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Has anyone built their own rabbit hutch?

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Has anyone built their own rabbit hutch?

Post  middlemamma on 9/22/2010, 8:32 pm

Hubby is pretty inclined....I just was wondering if anyone had built their own and might give a brief outline of what they did.

I was thinking maybe 2x2's for legs? Pretty inexpensive... Cheaper plywood for the back and roof and a little door? then some chicken wire for the sides? This sound about right?

I am possibly going to get the kids into 4H with the bunnies and having the poo for the garden would be good too...Smile

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Re: Has anyone built their own rabbit hutch?

Post  CarolynPhillips on 9/22/2010, 9:03 pm

You should use small wiring.......like hardware mesh or simular so the snakes have harder
time getting in and raccoons like to reach in and eat baby bunnies too....the floor should be mesh too. Should have a seperate compartment so bunnies can have their babies in a closed in den. the den area should have a roof that opens up from the top so you can clean the nesting area.----den should have solid floor so babies don't fall through.
Roof----should have shingles or something to keep from rotting.

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Re: Has anyone built their own rabbit hutch?

Post  acara on 9/22/2010, 9:39 pm

Depends on how many your looking to keep.

Just a pair ...You can get the top of the line, ready to use 2 x 2 x 1.5's for under $50, complete with everything except water bottles.

If your going bigger (more bunnies) .... I think the break-even on build vs buy is about 10 lineal feet ...if you can find 2' x 50' rolls.

Stay away from the hot dipped galvanized (HD Galv or GAW is the designation you'll see most often) product (hardware cloth) .... it's bad for birds/rabits and other animals that nibble (they injest the zinc & get sick/die) ...also the hot-dipped galvanizing process cross-contaminates materials in the bath & you can pick up some nasty stuff from overseas galv/zinc baths (hex chromate, etc). The hot dipped product also tends to have burrs/dripps that are sharp and can cause abrasions/cuts on animals, which can lead to infections.

Your looking for either pre-galv (a.k.a. GBW) or Galfan if your going with an outdoor product. If money is no object, PVC coated is the way to go (the agricultural version is also semi-impregnable to urine/feces saturation).

As far as what to use .... the hardware cloth had been almost completely abandoned over the last few years. It's produced exclusively offshore (mostlly Asia), has become a commodity product (low quality) and has no published quality or manufacturing standards. The square spacings also make it inferior to the new stuff on the market due to clogging/fouling/blinding (rectangular slots clear blockage easier than square openings and allow better air/light circulation due to higher open area%).

They actually started making specific product for the rabbit hutch market about 5 years ago & it's all rectangular opening, "cage quality" galfan welded mesh. The wire is drawn in the UK by Tinsley, manufactured by Bekaert/Betafence in the UK & now distributed exclusively by Bass Equipment Company here in the US.

It may be a little more $$$, but it's "best in class" and what the professional breeders & zoos use almost exclusively. They will also selll you full rolls for DIY .... but it probably doesn''t cost justify for small-scale breeding.

If your going to breed, make sure you look for the "baby saver" ...it's smaller/closer spacing on the bottom & first 6-12" of the sides, to keep them from falling out.

You can find the Bass Product info here

Click Me

They also have a lot of pictures/drawings that you can plagerize or use for inspiration if you choose to DIY.

They are good folks there & carry product from the best welded cage-quality mesh in the world ...even if they are a competitor in some of my markets ....LOL

p.s. stay away from using the hexmesh (a.k.a. poultry netting, chicken wire, etc) for the same reason (hot-dipped galvanizing process) ..... it's not good for animals & I anticipate it being restricted/banned for any livestock use in the near future. It's also a puncture/cut hazard if you cut it to size & it doesnt lay very flat once cut off the roll.

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Re: Has anyone built their own rabbit hutch?

Post  middlemamma on 9/22/2010, 10:07 pm

We have some leftover shingles we were going to use for the roof.
A nesting box will be easy to make...there is wire mesh at HD that is green like with a rubber coating...thats what I was going to get for the floor where bunnies feet would be most of the time. I read that the sides can be the same small mesh size but if where they stand is the rubber coated its better on their feet. I don't see why the sides would matter as long as the holes were small enough to keep critters from getting in and the baby bunnies from slipping out?
Just was going to have the roof on hinges.

Thanks for the detailed info Acara...appreciate the time.

I have no idea if this is going to be a multiple bunny endeavor or not. I was thinking of getting two females and then seeing how that goes first before we have any males or babies.

Many people here in this area sell them for meat...or own them for meat. I don't know if we are going that direction or not. I am leaning toward not...but times are hard...and being a little more self sustaining might be a plus.


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Re: Has anyone built their own rabbit hutch?

Post  acara on 9/22/2010, 10:18 pm

No problem ... sorry for the gory detail.

The HD product is of offshore origin, and may be GAW (hot dipped) or GBW (electrozinc) underneath but the PVC coating should keep the bunnies safe from ingestion.

The "PVC" just makes it less abrasive .... the offshore coating is closer to mastic paint than it is to the PVC or plastisol that the Domestic/European manufacturers use (which is actually better for the animals paws).....but for your application, close-enough probably counts.

As far as square vs rectangular mesh ... no biggie ... both are much better than a solid floor on the bottom, so no worries.


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Re: Has anyone built their own rabbit hutch?

Post  Megan on 9/22/2010, 10:24 pm

We got our ferret cage from Martin's Cages, a family-run business that makes cages for small animals. We are very happy with our PVC-coated cage. The rabbit cages appear to be all galvanized, not sure which sort.... but if you are planning on just a few rabbits, might be one place to look. http://www.martinscages.com/

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Re: Has anyone built their own rabbit hutch?

Post  acara on 9/22/2010, 10:34 pm

It's hot dipped (GAW), but that looks like product out of Riverdale Mills in Northbridge, MA (tough to see the packagig detail in the pic).

They are a domestic producer with a in-house galv line (much cleaner & they only galv their own products, so no cross contamination). The mesh quality isnt as good as the Bekeart stuff, but its very close.

Manufacturer also does a lot of animal/livestock product, along with crab/lobster traps & is very reputable in the industry ...... should be good stuff from that retailer.

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Re: Has anyone built their own rabbit hutch?

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