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It was time to replace the rabbit hutches. So we decided to make our own.

Step 1: So What's the Problem?

The problem with most commercially available rabbit hutches is that the largest point of access to the inside is the large lid. This means that for taking the rabbit out of the hutch, cleaning, adding straw, or even retrieving a bowl pushed to the back, you have to lift a lid. Those heavy lids can be a hazard for kids. Even if they manage to keep the lid held up with one hand, they still have to be tall enough to reach down into the hutch.

So when the lid to one of our hutches finally wore out, we decided to replace both of them with "A kid friendly rabbit hotel."

Step 2: Hopping List

Supplies

2 - 4x8' 15/32" plywood
3 - 8' sections of corrugated plastic roofing
2 - 8' x16" vinyl-coated wire mesh shelves
7 - 8' 2x4's
6 - 8' 1x2's
4 - 8' 1x4's
4 standard hinges, 4 shutter hinges.
4 door latches
2 knobs
Screws for corrugated roofing
Deck screws

Tools
Power Mitre Saw
Circular Saw
Cordless Drill
Tape measure, straight edge, square
Pencil.

Other
Rabbits

Step 3: Rabbits Make, Um... "Fertilizer"

Bunnies manufacture little, almost odorless fertilizer balls. They fall through the floor and onto the ground. If you do any gardening, you might as well collect those uniformly shaped, nitrogen nuggets to throw into your compost. To collect the stuff, we use a level area of soil surrounded by landscape timbers.

Step 4: Frame the Floor

Our rabbit hutch floor is 8 feet wide, 32 inches deep and 15 inches tall. We decided to set the hutch on top of the landscape timbers to keep the hutch clean and to slow decay.

Step 5: Lay the Floor

For the floor, we used coated wire shelves used for an indoor closet. We used two 8 foot by 16 inch shelves with the tightest mesh available (called "close mesh") manufactured by "ClosetMaid." Put the "L" shaped side toward the center for added floor strength, then zip tie them together near the bottom to prevent curious rabbits from chewing them off. We trimmed the edges of the mesh shelves to fit with a rotary tool.

The large diameter of the wire in this coated wire shelving is not only rigid, it is far better on the rabbit's feet typical rolled mesh wire. For an even better habitat, when your hutch is done, you can lay a piece of plywood over a section of the floor, as shown.

Step 6: Frame the Top

Since we designed the hutch so that it was not accessible from the top, we could make the pitch of the roof go the same direction as the adjacent fort (in your case, you could set it next to a storage building, garage or your house). To try to limit heat accumulation inside of the hotel, we left an area along the back of the open. If we ever relocate, we can cover this area with wire mesh.

Step 7: Add Rabbit Ramps

Rabbits love the ability to come and go as they please. We built entrance ramps on both sides of the hutch. Although they may look steep, our rabbits had no difficulty with these. You can lay a rock at the base of the ramp to soften the slope. Add a latch to hold the ramp closed.

Step 8: Cover the Roof

We used corrugated PVC roofing. It's safer and cooler than metal, and it comes in a variety of colors. Special screws (with rubber washers built in) seal the holes and hold it securely in place.

Step 9: Build the Front Panels

We built four wire mesh panels. The wire mesh is 1/2 inch, green and vinyl coated. A 24 inch wide, 8 foot long roll is just enough to finish all four. The panels are framed with a combination of 1x2" and 1x4" boards.

First, cut the all 32 pieces (8 pieces per panel x 4 panels). We repurposed some used, small metal "L" brackets to hold the first layer of the frames together and square. Then we cut the wire mesh to length and stapled it to each of the panels.

The screws I had were too short for the job, so I counterbored the holes when securing the second layer to the frames.

Step 10: Clamp the Panels

We clamped the panels in place. This was an opportunity to see if our rabbits were going to make good roommates. If they did not, as an alternative, we could have added a center divider where the gap is shown in the photo. Since they got along just fine, we just placed a 2x2" there.

Step 11: Hinges, Latches and Knobs

With the help of the clamps, lining up the panels for the hinges was easy. After the hinges were working properly, we secured the two outer panels to the hutch with screws. Then we added the latches and knobs. The large doors now open easily, giving the kids access to anywhere in the hutch.

