A rabbit hutch.

Rabbit cages are small, and unattractive.
And rabbit hutches are either too expensive or poorly constructed.

So I decided to build my own.
I really wish I could have avoided this—because basically all my attempts to build things have been frustrating, imperfect, and expensive (sometimes).

What I planned to do, and what I did, started to vary after the first day of work.

I made a larger hutch for our mama bunny, a shorter one for our fella.
The dimensions of our mama hutches was 30″h x 3’w x 6’l—with about 2′ with a solid bottom and sides, a cozy space for nesting and in the colder months.

They are both 3′ off the ground—easier to grab rabbits.

I used salvage and what I had around as much as I possibly could.

My process:

  1. Build the frame for the floor first.
  2. Cover 1/3rd with OSB board cut to fit. Cover the rest in 16-gauge double-galvanized wire with 1/2″ x 1″ holes.
    Sixteen gauge is stronger and more supportive on our rabbits’ feet.
  3. Build the frame of the hutch off the base. Simple screwing A to B.
  4. Cover one side with 16 gauge wire mesh with 1″ x 1″ holes.
  5. Use OSB board to cover the other side, and the back.
  6. Create the door frames. Cover one with OSB board. Cover the other with 18 gauge wire mesh with 1″ x 1″ holes.
  7. Attach door at the bottom of the frame with 2-3 hinges. Install latch on opposite side to hold door closed.
  8. Attach legs to outside of the frame.
  9. Add the roof. I intended to use salvage, but bought more OSB instead.

For the doe’s hutch I put in two doors, a solid one in the nesting area that opens out, and a mesh door for the larger open area that opened up.

These are three webpages I found to be most helpful:

Mistakes I made:

  • Framing off the base and adding the back and roof last, meant there were small gaps running along the base and top. I consoled myself with the idea that this will allow some circulation, and I can use hay as a stop-gap.
  • Tried regular staplegun staples to hold down the wire mesh.
    Had to upgrade to heavier staples from the nail/screw aisle.
  • This thing is heavier than all get-out.
    Somehow when I build things, they weigh incredible amounts.
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Companions…

In 2016 I found my companion planting resource lost from the Internet, and learned the woman who maintained it had passed. Her family was kind enough to pass along to me, and here a year more later, I thought I should return it to the common lexicon.

Here are her words about companion planting

Many plants have natural substances in their roots, flowers, leaves etc. that can alternately repel and/or attract insects depending on your needs. In some situations they can also help enhance the growth rate and flavor of other varieties.

Experience shows us that using companion planting through out the landscape is an important part of integrated pest management. In essence companion planting helps bring a balanced eco-system to your landscape, allowing nature to do its’ job. Nature integrates a diversity of plants, insects, animals, and other organisms into every ecosystem so there is no waste. The death of one organism can create food for another, meaning symbiotic relationships all around. We consider companion planting  to be a holistic concept due to the many intricate levels in which it works with the ecology.

By using companion planting, many gardeners find that they can discourage harmful pests without losing the beneficial allies. There are many varieties of herbs, flowers, etc. that can be used for companion plants. Be open to experimenting and find what works for you. Some possibilities would be using certain plants as a border, backdrop or interplanting in your flower or vegetable beds where you have specific needs. Use plants that are native to your area so the insects you want to attract already know what to look for! Plants with open cup shaped flowers are the most popular with beneficial insects.

Companion planting can combine beauty and purpose to give you an enjoyable, healthy environment. Have fun, let your imagination soar. There are many ways you can find to incorporate these useful plants in your garden, orchard, flower beds etc.

Find the guide here.