We have now had our rabbits for a year.  We have raised several babies, and learned many lessons on the best way to care for them.  Most recommend that the rabbits be given all the hay they want to eat and limit the amount of pellets the receive to about a cup per day for the adults.  Of course the you ones that we are growing out to butcher size, get more.  We were doing this backwards in the beginning, keeping the feeders full of pelleted feed at all times and giving them hay as a treat.  We would put hay in their cages, where they would eat some, but much of it would end up under the cages, mixed with the poo and end up as compost.  The wasting of hay and over feeding pellets, were making a dent in our budget and also keeping our adults too fat.  A fat doe may not breed, and fat buck, may lose his desire to breed.  We knew we needed to keep hay in front of them at all times, but do so in a way that would allow for minimal waste, and not blow the budget on fancy feeders.  I had made some wire hay feeders for the outdoor summer cages that worked well, so when I found a video on Facebook that shared a way to make a hay feeder from trash, I decided to give it a try.  The results were perfect! 

We now have these feeders on each cage that we can keep filled with hay.  The Rabbits simply pull the hay through the wire and munch away! I chose to put a little larger one on each grow out pen since there are multiple rabbits in each pen.

I started with some coffee containers that I had saved.  I also found a large Tupperware container at my local thrift shop for $1.25 and purchased it to use for the larger feeders on the grow out pens.  Otherwise, this project cost nothing.  So I have 8 feeders for $1.25, making them a little less than a whopping 15 cents each. 

I began by drawing a vertical line down the side of the containers and cutting them in half on the band saw.  If you don’t have a band saw, the plastic can easily be cut with a hand saw. 

After being cut into two equal pieces, I drilled four holes, one on each side at the top and bottom, close to the cut edge.  Wire was then run through the holes, across the outside of the container, and back through the corresponding on the other side.

 The ends of the wires are then used to attach the feeders to the sides of the cages.  Where the rabbits can have access to all the hay they want.

I did end up cutting out a wire in three places on the front of the feeders to allow more room to pull the hay out, but after finding one empty that I had missed doing this to, I don’t think it is absolutely necessary.

In today’s world of plastics, excess trash, and being a part of a “throw-away” society, it is nice to know that we can continue our progress to live as Modern Missouri Pioneers, by re-using items that otherwise have no value.  We have turned our trash into something useful.  This project was easy to do and basically free.  The feeders are easy to fill, the rabbits love the hay, and the hay waste is minimal.  We just bought a new bag of rabbit pellets and these Modern Pioneers are hoping to see it last at least twice as long as the last one. 

What projects have done that have been a benefit to your Modern Pioneer lifestyle at little to no cost?  We’d love to hear!


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