Sunday, October 25, 2009

General Update-091024

Yea, I know more pictures, and I have some... videos too, but I just am always in the wrong place when I decide to write! This morning I'm at church waiting to lead a Baptism class and don't have access to the pictures.

I had productive day. I finished all four nest boxes, painted them with rot preventer and mounted them to the support rail. The support rail, being only a 2"x2" may sag eventually so I think I'll run a vertical support leg up the center of the rails.

I also mounted all four Fine-X feeders, and moved the water bottles to the inside next to the feeders. The feeders just need a slot cut in the wire. They have a support wire that is mounted to the feeder and that you just slip into the wire caging... easy!

The above doesn't seem like much but it took all day. I also gave guidance to Samuel as he cleaned the front of the house. The tree frogs hang out on the front porch waiting for the porch light to draw bugs, and they aren't much hassle, but they just don't wipe their feet when when they walk around on the vinyl siding and eventually they form dirty spots where they hang out. Sam sprayed on some bleach and water, then scrubbed with a brush... he did a nice job. I won't tell him that the sides are next!

Next is the fryer cages. I think I will create open front communal nest boxes for the six cages. This will allow the rabbits to congregate together when frightened, or for warmth. I think they will be about 24"Wx18"Dx12"H. I'll make one then see how I like it. I will also make the support frame sturdier to enable it to hold the weight. I will need to look at the fryer cages that are next to the AC fan. In the Summer it will blow hot air onto the box and cook the bunnies. I will have to come up with a housing/vent for the AC blower that vents the air away. Currently I have leaned a piece of plywood up against the offending side and that has worked.

After I complete the rabbitry, which I am lovingly calling the "Wise Rabbit Rabbitry", I need to do a few things to the house. Faceing, eaves, windo caulking, all need to be worked on. I little painting too, around the doors and on the front porch. I noticed that the windows need caulking bad. I fear that I already have wood rot in several places.

After the house is repaired then I'm not sure. I want to build the aquaponics system, but I'm getting really antsy about building my ferro-cement hut/cabin... whatever. If I consider that the AP build will be fairly easy and quick then that would come first. On-the-other-hand, I really need to build the back porch greenhouse along with the AP build so then it becomes more complex. I could build the back porch green house before the AP project, just add it into the "house" repairs... 'might do that.

I researched construction for the greenhouse and had all but decided on a PVC frame but then I still need to consider the look when complete. I would like the greenhouse to fuse with the courrent house (a small ranch style on a slab) so then maybe wood... still undecided. I think I will draw both up and get with Gail and see what she says.

Pensacola, FL

Sunday, October 18, 2009

General Update-091018

I created the ramp up to the chicken house. I used a 2"x10" scrap about 3' long and nailed some plywood strips to it, then painted on some weather treatment. I think I'm officially done with the chicken coop. Extras excluded; power, heat & water.

I also built the two nest box support braces and another rabbit nest box. I painted weather proofing on the outside of the boxes to keep the weather out. I used the circular saw and the cuts were much cleaner.

Tony Faircloth
Cantonment, FL

General Update-091017

I placed boards around the bottom of then chicken yard and attached the bottom of the poultry netting to it. With the exception of the ramp to the house I think the chicken coop is complete. I still must decide upon any extra insulation to block wind but otherwise I'm finished.

I think I will get the bitties in the Spring so that I don't have to worry too much about extreme cold temps while they're young. However for the next Winter (2010) I will need to work on insulating the chicken house from the wind, and by adding a heat source of some type. Currently it is fully walled with chicken wire except for the floor which is 1/4" screen supported by two lengths of heavy wire with turnbuckles for tightening as needed.

I am also reveiwing my Storey's book on chickens for feeder and waterer placement, as well as feeding guidelines.

I decided to alter the rabbitry design to allow for the nest boxes to protrude outside the cages. I will build a support for the backend of the cages consisting of 2"x4"x12" arms that will hold a 2"x2"8' brace. I have the wood and screws I just need to assemble it.

I also built a 12"Hx12"Wx18"L nest box from 1/2" scrap plywood. The front entrance swoops from 12" tall to 6" to allow the rabbit to enter. It turned out a little rough but I'm sure the rabbits won't complain. I think using a circular saw vice a jig saw would help the look. I also hinged the back 10" of the top so that I can get into them for cleaning and inspection from the outside. I think I can have another three made by the close of next Saturday.

Several weeks ago I ordered some 2 liter bottle adapters from the Bass Equipment company to allow me to use 2 liter soda bottles for rabbit waterers. They came in and I set them up on the four breeder cages. One I filled and found that the spring that holds the top of the bottle to the cage also squishes it strong enough to force the water out past the ball at the end of the waterer. I was pretty upset but i think I can save the expense by buying a set of short bungie cords, or adding a setion on to the spring so as to lessen its strength against the bottle. I did check around at local pet and farm stores for similar adapters but found none.

This week I ordered 4 Finex feeders. This style feeder aids in filtering dust from the food so that the rabbits don't inhale it and get lung ailements. They should come in within a couple weeks. With the waterers, feeders and nest boxes in place I will be ready for the breeder rabbits and then will work on the fryer cages and equipment.

Though the rabbits won't mind the cold I may wait to get them in the Spring also, however if all gets done and I have the money maybe before.

I will take and publish some poictures when I get time.

Tony Faircloth
Pensacola, FL

Monday, October 12, 2009

General Update-091012

Interesting news, apparently they project to widen the road I live on is coming. If so it may remove 8-12 feet of my small front yard. Not just remove part of my yard but also deliver a lot more traffic down the road. My understanding is that there is a housing development that will need the increased road size and that will increase the traffic.

The nice thing is that the house allowed us to send Samuel to a great Middle School, and get us out of the city so I can't complain for the reprieve.

So, what do I do?! I was talking to God this morning and though I didn't get a clear word i deffinitely heard, "Seek me first and everything else will come." So, I am still going to think about my options but if they don't pan out I know God will still be taking care of me.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

General Update-091004

I wasn't feeling a hundred percent today so not much got done. I added a a bottom board to the chicken yard because I had it as spare. I will need 4 more. Then I can tack the bottom of the chicken wire to them to keep critters from getting underneath it. I just need to add the ramp into the chicken house, then hang the feeders/waters and it will be ready.

I added some clamp lights to the rabbitry for when needed. I was going to build next boxes but realized that I needed to calculate sizes before beginning otherwise I may have cavernous nest boxes, or squashed rabbits, neither is acceptable. I looked on myn Storey's book on rabbits (the Bible on the subject as far as I'm concerned) and couldn't find it so I will have to research the topic. I think I build for the New Zealand whites which is a medium large rabbit even if I decide to get something else.

I also bought some devices that you plug a 2 liter bottle into for watering. I have placed several in my raised beds adn will watch to see how they do. My first impressions are that they might be more work to constantly refill; that a PVC line might be more suitable, however I will see... they might be most helpful in dry season, or when we are away on vacation.