Ultimate Guide for Rabbit Hutches


Ultimate Guide to Rabbit Hutches

In Deciding on the Profitability of Rabbit Farming. A close examination of the Types of Rabbit Hutches Available, Suggestions from Michigan / PennState Universities. The climate that You Are in and Amount of Money You have for Housing Your Rabbit Herd. Is Very Important. Journey with us through the World of Rabbit Hutches.

Size of Rabbit Hutches Needed

In Commercial Rabbit Farming Operations – There are many factors that will play an important factor in your Rabbit Profitability When you start rabbit farming the first thing you need is space.

Space required per animal is 10 to 15 square feet per animal. Space requirement is different at different stages of rabbit life if rabbit farming is done in the cage.

  • Rabbits (5-12 weeks) 0.07 square meter (per rabbit) – .75 Sq Ft
  • Rabbits (12 weeks or more) 0.18 square meter (per rabbit) – 2 sq Feet = 1′ x 2′
  • The adult does and bucks for breeding 0.56 square meter (per rabbit) – 6 sq Feet = 2′ x 3′
  • Doe and litter (5 weeks) 0.56 square meter (total area) – 6 Square Feet = 2′ x 3′
  • Doe and litter (8 weeks) 0.74 square meter (total area) – 8 square feet = 2′ x 4′

Outdoor

Raising Rabbits in Cold Climate

Rabbits are amazing creatures and they adapt very well to cold Temperatures. In the wild they burrow in the ground and no matter how cold it gets they are sustained by ground Temperatures from the extremes.

They also have a high metabolism so they require more food in the winter to munch on. Maintaining fresh unfrozen water is also a challenge when building your Hutches. Wind, Extreme Temperatures can Kill some of Your Herd so you will need to take extra measures during Extreme Cold Weather

Raising Rabbits in Cold Weather
  • Rabbits can thrive in Cold Temperatures
  • They Need to eat More to generate heat
  • Drafts and Winds can Be deadly to a Rabbit
  • 40 – 45 Degrees is great average temperature – Guage temperature in the ground of the surrounding dirt – in Nature their dens lined with Fur and leaves – Which are all insulators
  • When Freezing Rabbits Toes and Ears will be affected First
  • Dampness in Hutches through water or Urine can complicate the Cold
  • Challenging Keeping them with Fresh unfrozen Water
  • Catching Colds and Illnesses more prevalent in Cold Weather
  • Rabbits seem to like Fleece Blanket – again keep them dry

Breeding Rabbits in Hot Climates

Raising Rabbits in Extremely Hot Climates can be challenging also. Rabbit Farms have come up with creative ways to keep your Herd cool

  • Solar Fans
  • White Reflective Roofing
  • Frozen Ice Cubes
  • Frozen Fruit
  • Cooling Totes
  • Marble Tile 12′ x 12″ in Each Pen will allow the Bunny so sit on it and it will be cool to the touch
Raising your Rabbits in Heat
  • Hot Climate
  • Cold Climate
  • Rainy Climate
  • Dry Climate

Raising Rabbits in Rainy Climate

  • Danger from rain is if Rabbits get too cold at the same time – they can easily die
  • Their fur is waterproof and insulating – which tend to keep them Dry
  • Rabbits in nature are comfortable sitting in Rain
  • Important to keep inside hutches dry’
  • Avoid letting Rabbits get completely Soak – Can Lead to pneumonia

Breeding Rabbits in Dry Climates

  • Have Shade whenever possible Natural Best – Awnings if other not available
  • Fan Cooling Ele / Solar / Swamp Coolers
  • Mist Fans – Fans that generate fine water Mist in their Spay – which is effective in Lowering Temperatures
  • Building In-Ground Rabbit Hutches / Various interesting – using Ground Temperature for cooling
  • Cooling Totes – Example Rabbitry Center – works well in Both Winter for warming, Summer for Cooling
  • Choose Breed Known to handle Heat
  • Wire Cages Keep Rabbits Cooler allowing more Air Circulation
  • 90 Degrees Rabbits go into Shock 85 Degrees Immune System Drops
  • Air Conditioners

Rabbits Living Inside Your House

Many Rabbit Owners, for Pets Rabbits mostly. Choose to Keep their Pets inside their homes. It is a place where their Bunnies are Safe and Warm. Owners also try to Bunny Proof their Homes to keep Bunny and Home safe. Important Points to Remember and some Types Include

  • Multi-Level Hutches / Rabbit Homes
  • Mobile Hutches
  • Playpens
  • Rabbits should never just be kept in Cage Only – They Need Exercise to remain Healthy. Rabbits are designed to Run and Jump. If You are Keeping Your Bunny Indoors Plan for times of Exercise.
  • Bunny Proof your house – They love to chew – Electric Cords, treasured Good Wooden Furniture
  • Rabbits can be litter Trained
  • Access to daylight for Vitamin D absorption.