If you choose to stain the hutch, make sure the stain is safe for those chew-happy bunnies. We decided to leave ours alone; within a couple of years the wood will start to age like the nearby raised beds.

Step 12: The Grand Opening

Have a ribbon cutting ceremony! Your brand-new four-star, kid friendly, rabbit hotel is open for business.

We are about to build this. Where can we get the cut list for the roof?
<p>Sorry I do not have a cut list.</p>
<p>PLEASE OH PLEASE don't put down a METAL bottom I mean come on think of how you would feel if you had to sit on metal flooring for the REST OF YOUR LIFE?!?!??!?? Put down some bedding. the space they have is fine though. :D</p>
<p>Thank you for your comment Patrice. First, for clarification, the bottom of this cage is not just bare metal like many commercially sold hutches, it is coated in this white rubber-like coating which not only makes it softer, and the surface area larger, but also waterproof and easier to clean. Second, although not pictured, I have a piece of wood I keep on one side of the hutch for the rabbits to rest on if they choose. When the weather is cold, I use bedding. I use the bedding primary to keep them warm, but it does present the downside of making the hutch more difficult to keep clean, which is also a consideration I keep in mind. As a result, I do not use bedding 365 days a year. I do appreciate your comment as it reflects your level of empathy and compassion for the rabbits, which I share.</p>
LisaE60. I would suggest a different type of material for the roof cover than the corrogated vinyl I used. It has not weathered very well, warping and twisting in places. Otherwise, it has held up very well. I have 4 plexiglass panels that i screw on the front panels in the winter and remove in the spring.
<p>I plan to make a split version of this as I don't want our two rabbits having babies. Going to start it this weekend hopefully </p>
<p>How many rabbits could you keep in a hutch this size? We're thinking about getting into rabbits for meat, and I'm trying to learn the best process. Thanks!</p>
<p>My boys and I have always kept just two pet rabbits in the hutch. We have never tried to keep any more than two.</p><p>But, I did go to a circus when I was a kid, and I saw at least 20 clowns get out of a Volkswagen Beetle. So based on that, I would assume you'd be able to fit at least that many rabbits in a hutch this size. </p>
Interesting fact: Rabbits will eat thier own &quot;fertilizer&quot; and rely on it to redigest certain nutrients. Make sure they have access to thier pellets that drop underneath.
<p>and in cold times?... with cold winds?</p>
<p>Good question. Rabbits kept in hutches need protection from the cold and wind. With a traditional hutch that opens from the top, this is accomplished by adding lots of straw inside the hutch, plus you can put 1 or 2 layers of plastic on the three sides facing the outside until it nearly touches the ground (about 1-2 inches from the ground). With this hutch, we will still use straw. But since it opens from the side only, we would have to do a neater job in attaching the plastic to the sides (i.e. do so in panels) to account for the moving doors. Alternatively, although it will cost more to do so, I'm thinking about buying some sheets of acrylic and making some reusable panels to attach to the doors with bolts and wing-nuts. </p>
<p>Tks for your answer... I know that is not my bussines, but, on your idea, seems to me that volume of the space covered, will be high, big, and with many ways or area to loose heath... I'd rather think to make a &quot;small house&quot; or box inside to reduce the total volume of air that must be heated by the animal themselves... </p>
<p>I keep several rabbits outside here in New Hampshire all winter. I place a nesting box in each hutch well filled with hay or straw. Has kept all mine thru even subzero weather with no problems</p>
<p>I do not think we disagree. There will be a small box inside of the hutch, particularly when the weather cools down. </p>
I love your rabbits the brown one looks like one of mine but he died a few weeks ago. I should try this for my alive bunny. This one is easy to access and my one is extreamly hard to
<p>Hey thanks. Sorry to hear about your bunny.</p><p>If you try it, let me know what you think. We are really enjoying ours, especially my youngest son. It's his responsibility to take care of them, and now it is so much easier.</p>
Lol I see the western fort you made behind the bunny hotel lol.....awesome bunny hotel
<p>This is brilliant. Favorited to add to my list of potential critter projects. I love the wire mesh for the floor. </p>
<p>Wow, how luxurious! Your bunnies are so cute!</p>

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Bio: At home, you can find me with my wife and three boys, maybe practicing violin, guitar or piano, in the garage doing some woodworking, bicycling ... More »
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