Building a rabbit hutch really isn’t all that difficult. You can always buy them, but building one yourself can be much more economical.With a few basic carpentry skills, you can have them up over the weekend. If you don’t have the skills, now is the perfect time to learn them. Any skill can be learned fairly quickly.
There are a few things you need to take into consideration before you start a project like this.
- How many rabbits do I want? The only way to determine the overall size of your cages, is to decide how many rabbits you want to keep at any given time. You can always add on to the cages, or build a second set, later.
- How can I keep them warm in the winter? The easiest way to keep rabbits warmer in the winter, and stay cooler in the summer, is to make plywood panels that can be mounted over the wire. This is fairly simple and straightforward. They can be mounted with screws. When the cold won’t bother them, just unscrew, remove the panels and put them away for the next cold spell. You can add extra warmth by placing a light bulb in the cage and turning it on when it is going to be too cold.
- How much room do I have? Where on your property do you want to build them? The amount of room you have for a cage has to be factored in before you can calculate the number of pens you can build into the cage. Of course, you can always build another hutch.
- What kind of wood should I use? The best wood to use is your standard construction pine. Never use any kind of treated lumber. Treated lumber contains harmful chemicals that leach out over time. They can harm your rabbits and your family. If you have the time, you can save money by recycling. Just place an ad in one of the free traders in you area offering to take off any lumber scraps for free.
- What kind of fasteners should I use? You can use nails or screws, depending on how much work you want to do. Make sure your fasteners do not go completely through your lumber. If it goes all the through the boards you are fastening together, they will either be a danger to the rabbits or a hazard to anyone walking by them. For fastening the wire mesh to your hutch, you can get “U” shaped nails (called staples).
- What kind of wire? For the floor, you want to use 1/2” x 1” or 3/4”x 1” 14 gauge welded wire mesh. The walls can be made of 1” x 2” 14 gauge welded wire mesh. You can pick these up at your nearest Lowes, Home Depot or Tractor supply. Look around for the best deal you can get.
- Where can I get plans? I have included some places to find plans and instructions in the resources below. Do a search for rabbit hutch plans may turn up even more.
Construction is fairly straight forward. If you have a set of plans, follow the instructions. When I can, I will create a set of plans for downloading. I will try to do it over the weekend.
A few things you need to remember in the construction. Keep all wires bent away from the inside of the hutch. Rabbits become septic very quickly if the are injured. Be careful when using a saw. They do bite if not used properly. Wear eye protection. The sight you save could be your own.
Better homes and gardens. Here is a step by step guide to building a hutch. It can be made much simpler.
LSU plans. Another set of plans from L.S.U.
Basic three pen design. This is one of the easiest hutches to build.
Washington State University put out a really good ebook on raising rabbits. At the end of the book is a set of plans.