor. Notice the corners and legs position.

Step Two: First Roofing Attachments

Next, attach a beam to the top two sides for the roofing, and then lay down three sheets of plywood about 8″ inch x 4′ foot in sizing for it to be secured to, and for stability as well. 

Put a beam on each side for roof stabilization. Also, notice all the corner braces, placement.
Lay sheets of the plywood across, for roof.

Step Three: Paint Frame and Flooring

Now that the frame and first roofing pieces are on, put the first part of the door frame up, that front middle beam. Put back middle beam up too, that will be for the back wall pieces. We recommend painting the frame now, while it is bare. Make sure that you do not get any paint on the inside where rabbits will be, because they nibble on the wood, and it is not good for them to digest the paint. Now, attach the floor wire by stapling it down.  After the floor wire is attached, put a board across the top center beam to cover the staples. That makes it looking a bit cleaner. 

Painted frame, and flooring pieces in.

Step Four: Divider Wall and Gap

For the wall divider, the size was about 48″ in  We marked where to cut for the bottom center beam, and took that piece out so it slid in, with a snug fit without nailing it in place. There is a gap at the top, between the wall and the roof. You will need to staple chicken wire over that gap (or any small enough wire) so that the rabbits cannot jump into each other’s side.

The added wall divider.

Step Five: Putting up Walls

To get a nice clean bottom edge we nailed a temporary board across the bottom of each side while working on the walls. After doing that we measured, cut and nailed in the boards. We used 4 nails each board, and the sizes of the boards were roughly; back boards 26″ in, side boards 25.5-29″ inches. At the corner of each wall was the roofing beam that stuck out so we marked the last board and cut out a notch to fit that last board in.

Back wall boards up. See temporary bottom edge board.
Great book! I have a copy as well!

Step Six: Some Front door attachments and Roof

Attach the roof. We used 3 sheets of vinyl. We had ours overhang on the back by 8″in and in the front approx. 10″ inches. Now that the three walls are up and the roof is on, move the temporary board to the front to help align your door frames and paint all the walls.  We added along the sides, another board so that our door locks would be flush with the door and be able to open/close properly, However it might not need that depending on the lock style used. We also added a board at the top in between door frame and roof to try and even that out as well.

Painted walls, and temporary front board is up.
Showing the roof. It was after this picture, that the top board (between roof and door frame), and two side boards for the door was added.

Step Seven: Side doors

We added the side doors because it would be a hassle for me to reach in to grab a rabbit or kit in the very back, especially if there is a protective mother doe. Its about a 10×12″ inch door. Big enough to get a full grown rabbit out of, but no bigger. Mark where you want the door with a sharpie and cut it out. After cutting that out, the wood boards will need to be nailed to 2 back boards, shown below, so that they stay together.

Top left; outline of door. Top right; cut out. Bottom pictures; finished side door

Step Eight: Front doors

Now we have the front doors. Ours were approx. 20″x22.75″ inches . Once we hammered the 8 tie plate pieces into the four sides of the frame boards (back and front), we painted the doors, (no paint on the inside). We marked where we wanted our hinges and door handle and screwed those in. Now staple the mesh wire to the inside of the door, and try to get rid of any excess wire. If you are using a wall pellet feeder, you can just do a quick cut out for that in the door’s wire as well.

Front doors painted, and attached.

Now find a place for your new rabbit hutch and enjoy!

Part 2, for the 4 sided Rabbit hutch, coming soon!

Finished two sided Rabbit Hutch.

Blog, Evergreen Rabbitry

Introducing Our Rabbits, and Our “Evergreen Rabbitry.”

Cottontail

Hey there! So let’s jump right in to why we started a Rabbitry. First off, let it be known that I was the one who did not like the idea of getting Rabbits. My husband wanted a Rabbit for our little one, but I thought Rabbits would be pointless. However, I came across two facts. One being that they have great droppings for garden fertilizer, and the second, is that they are actually a great meat source as well! The breed that we got is multi-purposeful. It’s the Standard Rex breed. This breed you can even use their pelts because they are so velvety soft. So with being kind of cute to look at in your yard and now having a purpose, we decided why not get some, and why not breed them for others to enjoy as well?

There are actually two Rex breeds, Standard and Mini. We chose Standard mainly because they are a bit bigger being between 7.5 – 10.5 pounds (12” in length) where as the mini’s are only 3 – 4.5 pounds (10” in length). We’ve never had Rabbits before and are having so much fun with them so far! Four will be our breeder Rabbits, three of which are shown below. So far, we have the two does (female Rabbits) and one buck (male Rabbit) with one buck on the way (around September, so excited to get him!). These Rabbits won’t be our meat source, that will be later in the future with the offspring, so we are still preparing for that. Currently, we are just using them as our garden fertilizers and friends to our little one to enjoy! 

The name is “Evergreen Rabbitry,” because one, we love our home in the Evergreen state of Washington (hence this blog’s name), and two that name will eventually tie into the name of our (future) farm.

Our Rabbits:

When we do breed them if not this Fall, this coming Spring, we are hoping to send good and healthy, little Rabbits to families who will enjoy them as either a 4-H friend, a meat source, a pet, or even just a garden fertilizer! These Rabbits have so many options it seems like, and that’s why when choosing a breed, we chose this one. I also heard that this Rex breed is the most “cat like.” So, there is a random fun-fact for you. I am looking forward to writing about the whole breeding process with them, so keep a look out for that in the future!

Blackie, Mopsy, Cottontail

 Animal Stewardship, and Young children:

We wanted to start doing animals while we grow our family, and while our little Beatrice is young because we are big advocates of helping our children understand that while animals are cute and friendly, God has given them all a purpose. To teach them that we take care of, and respect the animals that the Lord has provided for us to use as food for the table. It is a true blessing, to be a steward of the earth.

Great book for the beginning!

Rabbit Care:

We have researched quite a lot, because we wanted to make sure that any animal we have never had experience with, would be well taken care of when we did become the owners. Luckily, rabbits in general are pretty low maintenance, and easy to take care of. They also don’t need a ton of space! That’s another reason why we decided on rabbits for our next animal. It’s a smaller space in our backyard, so we can do the Rabbits with no problems! We definitely didn’t want to get an animal who would not enjoy life in a smaller space at first. Also, with the gardening we are doing now they can, and will eat any cuts or clippings you don’t want to eat yourself! Beside’s a couple of things, they can eat just about anything in the garden (in moderation of course). I’ll make another post later, about what to feed them!

Rabbitry Info:

We might have one or two more Does later on, but I’ve heard often that It’s easy to find yourself with more rabbits than wanted. So, I’m keeping us limited to just the four breeders right now (two does, two bucks). With the two Does hopefully being bred 2-3 times a year, that will be plenty enough rabbits to have and give to other families!

I post about the Rabbitry on here, but if you are near the Key Peninsula area of Western Washington, and would like one, or a couple Rex Rabbits, head on over to our Rabbitry Facebook page “Evergreen Rabbitry” for further details and updates on the litters. You can also contact me through this blog, or any other social media! (all links at the bottom of this web page).

Purely for your enjoyment. Blackie in the Rabbit run, chilling.