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When it rains....

March 23rd, 2010 at 01:24 pm

it pours. My third post for the day. Big Grin

While raising rabbits isn't a practical option for me right now, it nevertheless got me wondering about all sorts of self-sustaining, money-saving, and ecologically-friendly ideas that I can implement while I'm at it. Ideas ranging anywhere from what kind of herbs or vegetables I can grow using rabbit pellets as fertilizer, all the way to rabbit hutch designs.

The latter is what lead me to this post here, because I think it could mate very well with another idea that I've been hoping to get my hands on some day: Collecting rainwater.

I think the benefits of collecting your own rain water is pretty self-explanatory right? Unfortunately, it's not without its practical challenges.

Current implementations generally center around rigging up a large drum to your house's drainage gutters. Sure, that'll work, but you also have to constantly get up to the roof to clear the drainage. That and you may have to make a lot of ugly changes to the side of your house to get the drainage pipe set right. After that, it's another task just to get the rain water out from the drum and into use.

No no no. There has to be a better way. How about... building a rain water collection system on top of a rabbit hutch? Think I'm crazy? You should know the answer to that by now. Big Grin But seriously, take a look at this example hutch:



Now, I don't have to build one as beautiful as this, but notice how it's got an angled roof? If I make a hutch that's bigger (so the rabbits will have plenty of room to stretch their legs), and just high enough (with PVC shielding so rats can't get up there), why can't that also be a viable rain water collection system built on top of such a roof?

Moreover, it would solve the risks/hassles related to cleaning the drainage since you don't need to climb way up high anywhere.

Finally, if the hutch is placed correctly, it should also allow the water to naturally flow down and irrigate into a garden somehow, and not just a storage tank.

I think it can be done, and done in a cost-effective manner at that. What do you think?

8 Responses to “When it rains....”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    Looks interesting!

  2. Single Guy Says:

    Just my opinion, but... if you want to raise rabbits, then go for it. If however you want to be more ecology friendly (so to speak) I would say you should learn to hunt, and then go hunt deer. You don't have to feed the deer, no mess on your property, and if you get a deer you can feed off of it for a long time (especially if you're single). Rabbit meat isn't going to feed you for very long. Also deer meat is supposed to be very lean. I don't hunt but have relatives that do, and I know it helps alot with their food expenses.

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    I like the idea of using the hutch to collect rain water. I'm going to ask my mother if she's considered doing that with the new chicken coop as it's got a slanted roof like that. There were a lot of water restrictions here last year because of algae bloom in the lake so she couldn't water as much as she'd have liked to.

    Rabbit meat can feed you for quite a long time. A doe rabbit can get pregnant every month or so, a pregnancy lasts anywhere from 28 to 35 days depending on the breed, and meat breeds average 8 kits per litter. A doe can actually get pregnant while nursing her litter, but that's not a good idea for the rabbit. Kits should wean around 5 to 7 weeks after birth and that is enough time for the doe to recover before breeding her again. Keep in mind this is one doe. If you have three does (or more, but it's recommended beginners start with this many) and one buck you should have plenty of rabbit meat once litters start maturing, especially if you stagger breeding. Does can be bred for the first time between the ages of 5 to 9 months old depending on the breed. Rabbits are ready for slaughter between 70 and 90 days from birth when they are between 4 to 6 pounds. Once you get going you'd have rabbits coming out your ears. And there's probably a bad pun there somewhere, but I'm too tired to make it go away.

  4. campfrugal Says:

    I have a rain barrel. It needs to be hooked back up. Upon adding two additions to my home and repainting and putting new soffits around the older part of the house, our gutters are not up. So, that is going to be happening soon. Replacing the gutters and hooking up the rain barrel.

    I had a link on one of my posts that shows an awesome rain barrel catch system. It is pretty impressive. You might take time to watch it.

  5. baselle Says:

    Maybe, but probably on the no side.
    1. Hutch must be extremely water proof - bunnies are not ducks - they do best warm and dry.
    2. Noise. Rain on a tin roof might be relaxing to us but would stress out a bunny. Bunnies are naturally on the skittish side.
    3. Predation. You are already providing a possible dinner for coyote, hawk, cougar, owl, raccoon, etc. Now you are providing drinks too.
    4. Cleaning. Water is heavy. You want a maneuverable, tippable hutch for easy cleaning. You are basically putting a bathtub on top of your hutch.

    I just think it would be a nightmare all around.

  6. patientsaver Says:

    Such a small roof on the rabbit hutch will not collect an appreciable amount of water. That's why a house roof works well; it's a much larger square foot area.

    Gutters won't clog much if you install screens over them

  7. princessperky Says:

    I love the idea...but have you ever eaten a rabbit?

    No particular objection myself, though I tend to prefer not to have seen my meat alive (I know beef was once a cute calf, but I didn't meet it so life is good).

  8. Broken Arrow Says:

    Believe it or not, but I think I have, when I was a very small boy living in my native country. I don't remember what it taste like though, so I suspect it was nothing special? I only remember seeing rabbit legs being cooked, literally on a stick on top of these small fires.

    Anyway, all this is just a thought experiment. You know, throw some of the more intriguing ideas into the mix rather than my usual stuff.

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