Learning how to build a rabbit hutch is not that difficult to do. By making it yourself, you can save some money, and you're not restricted on how big or small you want your pet's home to be. Most rabbit hutches sold at pet stores can cost well over $100.00, but with a trip to the home improvement store and a few simple tools, you can build one in a few hours.
Planning and Designing
Like all building projects, the job of building a rabbit hutch begins with drawing out the plans. You have an image in your mind of what you want your hutch to look like, so draw it out on paper and be as detailed as possible. Write down your measurements and a list of materials you're going to need (i.e. screws, hinges, wire mesh, etc.).
If you're not an architect, don't worry, a rabbit hutch doesn't need to be fancy. Don't get caught up in thinking that the hutch has to have a number of different rooms for the rabbit. Most rabbits do just fine with a single living space. The hutch is basically for eating and sleeping. As long as the rabbit has enough room for both, it's happy.
Tools and Materials
- 3-inch and 1-inch nails
- Wire cutters
- Straight edge
- Measuring tape
- (2) Door hinges
- (2) Sheets of plywood, 24" x 72" x 3/4"
- (2) Six-foot long 1" x 2"s
- (8) Eight-foot long 2" x 4"s
- Chicken wire, 24" x 96"
- Hook and eye latch device
How to Build a Rabbit Hutch
Building the Frame
For the frame of this rabbit hutch, you're going to need four two-by-fours cut to 48 inches long, and eight two-by-fours cut to 24 inches long.
Using a hammer and nails, join one 24-inch board to the end of a 48-inch board so it resembles the letter L. Nail another 48-inch board to the other side of the 24-inch board so it now looks like a U. When adding the second 48-inch board, be sure you join it the same way as the previous one, meaning against the end of the 24-inch board or against the top of it. Complete the bottom part of the frame by joining another 24-inch board at the open end of the frame.
Turn the frame so one of the 48-inch sides is facing you. Join a 24-inch board, positioned vertically, at the corner of the frame. The four-inch width side of this board should be against the 48-inch side of the frame and the two-inch side against the 24-inch board along the frame's end. Join one board in each corner in this way.
Join a 48-inch board to the top of the vertical boards so it looks exactly like the bottom part of the frame. Finish out joining the top of the frame using two 24-inch and another 48-inch board. When the frame is finished, it will look like a framed rectangle.
Cut a piece of three-quarter-inch plywood into two, two-foot-by-two-foot square pieces and nail one to each end of the hutch. Cut another piece of the plywood so it measures 24 by 48 inches and nail it to the backside of the hutch. Hammer in a nail every three inches so the backside is secured in place.
Cut a piece of chicken wire so it measures 24 by 48 inches and staple or nail it to the bottom side of the rabbit hutch. Cut another piece of chicken wire so it measures 24 by 24 inches and staple or nail it to the left side on the top of the hutch. Cut a 24 by 24 inch piece of plywood and nail it to the right side of the top of the hutch.
Building the Door
Cut two 46-inch lengths of one-by-two board and two more at 24-inches in length. Join them to make a rectangle just like you did with the frame bottom. Cut a piece of plywood that measures 23 inches by 24 inches and nail it to the right side of the rectangle. Cut a piece of chicken wire that measures 23 inches by 24 inches and staple it to the left side of the rectangle.
Add hinges to the top 46-inch length of wood that makes up the door. Secure the other side of the hinges to the 48-inch board on the front of the hutch so that the door will swing upward. Attach the eye and hook locking mechanism on the bottom side of the front.
Adding the Legs
When learning how to build a rabbit hutch, it's important to remember to make sure it is on legs so the bottom of the hutch doesn't come in contact with the ground. This allows the rabbit's home to be drier and healthier because its droppings will fall to the ground below.
Turn the hutch over and join a 48-inch length of two-by-four board to each corner. Make sure all four legs are of equal length so the hutch sits evenly.
Finishing the Rabbit Hutch
The rabbit hutch is complete. You can now choose to paint the wood, stain it or simply let it weather naturally. If you choose to use paint or stain, do not apply it to the wood on the inside of the hutch because the rabbits may chew on the wood, and you don't want them ingesting the paint or stain.