Super Great A-frame Rabbit Hutch!

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Introduction: Super Great A-frame Rabbit Hutch!

This is the rabbit hutch design I use for all my rabbits. It's safe, sturdy, attractive, predator-proof, tornado-proof, and hurricane-proof. Well, I'm actually not sure how well it would stand up to a tornado or hurricane, but you get the point: it's sturdy.

It's also very versatile. You can move it around rather easily, given its lightweight structure. (I usually need someone to help me move it because it's bulky and awkward to carry. I've had a few smushed toes from carelessness when carrying this hutch. But it's still really great. Smushed toes and all.) I can also use this hutch for many different animals. I used it for a chick nursery once, and I'm sure it would be great for other small animals.

The A-frame structure allows for great strength. I have abused these hutches (when they were empty, of course) by dropping them, standing on them, jumping from peak to peak, and bopping them on the ground to dislodge bunny poop. There has been no decrease in strength, even though they're only held together by finishing nails. (I didn't really want to pre-drill for a bunch of screws, so I took the lazy way out.)

For those of you who worry about the wire floors, I check my rabbits' health very regularly, and I have seen no signs of sore hocks. What I have found is that rabbit rescue websites are often misinformed. For instance, rescues say that the percentage of cancer in non-spayed female rabbits is around 20%. If you check reputable non-rescue sources, you could see the rate drop below 5%. With the wire flooring issue, I believe that although wire DOES increase the chance of sore hocks, it is not the terrible evil that nost rescues believe it to be. And if I ever see the signs of sore hocks in my rabbits, I will cover their outside enclosures with hay, as well as the inside. The reason I leave the wire open is because I have heard from many breeders that rabbits like the cool breeze during the summer. And in the winter, it's nice for them to have an open place to go to the bathroom, so they don't sit in their frozen droppings.

Also, feel free to revise and make things up as you go. I designed this hutch and wrote the instructions before I actually made it, so I'm afraid they're a bit idealized. I know from experience that nothing comes out exactly how its supposed to in the pictures.

So anyways, here's the rabbit hutch in all its glory. I posted the instructions on Wikihow first (before I realized that anyone could edit Wikihow articles), so that's why the instructions are in the format of a bunch of pictures. Be sure to look at each and every one. I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

Please give me comments and suggestions. I have had some very good ones so far. Just read some of the featured comments to see people's great ideas! I posted this instructible so that everyone can build, revise, offer suggestions, and (God help me) fix my grammar. I am always open to constructive comments that may enrich this project. And I really love compost ideas!

Happy building! (Sorry for the "book" of an introduction.)

Step 1: Gather Materials!

These specs are for 1 hutch only. I find that the way to best save wood and materials is to make 3 hutches at once.

For one hutch, you will need 5 2" x 2" boards cut like in the diagram of the sixth photo.

For 3 hutches, you will need 13 2" x 2" boards cut like in the diagram of the fifth picture.

To save the maximum amount of plywood, you should follow the plywood cutting chart in the fourth photo. This shows the cutting diagrams for 1 hutch and 3 hutches. For one hutch, you will only need 1 4' x 8' plywood board. For 3 hutches, you will need two plywood boards of the same specifications.

You'll need 1 3' x 4' piece of hardware cloth and 2 2.5' x 2' pieces per hutch. 1 roll of 4' wire would be suitable, but it's expensive and hard to find. If you need, you can lace together two 2' x 3' pieces for the bottom with wire. Just make sure to cut any sharp ends. If you take this route, you can find 2' rolls of hardware cloth at most home improvement and hardware stores for a relatively low price.

If you have a pneumatic nailer, USE IT. It makes the project so much easier than if you just hammer. Also, you won't need wood glue if you have such a tool. You WILL need caulk, though, whether or not you have a pneumatic nailer.

Also, of course, if you were to build 3 hutches, you would need 6 latches and 12 hinges instead of 2 latches and 4 hinges.

Step 2: Frame Time

Pretty self-explanatory. It helps to have another person to hold the wood while you're nailing.

Also, if you have a pneumatic nailer, this is the time to use it. It really transforms a dull and frustrating project to a fun experience.

Step 3: Doors and Window Walls

This is where the trial and error comes into play. You'll likely need to shave those wood triangles down a bit for them to fit nicely.

The way I designed the doors ended up being much different from the way I actually built the doors. They don't fit nicely into the gap like I expected them to; I had to do some quick improvising and came up with a slightly uglier solution. The door sits slightly on top of the frame, and the latches are springs that hook up and over the edge.

