click here for detailed nutritional information on various foods rabbits eat.
In my life I have learned that rabbits are happier and you’ll save yourself a lot of work in the long-run by following these few key principles when building a rabbit hutch. Below I give examples and illustrations of how to build an indoor rabbit hutch and an outdoor rabbit hutch.
1. Provide entertainment: Rabbits really enjoy having things to chew on and they like having a “change of scenery” by exploring multiple levels in their hutch.
2. Provide clean frost-free water (if you wouldn't drink it then neither will they) and ALWAYS make sure they have free access to food.
3. Rabbits are far more tolerant to the cold than they are to the heat. Shade your rabbit hutch!
4. Protect them from the elements. Keep your rabbit dry and provide a place that they can escape from the wind. Rabbits like the cooler weather if you provide for their needs.
Rabbit hutch designs
Outdoor rabbit hutch
Here you can see a series of pictures outlining the process of building a rabbit hutch (the one you see in the picture below).
This rabbit hutch easily opens from the front by lifting the latch at the top.
Notice that the water bottle that is inside the "box" is kept from freezing by a light bulb that is on a plug-in type thermostat that turns on automatically when outside temperatures drop below freezing. The "box" also creates a warm spot for her bunny to sit on when it is cold out side.
The picture below is the inside of the hutch. You can see the "box" that contains the water bottle on the left. The ramp on the right leads up to a platform that the rabbit can sit on to get off of the wire and stay warm next to or on top of the light-bulb heated box.
How to build an outdoor rabbit hutch
Start with 2" x 2" boards (their actual dimensions are 1.5" x 1.5"). Cut two of them to 24" long and the other two of them 3 inches short of 4 feet. This allows you to screw them together into a 2 foot by 4 foot rectangle as seen below. TIP: use a drill to drill a hole in the first board (the 24" board) barely big enough to make it easier for the screw to get through it. This way when you screw it into to the longer board it will grip tightly and suck the two boards together. You will need to build 3 of these frames.
Two of these frames you will need to tack on 1/2" hardware cloth to make the wire bottom and the front door.
Then connect two of the frames together so you have a wire bottom and an open top in a 2 foot by 2 foot by 4 foot rectangle as shown in the next two pictures below.
Now, using two 'door hinges' (these are pretty cheap at any hardware store), attach the other frame with a wire bottom to the front of the hutch so that when it opens it will swing down. The two pictures below are of the hutch on its side while I attach the front (facing up).
In this picture the bottom of the hutch is facing me as I take the picture.
On the front of this hutch I used door hinges to attach the door.
That is my Holland lop rabbit "Wally" helping me with the construction. The hutch has now been rotated so that the bottom is on the ground and the front door is facing me. The door latch will be added later (as seen above).
In the next picture I show a "box" that I built (pieced it together with scrap wood) to hold the water bottle and keep it warm (by a light bulb) when the temperature drops below freezing. This gives easy access for my daughter to change the water when ever she opens the hutch. The bottle is held in place by sliding the nipple through a hole in the board and securing it with a wire at the top.
The rest of it was simply cutting OSB board to fit the sides and back. Since we built the cage in a 2 foot by 2 foot by 4 foot dimension it makes it easy to cut the OSB board with comes in a 4 foot by 8 foot sheet. I also used scrap wood to build the ramp and platform that you see in the pictures towards the top of the page.
Legs can be made by using the same 2" by 2" boards we used to build the main frame work. They can be screwed into the sides of the hutch and adjusted to the desired height (use at least two screws per leg to provide a proper anchor).
Indoor rabbit hutch
This one was fairly easy. I bought a head board from a thrift store for $8 and cut a few holes for doors and installed two ramps so our pet rabbit could easily move throughout the different levels. The doors on the bottom are hinged on the side so they swing open while all of the other doors are hinged at the bottom and use a simple cabinet magnet at the top so I can easily open and close each “room.” Our pet rabbit loves running up and down the ramps and will sleep in every room of his indoor rabbit hutch. We have a corner-type potty dish, a water bottle, and a J-type feeder. Really simple!