Hey folks! It's finally time to really talk about that rabbit hutch we were making! Now, before we begin, please don't yell at me. I don't have exact measurements. We didn't follow any plans and just kind of eye-balled a lot of it. But, I can give you some approximate measurements. I'm hoping the take away from this post is gaining the inspiration and confidence to build a rabbit hutch yourself if you're thinking of keeping rabbits soon. It's a heck of a lot cheaper than buying one from the store!
What You'll Need:
-chicken wire (or other appropriate fencing material)
-long screws (at least 3”, I'm guessing. Will try to remember to double check what we used.)
NOTE: First off, I want to start this off by saying that, overall, our hutch's dimensions are roughly 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide by 5 feet long. I hope that helps. There is nothing special about the 2x5' part. We did that according to the size of our hardware cloth, to be honest.
*We started off by putting our bottom/base frame together. Again, roughly 2'x5' according to the size of our hardware cloth. The slats in-between are important so that your hardware cloth doesn't sag much. We just used some pieces of an old board we had lying around for the slats.
*Once you have these bits screwed together (make sure your screws are not sticking out anywhere that your rabbits could accidentally snag and hurt themselves!), roll out your hardware cloth and secure with the fence nails. Be sure you keep it as taut as possible! Cut or hammer down any excess hardware cloth hanging over the edge. In case you're wondering, “Why hardware cloth?” it's because the holes are small enough that the rabbits can get secure footing and feel safe, but big enough that their poops should drop through.
*I really dropped the ball on taking pictures of this next part, so I apologize. You are going to make another frame that is the same size as the first one, but you don't have to worry about the slats or hardware cloth since it will be at the top.
Evidently rabbits will chew through wood if you let them, so for this part we started out by wrapping the chicken wire around the bottom base so that it will end up being on the inside and no wood will be exposed. You'll secure this in place with the fence nails as well. Again, be sure to keep this as taut as possible as you secure.
This is actually where you really need to figure out how deep you need/want the inside of the pen. I'm not sure why we made ours so deep, but it was a mistake as I am pretty short. Ha ha I think we just did it according to how tall the chicken wire was. Anyhow, you will secure the other end of the wire to the top frame. You may need to cut and hammer some excess wire for this part.
Finally, you are going to attach your legs to the outside! Again, ours were roughly 4' tall.
*For the lid, we decided to use some extra siding we had leftover from when we did some repairs to the house before moving in. It's nice and heavy and keeps the rain out. There are lots of other ways you can make your “roof”. You may consider slanting it too if you plan on having it outside in the elements. But, here's a look at what we did.
*Even if you don't have a roof that's nearly as heavy as ours, you might consider putting a “kickstand”, or whatever you want to call it, on for the roof to make an easier time cleaning and whatnot.
That's it! It's not as bad as it sounds, but it did take longer than expected at the same time...That may be largely due to the fact that it's hard getting anything done outside with two young kids. ;)