Introduction: Building a Small Rabbit Hutch

Picture of Building a Small Rabbit Hutch

I have been raising rabbits for nearly two years and in that time I have built several hutches.  Some of my designs for these hutches originated from the books I have read on raising rabbits and over the course of the years I have come up with different designs.  Every time I build a hutch I refine my design and incorporate the new features in future builds.  The hutch I am building now is the eighth in my series of builds.  It is designed so that I can keep 3-6 young rabbits within and move the hutch every day to new areas of grass.

This is my first attempt at an Instructable.    I would welcome any constructive feedback.

If you are interested in my work please check out my blog at Little Tassie Prepper.

Step 1:

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I cut four lengths of wood to 150cm.  These would form the long sections of the frame. Behind the four pieces I have set two lengths of wood to show their original form.  These sections of wood were sourced from some very long pallets.  I selected the length of 150cm as this would mean that the original lengths of wood could be cut in half (they were three meters long) and I decided that this length would allow a suitable area for the rabbits.

Step 2:

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Next I cut 1 meter sections from the structural parts of pallets.  These structural pieces form the solid part of the pallet (to which the planks are nailed).  I felt that these were strong pieces of wood that would be useful as the vertical and horizontal pieces to join the longer beams.

I required 8 pieces to complete the structural parts of the hutch.

Step 3:

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You can see here that I have nailed the long sections to the shorted pieces of wood.  This forms the bottom of the butch. 

Step 4:

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I used the completed bottom section of the hutch as a template to build the top part.  The pieces were cut to measure so I was satisfied they were of a suitable length... using the bottom as a template assisted in ensuring that the pieces would match up.

You can see my puppy George looking on.

Step 5:

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I began attaching the vertical sections of wood, still using the bottom as a template.  This assisted in making sure the pieces were a suitable fit.  As I was building on uneven ground I could not use a spirit level to make sure the vertical sections were at the correct angle.  Using the bottom assisted in this.

Step 6:

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Once all the vertical sections were attached to the bottom I lifted the top section (which had been sitting on the bottom section) and nailed it to the vertical parts.  They fitted perfectly.

You can now see that the structure is essentially complete.  Time to furnish it.

Step 7:

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Using a staple gun I attached a section of wire which was previously used in fencing.  I used wire with a large opening to allow the rabbits good access to the grass that will be under the hutch.

For some reason, between steps, my children felt that the structure needed to be filled with rocks. 

Step 8:

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I attached some planks of wood from pallets to the bottom and, once nailed down, I cut them to length.  I could have measured them first, and that would possibly be a better approach. Still, it works well enough.

Step 9:

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Using the staple gun I attached the wire to the top side of the planks.

In the background is a past construction, which is currently holding ducklings and chicks.

Step 10:

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Taking hold of the staple gun once more, I begin to attach the wire I am using for the sides.  I stapled it to the inside of the hutch, on the wood, as this assists in preventing the rabbits from eating the wood (which they will do).

Step 11:

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Once this wire is on I set about adding additional planks to keep the wind and rain out of the rabbits sleeping area.  I attach a structural piece of wood to the side and once it is attached I nail planks on to it.

Step 12:

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Now I add panels to the roof section of the Rabbits sleeping area.  These need to fit well to keep the rain out.

Finally comes the lid to the hutch.  I decide upon a 2/3 sized lid, as I do not need to access their sleeping area, and I am also out of wood to fit this whole length.  It is a simple matter of making a rectangle from the wood and nailing it into shape.  I used the hutch top as a template to make sure it fit while I nailed it.  Once created, I attach wire to the lid and then screw the hinges into place.

Finished... one rabbit hutch.

Comments

BubbaBunny (author)2016-04-20

Wow, that's a really neat hutch and a pretty simple design, at 16 sqft it would be suitable for a medium sized rabbit or as a grow out pen. One thing we like in hutches is a slide out tray to make it easier to clean up, which comes with a lot of the store-bought hutches. My hubby and I actually created a site that reviews a lot of the hutches available commercially. If you'd like to check it out you can visit it here:

http://www.bestrabbithutch.com

Thanks a bunch, we appreciate it!

jyates4 (author)2014-04-30

Thanks for the instructions. This is just what I was looking for. I'm no carpenter but I believe I can do this! Will update you with my results!!

I am sure you can do it too. I just came up with this method through trial and error (lots of error). I have very little carpentry education, barring the usual high school class in wood working.

griffenjoy1277 (author)2014-05-08

Using smaller wire would be better so the rabbits feet don't get stuck and you should add a tray in the bottom for the:

Hi griffenjoy1277,
thanks for the comment. The hutch is designed to be moved every few days over an area of grass. That is why there is no tray under the hutch.

The Rabbits then get to enjoy the fresh grass as well as fertilising the ground, which is why I use wire with a large enough gap to allow the manure to go through to the ground.

I would recommend the closer wire, as you suggest, if you were going to place babies in the hutch. I don't have that problem with mine as I use a different hutch for the weened babies.

As you can see from my hutch, I have a wooden base where the Rabbit sleeps. When I move the hutch the Rabbit normally waits there till I stop moving it.

griffenjoy1277 (author)2014-05-08

Nice plans, thanks

etcmn (author)2014-01-14

Nice, thanks.

Thorny 13 (author)2013-11-14

used this as a model for my build last night. thanks it made it nice to have a reference.!

Thanks for the feedback. I am really happy that you have found it useful.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-06-26

Very nice construction!

Eneekay (author)2013-06-23

What about the bottom of the hutch? You would need a solid base for proper development of the feet. Wire can also cause injuries, and it is not suitable for non arboreal mammals. Also, what about litter? Wouldn't you need wood chips or something absorbing enough in the bottom as well?

Dbolt (author)Eneekay2013-06-23

The wire bottom is intended to be placed on the clean, untreated and yummy grass so mister and miss bunny can eat as they wish. He has essentially made a rabbit "tractor". Much like the Chicken Tractor seen elsewhere on this site. Since the bottom is open they can graze, poop, and have a merry old time and the hutch can be moved about in the yard to keep them a constant supply of fresh grass.

Dbolt (author)Dbolt2013-06-23

Also, since they are on the ground, the large square holes in the wire will do minimal harm to their wee paws. They'll be standing on the grass for all intents and purposes.

Dbolt, you are absolutely correct about that. I should have mentioned that in my instructions. The Rabbits eat a lot of fresh grass and fertilise the ground. It needs to be moved every day or two - depending on the number of rabbits kept in the hutch. The one pictured needs to be moved every second day as the three rabbits within are still young and do not eat too much. When they get older they will need moving every day.

They do an excellent job of keeping my grass low.

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