How to Build Rabbit Hutches

How to build rabbit hutches? Building a rabbit hutch isn't too difficult. You could do it in a weekend with a friend or two. You can find some great free plans online that will help you with getting the right amount of materials and creating the framework.

Beware of plans telling you to use light hardware cloth* or chicken wire... these wires are not strong enough to provide adequate support or protection for your rabbit. Check feed stores and farm supply stores for 14 gauge woven wire made for rabbit cages. Sides can be 1 by 2 weave while the floor, if you choose to make it of wire, needs to be 1 by ½ weave.

If you have more than one rabbit in mind, consider that rabbits are very territorial and most will end up fighting at some point if kept together indefinitely. Rabbits of opposite sexes should not be housed together; they will breed repeatedly and you'll end up with a litter every month that the buck will likely kill. Rabbits are happy with a place to call their own.

Cut your framing wood into the sizes you need according to the plan you are following. (Some plans include instructions advising you how to build rabbit hutches, others only a blueprint.) Wood screws work well for securing them together.

Make sure your framework has long enough legs to keep the hutch off the ground so there is no problem with dampness getting into the hutch. Plywood can be used for the solid sides with wire for at least one open side. Once the framework has been put together, attach the wire from the inside of the frame with sturdy staples from the hardware store. Hammer any that don't go in all the way so they don't stick out.

Cut your plywood to size and attach it to your framework. Try to avoid making gaps at the corners. You don't want drafts coming in. Put on the door with strong hinges. The door should be large and allow you easy access into the hutch. Use a latching clasp to keep your pet secure. Don't use a loose piece of wood that you can move to keep the door closed; if you can move it, so can a raccoon or other predator.

Attach the roof and make sure you install waterproof materials on top. You may opt to use shingles, corrugated fiberglass or metal. Follow the installation instructions that come with these materials for the best results.

When you are finished with the basic construction, you can add a feeder, water bottle, toys and a hayrack if you wish. Paint the outside if you want to decorate it. Make sure you don't get paint on the inside where your rabbit could ingest it.

If you put in a solid floor, you'll want to make sure your pet has a litter pan available that is full of absorbent bedding. Watch your new pet to see what corner they seem to prefer for their bathroom and put the pan in that spot. This may take a day or two. Change the bedding frequently to keep their pan clean.

*In some areas the woven wire used for hutches is also called hardware cloth. In other areas hardware cloth is considered a lightweight mesh.

How to Build Rabbit Hutches - free plans listed at Free Plans for Rabbit Hutches and Cages

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