Sunday, July 8, 2012

Today I was finishing up getting the barn ready and set up for my new rabbits.  One of the things I decided to do was to put my cages (three high stackers, mostly 30x36's, one stack of 30x30's) on wheels.  I did this because I have "indoor" and "outdoor" space for the rabbits, and I want to be able to easily move the cages in and out.  The outdoor space is a covered porch (barn porch) with field fencing (2x4 I think) on the walls, floor to ceiling) and an extra wide door (so I can carry pans out) that is constructed from wood and is covered with the same fencing.  Anyway... as I was figuring out how to attach the wheels, I remember someone asking about how to put wheels on cages recently, so I thought I would detail here how I did it.  This was done by me by myself, so it really isn't difficult.  Thinking it through was the hard part;  doing it was actually really easy :)


Pressure treated 2x2's
Pressure treated 2x4's
Bolts to fit through the holes on your cage legs (bolt length to suite yourself)
Nuts and washers to fit the bolts
Four wheels for each cage (swivel wheels on metal brackets, I used 2-1/2 inch Swivel Casters from Lowe's.  Locking casters for the front and non-locking on the back)
Wood Screws to mount the casters (I used Flat Phillips-Zinc 12x1/M5.5x25.4 from Lowe's.  These screws have heads that are large enough that you don't have to use washers with them)


Tape measure

For a 30x36 cage:

First, cut the 2x2 to fit from leg to leg as in picture.  Mine measured 30-1/4 inches.  Next, attach the 2x2 to the legs by first drilling a hole in the 2x2, then inserting a bolt through the hole, adding washer and nut to secure. In the picture, you will see that I used two bolts;  this is because I drilled an additional hole into my legs, thinking that two bolts would be better.  On the other cages I added wheels to, I just used one bolt.  (Queen of Overkill! lol)   If your bolts have (as mine do) a square beneath the head, you might need to hammer the bolt head into the wood until the head sits flush on the wood).   Repeat on other leg.  Next, attach 2x2 the same way to the other side of the cage/other two legs.  (I neglected to place the washer in my picture can do better ), cut your 2x4 to length, so that it fits, as shown, from 2x2 to 2x2.  If you mounted your 2x2 just right, you'll be able to extend your 2x4 a little bit beyond the cage leg, adding to the strength of things.  If you're like me, and did not mount your 2x2 just so, you will have to make your 2x4 fit between the legs, as mine does in the picture.  Either way, I really think it will be FINE.  I am the queen of over-kill lol, liking to make things as secure as possible.  But, as my Dad so often points out to me, "It doesn't have to fly" either way should be fine;)

Next, place your cage right side up, and slide the 2x4 into place.  From the top, (no pictures for this), using two 2-1/2 wood screws per corner, attach the 2x4 to the 2x2.  Do this by screwing from the top, through the 2x2, into the 2x4.

Then, flip it upside-down again and attach the wheels/casters.  This is where you will use the Flat Phillips 12x1 wood screws with the heads that are larger than the holes in the metal bracket of the wheels.  4 per wheel....git'er done!

Finished product!:)  Ready for you to stack one or two more cages (with legs and pan slides) on top!

These roll really well.  I was concerned about them being perfectly level, did nothing to insure that they were perfectly level, but they somehow do sit just right;)  So...give it a try:)  If you have any suggestions to improve the idea or questions, I'd love to hear both/either:):):)


Saturday, July 7, 2012

I am so excited to announce that very in next week!!!..... I will be back in to angoras!  I am going up to New York next week to pick up a trio of French Angoras:)  A little over two years ago, just after I bought my house, I realized that between work, school, and a new home that needed a lot of work, I just did not have the time to properly maintain my French Angora herd, let alone attend shows and work on improving my rabbits.   But happily, at this point, I am in a position to be able to once again join the wonderful world of angoras:)  I am still in school, starting at Western Carolina University in the Fall to complete my Bachelors in Elementary Education, but I have at least accustomed myself to the demands of full-time college on top of full-time work;)   I am really happy and excited.  I've miss my rabbits, missed the good people and friends that I had through the hobby of raising and showing angoras.  You really won't find a better bunch of folks than rabbit breeders;) 

I have spent lots of weekend over the past couple months turning my "workshop" back into a rabbitry.  I have moved stuff, re-arranged, sold, thrown-out and re-stashed things until I have about 90% of my work-shop/shed/whatever you want to call it set up again as a rabbitry...which, for all purposes, from now on, will be referred to as my barn .  It still needs work (and rabbits lol) but I will post pictures as I can.

This afternoon I spent a few hours cleaning dropping pans that have been stored for these past couple years.  I like (love!) the dura-pans and will never go back to metal dropping pans.  It really does pay to slowly and surely switch over if you haven't done so already;)  I have always found that it is much easier to maintain my dropping pans, keeping them as clean as possible on a regular basis, then to let the urine deposits build up and then have to tackle a huge job.  Each week, I clean the pans that are being used.  I keep twice as many pans on hand as I have rabbits.  That way, when I pull a pan from beneath a pan, I dump it in the wheelbarrow, and immediately replace it with a clean pan.  Then I hose the dirty pans, and if there is urine build up, dump white vinegar into the pan to cover the bottom, or at least half of the bottom, and let it soak until the build up is dissolved.  Scrub with a "grill scrubbing pad" from Lowes, and then pour the vinegar into the next pan to be used again.  I've found that I can clean several pans with the same vinegar before needing fresh.  Afterwards, I dump the used vinegar on unwanted weeds and rinse the pans with the hose and set them to dry.  It really doesn't take as long as it sounds, and again, it pays to maintain the pans weekly instead of letting the buildup build up into a huge job;)  Same thing with my cage floors;  scrub weekly with a Vanodine/something comparable solution and your buns pads will stay clean and healthy and you'll keep the cage corners from turning into a huge ordeal;) 

One thing that is yet to be installed in my barn is a window unit air-conditioner.  I seem to be alone in my way of thinking on this subject, but I do believe in doing anything I can to avoid undue stress on the rabbits from heat.  When I lived in central Florida and the Savannah area of GA, I had no choice but to completely climate control the barn in the spring and summers.  Here in western NC, the climate is very different.  Even during this recent awful heat wave, we stayed pretty reasonably comfortable here, and shed I am using as a barn is well insulated, so I know the heat will rarely be an issue.  But my thought is "why not be prepared?".  Too..between working full time and school, I know that I may not have time to supply the buns with frozen water bottles on hot days, etc.  So the a/c is a great convenience for me, as well as a safe-guard against the (rare) severe heat.  I am really only posting my thoughts on this on the chance that it might give someone else an idea that will make things easier on them and their rabbits. 

Guess that about covers things for now.  I find that as I get older, I want to "just talk" a blog allows us to do;)  So, once again, it is my intent to start updating my blog as my new rabbit and general life ventures re-begin;)  We'll see how I do;)

Luke (my coming soon ;) ) is out "racing" with Davey Jones, my silver-laced wyandotte rooster, so I better go and rescue one from the other...;)