When we got the kids their rabbits back in June, my sister-in-law and I built their hutch/house inside the chicken house. I thought it would be better protected for them against predators and the weather.
However, I’ve felt sorry for them that they could not enjoy the outdoors unless my children brought them out. We prop the door open and crack the window, so they could get fresh air and sunshine, but it didn’t seem like enough. So yesterday, I took it upon myself to build them an addition or porch if you will. Our middle son, who practically lives with the animals, was a big help!
Their interior pen is 2 ft by 4 ft and 18 inches tall. I choose to make the exterior pen 2 ft by 4 ft and 16 inches tall. I used all scrap wood from demoing the sun porch off our house.
Since the rabbits are light weight little guys and gals, I took the 2×6’s and ripped them down with the table saw into 2×2’s. We then built the bases by cutting the 2×2’s into 24 in lengths and 45 in lengths. These we screwed together to make a frame. I added another 45 in board down the center to support the wire. With their indoor pens, I place a board across the center at 24 in and it did not seem like enough support.
I built one frame for the top. Because I only had enough pieces to make two short pieces, I cut two at 20 1/2 in and placed them at 16 ” on center instead of one 45 in down the length.
After we got the three bases built, we stapled the 1/2 in by 1/2 grid wire onto them. The wire is 24 inches wide, so we cut it to fit our 48 in length. Make sure you cut off all the little pointy ends, so your rabbit does not injury itself.
Next, I cut 14 in spacer boards for the four corners of the bases and attached them by screwing up from the bottom of the bases.
Then, I stacked the frames with their spacer boards one at a time on top of each other. As I did so, I screwed down from the base frames at a slight angle next to the spacer board, so it would attach into the bottom spacer board.
Once completed, I had a nice stack!
Now, we headed out the rabbit/chicken house and cut the doors for the rabbits to go in and out of their interior house to their porch. Please remove your rabbits from your pens before you do this if you have not.
Cutting these little doors was probably the hardest part of building the whole addition. I measured to make sure the pens would line up with their interior pens. Then I marked 6×6 in square holes and cut them with a skill saw. I used a saws-all to cut through to the corners. So my holes would line up, I took a drill from the outside and drilled a hole through the interior layer of OSB at the 6×6 corners. I then took the skill saw to the interior side of the house and cut these out. Again using the saws-all to finish up the corners.
Finally, we can attach the pens to the side of the building. I used my handy dandy lifts (AKA my kids) to help me align and hold the pens to the side of the building. I then attached them to the side of the building by screwing through the 45 in base boards and 14 in spacer boards that came in contact with the building. I tried to place a screw whenever possible where there was a stud. The kids helped me level these so they were plum using a 4 ft level and then I tacked a support board on the outer-side that rested on the ground.
For the sides of the cage, I decided I wanted to use chicken wire. And we happen to have some left over from the chicken run. It is 6 ft tall, so I cut it to length, which ended up being 8 ft. Because my pen is only 4 ft tall, I was able to fold over two feet for the top. We pulled this snug and stapled it using small wire staples.
With the wire in place, I secured the corner supports by screwing them into the bases of each pen.
This took us about 5 hours to build. And it’s well worth it! The rabbits seem to have perked up a bit and really enjoy it. My youngest gets a kick out of the rabbits popping out of their holes to come outside. It makes him giggle! I tried to take a picture of it and of course they would not cooperate when you want them to.
Oh, I was also going to mention that on the interior pens we used oil drip pans for the collection of their droppings and such. It seems to work okay. They are a little flimsy. The older kids handle them well, but they are a bit large for my daughter.