Sunday, February 12, 2012

Make Home Improvement

Hello Makers! Love and Rockets is still alive and making!
We recently upgraded our rabbit's living quarters and I thought I would share her point of view about how you can get make-creative and make a happy-happy bunny.

Hello, my name is Sankanator. You may recognize me from many of the Rabbit posts published over at Chickenblog. I was named after a 4H pig who, like me, had one blue eye and one brown eye. Olivia is the girl who raised me, for her 4H project, and then she let me come home and be Maria's bunny.

Last week, when Geoff and Natalie were putting the finishing touches on my marvelous Bunny Casa, a reader asked for more pictures of my new digs, because her daughter is planning a 4H project.

Well, Stephanie, come on in!

I used to live in a standard hutch, and come out for lawn visits, so I could hop and stretch. The weather here is mild, and life was okay, but fortunately, my family saw some interesting options for my comfort and well being. So, I started spending weekends and vacations in an empty, raised garden bed. And I loved it! They covered the top with a trellis, and weighed that down with stuff, and I got to dig and tunnel and run around. Good stuff.

These are the other raised beds. They are on the tall side, and four feet by four feet square. The bottoms are lined with wire fabric, to keep gophers and moles from entering. I guess this is helpful for keeping me digging out, too, but I never dig all the way down, anyway.

So. Basically, what Natalie did, was take her old chicken coop and set it on top of the raised bed. The coop was an Ikea picnic table that she and Geoff modified with additional framing, a door, and chicken wire. It has served them well, but now all the chickens are together in the shark cage, and the coop was sitting around waiting for a new purpose.

Since the table is about six feet by three feet, there were open gaps, and an overhang. With scraps from around the yard, Natalie covered the gap, and the overhang. Geoff used wood screws to attach the wood pieces to the bottom framing of the chicken coop. This should help keep out unwanted visitors, and will make it easier to raise the whole top off when they want to move it, clean things... etc
Outside of the Bunny Casa, the scrap wood makes a nice shelf, where things can sit. The painted, blue shelf makes a ledge that I can hop up to, and enjoy a stretch in the sun. Sometimes I find treats there, like Timothy hay, carrots, and even a little popcorn. I love my lookout ledge.

I hope these pictures are helping. It's easy to see that this was pieced together, and not actually engineered with a design. Everything was convenient and on-hand, which is nice, and of course it has room for improvements. The table is slatted, and lets in light and air. When it rains a tarp is brought out, and I don't have to get soaked and muddy.

Inside, I have lots of room to hop, run a bit, and dig. I love the digging. It feels so good. I have special corners, and clever tunnels, and sometimes I fill in my tunnels and make new ones. It's pretty much awesome. I am happy.

The raised bed is very accessible, and makes it easy to welcome guests. I get plenty of visitors, and attention. I like that.

I imagine when summer is here, I will be cool and comfortable, too. And later, they can pop off the top and switch me to another bed, and plant new things in this bed. And then I will find roots and leftovers in my next home.

Rumor has it that tomorrow they are planting spinach between the strawberry rows. They have been busy devising ways of keep those neighbors of mine, the chicas, out of the garden beds.

Thanks for dropping by. If you have any questions, I am happy to let Natalie answer them. I have some questions... what are you doing for your garden? Turning the soil, shopping the seed catalogs? Starting seedlings? Building beds?

It's fun to