Blog, Evergreen Rabbitry

“Our Pallet Rabbit Hutch #2: How We Built it”

3 Sided Rabbit Hutch. 2 small sides with one, long breeder side, for a momma doe and her litters.

We are back at it again, this time a bit different! I mentioned in my last Rabbit Hutch post (linked) we would be doing a 4 sided hutch next. This time, however, we have decided to make it a 3 sided hutch, instead. Two sides being for our 2 breeder bucks, and one longer side for 1 of our breeder does. We have full walls to divide them for their own fully, separated spaces. We also personally use rabbit runs so that our Rabbits have more room to roam in the yard! This hutch design is still enough room for our breed of Standard Rex Rabbits, and even more roomy if you have a type of mini Rabbit breed! The smaller sides could be used to separate the baby doe/buck Rabbits, an still be close to the mother doe who is right next door, but we personally just use the two smaller sides for our bucks right now!

This hutch is the same general idea from last time, just a little simpler and smaller by a few inches. Same basic material list from before, just with a couple things changed, or taken off. My husband says this one is a much simpler design than the previous, although still similar, due to less brackets on the frame work part of things.

Here is our step-by-step guide, hope you can use it for your hutches! Also, this one cost about the same as last time, maybe even a little less because we already had leftover materials from other projects. So, it was around $200 total cost.

Materials:

  • 5-6 pallets. (We just used what leftovers we had from the other hutch build and also some scrap pieces of plywood and siding that we had around.)
  • 8 door hinges
  • 3 Door handles
  • 1 x 1/2″in wire mesh flooring *(know the size mesh flooring needed for the size of Rabbit breed you have. We have Standard Rex, but if you have a smaller breed, maybe look into a smaller mesh flooring, and/or maybe putting a flat lid in there for their feet to rest on. occasionally).
  • You can use the same mesh for the doors as well, but we used different smaller mesh wiring for that.
  • 4 locks of any kind (we used a 2 1/2″ inch barrel bolt lock for main doors and a 1″ or .5″ smaller for the small side door).
  • 3″ inch mending plates, 4 for each door (we also had extras from last time, so you may see two different ones in the pictures).
  • vinyl roofing ( 3 sheets of 8′ roofing)
  • box of 1 1/2″ in nails
  • box of 4″in screws
  • box of staples (to staple wire flooring down)
  • box of 2″ Wood tight screws.
  • Optional: paint, and primer.

Step 1:

For the beginning obviously its to start the frame, the height for this Frame was about 2′ off the ground and roughly 2′ for inside height. Attach the legs to the sides of the bottom/floor frame. Place a beam in the middle for stability, and a beam on top, in the front that will later be used in regards to the roofing. Then place those two side beams on top, (both sides) for the roofing as well.

Picture for step 1.

As always, please remember not to paint the inside of hutch. Rabbits will chew on the wood and would be at risk of ingesting the paint, so try to be careful when painting the  outside! Also make sure no staples, or pointed wiring is going to poke them or be loose enough to be found and eaten. Rabbits *can* eat anything, even if it isn’t good for them!

Step 2:

Next it is painting the frame, and placing divider walls. This one was just custom fit with a couple trimmings done, so that it was a tight fit. Those measurements were; Height: 1.5′ and in length about 4′ this is rough estimate. That little wall divider was about 19″ x 23″in. Before putting those wall dividers up, staple down that wire flooring! Also, we now have cut and placed the 3 pieces of plywood across the top for the roofing. Roughly, the sizes were, 5.5″ x 3′.

Picture for step 2.
Picture for step 2.

Step 3:

Now we place the outside walls. Sizes for back wall, were a little over 2′ x 3.5 ft. Sizes for front wall was 2′ x 21″ and side wall that’s boarded has about 28″in boards. Notice, we are still using that temporary bottom board to keep the walls looking straight.

We like the glass bottles, so far! although we have the plastic ones, as well. The glass makes it easy to see if water is dirty!
Picture for step 3.
Picture for Step 3.

Step 4:

This step is solely for painting, paint all of the outside, next after this will be making and painting doors before being put on hutch as well as attaching the roofing.

Picture for Step 4.
Picture for Step 4.
We use these kind of pellet feeders as well! They work great for us!

Step 5:

Now for the doors, there will be three, the two side doors are both, 23″ x 20″ and the front smaller door, is about 14.5 x 22″. Hammer the plates on each corner from and back, paint them and hinge them to the hutch, with their handles. Attach the roof. We cut our roofing to about 66″ long overhanging about 3-3.5″ inches. Once we applied the roof, there is a gap in the front between that and the door frame. attach a piece of wood to cover that gap or you could even put smaller wire across it, if you wanted. We put a board. Now, once doors are done and painted staple some wire (mesh, or you need something sturdier than chicken wire) onto the doors and if needed, cut out the holes for water bottle and/or pellet feeder.

The next and almost final step is the side door for the breeder side of this hutch, the sizing for that is 10″ x 12″ in door. No pictures for that yet, because we aren’t breeding our other doe quite yet. But, it is the exact same style and size as the other hutch’s side doors, if you need pictures and for that! (that one is linked in the top of this post). Mark where you want it cut it out and screw on 2 pieces of wood on the back to hold those boards together, and attach hinges and lock. If you used plywood for this side wall, the back stabilizer boards are really not needed, since it’s all one piece. *You may have to touch up the paint a bit on small side door, due to cutting it out, it may scratch the paint, a tad.

Picture for Step 5. No front board, yet. That was done after.

Step 6: Finishing Hutch!

Our yard is not level, so we had these temporary boards underneath them to build it on level ground.
Newest addition, next to our first build! (2 sided breeder Rabbit hutch)

Now we are finished with this 3 sided Rabbit hutch! Like stated with the last couple pictures, we are waiting to remove the temporary leveling boards under the legs, until we deconstruct our straw bale garden beds. We will use that dirt and straw to level out the ground underneath these hutches, this new one is on part of the most sloped area of our yard, so once we deconstruct our beds, the temporary boards will be gone! Now that it is September, we will be doing that very soon!

This hutch is really sturdy. Whether you paint it, or just use a clear coat to protect the wood, it looks so fresh! I’m thinking both of these hutches will last us a good long while, before we have to build new ones or even fix them up! I’ll give an update in a few years!

Next up for our DIY projects, is a chicken coop! That one will be fun, because it will be with a shipping container my husband got from his work’s scrap pile. Anyways, that will come soon, so keep an eye out for that post as well! Can’t wait to have our own chickens again, and grab eggs from our backyard!

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.