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by Dale Grabenbauer

Seeing pictures of my rabbitry in the DR, I feel compelled to explain it. A big share of my rabbitry is made of brick, from ground level to about 3 1/2 feet high. From the brick up is 1" x 8" cedar wood running parallel, and 1" x 2" cedar bats covering the cracks and painted with stain. We have metal roofs with a 12" air space and a second roof elevated down the middle of the rabbitry directly over this sidewalk in the middle of the rabbitry. The second roof is a corrugated vinyl that lets in daylight. The building has 3 foot overhangs covering the sidewalks on the outside. I feed and water my rabbits from the isle way down the middle and also on the outside. In Florida, really all you need is a roof with a good overhang. You need to think carefully about ventilation and unfortunately all of my rabbitry does not have it. Did I read that Kevin Hooper witnessed only two days of about 80 degrees in his rabbitry? Compare that to my big thermometer on the outside in the shade that reads almost 90 degrees every day during the summer. Sometimes I come in the house after feeding and I tell my wife, Eloise, I do not know how the rabbits can take it. Yet I have lost very few from the heat. I understand that some of my Florida friends are now using AC.
Most of my cages are 3' by 2' in depth. Bottoms, sides, tops are 14 gauge galvanized after welding. My doors on the cages swing down, that way they are out of your way. I have tried swinging inside and hooking at the top. However that gets in the way of nest box entering and removal and coming down on a rabbit's head. Swinging outward gets in the way of the isle centered rabbitry. Swing upward and out did not work. I use aluminum J clamps to prevent rusting.
I use crocks for water and feed. A few times a year I soak them in bleach and water in 5 gallon pails and set them in the sun. Twice a week I give my rabbits about 1 TBL of bleach to a gallon of water in their drinking water. I feed Purina pellets and sometimes a little hay. I do not use oil, seeds, calf manna to feed them Perhaps I am missing something. I feed once a day around 4:30 pm and then check them again at 7:00 am.
I use fans under the cages, cools the building and keeps flies away and the soil dry.
I have never won the all Dutch show or national convention, or really being a threat to win it. And have never attended the all Dutch show, however I have sent a couple of Dutch two times. I attended the national convention in Tulsa and Louisville. I really do not like to travel and be away from home for a time. But I would like others to travel to our Florida shows.
I do not spend all my time with rabbits. I am 77 years of age, farming 29 acres. I built a new house and keep over 100 pigeons, fancy chickens, a few Indian Runner ducks, guineas, a blue tick coon hound. However, I have sold my cows. I spend a little time doing charity work. I am retired ice cream salesman, but did brick laying for a hobby.

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