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.