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Commercial Barn - 2 story

Advice on purchasing or constructing cages and hutches for your rabbitry.
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Commercial Barn - 2 story

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Daniac » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:01 am


I am currently raising rabbits for personal meat consumption but we are getting ready to go into commercial production. I was going to put up a dedicated barn with 400 holes. However I am also in the process of putting up a 4 car garage and started thinking that maybe a smarter idea is to build a second story on the garage and put the rabbits on the second floor (48x36), it would certainly be more cost effective than a standalone barn and would also not use up more precious garden space. The operation is expected to be quite professional with appropriate insulation, ventilation, manure management and automated water/feed. I am thinking a conveyor under each row for manure removal and a drainage system for the urine, expecting to put a rubber membrane on the floor like for a rubber roof to prevent water and urine overruns from destroying the floor or seeping through to the cars below.

Anyone see any glaring reasons not to go down this path of a second story rabbitry?

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Re: Commercial Barn - 2 story

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Olimpia » Wed Jun 22, 2016 11:06 am


Two story barns used to be very popular in the broiler industry. They fell out of favour because of the issue of having to move that sheer amount of manure down and food up. If you are okay with that then it shouldn't be a problem.

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Re: Commercial Barn - 2 story

Post Number:#3  Unread postby alforddm » Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:52 pm


How are you planing on handing the manure? That is ALOT of poop to have to clean and move downstairs.

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Re: Commercial Barn - 2 story

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Daniac » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:21 pm


alforddm wrote:How are you planing on handing the manure? That is ALOT of poop to have to clean and move downstairs.


I plan on running a conveyor under each row of cages that conveys the manure to a funnel in the floor that funnels the manure down to a bagging area on the first floor.

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Re: Commercial Barn - 2 story

Post Number:#5  Unread postby wamplercathy » Wed Jun 22, 2016 7:30 pm


Will there be a conveyor to haul the 50lb bags of feed? I have 4 breeding does with litters, 2-3 litters growing out, and 2 breeding bucks every month to feed and water. I go through 150-200lbs of feed and 1 75lb bale of hay a month. Fun story: when I was a kid my bedroom was above the garage. Every time mom would warm the car the fumes would slowly leak into my room. :x Mom was always trying to kill me. :P :lol: :lol: Rabbits are more sensitive then people, plus they won't be able to move away. It way easier to put the cars on the second story or just building a separate facility.

Just a couple thoughts,
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Re: Commercial Barn - 2 story

Post Number:#6  Unread postby karenl » Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:02 am


Yeah cars on second story rabbits on ground floor

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Re: Commercial Barn - 2 story

Post Number:#7  Unread postby Daniac » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:11 am


karenl wrote:Yeah cars on second story rabbits on ground floor


Killing me...lol , yes my plan is to purchase feed in bulk and an auger system will bring the feed up to the second story.

Exhaust should not be a problem as the first floor will not have any ventilation to the second floor and the vehicles will not be run in the garage otters than to back them out. Stairs and entry to the second floor will be on the outside of the building similar to this one.


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Re: Commercial Barn - 2 story

Post Number:#8  Unread postby KenoshaRabbits » Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:21 am


Daniac, you said you are in the process of building the garage; how far along in that process are you?

If it is just in the planning stages, then I don't think you should have a problem with your idea. Anywhere else in the process you could have problems, such as:

If a foundation is already poured it probably isn't designed for a second story.
Needing to get new permits or approval to change the design.
Etc.

On that note, while you are concerned with logistics of having a rabbitry on the second floor; I would be more concerned from an engineering stand point on building this. You are talking rabbits, 400 holes, and conveyor belts, thats a lot of weight even if you had your food, water, and other equipment on the ground. It isn't a simple as tossing another floor on a garage. You would be going from a simple building to one that needs to be specifically engineered for you.

That's extra money for an engineer to design it, extra effort to build it, extra wages for the specialty workers, extra equipment that comes out of your pocket, extra money on permits and inspections.

In the end while it might be a fun idea to save yard space and have a 2 story building, I think once you see the price tag it may change your mind.

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Re: Commercial Barn - 2 story

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Daniac » Fri Jun 24, 2016 8:40 am


Yes I am only in the planning stages at the moment, I am also a mechanical engineer by trade so I do understand the ramifications of the weight on the second floor and will have it designed and engineered for an appropriate load.

I am weighing out all of the costs and determining a return on investment for both a standalone building and a second story, I may end up finding that a standalone building is more cost effective. On first glance sharing a roof and foundation would indicate a better cost than a standalone building but as Kenosha pointed out, the increased foundation requirements and support beams might end up being more expensive than a simple poured pad and pole barn style standalone building.

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Re: Commercial Barn - 2 story

Post Number:#10  Unread postby KenoshaRabbits » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:44 pm


Daniac wrote:Yes I am only in the planning stages at the moment, I am also a mechanical engineer by trade so I do understand the ramifications of the weight on the second floor and will have it designed and engineered for an appropriate load.


Glad to hear that! It would be awful if your building collapsed. I was a mechanical engineer too! Best of luck in expanding your operation.

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Re: Commercial Barn - 2 story

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Daniac » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:14 am


So just a quick update on this, I ended up deciding the property was too small and decided to purchase something bigger. We now own a 33 acre hobby farm and are getting ready to move there.

I still have my 2 does and 1 buck breeding trio that is keeping my freezer full but over the winter I will be planning out my new rabbit farm building....stay tuned!

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Re: Commercial Barn - 2 story

Post Number:#12  Unread postby alforddm » Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:22 am


Daniac wrote:So just a quick update on this, I ended up deciding the property was too small and decided to purchase something bigger. We now own a 33 acre hobby farm and are getting ready to move there.

I still have my 2 does and 1 buck breeding trio that is keeping my freezer full but over the winter I will be planning out my new rabbit farm building....stay tuned!


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