Friday, January 17, 2014

Melbourne Heat Wave

FOUR days above 40 degrees celcius... FOUR!!! ABOVE 40!!

We are expecting the cool change any minute now so I am very much looking forward to that.

I feel bad for Taja and Fawn cause they have such thick fur that they can't take off. Well, iced water bottles and frozen grapes seem to help quite a bit.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Rabbit Hutch

New year!! YAY! The bunnies have been with us for 6 months =)

When I first decided to get bunnies I was intending to keep them outdoors. Lucky for them (and for me), I got them in July when weather was TERRIBLE. It was cold, rainy, windy; I couldn't bear letting them out much less letting them live out there. In the end, Hann and I had a chat and designed an indoor hutch for Taja and Fawn to live in. This was done back in September last year.

We had limited space and wanted the hutch to serve several purposes so I had to design and build it as opposed to buying ready made products. There was a good space in the dining room under the window that we could use but I've always wanted a window bench with a small platform for my terrariums and plants. So I thought, why not build the rabbit hutch under the bench?

Here are my initial designs for the bench/planter/hutch hybrid:
 Just the start of the idea

 Second draft: tiny bench space and tiny rabbit hutch (no go)

 Third sketch: Approved by Hann

After showing these designs to Hann and discussing dimensions, we set out to Bunnings to buy pine dars to build the main frame and the doors, and laminate boards to for the back, floors, and top. I got thick wire meshing for ventilation and covered the rest with perspex (Hann's idea). The perspex was expensive, but I gave the plastics shop the exact dimensions I needed and they cut everything for me on the day itself. We could see the bunnies chilling (or getting up to no good) in the hutch, especially in the top portion where they eventually made into their sleeping quarter. That top was Hann's idea too, he calls it their 'Observation deck'.

Finished hutch
There was an air vent under the window and the hutch was built over that. All we had to do was cut a hole out of the 'floor' of the hutch and build a box over it with an opening out the front. Works beautifully in winter and the buns sit on top when they want to warm up.

To complete this multipurpose hutch, we got a piece of foam and sewed a cover for it to make a seating area, then decorated the top platform with plants. I stuffed a few cushions on the seat for extra cosiness.

Top view

Taja in the 'observation deck'

The seat is sturdy as they come, the bunnies love the multiple exits and entrances we've incorporated, they are safe from the outdoor elements, I get to play with them all day, it's easy to clean (BIG PLUS), and my plants get first class seats to lots of indirect sunlight. This is possibly my favourite piece of furniture in the whole house.