Raising Rabbits Inside Barns

As a kid we had our small rabbit farm in Our Barn. It worked well. They shared the Barn with my sister’s horse, and a cow we had shortly called T – Bone – which is where he eventually ended up. Inside the barn had a lot of Advantages

  • Water never froze – We lived in Ohio – Temp dropped but the inside of barn alot warmer, straw/manure kept it above freezing all the time
  • We collected the droppings out from under pens and moved it to worm beds
  • kept them Dry
  • We never seemed to have any sickness
  • Protected them from Predators
  • Was hot in Summer/lack of Air Flow in Barn
  • Rabbits had limited exercise

DIY – There Are a Multitude of Plans

Many Rabbit Farms start out very small and then increase in size naturally. Rabbits are prolific Breedes so you Bunny Herd can be grown Quickly. Wood is very cheap in price so it is an afternoon Project to build a rabbit, Hutch.

Needed supplies are very easy to obtain – This is a general list of items you might need for building your own Rabbit Hutch

Wooden Rabbit Hutch

  • 2 ‘ x 4 ” Pine is easy to build with – Untreated remember bunnies will chew wood – for Hutch Framing
  • 4″ x 4 ” Needed for supporting your Rabbit Hutch
  • Plywood for Roof – Seems to take more weather than Particle Board
  • Rabbit Mesh for sides and Doors 1″ x 2″ – 14 – 16 Guage
  • Rabbit Mesh Smooth 1/2″ x 1″
  • Do not use chicken wire Bunnies will chew through it.
  • Shingles for Roof
  • Fiberglass sheathing also for the roof if applicable
  • Hinges for the doors
  • Slide Bolt to latch the Doors
  • Tools – Saw – Coated Outdoor Nails – Staplegun – Wire cutters – Battery Drill – Level – Square

DIY Metal Rabbit Hutches/ Don’t Lose babbies!

Please note there is an important point mentioned in this video – all sites and even pre-made cages have 1″ x 2″ sides – If you are Breeding. Young Kits can wiggle out the sides and die. We also bred Bichon Dogs – this same thing does happen. So why lose babies. Make a 6″ wrap on the sides of your cages of smaller mesh .5″ x 1″ to avoid this … you will enjoy this video

https://youtu.be/C1TiZkxPBzY
Diy Metal Rabbit Cages / With Bottom Wrap

DIY Stackable Rabbit Cages

Some of the important Characteristics for Stackable rabbit Hutches / Cages are following

  • Have to allow for Dropping Control – so that Urine and droppings do hit those on Lower Levels
  • many Made from Galvanized Metal Materials – Powder Coating is great to protect the Metal
  • Each Level is usually Independent

Building Rabbit Hutch under $ 50

DIY Build Rabbit Hutch Reasonable amount of Money

Rabbit Cages Made of Coated Wire Shelving

DIY Rabbit Hutches Made of Creative Lasting Materials
Video 2 on Wire Shelves Rabbit Hutch Installation

Commercial Rabbit Hutches / Cages

In Commercial Rabbit Farming Operations – There are many factors that will play an important factor in your Rabbit Profitability When you start rabbit farming the first thing you need is space.

Space required per animal is 10 to 15 square feet per animal. Space requirement is different at different stages of rabbit life if rabbit farming is done in the cage. Suggestions From PennState Ag

  • If Included inside Building
  • Proper Ventilation, Lighting, Heating and Cooling Systems
  • For Optimal Breeding 12 Hours Light/ 12 Hours of Dark
  • Metal Caging the Most Sanitary
  • Mature Bucks 30″ x 30″ x 20″
  • Mesh 1″ x 2″ for sides and doors, .5″ x 1″ for Floors
  • Cleanliness
  • Protection from Sun and Rain
  • Regular Cage Disinfection

North West Rabbit Farm

North West Commercial Rabbit Farming

Commercial Rabbit farming UK / Europe

Predator Protection / protecting your Rabbit Farm

When Considering Rabbit Hutches and Rabbit Runs. It is very important to understand the Type of Predators that you will need to be protecting your Herd from. He is a list ..I have probably forgotten some, but this will get you started

  • Foxes
  • Wolves
  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • Eagles
  • Hawks
  • Owls
  • Falcons
  • Weasels
  • Snakes
  • Badgers
  • Raccoons

Diy Selection of Rabbit Hutch Plans

For the DIY person, there are many sets of Plans you can Buy and Build to begin your Rabbit Farm. Building Materials are readily Available at ant Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, or Tractor Supply Store.

