Rabbits are delightful pets to hold, feed, brush, walk and show. Keep rabbits indoors or outside with the proper safe and comfortable shelter. Although rabbits need attention and a lot of time out of any enclosure to get enough exercise and stay healthy, the right enclosure is important for their safety and care. Whether you keep your rabbit in a modified dog crate, a pet bed surrounded by a portable fence or outside in a large enclosed hutch, you have options for secure and healthy rabbit housing.
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Construct an all-wire hutch easily with a few handy tools and simple materials. It is a simple, clean and secure rabbit enclosure. Thick 14- or 16-gauge galvanised welded wire fencing, j-clips, a door latch and door hanger, a tape measure, hammer, a short piece of 2 by 4-inch lumber, j-clip pliers, wire cutters and regular pliers are all the tools and materials you will need.
Measure two lengths of wire to cut into rectangles to bend into sides for the cage. Use the piece of wood to bend the wire to form two sections to connect with j-clips, the bottom and one side and the top and one side. Cut two squares for the ends of the cage, one of which is attached with the door hanger to be opened and closed.
Wooden Hutch and Attached Wire Cage
Make a wooden hutch on framed stilt legs with an attached wire cage run for a larger, more traditional rabbit enclosure. This hutch requires construction plans and simple carpentry to complete.
A square hutch with a door in front to reach the rabbit, a door from the hutch into the wire run, and a door to the run to reach the rabbit makes it easy to access your rabbit for feeding and care. For outside use, construct this rabbit house with sturdy wood to keep predators out and ensure the safety of your pets. Use lighter wood for indoor hutches. Remember that rabbits chew and gnaw and use only natural, untreated wood without chemicals that could harm your pet.
Adapted Large Wire Dog Crate
Adapt a large wire dog crate for a simple, indoor home that needs no construction. There is plenty of room for bedding, a litter box, and food and water dishes. Wire dog crates make easy-to-use, attractive options for indoor rabbit-keeping but are not secure enough for permanent outdoor housing.
Build an interesting A-frame hutch from wood framing and shingles. Beginning carpentry skills, inexpensive wood and hinges and hook-and-eye locks are enough to build this kind of hutch. Used with a portable plastic or wire fence surrounding the hutch, this set-up is quite simple and effective.
Large Baby Playpen
Use a large baby playpen as an easy-to-use indoor enclosure for rabbits. This works especially well for dwarf and miniature rabbits. It sets up quickly without tools and contains the animals safely. Rabbits need supervision in playpens as chewing and gnawing are concerns with this type of enclosure.
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- "Build Rabbit Housing: Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin A-82 ; Bob Bennett; 1982
- "Black & Decker 24 Weekend Projects for Pets: Dog Houses, Cat Trees, Rabbit Hutches & More"; David Griffin; 2007
- "The Rabbit Handbook"; Karen Parker D.V.M.; 2009
- "Rabbits for Dummies"; Connie Isbell and Audrey Pavia; 2009
- "How to Build Animal Housing: 60 Plans for Coops, Hutches, Barns, Sheds, Pens, Nestboxes, Feeders, Stanchions, and Much More"; Carol Ekarius; 2004