Hillside Farm bunny hutches April 2017When there are bunnies in your life, it seems you spend quite a bit of time building bunny hutches as well. Some folks keep their bunnies inside the house and others have bunnies who live outside. We live in Hawaii and it’s actually nicer for the bunnies to live outside than inside so we have outdoor bunny hutches.
The weather here is pretty mellow, it is Hawaii, after all. It gets down to about 55° Fahrenheit in the dead of winter and up to about 89° Fahrenheit during the hottest part of summer. Neither of those two extremes last for all that long, but there’s a couple days in summer when the bunnies are really glad to have shade and ventilation. They don’t care so much about winter, though, they’ve got the coat for it. Usually we’re more concerned with keeping them cool than warm.
We’ve gone through several phases of bunny hutch building, not sure if they should all be listed in chronological order or not.
The first bunny hutch was sort of a cobbled together thing placed much too close to the side of the house. We found out about bunny pee staining paint, but it was easy enough to clean and repaint a bit. Fortunately we have the kind of houses that are easy to fix. That had our first two English angoras, a mother & son ‘breeding pair’. I’d found that out when I got their pedigrees and it wasn’t enough genetic material to go on with so we ended up shipping in six adult English angoras soon after that.
The second bunny hutch was much bigger and was a wooden frame with wire stapled to it for a floor and walls cobbled together out of what we had around. We used a lot of refrigerator racks for doors and floors until we found out the spacing of refrigerator racks is all wrong for floors. The bunny feet can fit through them which could cause a broken leg. Refrigerator racks make great doors and walls, though.
The third phase of bunny hutches was wood frame and stapled on wire, refrigerator rack doors and two levels with a bit of tin roofing between to keep the bunnies in the lower hutch clean. We started with the automatic water system with those hutches, too.
Those worked well for several years, then we started having trouble with the wire on the floor rotting out and patching and repairing it was a hassle.
When we moved to the new house, we build the current big bunny hutches that we have now. They are modular so instead of a wood frame with wire nailed directly to it, the frame holds components. The floors are big 2″ x 2″ wood framed wire covered plates that are interchangeable. When one is rotted, it can be replaced with another and the old one either thrown away or repaired. This also allows for dropped nests which can be changed out for a flat floor plate when the nests aren’t needed.
We’ve gotten away from the refrigerator rack doors and have the 2″ x 2″ wood frame with wire for the doors, too. That allows for the doors to be standardized and interchanged.
Now I’m thinking of building a buck hutch just for the boy bunnies. Not sure what it’s gonna look like just yet, but we will see.
I’ll try to figure out how to make a separate page for each type of hutch building we’ve gone through so you’ll hopefully be able to glean some sort of useful information for when you’re building your bunny’s hutches.