...but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life...(Prov. 13:12)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Blog Post: Building the Rabbits Hutches

Building of the Rabbit Hutches...

So before we received our very first rabbits ever we had to create the "homes" for them! So after tons and tons of research I pretty much compiled a drawing for my wonderful farm guy with all the "necessities" of a rabbit hutch. My main goal with any project on the farm is that clean up needs to be quick and easy and the creation of the "homes" need to be budget friendly. My plan for the amount of rabbits were three does (girls) and one buck (boy) and then we have two pet mini lops in their own wire cage. However, the main buck would be in a large wire cage up on the deck while the girls occupied their own hutch (far left are the single doe cages) and then I would need two "grow out" hutches (the far right ones) which are for when the does have babies, those babies can then grow out, hence the name and be ready for butchering. (Yes we raise rabbits for meat and read why we do HERE)

So first we had to decide how to support it on our deck. This part of our deck isn't really the "hang out" side as much as the other side of the stairs. We had to take into the fact about the side of our house as well and not damaging it, however it is hardiplank siding so pretty durable, but you don't want rabbit pee to be getting on it multiple times a day. So here is the start of our frame in the image below. This side are the grow out pens they are 4ftx2ft and we have two of them this size. We just used untreated 2x4s and hubby got to it! We adjusted as we went along and one thing you want to make sure with any wood hutch you build is that the rabbits can't get to the wood or they will chew it away! So wiring needs to cover all areas of the wood!

As you can see we moved fast! This one pen took my husband the weekend. We had bunnies coming! This was all my husband's design so hopefully you can see most of how it was built via the pictures! I love how he made my doors and you when creating the doors you want to be able to reach in all parts of the cage in order to grab the bunnies or you will have one difficult time trying to snag them.

So the next step was to have a poop tray and the best way I came up with was this idea of angling a hefty piece of plywood under the vinyl and with it angling the poop and pee roll on down into the metal gutters. I wanted to use these because we got them for free and I will reuse anything I can but probably not in a way people would think I would ha! I staple gunned the vinyl to the plywood and added the gutters which are also on a slight angle because then the pee and poop head down towards the 5 gallon bucket which I haul  and empty in my garden beds.

When getting vinyl find the remnants section for a cheaper selection at Home Depot or Lowe's. (SEE UPDATE ON THE VINYL)
Here is how I placed the water and feeder. The hay holder is on the wood side of the door attached to the wiring as well.

Our first breeder buns arrived! See the metal flashing on the sides that is just literally metal flashing for a roof so you will find it in the roof section. We at first used zip ties with holes and attached to the sides but then we needed to just add thin wire as they chewed off our zip ties ha! See the hay holder in there as well? With the flashing just bend it so it angles out some since bunnies spray when they pee this will make the pee land on the vinyl rather than the 2x4s.

I am feed Rosie above some yummy green fodder! Want to know how to grow fodder to cut back on rabbit feed bills? Check out how easy it is to make in this post I did HERE.

We let them hang out together for a day but since we had a boy and a girl we needed to get them separated so we did and below is them climbing into this bowl that should have been for just hay. This bowl didn't stay in there as it became a pee bowl for the bunnies.

Below is Rosie all snuggled.

The final products:

Baby "prisons" are great for letting your bunnies have a little snack of grass and "free ranging" time away from their hutches. 

Check out our full RABBIT PAGE HERE to see all our breeds and the latest posts on our Rabbit Adventures!

Update: I used the vinyl under the hutch for poop and pee catching for almost a year and I found this material that I placed in the front of my hutches as a mat so I didn't slip in the winter and I have loved it. I noticed the vinyl was being eaten away by the rabbit pee but the black mats were fine just had to hose off. I pulled the vinyl off and added all this vinyl heavy duty black material (not the same as the previous vinyl at all more like a rubber mat texture) I staple gunned it down and works awesome! Here is a video of me cleaning out hutches that contain three does and 23 kits in UNDER 2 minutes along with what I just ripped out to the new. This is the black vinyl CLICK HERE



Video of how I clean. Hard to video while spraying I must say though ha!

Happy Farming!

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