Author Topic: Rabbit Hutch v2.1  (Read 7274 times)

Offline ebonearth

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Rabbit Hutch v2.1
« on: November 16, 2009, 01:38:56 AM »

So after several versions, I believe this is the best model that will work for my broods' needs now. It is quick to build (approximately 3hrs) and the rabbits love the pasture, not to mention having a built-in den. I am going to readd the handholds from v2.0 as that makes rotating them around the field much easier for a single person to do, especially now that v 2.1 is 8ft long rather than 6ft. I am also going to see about adding a layer of something to keep out drafts in the thick of winter since we used the galvanized steel roofing for the den segment. Also it should be noted that the space in the wall between the den and pasture will be fitted with a sliding piece of wood to act as a door, I just need to play around with the design and get it so that it slides, can withstand the occasional gnaw and will not make so much noise that it will startle the rabbits overmuch. Note while this layout can have many rabbits in the same hutch I am building these large A-frames to house mothers and their kits while still being able to bill them as pasture raised yet protected from our coyote population. The bucks will be kept in smaller hutches and I have finishing hutches for the culls. YMMV

Excuse the image quality, phone cameras leave much to be desired.
Step 1 - Spend days researching on the internet for suitable plans. Find plans. Print plans. Review plans. Throw out plans as they were written in metric and while conversion was a snap, getting specs to matching in the US was unpleasantly tedious.

Step 2 - Get a helper. Make certain helper has opposable thumbs.

Step 3 - Get useful helper to cut the wood on his new expensive table saw. Spend an hour figuring out the correct degree of pitch for the apex (35deg) that will still accommodate a center beam.
Note: This is a photo of v2.0 I am including it so the time we spent headscratching is acknowledged. :) Also the length of the center beam here is plenty for cutting out hand holds after assembly.

Step 4 - Create supports and finish the frame. We went with supports at 2ft then again at 5ft thus creating a 3x2 'Den' and providing a little support for the pasture which is the remaining 3x6 space.

Step 5 - Cut out interior and exterior walls. This will help support the roofing, create a spot for the door which houses the feed hopper and divide the space.

Step 6 - Cut out the door from the exterior wall piece. Make certain that if you are installing a feed hopper on the door that you place and measure it before you cut.
Keep the door small as anything too big will weaken the structure and will allow for rabbit escape routes.
Also leave a little lip along the bottom as when the does kindle their kits could be anywhere in the den also it elevates the feed hopper which makes less of a mess.

Step 7 - Install door hardware. I know that the hinges are larger than such a small door calls for but rabbits are kickers and coyotes are voracious. As you can see, the hardware overkill continues in the latch.
I have found that the smaller latches are thinner and thus get bent out of shape and are not built to take much punishment. Plus, these doors are going to be facing north where we get most of our wind

Step 8 - Cut the wire netting. I used .5"x.5" for the den flooring which I installed above the bottom wood frame.
The pasture flooring is 2"x4" so that the does can eat the clover but cannot fulfill their desire to dig a burrow.
All of the other sides are fashioned from 1"x2" wire, the pasture end is overlaid so as to provide structural support for heavy water bottles or anything else.
I also have "Baby Saver" mesh to overlay in the den when the does are kindling that I can put in and remove as needed.
By making the netting removable it keeps the den space cleaner while not compromising safety.

Step 9 - Install interior wall and exterior wall. Also, install the wire netting onto the frame.
We used thick staples to secure the wires since the usual staples pretty much pop right off if things are not well supported.
It helps to install wire for the den floor then attach the frame by the way otherwise you have to cut around the posts and those sharp edges are a pain to smooth out and secure.

Step 10 - Install roofing onto den segment of frame. Install hopper onto door.
We used old galvanized roofing we found in the back of the barn, set it white side out to reflect as much heat as possible to keep the interior cool in the summer.
Keeping indirect air circulation by providing the vents between the roofing and the frame makes for happy bunnies.

At last it is complete! Haul it out and fill it with rabbits. Move it around the yard everyday or every other day to keep them happily foraging.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2010, 03:30:30 PM by Sister Wolf »
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Offline Beetle

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Re: Rabbit Hutch v2.1
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2009, 11:23:53 AM »
Very cool, looks good. +1

Newb Survivalist

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Re: Rabbit Hutch v2.1
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2010, 02:00:46 PM »
Do you harvest their droppings for compost?

that would be a concern for me using this guide. I don't think it would be hard to modify these plans, making it easier utilize such a rich resource. I would start by raising the hutch off the ground and putting a dropping catch or a compost pile directly under the hutch. You could either slide out the dropping catch and transfer into your compost pile, or just let the droppings drop straight into your compost pile.

Thank you for the inexpensive, fast guide on the hutch.

-robin lee pattonewb

Offline ebonearth

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Re: Rabbit Hutch v2.1
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2010, 11:32:43 PM »
Do you harvest their droppings for compost?

I have the hutches on rotation right on my fields. Right now they are on my middle field and will be switched to the front field probably by the end of February. I shift the hutches every 2-3 days, which allows for their waste to settle right into the soil with plenty of time before I start planting. Rabbit manure is different than most other animal waste that it does not need to be matured/cured/dried before being viable. So no, I don't harvest their compost per se since it is put immediately to use.

The rabbits that I have in Hutch 1.0 I collect their waste and toss it into Bin #1 of my compost bin. Now that I know better it's all runs here on out. I have 4 on the field now and when the second set of litters happen in April I'll have 8 set up for rotation.
Man, despite his artistic pretension, his sophistication, and many accomplishments, owes the fact of his existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil -- and the fact that it rains. -- Anonymous

Newb Survivalist

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Re: Rabbit Hutch v2.1
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2010, 06:01:40 PM »
awesome, great idea. hopefully ill be getting out of my lease soon so i can put this one to the test.

-robin lee patton = newb

Offline Roswell

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Re: Rabbit Hutch v2.1
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2010, 06:27:25 PM »
Very awesome. +1  great explanation and pics
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woodywoodpecker

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Re: Rabbit Hutch v2.1
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2010, 06:27:13 PM »
hi, been thinking about the same thing with rabbits. such a great idea
keep up the good work and pics

Offline hd45hunt

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Re: Rabbit Hutch v2.1
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2010, 10:47:55 AM »
Great idea.  Awesome tutorial!!
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Offline rabbitdave

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Re: Rabbit Hutch v2.1
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2010, 07:55:58 PM »
Add a handle to the door end and a 4 x 4 with wheels nailed in the end on the other end and it will make moving this easier. This will also work for chickens.

Offline cohutt

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Re: Rabbit Hutch v2.1
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2010, 04:57:04 AM »
+1

btw i think my wife stays married to me because of my opposable thumbs.  I'm

Offline Roswell

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Re: Rabbit Hutch v2.1
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2010, 06:18:40 AM »
Add a handle to the door end and a 4 x 4 with wheels nailed in the end on the other end and it will make moving this easier. This will also work for chickens.

That is a great addition.  Ebon, is it movable now that it is 8 feet instead of 6 feet. I am seriously considering doing this soon.
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Offline Drezden

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Re: Rabbit Hutch v2.1
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2010, 03:44:03 PM »
I've been considering rasing rabbits for over a year now. My big question is how do you best protect them from the hot Texas sun during summer?

Offline Roswell

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Re: Rabbit Hutch v2.1
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2010, 09:49:41 PM »
I've been considering rasing rabbits for over a year now. My big question is how do you best protect them from the hot Texas sun during summer?
Just speculating but I'd go with a whole bunch of shade and icewater. Like multiple times a say on super hot days.
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