Blog, Evergreen Rabbitry

“How We Built Our Pallet Rabbit Hutch, and What it Cost.”

Forest, the Keeper of the Rabbits.

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. 

Material list:  

  • 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)

Optional:

  • Paint
  • 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.

The Frames Base/floor. Notice the corners and legs position.

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. 

Put a beam on each side for roof stabilization. Also, notice all the corner braces, placement.
Lay sheets of the plywood across, for roof.

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. 

Painted frame, and flooring pieces in.

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.

The added wall divider.

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.

Back wall boards up. See temporary bottom edge board.
Great book! I have a copy as well!

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.

Painted walls, and temporary front board is up.
Showing the roof. It was after this picture, that the top board (between roof and door frame), and two side boards for the door was added.

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.

Top left; outline of door. Top right; cut out. Bottom pictures; finished side door

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.

Front doors painted, and attached.

Now find a place for your new rabbit hutch and enjoy!

Part 2, for the 4 sided Rabbit hutch, coming soon!

Finished two sided Rabbit Hutch.

Blog, Evergreen Rabbitry

Introducing Our Rabbits, and Our “Evergreen Rabbitry.”

Cottontail

Hey there! So let’s jump right in to why we started a Rabbitry. First off, let it be known that I was the one who did not like the idea of getting Rabbits. My husband wanted a Rabbit for our little one, but I thought Rabbits would be pointless. However, I came across two facts. One being that they have great droppings for garden fertilizer, and the second, is that they are actually a great meat source as well! The breed that we got is multi-purposeful. It’s the Standard Rex breed. This breed you can even use their pelts because they are so velvety soft. So with being kind of cute to look at in your yard and now having a purpose, we decided why not get some, and why not breed them for others to enjoy as well?

There are actually two Rex breeds, Standard and Mini. We chose Standard mainly because they are a bit bigger being between 7.5 – 10.5 pounds (12” in length) where as the mini’s are only 3 – 4.5 pounds (10” in length). We’ve never had Rabbits before and are having so much fun with them so far! Four will be our breeder Rabbits, three of which are shown below. So far, we have the two does (female Rabbits) and one buck (male Rabbit) with one buck on the way (around September, so excited to get him!). These Rabbits won’t be our meat source, that will be later in the future with the offspring, so we are still preparing for that. Currently, we are just using them as our garden fertilizers and friends to our little one to enjoy! 

The name is “Evergreen Rabbitry,” because one, we love our home in the Evergreen state of Washington (hence this blog’s name), and two that name will eventually tie into the name of our (future) farm.

Our Rabbits:

When we do breed them if not this Fall, this coming Spring, we are hoping to send good and healthy, little Rabbits to families who will enjoy them as either a 4-H friend, a meat source, a pet, or even just a garden fertilizer! These Rabbits have so many options it seems like, and that’s why when choosing a breed, we chose this one. I also heard that this Rex breed is the most “cat like.” So, there is a random fun-fact for you. I am looking forward to writing about the whole breeding process with them, so keep a look out for that in the future!

Blackie, Mopsy, Cottontail

 Animal Stewardship, and Young children:

We wanted to start doing animals while we grow our family, and while our little Beatrice is young because we are big advocates of helping our children understand that while animals are cute and friendly, God has given them all a purpose. To teach them that we take care of, and respect the animals that the Lord has provided for us to use as food for the table. It is a true blessing, to be a steward of the earth.

Great book for the beginning!

Rabbit Care:

We have researched quite a lot, because we wanted to make sure that any animal we have never had experience with, would be well taken care of when we did become the owners. Luckily, rabbits in general are pretty low maintenance, and easy to take care of. They also don’t need a ton of space! That’s another reason why we decided on rabbits for our next animal. It’s a smaller space in our backyard, so we can do the Rabbits with no problems! We definitely didn’t want to get an animal who would not enjoy life in a smaller space at first. Also, with the gardening we are doing now they can, and will eat any cuts or clippings you don’t want to eat yourself! Beside’s a couple of things, they can eat just about anything in the garden (in moderation of course). I’ll make another post later, about what to feed them!

Rabbitry Info:

We might have one or two more Does later on, but I’ve heard often that It’s easy to find yourself with more rabbits than wanted. So, I’m keeping us limited to just the four breeders right now (two does, two bucks). With the two Does hopefully being bred 2-3 times a year, that will be plenty enough rabbits to have and give to other families!

I post about the Rabbitry on here, but if you are near the Key Peninsula area of Western Washington, and would like one, or a couple Rex Rabbits, head on over to our Rabbitry Facebook page “Evergreen Rabbitry” for further details and updates on the litters. You can also contact me through this blog, or any other social media! (all links at the bottom of this web page).

Purely for your enjoyment. Blackie in the Rabbit run, chilling.