These easy to build DIY rabbit hutch ideas are a great way to create a home for your bunny rabbits, and save money in the process.
I have considered getting a few rabbits for our farm. They’re easy to care for and, depending on the breed, can be kept outdoors in a hutch for all seasons of the year. They’re not quite as sensitive to temperature as pets like guinea pigs.
With appropriate care, rabbits live 8-12 years when kept as pets, or 1-2 years in the wild.
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Types of Rabbit Cages
But the main challenge is deciding on the BEST rabbit cage. Some people keep rabbits in raised hutches and others use rabbit tractors, similar to the DIY chicken tractor that I built. There are benefits to both options.
If you use a raised hutch, you can use a special collection system under the hutch to collect rabbit poop. This sounds crazy, but bear with me: rabbit poop is COMPOST GOLD for gardeners. Rabbit poop, unlike cow or horse manure, can be placed directly in the garden and is an exactly alternative to other types of fertilizers. I’ve heard some rabbit owners say they sell their rabbit’s poo for $5/bag (I assume they’re talking about reused feed bags). They might also use it on their own garden.
The other profitable option is to add a worm composting bin under the rabbit hutch that uses both the rabbit poo and other items (like your veggie scraps) for breeding worms. These worms can be sold to… again… gardeners for their worm bins or gardens… or to fishermen!
I’ve heard of kids setting up a mini worm farm to make money, along with caring for their rabbits. That’s a pretty sweet, easy job too for them!
As an alternative, using a rabbit tractor allows you to keep your rabbits in the grass. They can eat your grass and decrease how much feed they eat during the warmer months. You can move the tractor every few days to a clean area. They fertilize each area that the tractor is parked at.
The tractor needs to have wire or wood on the bottom, however, to keep the rabbits from burrowing out and predators from burrowing in. The other downfall to tractors is that the rabbits have direct contact with the ground which may increase their chances of picking up soil-borne diseases and worms.
That said, many people consider the rabbit tractor to be a more natural option for their rabbits.
Keeping Rabbits Indoors
Some people keep their rabbits indoors in a small cage and let the rabbit roam the house during the day; I’m not going to discuss this option because although rabbits can be trained to use a litter box, they may also chew on items in your home that could be unsafe for them.
If you decide to keep your rabbits inside, make sure to rabbit proof your home so they won’t get electrocuted eating an electrical cord or chew up Grandma’s priceless doll collection.
Considerations for Your Rabbit Cage
Regardless of your choice, you need to make sure your rabbit cage has a number of different qualifications to ensure your rabbit has a safe, happy, and healthy life.
Size of a Rabbit Cage
The general advice for cage size is that the cage should be four times as large as the rabbit’s full grown size. That baby rabbit will grow up so make sure to buy for his grown up size! Two smaller rabbits might be happy in a 8 sq ft cage. Larger rabbits need 30 x 36″ cages or larger.
Just keep in mind that these cage sizes are the ideal for their living space, but rabbits also need room to roam and hop around. It is recommended that you let your rabbits out for a few hours daily to exercise in a larger space. You want to give them at least 24 sq ft of exercise space.
If you plan your cage size based on this, you won’t need to stress about taking your rabbits out daily to run for hours supervised. Personally, I want my pets to have the space they need to be happy within their cage. This allows me the freedom to not take them out for a day or two if it’s rainy or snowing or we’re on vacation. We have a pet sitter watch our farm, but they probably aren’t going to spend five hours a day supervising a rabbit so it can hop around.
Your Climate and Rabbit Breed
Some breeds of rabbit are better able to survive in the heat or cold when kept outdoors. This is an important consideration when choosing a breed of rabbit for your area.
I live in Maryland where the winters aren’t generally very cold and the summers don’t get very hot (compared to the southern states). If I lived in Texas or Maine, I would choose a different breed of rabbit that was more well adapted to the extreme heat or extreme cold.
In some areas, you may need to keep your rabbits inside for their health and safety.
Predator Proof Your Cage
This is a factor that cannot be ignored when keeping your rabbits outdoors or when you’re letting them play. There are a lot of predators who would love to eat your rabbits including hawks, coyotes, neighborhood dogs, fox, and raccoon. You might even have a bear investigate your rabbits.
The cage (and run, if you have that separate) needs a solid roof to prevent hawks and raccoons from flying or climbing into the cage.
The wire sides can’t have too large of a gap or smaller predators will be able to stick their paws through to kill your rabbits. I discovered the hard way with my chickens that 2×4 fencing isn’t big enough to keep out a fox’s paws; I had used better wire on most of the cage, but he managed to get through the tarp on top. It was a sad lesson to learn.
Here is a good guide on wire fencing. I recommend getting a very sturdy hardware cloth for the sides and bottom of these cages.
The top should be sturdy and keep out rain. The rabbits should have an area that they can escape the wind and sun.
DIY Rabbit Cages with Tutorials
Buy an Easy to Clean Cage
Omlet makes some really nice plastic rabbit cages for outdoors that I like. You can purchase all sorts of accessories including a tunnel system, treat holders, and weather protection if you use the cage outdoors. The best part is that they look very easy to clean and less prone to chewing. Buy wheels and handles to attach to the cage to move it around. Check out my review of the Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch + 6′ Run. If you decide to buy one, email me for a coupon code at [email protected]!
You may also want to check out these DIY pet projects:
- Guinea Pig Cage Ideas
- Wood Guinea Pig Cage
- Base for Midwest Guinea Pig Cage
- DIY Duck Coop
- DIY Chicken Run
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