Things to keep in mind when building a rabbitry
Building a rabbitry that is easy to maintain and stands up well under daily use is vital when you set up your rabbitry. All wood hutches will show wear and tear quickly, and they’re absolutely the most difficult housing option for rabbits when you’re trying to keep them clean. You’ll end up replacing wooden parts of your hutches and rabbity very quickly if they are coming into contact with rabbit urine and feces. So although wire cages are more expensive when you get started, it’s usually well worth the cost just so you don’t end up having to do twice as much work on cleaning day.
When building your cages, keep in mind that rabbits need about 1 square foot of space for every pound that they weigh. Examples:
- Small breeds —2 1/2 x 2 1/2 ft. = 6 1/4 sq. ft.
- Medium breeds—2 1/2 x 3 ft. = 71/2 sq. ft.
- Large breeds—2 1/2 x 4 ft. = 10 sq. ft. with at least 18 inches of head room.
Don’t crowd your doe into a small cage that will be overflowing when 8-10 bunnies join her. The place will fill up fast! Also ensure that you can get your hands on the rabbit wherever it may try to hide in the cage. If it is too deep, the rabbit will run to the far corner out of your reach! Making the cage longer, not wider, will allow you easier access. Adult rabbits should always have their own cages to keep tensions low.
Twelve-gauge wire is recommend for rabbits, but 14-gauge will often get the job done just fine. As 24 Carrot Rabbitry figured out, 16-gauge, especially for floors, is not your friend.
Don’t use 16-gauge floors. They bow between J-clips, and the whole floor bows, giving you even less cleaning clearance. We even had one wire break. We didn’t have problems just in growout cages, but even in the buck’s cage. It’s just not strong enough, unless maybe you’re raising dwarf rabbits.
Poultry mesh is not suitable for cages because the rabbits may chew on it, injuring their teeth. They may also find ways to pry underneath it with their nose, freeing themselves.
View a great list of 5 things to keep in mind about rabbit cages that the folks at 24 Carrot Rabbitry learned after building their first rabbitry just one-and-a-half years ago. They also mention some great information about rabbitry housing suppliers and who they’d recommend doing business with.
You can also check out their entire renovation process which really was very involved. But I’m sure all that hard work is going to pay off. And how cute are their rabbits?!