Considerations for Backyard Meat Rabbit Hutch DIY

  • Considerations for Backyard Meat Rabbit Hutch DIY

    Posted by Maytag on October 23, 2022 at 7:29 pm

    Looking for ideas on designing rabbit hutch for a small back yard in the hot south TX area. Not asking for specific construction plans (though if anyone has some I’d be grateful to see them), but more like trying to make sure I design something from the material that I have on hand that will be adequate. So I’m looking for a list of things to factor into the design.

    I’m sitting on a roll of 1/2″ hardware cloth and a pile of salvaged wooden privacy fencing material (7 4x4s at 5 feet each, over 100 feet of 2×4, and around 100 fencing slats). The wood is pretty weathered but most of it should still be reusable especially with a little sanding and paint. Initial thoughts are 30×30″ square cages at 24″ high (this will make them just small enough to fit through a door without tipping sideways if they ever need to be brought inside). I can use the 4x4s to make stands/legs to keep them off the ground (idea was for the stand to not be attached, so the cage could be put on the ground “tractor-style” if I wanted to when the weather is nice).

    I know I’ll need a roof of some kind of roof to keep rain, sun, and predators out, so I will be on the lookout for some scrap roofing tin or sheet metal.

    Here are some questions/thoughts to help get the ideas going:

    All mesh or should I incorporate an enclosed wooden portion for bad weather?

    Will the rabbits chew the wood used for the frame if they can reach it?

    Should a nest box be completely separate? And on that topic, anything specific about designing it?

    Doors cut in the mesh on the side vs a hinged top lid?

    Suggestions for designing for being able to contain excrement in the event they’re brought inside?

    Maytag replied 1 year, 3 months ago 7 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • mlthompson

    October 28, 2022 at 4:05 pm

    I use a 1/2″X1″ welded wire for the floors and 1″X2″ for the walls/roof. If I’m using a wooden frame I staple the wire on the inside of the cage so they can’t chew on the wood.

    • Maytag

      October 28, 2022 at 5:35 pm

      Nice, I think that last picture with the top lid open is similar to what I’m sorta seeing in my mind’s eye.

      Is the metal on the side just to give a shaded spot / rain shield?

      • mlthompson

        October 28, 2022 at 6:13 pm

        Yes, shade, weather protection. The large corrugated is pvc and the small is fiberglass.

        The roof flips up on the curved roof also. I just modified it and put a floor in it and put it on legs.

        • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by  mlthompson.
  • Kingscairn

    October 28, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    Hey Jonathan here’s some pics oof my Winter Hutch for my Breeder Rabbits and various stages of the Lawn Tractor for Spring, Summer & Fall grazing – l have 2 other styles – the one shown is now for the nursery and grow outs after Mom’s been removed (weening ) – hope this helps.

  • CountryGal747

    January 19, 2023 at 11:14 am

    I would like to buy meat rabbits. Let me know if any is in SE OK area.

  • Hawk729

    January 27, 2023 at 2:50 am

    I’m in AL it gets pretty hot here. Super humid. I keep mine in hanging cages in constant shade. They are positioned under shade trees and have a metal roof over head. They do alright. On the hottest days i freeze big Tupperware bowls full of ice and put in there so they can lie near it and lick it. You could do an industrial fan. As well on the crazy hot days. The rabbits will pant like dogs when they get super hot.

  • SilverEdge

    February 6, 2023 at 1:57 am

    Blue prints off tealstone hutch’s I like them but after a few months of use there are a few adjustments I would make such as the clearance between cage and roof. or The slant under the top cages as it is currently not steep enough for run off in winter but I do like them

    • Squashmania

      March 20, 2023 at 10:37 pm

      These with the overhead airspace are best for hot area for shade plus ventilation. Also, you can feed hay through the top of the cage, that way the bunny has to stretch up and develop back muscle to get their hay, and with it in this position, it is less likely to be rained on. Good on ya!

  • Maytag

    March 21, 2023 at 12:57 am

    <div>A long delayed update to my own thread but while I’m thinking about it, here are some pictures of what I ended up making. I started these in November. I built these mostly out of on-hand material so the only cost was some water sealer for the 2×4 and the hinges, and then the plumbing for the watering system, and the feeders. I know the all-metal welded wire cages have their advantages, but I opted for something that could stand alone under a tree yet, sturdy enough to withstand winds, but still mobile if really necessary. I didn’t want to build a (semi) permanent “rabbit barn” or large covering in my yard. I’m sure I will find some flaws with this design that I don’t like in the long run, but I think it should be enough to get me going, and at an affordable cost (under $200 total). Maybe if this is successful I can consider expanding and building more cages or runs for a larger population later.

    Now I am just waiting on my feeders to come in and I plan to either pick up, or at least pick out, my starter TAMUK buns from a local breeder this coming weekend. They will be under 3 months old so it won’t be until later this year that I can start breeding. I’ll be building some nesting boxes out of wood I have on hand at that time.


  • Maytag

    October 28, 2022 at 1:42 pm

    Thanks for all the insight, good things to consider!

    I ended up getting even more scrap lumber yesterday from my sister. I’ll be building her small planter first for her porch, then getting back to rabbit cage plans.

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