How to Build a Hutch for your Pet Rabbit
Rabbits, as fuzzy and cuddly as they are, are not meant to roam freely around your home. Trust me, I’ve seen people who allow this and the results are awful. Chewed cords, chewed walls, and chewed shoes – not to mention the fact that it’s downright dangerous for the little guy. Instead, why not build your rabbit a home it can call its own? Build your own rabbit hutch.
Whether your rabbit is going to live outdoors or indoors the process of building a hutch is essentially the same. Your materials may differ slightly but the process of building it is the same.
The First Step – Choosing Your Dimensions
In general you want to make sure that your lovely rabbit has room to move around. Now of course some rabbits are much larger than others so the dimensions can vary. The size of your hutch will also likely depend on where you’re going to keep your rabbit.
If you’re building a hutch for a dwarf rabbit consider building a nice 24” by 24” cage. For larger rabbits consider starting with a 36” by 36” and at least 18” tall.
The Second Step – Your Materials
The next step is to decide what you’re going to build your hutch out of. You’ll need:
1. Mesh or chicken wire. Make sure the mesh is small enough that the rabbit’s foot cannot slide through and get stuck. You’ll use the mesh for the floor and for the door of the larger non-sleeping room so make sure to measure enough to cover the entire floor and to create a door.
2. Wood. Six pieces – to include the roof, four walls and center dividing wall for a two room hutch. You can use plywood, hardwoods or MDF.
3. Hinges for two doors and two door catches. (Note: you can make a hutch with one door if you’re making a large one room hutch. If you’re offering a separate, windowless room for sleeping, you’ll probably want a door on that side also in case you need to extract your rabbit when they’re in that space.
Note: If your rabbit is going to be outside you’ll want to elevate the hutch off of the ground. You can use small wood blocks nailed onto each corner of the hutch to do this. You can also use cement blocks or get fancy and build a table. (Take care to make sure that your structure cannot be blown or knocked over.)
Screwdriver or drill with screwdriver attachment
Staple Gun with large staples for fastening wire to wood.
Saw – a hand saw may be enough but it’ll go more quickly if you have access to a table saw.
The Third Step – Assembly
If you’re making a two room hutch you’ll need to cut a passageway into the room divider. This makes it possible for the rabbit to enter the sleeping area. Cut the wood to size depending on your desired dimensions.
Fasten wood together, leaving the roof for last. You’ll want to make sure your screws do not pop through the wood and leave sharp points. Before placing the rooftop on attach the mesh floor. Bend the mesh into shape and staple it to the outside of the hutch. This will ensure there are no sharp points. Attach the roof. Cut out the center of your larger room’s door so you have a frame. Staple the mesh to the frame on the outside. Add the hinges to the door and attach to your hutch.
Voila! You’re done. Your rabbit now has a happy home where it can rest, get plenty of fresh air and stay safe from household hazards. You can also place food and bedding in the hutch to ensure ultimate comfort.
To read more on rabbit care, take a look at the Rabbits as Pets page!