Rabbits are easy to rear since they are hardy and very clean animals. To start keeping rabbits for food, breeding or as pets, the first and most important step is to make sure they have a comfortable and secure shelter. You can choose to buy a ready-made rabbit cage from the market or to build your own customized rabbit hutch from scratch. Building your own rabbit cage is strenuous work, which takes time to finish. However, it saves you money and can be an enjoyable and rewarding project. Here are the basic steps of how to build a rabbit cage.
Step 1: Plan your design
There are many different rabbit cage designs and plans to choose from and it can make the selection process confusing. However, you should make sure that whichever design you choose allows easy cleaning of the cage and feeding of the rabbits while giving them enough space to move around. When designing the rabbit cage you need to keep a few things in mind such as the number of rabbits you want to keep and if you want to keep the cage indoors or outdoors. For example, the number of rabbits determines the size of the cage and the structure of the cage that is a single cages or a multi-cage.
Step 2: Purchase the cage construction tools and materials needed
First, you must find the right wire to house your rabbits. For the walls and the floor, it is recommendable to use 14 or 16-gauge galvanized wire, which is specifically made for building rabbit cages. Paint or plastic coated wire is not recommended since rabbits chew on it exposing it to rust which can be potentially poisonous to them. To divide rabbit cages, you will need a PVC sheeting or a sheet metal with smoothed edges. Additional supplies you will need include; drop trays, door latches, plastic door trim, door springs, C-rings and J-clips. Instead of building the cage door, you can obtain a pre-made cage door from a rabbit supplier.
You do not require fancy tools to build the rabbit cage. Some nice wire cutters and regular and needle-nose pliers should be enough.
Step 3: Build the cage
Once you have the building plans and materials, it is time to get to work building the rabbit cage. The first step is creating the frame. Using wire cutters, cut the roll of wire into six pieces following the dimensions on your design plans. Next, use the C-rings or J-clips, to attach three of the six pieces together making the back and sides of the rabbit cage. To the three-sided cage, attach the floor wire mesh about 4 inches up from the bottom to allow space for the drop tray. Finally, attach the front of the cage to make a box open at the top.
Before closing the cage by attaching the top wire mesh, attach the metal divider to the inside of the cage by first punching holes in its edges then using C-rings to attach it to the sides of the cage. You may also leave your rabbit cage undivided if you wish to. After closing the cage, add a wire mesh at the bottom to hold the drop tray and create space for the door at the front of the cage.
For the door, cut out a hole at the front of the cage and use plastic trim to cover the edges. If you do not have a pre-made door, make one by cutting out a piece of the remaining wire mesh into a size slightly larger than the opening on the cage then clip the door to the cage. Finally, add the feeder, drop tray and water bottle into the cage. Before introducing your rabbits, check for any sharp wire edges in the cage and eliminate them.