Also, I found that wood glue is not necessary if you have a pneumatic nailer. However, if you live in a cold climate, you'll want to caulk the gaps. Theo's cage, as you can see from th e picture, doesn't have big gaps, but some of mine did and I used paintable caulk.

The hole shown here is much too large. Cut a hole about half this size. And it CAN be square.

Step 4: The Outer Shell

Just a tip: make sure to do it in the correct order. Problems will occur if you don't. I know from experience.

Use the finish nailer for this. It's perfect for the job. If you dont have one, just hammer. And hammer. And hammer.

Step 5: Finishing...

Finishing touches are important. Make sure to bend any protruding nails inward. Caulk the gaps. Prime and paint.

I still need to paint mine. The cold weather came before I could last summer, but I'll be painting them soon.

Paint the hutch a light color so sun can reflect in the summer. Bunnies need a cool spot to rest in the hottest months of the year.

Step 6: Finished!

And you can build platforms out of 2x4s. I might put that in another instructible someday, but it really isn't that hard.

Also, you may have noticed the playpen/jungle gym near the hutches. Yes, I DID build that. The bunnies love it.

I am going to build 3 more of these soon. I will post more pictures when I do.

Also, I will indulge myself in a little boasting. I'm a fifteen-year-old girl who built nine of these hutches in one summer. Yeah, they aren't perfect, but they're pretty cool. And I did it, as any little kid would say, ALL BY MYSELF! Well, my mom wouldn't let me cut the wood without her, but other than that, these hutches are my creation completely. I designed, built, and placed these cages myself.

Boasting aside, this should prove that anyone can build these. So go ahead and make your bunny her dream cage!

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97 Comments

0
Phisci0921
Phisci0921

5 years ago

if you put worm composting bins underneath then you have perfect t compost

0
cfuse
cfuse

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

There's certainly nothing wrong with using it as part of compost, but as the primary ingredient it's way too hot.

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HeatherP2
HeatherP2

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Rabbit manure is actually quite a bit less hot than most other manure. It can actually be spread directly on the plants! However, I'd still prefer to compost it.

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HeatherP2
HeatherP2

Reply 5 years ago

Great idea! As it is, I have to rake the compost out and spread it on the woods. That would be a great way to use the compost for something other than inadvertantly fertilizing trees!

0
Kazion
Kazion

5 years ago on Introduction

From my years of raising rabbits, any wood below the cages, as well as some on the lower sides of the cages, will eventually get soaked with urine. Not a good plan for long term. Metal is better, though will rust. Making the lower frame and stands from PVC is a better option, as it is impervious to liquids. Better still, make the frame from PVC, then suspend the hutches from above, eliminating any urine and/or feces collection points below.

Nice setup, otherwise.

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HeatherP2
HeatherP2

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I considered making the cages of PVC, but I've heard that it's toxic to babies, so I decided not to. There is a certain type of non-toxic PVC, but I don't have it around me.

As I've only had these cages for a year, it'll be interesting to see how the wood holds up. The wood has been chewed a lot already, but the rabbits can't reach half of it. Also, there's a lot of urine on the frame. However, the frame is made of green-treated wood (the buns can't reach it) so I think it'll be all right.

As you can see in one of my photos, Theo's been spraying on his plywood. I'll have to clean that away eventually.

Thanks for the ideas and complement :)

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JonathanS11
JonathanS11

5 years ago on Introduction

I suggest putting a layer of plastic mesh on top of the steel mesh. The wire would definitely be painful for whatever pet you have...(guinea pig in my case), and can lead to bad feet.

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HeatherP2
HeatherP2

Reply 5 years ago

I have an area (inside) for the bunnies to rest their feet. Plastic mesh dur is an interesting way to solve it! The only problem witg rabbits is that they'll ingest the plastic...

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HeatherP2
HeatherP2

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Interesting! Maybe I'll test it on a playpen to see if they chew it.

0
bluemoonmama
bluemoonmama

5 years ago on Introduction

Great design, and fun-to-peruse Instructable! I was wondering -- do you ever cover the hutches when it's rainy? I live in the PNW, and have always understood that a wet bunny is an unhappy bunny. Maybe they just stay inside when it rains...?

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HeatherP2
HeatherP2

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I don't get a ton of rain where I live, as we've been in somewhat of a drought lately. I suppose you could get a tarp, just the garden variety, and cover them up with that and some bungee cords. But yes, when it does rain, the buns just stay inside and poke their cute little noses out.

