I really don’t remember quite how we got to starting a Rabbitry, all I know is my husband wanted to get our little one some rabbits, and here we are starting a Rabbitry! We researched quite a lot about building our own hutches for the rabbits and we had access to a lot of pallets. So, we found a pallet hutch design and went from there! This hutch has 2 sides, so it will be nice and roomy for each of our breeder does (girl rabbits) litters and, nest boxes.
- 5-6 Pallets (try to get the bigger ones, with wider boards. You might have extra boards when finished).
- Two 2’x4′ ft pieces of Plywood
- 8 Hinges
- 4 locks any kind you want. (We used a 2 1/2″ inch barrel bolt lock).
- 2 door handles
- 12 Corner braces, L shaped brackets two to go in each of the frames base corners
- 16 Tie Plate Bracket pieces
- Roofing (we used a vinyl kind. It’s lightweight and doesn’t get as hot as metal roofing).
- 1 1/2″ inch Nails
- 4″ inch Screws
- a box of Staples (to staple wire).
- 1×1/2″ inch Mesh wire
- Some Chicken wire
- extra sand paper (for sanding boards)
- Tools to paint
The total cost with all these supplies came out to about $200, without the paint. With the paint (and we got primer) it would be about $250.
Step One: Deconstruct Pallets and Build Frame
First, the pallets need to be deconstructed, and we sanded ours down a little bit. You don’t have to if you have nice pallets, but it did help with the fairly scratchy pallets we had. Then we organized which wood pieces would be going to what part of the hutch and started building the frame. The sizes for our frame were; W 50″in x L 47.5″in the height on the inside of the actual enclosure was approx. 24″ at the back wall w/ an added 5″ at the front wall, (rough estimate). In front sides of the frame are set up to create a corner for the leg posts to sit in. Notice those corners in the picture. Make sure to put a center beam in the middle for that extra stability, and to staple your floor wire to something. Also, attach all the frames base, corner braces onto the inside of the frame.
Step Two: First Roofing Attachments
Next, attach a beam to the top two sides for the roofing, and then lay down three sheets of plywood about 8″ inch x 4′ foot in sizing for it to be secured to, and for stability as well.
Step Three: Paint Frame and Flooring
Now that the frame and first roofing pieces are on, put the first part of the door frame up, that front middle beam. Put back middle beam up too, that will be for the back wall pieces. We recommend painting the frame now, while it is bare. Make sure that you do not get any paint on the inside where rabbits will be, because they nibble on the wood, and it is not good for them to digest the paint. Now, attach the floor wire by stapling it down. After the floor wire is attached, put a board across the top center beam to cover the staples. That makes it looking a bit cleaner.
Step Four: Divider Wall and Gap
For the wall divider, the size was about 48″ in We marked where to cut for the bottom center beam, and took that piece out so it slid in, with a snug fit without nailing it in place. There is a gap at the top, between the wall and the roof. You will need to staple chicken wire over that gap (or any small enough wire) so that the rabbits cannot jump into each other’s side.
Step Five: Putting up Walls
To get a nice clean bottom edge we nailed a temporary board across the bottom of each side while working on the walls. After doing that we measured, cut and nailed in the boards. We used 4 nails each board, and the sizes of the boards were roughly; back boards 26″ in, side boards 25.5-29″ inches. At the corner of each wall was the roofing beam that stuck out so we marked the last board and cut out a notch to fit that last board in.
Step Six: Some Front door attachments and Roof
Attach the roof. We used 3 sheets of vinyl. We had ours overhang on the back by 8″in and in the front approx. 10″ inches. Now that the three walls are up and the roof is on, move the temporary board to the front to help align your door frames and paint all the walls. We added along the sides, another board so that our door locks would be flush with the door and be able to open/close properly, However it might not need that depending on the lock style used. We also added a board at the top in between door frame and roof to try and even that out as well.
Step Seven: Side doors
We added the side doors because it would be a hassle for me to reach in to grab a rabbit or kit in the very back, especially if there is a protective mother doe. Its about a 10×12″ inch door. Big enough to get a full grown rabbit out of, but no bigger. Mark where you want the door with a sharpie and cut it out. After cutting that out, the wood boards will need to be nailed to 2 back boards, shown below, so that they stay together.
Step Eight: Front doors
Now we have the front doors. Ours were approx. 20″x22.75″ inches . Once we hammered the 8 tie plate pieces into the four sides of the frame boards (back and front), we painted the doors, (no paint on the inside). We marked where we wanted our hinges and door handle and screwed those in. Now staple the mesh wire to the inside of the door, and try to get rid of any excess wire. If you are using a wall pellet feeder, you can just do a quick cut out for that in the door’s wire as well.
Now find a place for your new rabbit hutch and enjoy!
Part 2, for the 4 sided Rabbit hutch, coming soon!