Rabbits are usually known as the most kept pets in our homes across the world. Finzi (1992) describes another underground pen for group rearing, the result of field observations and experiments, shown in Figure 36. Note the simple predator control and rabbit shelter concepts. Being confined continuously to a hutch does not allow a rabbit to exhibit natural behaviors such as running, hopping, jumping and digging and is actually cruel confinement. A space also needs to be provided for Timothy hay, which a rabbit should have access to at all times.
So the hutch needs a waterproof covering and a well-crafted nest box, if one comes as part of the design. All flooring for inside and outside accommodation should be non slip to avoid your rabbit injuring themselves. You can use wood, metal, re-purposed furniture, and other materials to build a bunny condo. Here you can see a series of pictures outlining the process of building a rabbit hutch (the one you see in the picture below).
If you have more question, I would be more than glad to assist you with the build. But to build out a clubhouse to fit into this hutch that will use insulation requires a whole different level of effort on top of what I have shown you how to do here. The mesh at the front of the hutch should be thick, small holed, mesh rather than chicken wire and the hutch should be raised off of the ground to avoid damp. To keep the cage more sanitary between cleanings, some owners prefer to litter-train their rabbit to keep the dropping mainly in a tray that is easily emptied and sanitized.
Yesterday’s News is a recycled paper pellet litter that absorbs the smell of rabbit urine. The plastic indoor hutches/cages are not rabbit friendly and also not big enough. Make sure you don’t forget the towel – after all, you don’t want to freeze your rabbit or make it uncomfortable. You could always have more space than the minimum recommendation; your rabbit will love it!
As the primary home for your furry friends, an outdoor rabbit hutch or cage must be spacious enough to allow for normal mobility and exercise. Optionally you can also replace the elbows and middle couplings on the end legs and continue adding 48″ PVC pipes and another set of end legs to build as many as you want. Taking it a step further, larger operations might be best served by a rabbit shed.
Use a smaller size for the floor, to protect rabbit feet from getting stuck and resulting in broken or dislocated feet and legs. By following these steps, you can greatly increase the likelihood of your rabbit having a safe, comfortable winter. For a long but still only partial list of plants to avoid, go to the House Rabbit Society San Diego Chapter’s website. This is to ensure that your rabbit hutch will offer clean and safe protection from the natural elements. But it will be beneficial if you choose to build the clubhouse to go with 2×4’s.
Although these rabbit hutches are more aesthetically pleasing and preferred by rabbits, the wood may absorb urine, so over time ammonia can accumulate. You can place a sturdy item like a large garden stone/brick or the wooden hideouts you can buy to raise the ramp up at the bottom more, so its not so steep. Its worth bearing in mind the internal ‘ladder’ does use up floor space, effectively making the hutch smaller.
Also, if you decide to build with metal, the slats should be fairly close together so your rabbit cannot get his/her head through. Now that the hutch is made, owners who plan on keeping rabbits outdoors will need to think about how they’ll protect their critters from the elements and predators, and that protection often comes in the form of a hutch frame.
They must have enough space in their hutch to be able to sit up on their back legs and stretch out according to one fact sheet (1) – but we think (and we know the charity does too) they should really have more – at the very least enough to be able to hop three times (2). Keeping your rabbit safe from predators and the outside weather elements is the number one priority when looking at features of different hutches. If you’re handy with tools, you can make a rabbit hutch from scratch, but you may find it easier to purchase a rabbit-hutch kit.
Modern rabbit keeping looks at the hutch as more of a shelter within a wider area accessible to the rabbit, whether this be a permanently attached run, secure garden or similar setup. The cage is usually long enough to have two sections, in order for the rabbits to have a separate sleeping section. This hutch offers a safe, cozy and stylish home for your rabbit which is lightweight yet durable.
Although having a cage that’s easy to clean likely means you’ll clean it more often, you should still make your pet’s comfort and safety your prime concern. When thinking about size, it’s also a good idea to think about anything you may want to fit in the cage – for example a litter tray. A rabbit cage has all the basic things a house does: a roof, walls, and a floor. Since the PVC frame is light, you might also wish to drive tent pegs through the corners to fasten the rabbit run to the ground.
There are several different types of hutches that you can make for your rabbit(s). However, it is important to remember that they are not a cat or dog and will still have rabbit behaviours, so they can be demanding and destructive. When your design is too close to the ground, it requires excessive period of bending particularly when trying to clean the hutch. As well as writing a blog and book about rabbits, I run a site that promotes UK rabbit rescues (which incidentally is how I ended up with Scamp).
Constructed of sturdy pine with a weatherproof glaze, the Trixie Natura Peaked Roof Rabbit Hutch with Enclosure makes a perfect home for pet bunnies. So a 6 foot hutch would probably be better than a 4 foot tiered hutch as it gives the rabbit more room on one level. Colony raising rabbits isn’t hard, but there are a few considerations that can make setting up a rabbit colony go more smoothly. The rabbit house should be long enough for the rabbit to take at least 3-4 hops easily.
If you have the height available, adding a shelf to the cage can be a good way to add extra floor space and rabbits like to have a raised platform to rest/lookout from. It also needs good ventilation that can prevent hot air from becoming trapped inside the hutch where it can kill the rabbit. They make hundreds of rabbit related products and sell them through affiliates all over the world. Ventilation standards for temperate climates based on several French studies are given in Table 50. This table combines the various parameters (temperature, air flow, humidity) to determine optimum air flow per kg of rabbit live weight.
These rabbit hutches are so easy to build that you can very easily come up with a plan, especially if you’ve ever worked with PVC or are the DIY creative type. Outdoor rabbit hutch plans can be built on stilts, use galvanized roofing material or even PVC piping. And most links I find are actually undercover sites to try and sell you Rabbit Hutches. When devising a plan for watering rabbits — and feeding them for that matter — consider how much easier it is if you don’t have to open the cage daily. When its time to let the rabbit nose around outside of its cage, its best to let it jump out by itself.