Intro: Indoor/Outdoor Rabbit Hutch
This indoor/outdoor rabbit hutch takes advantage of the warmth of the garage in the fall and winter and the cool breezes in Spring and Summer. I cut out some panels on the outside of the garage as well as the plywood underneath so they could move freely between the sides. There is a large piece of asphalt shingling over the cages so they are protected from the elements.
Step 1: Build the Cage's Under-structure on Both Sides of the Garage Wall
The five-bay cage was purchased used from a mink farmer. It would be easy to make a similar cage out of the raw materials, but I was glad that I didn't have to. The structure that holds up the cage was built like a deck with the joists spaced about a foot apart. I used reclaimed cedar wood from an old project so that it would hold up to the elements.
Step 2: More Detail About the Outside Portion of Their Cage
The outdoor portion of the hutch (visible at the back of the photo) is suspended a couple of feet above the ground to allow the droppings and urine to pass through underneath. I have actually sold about 40 gallons of rabbit droppings so far (at $5/5-gallon pail) to use as compost/fertilizer. The side of the hutch facing the garage has been removed. There is a flip-up portion of the cage on each bay that allows me to reach the rabbit and change their water.
Additionally, there is a rabbit run (at the front of the photo) that is completely enclosed by fencing around the sides and rabbit wire on top. There is a dog next door, and I didn't want him jumping in to grab one of the rabbits. There is a small plastic box in this area to allow the rabbit a place to hide. At some point, I would like to build a wire-enclosed ramp at the front of each cage to allow each rabbit the ability to access the run without having to catch them and physically move them to that area (the current method has a high risk of escape).
Step 3: More Detail About the Inside Portion of Their Cage
The indoor portion of the hutch was built on the deck-type structure with plywood on top. The cage is surrounded with hardware cloth (with 1/2" holes, I believe). There are rubber flaps that separate the inside from the outside, however the rabbits have decided that it's fun to chew bits off the rubber. There are buckets under this portion of the hutch because sometimes the rabbits have accidents, and I didn't want the floor to smell like urine. The buckets have wood pellets in them to absorb accidents and hay that gets flipped out of their enclosure. The cages can be accessed from this side as well through the grates on top.
Step 4: Each Rabbit Has Their Own Space
Each rabbit has their own space to raise a litter if necessary; here you see Bandit, a veteran mom, building her nest in the galvanized nest box. (Don't forget to see pictures of her babies too!!) There is a wire divider between her cage and the next cage. This can be removed to allow her even more room indoors, especially when there are little ones. Unfortunately I had to modify the black wire cage you see in the picture, because when the babies were big enough to jump out of the nest box, they were actually able to squeeze into the adjoining cage (which is dangerous because although baby bunnies are cute to adults, they are NOT cute to rival mothers).