The rabbits have been living under the back steps for almost a month now and it is time to move them to proper quarters. I have been looking for inspiration online and have two images which seem to be the two ways to go in hutches:
The Hop Way Door! is meant to lead your bun-bun to a fenced in area where they can kick up their heels in proper bunny joy and live a life more in line with nature. Sort of a rabbit tractor, if you can imagine it. Since our rabbits will be in a fenced in area anyway we will just make sure that there are no points of escape.
Pastured Rabbits at Polyface Farm, Staunton, Virginia
I will admit to having done research on the feasibility of a "Rabbit Colony" much like the ancient Romans used to do, but it has been treated with such disdain by Proper People that I feel guilty for even contemplating it.
One detailed description (and dismissal) of a colony is from the book The Homesteaders Handbook to Raising Small Livestock:
In one particular case, an area 16x16 feet was marked off and was dug out to a depth of two feet. At the corners, 12 foot posts were placed, two others were set at the middle of one side for a doorway, and center posts were set on the other three sides.
Bales of hay were stacked tightly in the depression, two bales thick. Poultry mesh was stapled to the posts, a hinged door set in place, and the entire thing was covered with black plastic for waterproofing. A large water trough was made from an eaves trough, and some oats, bone meal, and mineral was tossed on the hay.
One bred doe was placed in the enclosure. When her first litter was weaned, she was rebred and returned to the warren. After that, except for watering and feeding (grain and kitchen and garden waste), the rabbits were ignored for six months.
At that time, so the report went, the family of seven removed as many rabbit fryers as it wanted...The rabbits tunneled into the hay and lived a fairly natural life.
For the homesteader who doesn't really care that much about rabbits, or who (mistakenly, in my opinion) isn't interested in stock improvement, this system could have some merit. There is no opportunity for selective breeding, which means the quality of the stock will be gradually lowered...So far as real rabbit breeders are concerned, this is just one step above going out in the woods and hunting rabbits.
Well, don't I just feel silly for even thinking such a thing? Perhaps I am not a serious homesteader. No, I'm sure of it. I'm not serious at all.