Making a Really Simple Rabbit Trap

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About: Retired technology teacher - 2 kids, I have an Hons deg in Design and Technology - 28 years as Computer systems engineer Trained as Electronics engineer in the Royal Air Force

Intro: Making a Really Simple Rabbit Trap

Even in the urban garden Rabbits are a real problem. Many people dislike the thought of shooting or it may not be practical if close to houses so a  live trap is a good alternative.

In this instructable I will show how to make a simple and cheap live trap.

Just remember if you release the fluffy bunny then take it at least 5 miles from your house or it will come back!

Step 1:

Materials:
A length of wood - Sizes are not critical but should be at least these sizes or the rabbit wont fit in the trap
36 inches - 900 mm x 10 inches - 250 mm x 1/2 inch - 12 mm

Some stiff wire - I used some square mesh left over from a rabbit hutch (irony there)

A few staples

Some left over scraps of wood laying round the work shop.

Tools:

Saw

Wire cutters

Pliers to bend the wire mesh.

Step 2:

How to:

Cut  the wooden base to length with the saw, try to make the cuts at right angles so things look neat.

Cut the wire so that you have enough to form a cage round the base about 10 inches square (250mm square)  +1 inch to wrap under to fix with the staples In my case that was a length the same as the length of the base + 1 inch at each end  (3' 2"  or  950 mm) this was cut to 10" +10" +10" + 2"=32 " WIDE.

I turned an inch over at the edge at 90 deg  to fix under the base with the staples. 

Measure 10" along and fold again at 90 Deg to make the side and top.

Measure 10" or the width of your base for the top and fold down at 90 Deg for the other side

Leaving 1" to fold under to fix to the base on the other side of the base.

When you fix the mesh to the base with the staples leave 1 inch over hang at each end.

Step 3:

Cut a section of mesh to fit the back of the cage in my case 10" x 10"  This is fixed to the cage with some short lengths of wire, string would also do the job as long as it is secure.

A 9.5" x 9" door was cut from some scrap plywood. this needs to be fairly heavy so it will close effectively

The hinge at the top is made by drilling a couple of holes and tying some wire through loosely so the door will swing easily.

A small hole at the bottom allows a short loop of wire to be hooked through to make the latch.

Fold the edges of the cage over by 1 inch to prevent the door swinging out - Note the door opens into the cage.
.

Step 4:

The trigger mechanism was made from some scrap plywood. There are no critical dimensions but you can judge the size I used from the ruler in the pictures.

At the door end the lever catches the wire loop holding the door open

At the other end of the lever a vertical trigger holds the lever down until the rabbit pushed it back whilst trying to get at the food..

This releases the trigger allowing the leaver to flip up. and so releasing the door.

The door drops down sealing the exit and trapping the rabbit in the cage for later disposal.

That's all there is - Bate the trap with something tempting. Lift the door and snag the wire loop. Set the trigger, I like to ensure it is only just holding the lever so little contact sets it off.

Site the trap some where near the rabbit problem and make sure you check at least daily.

A trapped rabbit may jump around a bit so to prevent it overturning the trap you may like to put a stake each side to keep the trap stable.



Step 5: How the Trap Works

In the attached diagram. When the rabbit tries to reach the bait which is at the back of the cage it has to pass by the trigger.

Pushing past will release the trigger which is only just trapped under the wire and is holding the door open with a lever.

This releases the lever and the door can fall shut. Because the door will not push out and the rabbit can not pull it inwards the rabbit is now trapped.

The door swings closed and is hinged at the top with a simple wire loop hinge through a couple of holes.

Step 6:

As an addition to this general idea of a trigger and bait you can build a trap from any box or washing basket etc.

The trigger mechanism is slightly different but just a modification of this design as in the attached drawing.

Getting a wild animal out of here can be difficult though unlike the cage trap so be warned. Also trapping native birds may well be illegal where you live so check up on it.

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105 Discussions

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rickharrisJsoa

Reply 11 months ago

But it costs money! and is very similiar to mine.

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kathlenem

1 year ago

I'm going to make this but am confused.

When the Rabbit hits the trigger does that not move the lever forward into the wire loop more?

Thanks in advance!!!

1 reply
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rickharriskathlenem

Reply 1 year ago

When the trigger is pushed towards the back of the trap it is freed from the wire and releases the longer stick that holds up the door. Make it just as shown and it will work. Ask again when built if you have problems.

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rickharrisrxima

Reply 2 years ago

To be honest I don't know, we don't get gophers in the UK. However as long as you use a suitable bait that they will go for it should work.

A rabbits is not nimble enough, (or bright enough), to try to lift the door by pulling at the bottom. A gopher may be a bit brighter.

It doesn't cost much so why not give it a go and let us know.

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TimS211

2 years ago

If you dont like rabbit to eat,take to local zoo...snakes love em!!! And zoo appreciates it

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robolimbo

2 years ago

Good design! I recommend hossenfeffer instead of release!

1 reply

I must admit that if I had to rely on this for daily food I would be pretty hungry.

it will and has caught rabbits but an air rifel is faster and more reliable.

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rickharrisrobolimbo

Reply 2 years ago

Only someone who has sat waiting for the little furry devils to pop up would know that! :-)

I have to say that at certain times of the year you could manage with a rock around here they are so abundent even during the day.

Yes it works several rabbits have been trapped with this although it looks a bit squashed at present as the grass cutting contractor ran over it.

Do you think you could explain how the door is being held up a little better? I just need some verification on it. Thanks.

1 reply

the door is held up with a wire loop. This goes over the end of a horizontal lever made of wood - about 10mm square,

At the other end this lever is trapped under the notch cut into the vertical trigger. This is another bit of 100 square wood with a 1 mm notch cut in the top end.

When bunny pushes past to get at the tasty yumies at the far end the trigger is pushed over, the horizontal lever is released and the weight of the door pulls the wire loop free, allowing the door to drop closed behind bunny.

Because the door opens inwards the bunny can't push it open again.