original publish date: 2017-02-26 12:09:32
A barn/ lean too/ Covered Hutch/Shed
You should have a place selected for your Rabbits that is well ventilated, protected from drafts, wind, rain and predators. I have been thru several iterations of housing at this point from a poorly thought out idea that I could just run them in the chicken brooder, to my extra bathroom, then vet crates. Their first hutch that wasn't properly roofed, to the second-hand stacking hutch that was a flimsy build, to FINALLY getting a nice 4 hole wire rabbit cage that only needs a little work . The common thread with all of these though has been proper protection from the elements. Currently placing metal barn panels on top of the hutches has worked OK for keeping rain out and placing the cages either against the garage or building a wind break with privacy fence has worked alright. But the plan this spring is to build a proper lean too next to the garage.
In 2018 we upgraded again, and built a car port like rabbit barn off the side of the garage, it houses 11 hanging rabbit cages in the Doe barn , and a second enclosed area for the Bucks with 4 more holes. I have a Metal Veterinary stacking Dog cage for temporary and quarantine houses, and 2 large grow out cages in the back that house our grow out buck and does separately. Our rabbitry is always being upgraded and improved.
Wire cages at least 24x16x30, each for large breed rabbits.
DO NOT FORGET TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION YOUR ARM LENGTH! My biggest problem when I brought home our first rabbit hutch was that first off, it didn't have doors on the front, it opened from the top so catching rabbits was difficult. Also while it's great as grow out pen, it was too deep for me. My effective reach is only about 18-24 inches, and this hutch is at least 30" deep but 24" wide. It's a great comfortable run for my Big rabbits, but not being able to easily catch them makes it hard to work with them. So make sure the door is positioned so that you have full depth to reach your bunnies when you need to catch them. If you need too, go slightly longer so they still have plenty of room to run but you can get to them.
J-clamp tool & fasteners
Invest in a GOOD pair of J-pliers, J-clamps and fasteners are great for building and repairing wire cages, for building Rabbit sized hay racks, runs, and any amount of quick wire mesh project you may find that you need. Beyond repairing, building, and modifying Rabbit pens. I have also built Chicken pens, and Garden Chicken cages for use as a chicken tractor.
DIY Nesting Boxes
I use 5 gal buckets with lids. Take a 5 gal bucket, place a lid on it using a decent drywall knife, utility knife, or strong scissors cut a hole in the lid large enough for your Doe into the bucket. Screw, or fasten the bucket to the side and floor of the cage. Add a few handfuls of Fine woodchips then cover with clean straw, Voila! $5 nesting box. I have had a lot of luck with these. I also put an open 5 gal bucket in for my Buck so he has a warm place to rest if he chooses.
5 Gallon buckets:
5 gal buckets also come in handy for mixing your electrolytes, carrying feed, water bottles, at time of Slaughter for catching blood, or organs, Storage, Poop, basically have like 2-5 extra 5 gal buckets at all times. They are life savers and only cost like $3.
Resting pads for rabbits are a place the bunnies can get off the wire on occasion. You can build a platform or get a straw mat, or use the bucket like I do to give them a comfy place to sleep and rest.