Whether you have a budding 4-H interest or are just looking for an outdoor home for your furry family friend, a homemade rabbit hutch will be much cheaper than one available at a big box retailer or pet store. These units can be built to house one or more rabbits depending on your needs. When trying to do this on the cheap it is important not to skimp on the framing materials. A solid frame is the difference between a solid hutch and a flimsy one.
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Things you need
- 24-inch-by-96-inch chicken wire
- 2 door hinges
- Hook and eye latch
- 2 sheets OSB, 24 inches by 72 inches by 3/4 of an inch
- Hardware cloth
- 8-foot 2-by-4s , 8
- 6-foot 1-by-2s, 2
- Industrial staples
- Circular saw
- Wire cutters
- Claw Hammer
- 3-inch nails, 1 pound
- Measuring Tape
- Straight edge
- 1-inch nails, 1 pound
Cut four 4-foot 2-by-4s with the circular saw.
Cut eight 2-by-4s to 2 feet in length.
Nail the 4-foot and 2-foot pieces together in butt joints with 3-inch nails to create two 4-foot-by-2-foot 2-inch rectangles. This requires the 2-by-4s to be laid so the 4-inch side is flat to the ground and the 2-foot pieces are joined to the interior of the 4-foot pieces.
Nail the four remaining 2-foot pieces to the interior joint on the 4-foot boards. Make sure the 4-inch width is facing to the front and back of the hutch and not to the 2-foot sides. Use 3-inch nails for this as well.
Flip the frame over and slip the 2-foot supports inside the remaining base rectangle.
Nail the supports to the frame in the same fashion as the first set.
Constructing the Frame
Cut two 2-foot-by-2-foot 2-inch sections of 3/4-inch OSB.
Nail the OSB to both ends of the hutch. Put 3-inch nails every 3 inches to secure the walls in place.
Cut a 2-foot-by-4-foot OSB board and attach it to the back of the hutch in the same manner.
Cut off 4 feet of the 2-foot chicken wire with wire cutters. Attach this to the bottom of the hutch with industrial staples along the underside perimeter of the base. Cover this chicken wire with a loose piece of hardware cloth.
Cut a 2-foot square piece of chicken wire and attach it to the right side of the top of the hutch with industrial staples along the top perimeter.
Cut a 2-foot square piece of OSB and attach it opposite the chicken wire on the top of the hutch. Use 3-inch nails every 3 inches.
Cut two 3-foot, 10-inch 1-by-2s and two 2-foot 1-by-2s. Use butt joints and 3-inch nails to join these pieces into a 3-foot, 10-inch-by-2-foot rectangle.
Cut a piece of 1-foot, 11-inch-by-2-foot chicken wire and attach it to the outside right-hand side of the new rectangle. Use industrial staples every 3 inches to secure.
Cut a piece of 1-foot, 11-inch-by-2-foot OSB and attach it opposite the chicken wire. Use 3-inch nails every 3 inches. This will finish off the door component.
Attach this frame to the front of the hutch with two hinges. Nail 1-inch nails through the upper hinge piece to the top hutch frame and through the lower hinge piece to the top of the door.
Install the eye hook lock at the bottom centre of the door to keep the door from being pushed open.
Adding Walls to the Frame
Flip the hutch over so the top is on the ground.
Cut four 4-foot 2-by-4s for the legs.
Nail these legs to the interior of the frame with 3-inch nails.
Flip the hutch back over and make sure it is level.
Finsihing the Install
Tips and warnings
- Finish the OSB with waterproof latex paint (on the exterior only because the rabbits will eat it otherwise).
- If you would like to angle the roof so there is no chance of water pooling you can use a mitre saw to cut a 20-degree angle on the back and front of the frame and attach the roof on that angle to allow the rain to run off the back of the hutch.
- When the rabbit hutch gets dirty, lift the cloth and shake it out, allowing the rabbit pellets to fall through the chicken wire bottom.
- For a more finished look (at a slightly higher cost) use plywood in place of OSB.
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