In early July, I decided to redo the rabbit setup just a little. We were having this problem with the buck. He likes to be crazy and run around his cage really fast. I am pretty sure he’s communicating something to me, but haven’t been able to nail down what it is, other than, “I smell does and I want at them.” But while he’s showing off his great manliness, he had also been managing to knock his cage partially or completely off the stack. So sometimes I’d go out to check on them, and his cage would be dangling by one corner, and the water tank would be completely empty because the swinging cage had torn one of the connections loose. And putting the cages back is not really easy – there’s just not any space on the sides.
I was also beginning to have problems with the poop trays. Since they were part wood, and very thin wood at that, they were starting to get soggy and misshapen in the humidity (and with pee). The top part, that was being peed on, was formica, but the underneath part was wood. And as it got soggy, the hooks started tearing out. And I was afraid they’d start to grow things.
So I switched things up a little bit. Before, I had the cages and poop trays all hanging from each other. The top cage hung from the ceiling, the middle cage hung from that cage, etc. You can see pictures here. Now, I have one long chain that is pulled pretty tightly between the ceiling beams and the poop tray on the ground. The individual cages have smaller chains hooking them to the main chains. This way, no cage is directly attached to any other cage, giving them all some degree of independence from the mood swings of the others.
The cages are attached both top and bottom. At least, the buck’s is. This minimizes the amount of swing his cage has and really holds it pretty stable. You can see that it’s just cheap chain from the hardware store connected with S-hooks that I then squished shut with the pliers. They’re still open a smidge – just enough to slip them off if needed – but not enough to pull out on accident.
And then the poop trays are different. They sell this stuff for posters and whatnot, it’s like plastic corrugated cardboard. Might be called corrugated plastic, lol. It’s very lightweight, but not as bendy as thin wood in humidity, and there’s obviously nothing there to absorb moisture, either from the rabbits or from the air. I poked small holes in them with some scissors, then attached the FRONT edge only to the front edge of the cage with a pair of round clips – the type you might use on paper.
I then actually spaced the cages a little further apart vertically to give the poop tray a better angle. And last, I did not worry about attaching the back end to anything. It just rests on the back of the cage below.
On the left here is where the chain hooks to the bottom poop tray. And on the right is where the chain hooks to the top beams. The beams are actually held in place via some L-brackets that just brace them into place. They are not actually attached to anything themselves, making them easy to remove if needed.
And a few more pictures of how the whole thing works. You can also see the zip ties on Black Doe’s feeder. Yeah. She has a habit of knocking her feeder onto the floor, the little booger. Now she just sits there and tries and tries and tries to get it knocked down, but she can’t. <insert evil laugh>