Raising rabbits can be a fun part-time hobby or a full-time occupation. The difference between the two is how many rabbits are raised, why they are raised and how they are raised. For the average person with a couple of pet rabbits or a homesteader who would like to raise a few litters per year, a simple, easy-to-build rabbit hutch is an ideal solution for housing the bunnies. A hutch provides the rabbits with shelter from the elements, safety from predators and an easy-to-clean environment.
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Things you need
- 2 2x4x, 8 feet long
- 3 2x4, 24 ¾ inches long
- 0.907 Kilogram 16-penny nails, galvanised
- 5 feet 30-inch-wide hardware cloth, ½ inch mesh, galvanised
- 1 box blue carpet staples
- 4 Cement blocks
- 2 22 inch 1x2 inch spruce strip
- 2 26 inch 1x2 inch spruce strip
- 2 30 inch 1x2 inch spruce strip
- 2 30 ¼ inch 1x2 inch spruce strip
- 1 pound 4-penny common nails, galvanised
- 30 feet 23-inch-wide chicken wire, 1 inch mesh
- Tin snips or wire cutters
- 1 21 7/8 inch 1x2 inch spruce strip
- 1 25 7/8 inch 1x2 inch spruce strip
- 1 29 7/8 inch 1x2 inch spruce strip
- 1 30 1/8 inch 1x2 inch spruce strip
- 2 5 foot 1x2 inch spruce strip
- 3 25 inch 1x2 inch spruce strip
- 5 6 foot 1x2 inch spruce strip
- 2 44 inch 1x2 inch spruce strip
- 14 feet building paper, black
- 24 square feet rolled roofing, 30 pound
- 1 quart shingle cement
- Cement applicator
- 4 27 ½ inch 1x2 inch spruce strip
- 4 25 1/2 inch 1x2 inch spruce strip
- 4 2 inch hinge
- 2 hook-and-eye sets, galvanised
Put 8-foot sections of 2x4 parallel to one another, standing on edge. Place the shorter pieces of 2x4 between the longer ones. Line the two up with the ends of the longer boards and place the third exactly in the middle. Nail all of the boards in place. Staple the hardware cloth securely around the edges and to the centre support. The floor frame can now be placed on cement blocks, if desired, to make it easier to work on.
Place one each of the 22-inch, 26-inch, 30-inch, and 30 ¼-inch spruce strips on a hard work surface. Arrange them so that the 22- and 26-inch strip are parallel to each other. Nail the 30-inch strip squarely across the bottom of both shorter strips. Attach the 30 ¼-inch strip across the top to form a slope. Repeat for the opposite end of the hutch. Cover with chicken wire and staple in place, trimming any excess. Build a divider in the same manner as the ends, using the pieces that are 1/8-inch shorter than the end piece dimensions.
Nail the three 25-inch sections of 1x2 to the two 5-foot sections to form a rectangle. The shorter pieces should fit inside the longer pieces, so that all edges are flush. Staple chicken wire tightly over this piece, which is the back section of the hutch. Trim all excess.
Place the two 44-inch wood strips parallel to one another, set on the narrowest edge. Fit the 5 6-foot wood strips inside the first two, keeping everything square. Nail the strips together securely. Staple chicken wire tightly to the roof section. Cover with building paper and nail it in place.
Spread shingle cement liberally around the edges of the roof. Place dots of cement on the inner areas of the roof surface as well. Place the rolled roofing on top of the roof, pressing down to be sure it adheres to the entire roof. Do not use nails.
Make door frames by nailing together two 27 ½-inch strips for the bottom and top of each door, and 2 25 ½-inch strips for the sides. Nail chicken wire securely over the frames.
Attach two hinges to each door, near the top and bottom of one side. For one door attach them to the left side, and for the other door attach them to the right.
Nail the frame pieces together, attaching the back, sides and centre to the floor. Fasten the roof on top, being sure to nail it to all pieces already in place.
Hang doors to cover openings in the front of the hutch. Attach door hinges to left and right end pieces. Put hooks on each door and place eyes on the centre divider to hold doors shut.
Add bedding, water and food dishes.
Tips and warnings
- A solid work surface will make the assembly of the different sections much easier, especially when nailing the chicken wire to the frames. The blocks used to raise the project during assembly can also be used to keep the rabbits off the ground once the project is complete, if desired. Note that the ends of the hutch floor will be about 1 ½ feet longer than the hutch on each side, to allow for dragging or carrying the hutch or for placing up on blocks.
- Rabbits are prey animals, and if there are predators in the area your rabbits could be killed. This hutch will protect against some animals, but do not place it where dogs, foxes or other predators can get to your rabbits.
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