The end goal was to have a rabbit hutch that offered multiple “condos”. Enough space in each condo that the rabbits had room to move and were comfortable (roughly 8 square feet per condo). Knowing that I would be raising meat rabbits, I wanted to space to allow for comfort of a litter of kits, plus mama in a space that didn’t take up the yard. The hutch would offer a safe home for at least 4 rabbits with open air exposed areas, as well enclosed cubbyholes. Easy ability to feed and water from the outside. Hinged doors to allow for access to clean and maintain the spaces. Weather resistance for both the rabbits as well as longevity of the hutch. Finally the ability to collect the rabbit manure to put back on the raised garden beds for easy fertilizer, or compost.
What I ended up with was 8 ft long, almost 6 ft tall, and 2 3/4 feet deep. Eight doors to allow for access to all areas of the hutch. Easy to use/maintain and happy animals.
The process worked something like this –
- Condo floors were made of 2×4 pieces 8 ft long and 2.75 across topped with 1/2″ steel wire mesh (link).
- Once floors were assembled I added the vertical boards. The lower condo floor was up 12″ from the floor and the upper floor was installed at 3 1/4 feet up from the floor.
- Front of the hutch at full vertical height, I cut the rear of the hutch vertical boards roughly 6″ lower providing a nice grade for the roof and water runoff.
- Next was the install of the ceilings, both were 3/8″ plywood, which was then covered with clear plastic (link) cut to fit and overhang by 2″ each side.
- The lower condo ceiling was angled at the same as the above condo with a 6″ drop from front to rear.
- 3/8″ plywood exterior side walls made up the next task. These were custom cut to fit under the condo roofing and to fit inside and between the outside vertical boards.
- It was now time to add the interior cubbyhole walls and some supports for doors. I went in roughly 18″ from the outside wall and installed vertical 2×4’s to fit between the floor and the condo roof (both front and rear of the hutch). I custom cut another four pieces of 3/8″ plywood (including a 6″ wide x 7″ tall U shaped doorway) to fit within the space and attached to those boards.
- Back walls were next on the task list. 3/8″ plywood custom fit from floor to under ceiling to help enclose the back side of the condo.
- Once those walls were complete, I wanted to allow the rabbits to see and smell each other between the condos. For this, I used the same wire mesh custom fit and stapled from floor to ceiling and front to back. This gave them the ability to remain social with each other without producing offspring when I wasn’t ready for them.
- Doors, I have to say not the easiest to build in this process. Eight doors in total, two per condo. Four of those doors being totally wood (3/8″ plywood with 1″ strapping around the outside to attach the hinges, and door locks. This door allowed the cubbyhole to be fully enclosed from the weather, and give the rabbits some private quiet area when needed. The other being 1″ strapping wrapped with the same wire mesh. This door held the food and water dishes, allowed for some open area visibility.
- Finishing touches included adding waterproofing stain to the entire thing to adding food containers, and water bottles. This was the more tedious task on this list, but it provided some of the better results for the long run. Another finishing touch was to add a section of rain gutter under the lower ceiling overhang to collect urine and manure in a bucket on one end.
- Maintenance was fairly straightforward with this build after some of the previously mentioned pieces. What manure didn’t fall through the mesh (Flemish giant rabbit breed) was simply washed through with a little force of the water hose, collected in the gutter, and washed away.
While it may not have been the prettiest of rabbit hutches, for the price tag (roughly $375) , it offered a lot more bang for the buck over a purchased hutch’s. It also met all of the requirements with ease.
Hopefully, this inspires you to build your own, and create your own herd of rabbits.
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