Looking to save some money and make your own, homemade, rabbit hutch? Keep reading to get some great tips that every hutch maker should know.
The first thing you need to do if you decide to care for a pet rabbit is prepare their habitat. You can opt for a commercially available rabbit hutch or make your own.
The best thing about building your rabbit hutch is that you can customize it however you wish, unlike the commercially available ones. This customization can be in terms of size, material, flooring and roofing. Below, we’ll expound more on how to make a homemade rabbit hutch based on our research and experience.
How Much Does It Cost To Build a Rabbit Hutch?
With all materials included, it costs around $150 to build a homemade rabbit hutch.
What Are the Design Elements That You Should Focus On?
Before you start making a hutch for rabbits, you must first note all the essential design elements a hutch must have. Here is a simple guideline on these design elements.
The best rabbit hutch height should be at least two-feet tall (60 cm). We’ve learned from experience that rabbits love jumping, so you need to provide enough room for jumping. Note that the two-feet is not limited and you can customize your rabbit hutch to be as tall as you desire.
Distance from the ground
A hutch should be at least one to two feet off the ground. Our research has found that the distance off the ground ensures the longevity of your rabbit hutch. If you use wood, the off-ground design ensures that your wood will not rot if it sits in water during rainy days.
Besides being natural jumpers, our experience keeping rabbits shows that these pets are very active. Thus, they require enough room to play and romp. Furthermore, our research on pet rabbits found that these animals experience high levels of corticosterone, the stress hormone, when kept in small living areas with limited exercise space. Therefore, when you make a rabbit hutch, make sure that it is at least three to six feet wide.
A sturdy roof is a must-have, especially in areas with poor weather conditions. Asphalt is one of the best materials you can consider for roofing. It keeps snow and rain away. Asphalt also reflects heat during the hot summer months.
Inside the hutch, you need to add an indoor shelter for your pet rabbits. Ensure you create a small covered area where your rabbits can make a nest and relax. Even though rabbits are social creatures, they also need their personal space for relaxation.
The best homemade rabbit hutch flooring is made from a wire gauge. The wire gauge needs to be large, about 1.5 inches thick. One of the main reasons why you need a large wire gauge is to prevent feces from clogging. We’ve learned from experience that a smaller wire can easily get clogged with sticky rabbit poop, which can be tiresome to clean. Also, note that you should cover the large wire gauge with a thick layer of hay or bedding.
An access door is also a must-have when you make a rabbit hutch. The access door will ensure you can easily remove the rabbits when necessary. It also allows for accessible entrance during cleaning time.
How Do You Prepare for the Rabbit Hutch Building Process?
The process of building a rabbit hutch is relatively straightforward and very cheap. It will only take about eight hours and $150 to construct the habitat. Here are a few things you should prepare before making a rabbit hutch.
- Have a building plan
- Set the dimensions for your dream rabbit hutch, which should include the frame, floor pane, sidewalls, interior panel and doors
- Select the materials
- Determine how many materials are required
- Source or purchase the materials
- Begin building
What Are the Steps Involved in Building a Rabbit Hutch?
The steps involved in building a rabbit hutch depend on the building plan that you have in mind. However, some of the basic steps of constructing the habitat include the following:
- Build the outer frame. You can use two to four lumber pieces for the frame. Ensure this outer frame is a 4-by-4 post that correlates with the set dimensions and that all corners are correctly aligned. Note that this frame will provide your hutch with the necessary support.
- Fit a wire gauge for the flooring. Make sure your wire gauge is incredibly strong and large. Using a wire gauge gives rabbit droppings and urine enough room to fall off the cage, ensuring it is easy to clean.
- Fit the side walls. You must fit the side walls by screwing planks into the frame.
- Place the interior panels. The interior panels will help you create a night shelter for your rabbit. A night shelter will give your pet enough room to rest. Ensure the interior panels have an opening where your pet can easily go in and out.
- Fit in the doors. The door can be as simple as you want; you can go for one that opens vertically or horizontally.
- Screw in the roofing panel. The roofing panel should protect the rabbit’s habitat from harsh weather conditions. At this step, you must screw in the roof panel to the upper side of the frame. Ensure the panel overlaps the front by 5-by-10 centimeters to prevent water entry into the living space during the rainy season.
What Are the Top Things To Include in a Hutch?
After you build a rabbit hutch, there are several must-have things your rabbit will require. They include:
Our experience with rabbits has proven that these pets require dry, clean and chemical-free bedding to be happy. The best bedding you can consider is hay. You can also go for shredded paper or the commercially available Carefresh Small Animal Bedding.
Water and food bowl
Even though rabbits can forage grass or hay from the floor, you should still provide them with a food bowl. You can use the food bowl to place rabbit pellets or nuggets, such as the Kaytee Supreme Daily Blend Rabbit Pellets or the Oxbow Essentials Young Rabbit Food. Apart from the food bowl, have a water bowl or bottle in the habitat.
As stated above, rabbits are very active pets. Thus, placing exciting toys in their living space would help keep them happy and stimulated. You can buy chewing sticks, plant pots or tunnels and put them in the shelter.
Litter fillings and tray
An appropriate litter filling and tray, like paper litter, hay, newspaper and straw, is essential for your rabbit pet. This litter tray will play a crucial role in keeping the habitat clean. Make sure that you put the litter tray away from the sleeping area and remove it daily.
Summing It Up
A homemade rabbit hutch is very easy to make. As long as you have the set dimensions and necessary materials, you can make the hutch on your own. The best thing is that this rabbit hutch building project will only take you about eight hours of your day to complete.