How to make
an indoor Rabbit Hutch
Page one: Introduction and photos
Page 1 of 3
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When asked to build granddaughter an indoor rabbit hutch for her second birthday, I was forced to acknowledge that I knew very little about rabbits and hutches and in fact I had never even heard of an indoor hutch.
"No problem," said daughter-in-law who has had a few rabbits in her time. "Just make something the size of that box there," she pointed to a large blanket chest, "make two equal-sized compartments in it: one like a cage with plenty of light and air, and one that can give the rabbit a little bit of privacy. Also make enough hinged hatches to allow for easy cleaning and an entry door that doubles as a ramp so the rabbit can get in or out."
"Yes. If you could put wheels in the front and a handle at the back so it can be moved around, sort of like a wheelbarrow?"
"As it is an indoor hutch, the whole thing could be made out of untreated wood," I suggested.
"But what about the floor? Wouldn't the rabbit do stuff and spill stuff that could eventually cause an untreated floor to rot?"
"Don't worry about that," she said. "I'll cover the floor with a self-adhesive vinyl film that will be waterproof and also easy to clean."
So! Off to the local pet store to have a look at an indoor rabbit hutch, only to be told that there are currently only outdoor hutches in stock. Although I was informed that bunnies for indoor pets are becoming increasingly popular and that the main difference between an indoor and outdoor hutch is that the indoor hutch has a floor throughout the whole structure. Anyway, back home to see what sort of possible building materials can be found lying around the house and to commence with design and structure.
NOTE: Rabbits, as with most pets, require care and attention. If you are not familiar with rabbits, pop down to your local pet center to find out the dos and don'ts before purchasing a rabbit or making a rabbit hutch.
How did the rabbit fare two weeks down the track?
Scroll down the page to see.
Two weeks down the track.
The rabbit, a male lop-eared called Bosley, gets on pretty well with the two-year-old girl called Allie. Bosley is let out to run around certain parts of the house twice a day, for an hour in the morning when Allie is awake and an hour in the evening when Allie is asleep. At first Allie would chase the rabbit but the novelty soon wore off and anyway, Bosley is too quick for Allie.
Bosley likes being out of the hutch and only goes back if he needs to wee or if he is put back.
He always wees in the litter box and mostly poohs either inside the litter box or hutch. Occasionally he drops the odd pellet-like pooh around the house, but these are no problem to pick up.
The litter box is in the private compartment of the hutch and has pine shavings in it. Straw is put on the floor throughout the rest of the hutch. The waste in the hutch is cleaned up every day and the hutch is completely cleaned out every second day.
Bosley sleeps on the hay as well as eating a bit of it. He also eats rabbit pellets, fresh lettuce, broccoli and spinach and always has a supply of fresh water. He also has a few plastic-like toys inside the hutch that he plays with.
Any electric cords or such, around the house have to be out of Bosley's way, otherwise he might chew on them.
All and all, the rabbit seems pretty happy, although I don't know exactly how you can tell for sure. But he is certainly looking healthy and is a lot of fun to have around. Especially for little Allie.
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Re comments below.
Actually, lettuce is fine for rabbits--iceberg lettuce should be avoided, but red or green leaf, romaine, and similar lettuces are good. Timothy hay and plenty of (daily refreshed) water are the other essentials. About a tablespoon's worth of carrot, apple, banana or other "sweet" is fine for a treat, but too much of these abd bunny can get cavities and/or become overweight. Visit rabbit.org for more info..
Also, different rabbits play differently, and are not like cats and dogs. Exercise is vital to digestion so get them out of their hutch (the bigger the better--don't go by ones you see in the stores) for supervised play daily. Find a rabbit-savvy vet (most vets are not) and have bunny sexually altered--they can readily live 8-12 years indoors, but being "fixed" is especially important for females, who have an 80% probablity of dying form uterine cancer by age four otherwise. Enjoy the bunny! (and granddaughter!)
P.S. Just a little cabbage or kale is oaky for rabbits --these foods produce a lot of gas, which literally can kill bunny. Dandelions are great, and the leaves, stem, and flower (if they'll eat it-ours don't like the flower) are all edible!
Re comment below from Ian.
You should remove the cabbage comment, or say do not feed cabbage. Actually it can cause severe digestive problems that happened to my previous rabbit that passed away from the eating it.
Sorry to be Debbie downer, just looking out for those bunnies. Thanks for the hutch plans.
Sarah Rickard, LEED AP
DON'T feed lettuce to rabbits. It's not good for them- causes scouring. Cabbage, cauliflower etc. are fine for adults, but NO greenstuff for youngsters below 6 months, other than a little carrot or apple peel for those between 3 & 6 months.
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