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!

2 People Made This Project!

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92 Discussions

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

3 replies

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

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.

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!

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.

2 replies

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 :)

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.

3 replies

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...

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...?

1 reply

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.

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.

1 reply

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.

HI there, I was wondering if the items needed list is for just one hutch? So say I wanted to build 3 of them I would just multiply the needed items by 3?

Thanks, looks great! Thinking of doing this for my rabbits.

Uhh their feet is sensitive so they SHOULDN'T have meatal bottoms PLUS they need space >_>

Wow, that's a wicked design for those on a budget. A-Frame hutches are super strong and last a lifetime. You didn't specify the AWG(gauge/thickness) of the hardware cloth for the flooring, which should be 16 at a minimum, 14 is optimal though. My hubby and I actually created a site that offers advice on rabbits, we also review 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!

Really cool A-Frame Hutch, loving the mesh floor so you could put them on the grass if you wanted to, or better yet get some worm bins under them! 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!

Those hutches really need an area with shade. Rabbits go underground where it is cool in the afternoon and do not do well with heat. In the summertime the bunnies in those hutches would be either in the hot sun or they would go into the enclosed part for shade but it would get really hot in the enclosed part- like the inside of a car. Rabbit hutches need areas that are in the shade but open ventilation to keep cool. In summer in the afternoon if I go to see my rabbits they are all under the hutch in the shade where it is cool, sleeping.