As I type this, I can hear the trees rustling violently in the wind. I’m lucky I live in Central Texas at this current moment. Hurricane Harvey has ripped through the Texas coastline and Houston is underwater. Our city did not have to experience the terrible weather but we are dealing with torrents of rain, the occasional blackout, and some falling tree limbs. I kept a close eye on the weather while Alex was at work and prepared accordingly. Cooked our meals for the next few days, pulled out candles and battery banks, ensured our tiny house didn’t sink in the mud, etc. It was the animals, however, that sent me into a panic. Ya see, with this hurricane comes rain and rabbits, not so much quail, do horribly when wet. Not Gremlins horrible but a wet rabbit can sometimes mean a dead rabbit. Quail, like chickens, are hardy and can handle getting wet. However, no matter how hardy, you do not want your animals to stay wet, especially in cold climates!
I stupidly built these hutches to withstand the Texas heat and keep my animals cool. I prepared very poorly in keeping them dry. When initially building these hutches, I used recycled materials and store sign tarp to provide a simple cover for the top. The roof for both the rabbit and quail hutch are terribly flimsy, leak, and are not taunt at all. I am very ashamed to have built such a poor home for my animals and set to work righting my wrongs. As the rain pick up, I grabbed my father’s one tarp and threw it over the rabbits, stopping some of the major leaking in an instant. Discarding an old hay container, I took two store sign tarps and finagled a cover for the quail. Every animals’ resting place was packed with fresh, dry straw and pushed into the driest corners of the hutch. My quail are not stupid and immediately jumped into the hay, cuddling up and drying their feathers off. My rabbits slept together in the corner and munched on their pellets.
None of them seem bothered by the weather and only get wet during crosswinds. I feel absolutely awful for having put my animals through that, however. You can say it’s misplaced guilt but my animals have no choice regarding how they live. I am responsible for their well-being and here I am boasting about wanting to be a “steward of my animals” and I can’t build a proper hutch to keep them safe from the elements. Looking out the window, I can practically hear the gears in my head grinding up sparks of ideas to improve the hutches. A better base, patched wire corners, stronger wire bases, levels? I’m thinking two story quail hutch, hm? I can’t get ahead of myself though! The rain hasn’t stopped and is projected to continue for the next two days. I’m tempted to bring the animals inside but wonder if I can handle 17 quail, 2 rabbits, 1 dog, and a husband. I can barely handle being in this tiny house when it’s just myself. For sure I’m going to go pick up an extra tarp and cover them all up!
As always, be kind and tender to one another.