A Gilded Cage for Rabbits... Though probably not gilded, and more a hutch than a cage
November 30, 2012 3:22 PM Subscribe
Help me find a straightforward 1-2 weekend DIY outdoor rabbit hutch plan. It's a Christmas present for my sister, who is 12 and not necessarily the most responsible. More (ranty) details inside.
posted by ethidda to Pets & Animals (26 answers total)
I've tried dissuading my sister from buying rabbits altogether. She already has a 55-gallon fish tank, a red-ear slider turtle, two cats and a dog. She has previously had more fish, a hamster, and four hens. She gets them and gets bored and does not take good care of them, and my mom and grandma only do the bare minimum. The animals are fed and watered and cleaned, but not much beyond that (i.e. not much social interaction or training). So yes, I tried to discourage her from getting rabbits, but she's getting them anyway.
So I'm trying to build her a rabbit hutch that'll be somewhat comfortable for the rabbits. They will be kept outdoors in Seattle weather (where it may snow once the entire winter). The lot is not completely level, and my sister will definitely not be moving the hutch regularly (so digging is a concern). She definitely plans to have more than one rabbit, but I'm not sure how many or which breed.
My sister wants to breed the rabbits, but she doesn't know how old they will be. Or how many litters. Or how much fixing the rabbits cost. Or where she'll get the breeding rabbits. Or where she'll rehome the babies. ("Lots of my friends like rabbits," she said, but I don't think she understands.) She optimistically thinks the $400 in her account is enough for everything--including the hutch, even though the breeding hutches seem to start at $500. To me, this seems like a nightmare.
My mom and grandma will probably be willing to do regular chores everyday or every other day, when my sister inevitably gets bored and drops the ball. But they won't be supervising the rabbits running around outside or anything.
So I want to build the best rabbit hutch I can for the rabbits' sake, and automate whatever is automatable. But I want it to be a Christmas present. So at least 90% of it needs to be doable in a weekend or two. (I can finish the trim or add automation later, as my sister probably won't get actual rabbits until March.)
Bonus points if it's: pretty, modular, easily maintained.
I have power tools, and basic wood furniture building skills. My boyfriend has framed houses before and can help me (with reading the plans and the building). I'm willing to pay for a good plan, but of course I'm DIYing because it's cheaper. I can build onsite, though I'd prefer to do it at home, and possibly rent a pick up truck to transport it.