A rabbit hutch is a safe place to keep rabbits inside or outdoors. The hutch offers ventilation for the rabbits and keeps them safely limited to just a small amount of space. Hutches are usually made of plywood and wire, but it is possible to find hutches made of metal or plastic. Designs for hutches can be downloaded from the Internet, but you can also design your own blueprints for the hutch.
Size Your Hutch
Determine the size hutch you need. The more rabbits you plan to keep in the hutch, the larger it should be. Make sure there is enough space for bedding and a food area for the rabbit. If you know the dimensions of the hutch in advance, you can buy the plywood pre-cut to the appropriate size. This saves you time and effort once you are working at home. The wire sheets or screens can also be cut at the store. Some people purchase a wire cage and build around it, so your hutch dimensions are just slightly larger than the cage.
If you are making the cage completely from scratch, instead of using a pre-made cage, you will need to create a box with ventilation. At least one side of the hutch should be wire, but most people make the front and back of the cage wire. The top or front of the cage should have a door that easily opens, but remains secure when the rabbits are inside.
Attach the Wire Sheets
The wire sheets should be secured to the sides of the board to hold them in place. This can be done with wooden slats. Cut the slats to the length of the sides of the cage. The wire sheets should be about four inches wider than the wood boards that make up the sides and bottom of the cage. Wrap the excess wire around the slats and secure the slats to the wooden boards with nails. This wrapping of the wire sheets ensures the wire panels will stay in place, even if the rabbits bump into the wire sides.
The legs are what make a rabbit hutch different than a traditional rabbit cage. The hutch is elevated and usually larger than a regular cage. The legs can be made out of two by four boards. Most hutches are at least three feet in height, but your hutch can be whatever size works best for your height and the number of rabbits you plan to house. Attach the legs with nails and reinforce them with L-brackets. Make sure none of the nails break the wood on the interior side of the cage because this can cause the rabbit’s injury.
Personalize Your Rabbit Hutch
Once the hutch is assembled, you can paint or stain it. If you want a plain hutch, but you plan to store the hutch outdoors, you will need to apply a wood sealant. You might also want to apply a rust resistor to the wire to keep it in like-new condition. If you prefer a decorative hutch, paint and decorate the wood with stencils or stamps. Finally, install the rabbit feed bowls and drinking water. This creates a safe, comfortable environment for your rabbits.