How to build a rabbit hutch
It’s easy to build your own rabbit hutch. A good rabbit hutch provides shelter, is easy to clean and resists moisture.
• Your rabbit needs space to keep it healthy
• The size of the hutch will depend on the breed of the rabbit – a Flemish Giant needs more space than a dwarf race
• Make an entrance with plenty of space, and make sure the hutch has a warm side and a shady side
• The hutch must be a safe place for your rabbit, offerings protection from predators
• Build your hutch with wood from a sustainable source
Attention points for wooden structures
• Fit a good, sturdy latch to the door, with metal hinges
• Good joints between the roof and the frame are very important to prevent the entry of moisture – the roof should overlap the walls by at least 5 cm all round
• Pre-drill all the screw holes to prevent the wood from splitting
Frame: beams of 28x28 mm
Lower surround: planks of 21x92 mm
Floor: shuttering plywood, 12 mm thick
- planks of 21x92 mm
- shuttering plywood for the internal wall panels
- stainless steel hinges and a bolt lock
- gauze or mesh
Note: you can also use sheet material instead of separate planks.
Building the frame
The first step is to build the outer frame. As you can see in the drawing, the frame is made of 32x32 mm beams. Use a spirit level to check that all the corners are straight and properly aligned.
This part of the frame is needed to support the floor panel and to fit the surround. The size and structure shown here are intended a guide, and you can change the size to meet your own preferences.
Make sure your rabbit can’t escape
To prevent your rabbit from escaping and digging a rabbit hole, you can fit a floor panel in the rabbit hutch. If you don’t mind your rabbit digs into the ground, it’s a good idea to put some strong gauze under the ground (about 20 cm deep). Then your rabbit will have the freedom to dig, but won’t be able to escape.
Floor panel and steps
Before you assemble the structure, saw out a piece of shuttering plywood of the right size and shape and secure it in place. Make a walkway or ladder from a piece of plywood and fit it in place in the opening as shown in the drawing. Fit a cross-piece to fix the walkway and screw it in place.
Make the sidewalls
Make the sidewalls of the rabbit hutch by screwing the planks to the frame. Pre-drill the holes for the screws to prevent the wood from splitting. Fix the gauze to the openings using a staple gun or tacks.
Fit the interior panel
The interior panel is intended to protect to serve as a night shelter. Make an opening in the panel that’s big enough to let your rabbit go in and out.
Fitting the finishing strips
Finish the outside of the hutch with decorative strips to cover the sharp edges of the gauze. Then follow the instructions as shown in the drawing. Pre-drill the holes to prevent the wood from splitting, and check that all the corners are straight and properly aligned.
Make the doors
Make the doors as shown in the drawing. Let the decorative strips overlap so the doors are a better fit against the frames. Make sure there’s enough space for the lower decorative strip of the upper door and the upper decorative strip of the lower door so they can turn freely. Make the sizes big enough so there’s some play in case the wood swells. Fit the doors in the opening, using two galvanized or stainless steel hinges on both doors. Fit bolts on the upper and lower doors.
Finishing the roof
Make a roof frame from beams of the right size, so the frame is covered by the outside of the rabbit hutch. Make the roof panel from a piece of 12 or 18 mm shuttering plywood or waterproof plywood.
Screw the roof panel to the frame with two hinges. Make sure the roof panel overlaps by at least 5 cm all round, and by 10 cm at the front. That prevents water entry, so the inside of the rabbit hutch stays dry.
Finishing the roof
It’s important to make sure that the roof of the rabbit hutch is waterproof, so cover it with self-adhesive bitumenized roofing. Of if you prefer you can use asphalt shingles. Start at the top with a folded edge, and fix the lower edge of the roofing using galvanized staples or tacks.