1
Zoo99
Zoo99

5 years ago on Introduction

You did a great job and inspired this accident prone 49 year old to finish her outdoor bunny hutches. I live in Central Florida and when I put my rabbits outside I give them fans because I am so afraid they will overheat. I wonder If I could adapt your design to incorporate small ventilation fans. they also look like great pens for the chickens when I want to have a breeding pair together.

Have you considered adding a non-toxic clear coat to the wood to help it last longer? To the inside where the bunnies will be, I mean. I might do a corrugated plastic roof over the tops of the four that I will need to build.

Thank you again! I love your bunny subdivision.

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HeatherP2
HeatherP2

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

I don't know about the fans. I would guess you could use one cheap computer fan in each of the doors, covered in hardware cloth to prevent chewing.

Also, your idea of a finish is excellent! I might do that on my next cages! I think shellac would work well. I'll have to research that more.

0
pogkids18
pogkids18

21 days ago on Step 6

I’m confused. I was drawing the pattern for the triangular walls out, and I couldn’t get the bottom to come out to 3 feet like it supposed to. I checked the square and the lengths multiple times, but it still isn’t coming out right. I also used the Pythagorean theorem to determine if there is a problem in the pattern and it came out to 25.455844 inches instead of 23.25. Any advice?

0
KarrenW
KarrenW

5 years ago on Introduction

My suggestion is you stop breeding rabbits altogether & go rescue those that are going to be killed at the shelters. And, having bunnies sitting on any hard cage wire is cruel as heck. If you're going to continue this business, I recommend you install resting boards or mats on the outside so the bunnies can sit in the fresh air comfortably. And, where is the rabbit pellet & greens that rabbits love to eat? All I see is basic straw & a bowl of water. That is extremely cruel to force them to live off of only that. Rabbits need a variety of foods in order to be happy. In the wild, they eat many different plants, grasses, & berries. I feel very sorry for your rabbits. What a horrible life they have, all the while you're inside your comfortable house, eating whatever you want, & they're being held in A frame prisons with no chance of ever escaping. Get a different hobby sir. Ask for God's forgiveness & stop treating animals like a profit instead of the living, feeling, gentle souls that they are.

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stupido
stupido

Reply 6 months ago

Wow. that was really harsh. As I see your post is from 5 years ago, maybe you are singing a different tune, or at least a more pleasant tune now.

There are growing legions of rabbitries that are moving toward hay and grains, rather than manufactured pellets. They are seeing advantages, especially in the meat area. You sound pretty unkind about this, as you have no idea about the builder of these hutches, and while I don't either, I think there are many advantages to this style of hutch. Maybe your climate is different, or maybe you elevate animals to the level of humans, but God offers them to us, and there are more ways to house them than your favorite way.

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Legateus
Legateus

Reply 4 months ago

Was it really harsh? She has a point here. It could be better.

Rabbits are actually ridiculous clean (like a cat) given the proper environment. They can be potty trained like all 3 of my rabbits (within a day). When you put hay all over the place they don't understand a designated space to urinate and will just go anywhere). A litter bin would help.

Pellets are just a small handful as you say, but plenty of fresh veggies and hay (no grains).

I think it's just people's emotional connection to an animal. I think of my rabbits as highly as any dog or cat owner does about theirs. While this habitat is pretttyy good, it's not the best. It's helped if the owner lets them out of these cages for a bit once a day. Perhaps have an enclosure around all of these cages and a removeable ramp. So then you can easily let the rabbits out and use the ramp so they can run back in to their cage (coaxed with a piece of apple). Probably one at a time if they aren't neutered/spayed haha.

To the maker: What's the electrical running between all the hutches?

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NoN1
NoN1

5 years ago on Introduction

This is repulsive. How can you put those rabbits on wire flooring, in dull, height-limiting enclosures, and still claim to 'pamper' them? It doesn't matter that part of their homes have solid bases, so don't use that excuse because I've heard it time and time again. Of course they will sit out on the wire on warm days, because they have no choice but to if they want to sunbathe.

My rabbits all live on solid flooring, and so had my past rabbits (I've kept them since 1998), and never had issues with their hocks. However, over the years, I've seen plenty of photos of rabbits who had previously been kept on wire flooring with fur missing from the base of their paws due to being worn away, and their skin blistered and sore.

Please do your buns a favour, educate yourself, learn correct housing for rabbits, and put it into practice; there are enough websites out there to help you. Take heed that experienced, knowledgeable, loving and respectful rabbit owners never use wire flooring. With solid flooring, they would make lovely homes for guinea-pigs, but not suitable for rabbits at all.

I'm sorry that I've come across angrily, but animal welfare is my passion, so something as careless as this is incredibly painful for me to ignore.