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.

Down the rabbit hole.

Oh the rabbits. What a journey.

It’s taken us a year now to get the rabbit situation sorted out. We butchered two of the original 4 received and gave one away. We bought a buck and a doe last spring. And this winter, another buck and a doe. Over this whole time, we lost two sweet bunnies, one in the summer and one this winter—both of our does. And the buck and doe we bought in the winter turned out to be a buck and a buck.

So, it’s been a real rabbit sausage fest around here.

Our bucks are all so sweet, that it is very tempting to keep them all. But, reason is winning in this set-up and I have been spending the last few weeks trying to sell two of the bucks and one doe I picked up that was just too small for our purposes.

It’s been a few weeks, and only recently have been moving some bunnies.
Wheelin’ and dealin’ in bunnies!

Today I picked up our new doe! She’s big, she’s beautiful, and she’s proven!
I think we are on the right path.

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*Update: Sigh. Today before posting, one of our bucks (up for sale) was found dead. So very sad about these sweet creatures. Digestive problems perhaps? I am used to chickens and ducks dying easily, I wasn’t quite ready for it with rabbits.