This link will take you to 50 examples Free of DIY Rabbit Hutches that you can build. It has pictures of each Rabbit Hutch that you can create.

Rabbit Hutch Accessories

Feeders

  • Individual
  • Hopper

Waterers

  • Automatic Waterers
  • Crocks
  • Enamel Cups
  • Ceramic
  • Cans
  • Bamboo Troughs

Covers

There are Websites that will make you a custom cover for your hutch if you provide the Dimensions. Since many Hutches are custom made there is not a lot of standardization for standard covers.

Initiative and ingenuity are important. A Simple Hutch Cover can be made with – a Roll of Aluminum Covered Bubble Wrap – Duct Tape / Hog Rings / some have used zip ties ( rabbits do not seem to chew on them) for Less than $50

Economical Hutch Cover

Bedding for Rabbit Hutches

  • Newspaper
  • Wood Chips Shavings
  • Wood Pellets
  • paper Pulp
  • Straw Hay
  • Fleece Bedding
  • Pines Shavings

Rabbit Hutch Dropping Pans

Depending on your set up and amount of Rabbits you have will depend on if any and the type of Rabbit dropping pans. These are very advantageous in helping keep your farm sanitary.

Pans can be emptied and then droppings can be moved to Compost Beds, Worm Beds, Garden, or Bagging for resale.

I was not able to find any automated Rabbit removal systems. But there are several automated systems for chicken manure which probably could also be applied.

You would really need to evaluate Profitability. But it might give you some creative ideas for designing your own.

Automated Manure Removal Systems
  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Wood – it is very hard using wood even though it is cheap and strong

Cleaning Rabbit Hutches

  • Best done on a routine
  • Weekly Schedule works Great
  • Remove any unused food / Straw, Hay
  • Clean any Urine / Rabbit Droopings
  • Depending on cage type – wash with hot Vinegar water
  • Disinfect cage with Bleach Solution 1 Pt Bleach / 10 pts Water
  • Allow soaking for 30 minutes
  • Allow complete Drying for Chlorine smell to dissipate
  • If you have Totally Metal Cages you can also burn them to sterilize them

Rabbit Hutch for Breeding

For Single Does and Breeding Bucks a Standard 30″ x 30″ x 20″H, is fine fro your Bucks. Does and Young need larger areas. When Breeding you always take the does to the Bucks. To decrease stress and have more success in Breeding.

  • This Avoids – Biting
  • Drop Offs
  • Buck spend a lot of time peeing to mark new territory

DIY Stackable Rabbit Cages / Advantages

Stackable Rabbit cages Present greater economies of Scale. Most smaller Farms have single Hutches, many hanging for sanitation Points to remember

  • Allows you to double the number of Rabbits in Building size
  • Have to maintain good cleaning schedules to avoid sanitation problems and disease
  • protect lower levels from manure and urine coming from above
  • Cleanable easy to remove an access Rabbit Droopin Pans
  • If Moble or built-in Units are easier to take to cleaning area to sterilize when needed
  • Temperature control cost is now spread across twice as many stocks
  • make sure you have good access to your rabbits as you develope your Stackable systems

Rabbit Hutch Heating Methods

  • Heating Pad inside Hutch – Protect from Rabbit Chewing on Cord
  • Heat Lamp/Light / Some breeders suggested putting bulb in Tin Can to protect the rabbit from Bulb
  • Insulate Outside of hutches against Freezing Weather
  • Provide Extra Bedding Hay / Straw in colder Weather
  • Protect from Drafts

Rabbit Hutch on Wheels

This Google Image Search will Give you Some Creative Ideas

Rabbit Hutch Size / Michigan State University

This Link from Michigan University will help you in Determining Cage Size

Rabbit Hutch Urine Guards / Rabbits don’t Pee Straight

  • Urine Guards Can be purchased or Fabricated
  • Keeps Urine from Being Sprayed outside Pan area
  • Bunnies tend to use one corner of Cage for waste.
  • Will direct Urine to Collection Pan
  • Rabbits usually do not pee straight down
  • Usually, Pee opposite side where their feen is
  • Urine guard can also help keep from losing Kts ( Baby Rabbits )through the sides of the Pens

Rabbit Hutches with Exercise Runs

  • Suggested Minimum size is 8′ x 4′ Needs Height enough Rabbit can stand up
  • Needs Roof to protect from Predators
  • If you make it Moveable you can change grazing areas
  • Suggest easy Acess to be able to retrieve your Rabbits
  • Make them weatherproof – for durability
  • Images from Google on Rabbit Runs for your Ideas

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