Raising rabbits is something I have been wanting to do for some time now. I have always managed to push it to the back burner because my wife is not as keen to the idea as I am.
When my neighbor approached me about building some rabbit hutches for his daughter, I immediately jumped at the chance. I figure this is as good an opportunity as ever to get this project off the ground for our own homestead.
What good are rabbits on a homestead you may ask? Well...
1. You can raise them for food for people.
2. You can raise them for food for your pets.
4. There droppings can be used to feed a worm bin.
5. There droppings can be used directly in your garden beds.
6. In the United States, rabbits are not pumped full of medication and antibiotics like other commercially raised livestock animals.
7. They are easier on the environment to raise and require less feed to do so.
So as you can see their are a myriad of reasons to raise rabbits on a homestead both big and small.
DIY: Rabbit Hutch
The below measurements and cut list are for one single hutch unit. There are three units depicted in the photo above.
If you want 2 hutches then multiply the number of each cut by 2.
If you want three of them then you can multiply by three if you want to keep it simple. I did away with the side slates for the middle unit. While this lowered the amount of lumber needed for the project it also adds a bit of complexity to the project.
Eliminating those side slates for the middle unit changes some of the other measurements for that unit. It would be too complex and somewhat confusing to list two different sets of measurements for this blog post.
Also, I had to ask myself how many people would actually want or have space for a three set unit like this. I assume most will only want one, so that is what I posted for the cut list.
2 vertical front frame pieces @ 1.5" x 1.5" x 24"
2 horizontal bottom frame pieces @ 1.5" x 1.5" x 18-15/16"
2 vertical back frame pieces @ 1.5" x 1.5" x 18-15/16"
1 Horizontal bottom back piece @ 1.5" x 1.5" x 25.5"
1 Horizontal bottom front piece @ 1.5" x 3.5" x 25.5"
1 Horizontal top front frame piece @ 1.5" x 3.5" x 25.5"
2 Top Frame pieces @ 1.5" x 1.5" x 19-5/8" (with a 15 degree angle cut on both ends. Be careful to make each cut in the right direction.)
14 - 1x4's Side Slats @ 21-15/16"
5 - 1x4's Back Slats @ 30"
2 Rails @ 2.75" x 30"
2 Stiles @ 2.25" x 18.5"
The door is a simple rail and stile type of construction. As I state in the video, whatever works for you, works in this situation. It is a rabbit hutch and not fine cabinetry.
I used a combination of joinery methods. I started off with dowels using my DIY dowel jig. I did not realize how low I was on dowels so when I ran out I switched to biscuits using my biscuit joiner. Not wanting to wait on glue to dry I then switched to simple pocket hole joinery to finish the doors up.
Point taken? Excellent! Right or wrong is a perception that rests in your hands. If it works it works. It may not be right for everyone but it is right for someone.
2 Stiles @ 2.5" x 12.5"
2 Rails @ 2.5" x 24-7/8"
The corrugated sheet metal roof size is listed for one unit only. You can purchase an 8 foot strip of sheet metal at any home improvement store. If you get one that is 36 inches wide then you can measure 33 inches and get three equal sized cuts out of it. One 36" by 33" piece will cover one rabbit hutch unit. If you build three of them as I have done then you should have zero waste.
1 piece of Corrugated Sheet Metal @ 36" x 33"
Assemble the top rectangular frame first on a flat surface. (I used my garage floor.) Then place the spacer block down and attach the legs to the inside of the frame.
The 1.5" by 1.5" rail pieces are attached next using the same spacer block.
The corner braces I cut at 12". Then I cut the 45 degree angles on both sides. Place them in each corner and attach with 3" screws.
Obviously measure appropriately if you are only building one or two hutch units.
What I usually do is build the unit first. Then measure width and depth. Add an inch and a half to both measurements. That should be the dimensions of the base unit.
2 - 2x4's @ 91.5"
2 - 2x4's @27. 5"
2 - 2x2's @ 18.5"
2 - 2x2's @ 88.5"
4 - 2x4's @ 20"
8 - 2x4's @ 12"
4' of Hardware cloth (one unit only. If you want 3 units, you will need 12' of hardware cloth)
2 - Hinges
1 - Latch
1 - Handle (Optional)
This is a very versatile design that will fit in a wide array of spots and spaces. They are sturdy and strong. I enjoyed building them and can't wait to build a second design.
Yep, you read that right. A second design is upcoming soon with video. Check back often and don't forget to check me out on Facebook, Pinterest and if you haven't yet, find me on YouTube.
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