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Hutch build idea

Advice on purchasing or constructing cages and hutches for your rabbitry.
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Hutch build idea

Post Number:#1  Unread postby CanineWild » Sat Nov 14, 2020 2:09 am


So recently I was at a thrift store and I happened upon several lengths of wire shelving for very cheap. I've done research on it for use in hutches, and came to the conclusion that it wasn't ideal, but it was so cheap I bought it anyway.

My plan is to build several hutches that will have sections of wire and a wooden floor area for cold weather, as i live where that's needed. The wire sections I'm going to build in such a way that the floors will be replacable- that way I can use this stuff for now while I source better wire (very difficult for the advised 1/2x1, or very pricey), or make racks with some sort of dowel arrangement. This will basically enable me to not have to spend so much up front, and instead spread out the costs over a season or two.

My question is this, given that the haphazard bundle I bought contained two different space sizes. I certainly have enough of of the 1/2" spaced to do 2 24"x36" (or longer if I enlarge the wood floor section) hutches. The rest is unfortunately 1" spaces between the wires. I expect that's maybe to wide for flooring? It's not especially thick, and while I don't think it would warp (and again it would be replaced when I can), but would that be uncomfortable for a regular sized meat rabbit?

If I can use it, I could assemble a nice long 6' hutch, with a 4' wire area that I could either divide for two cages. It would be doubly handy in that, if I build that and the previous two hutches, i could replace all the wiring with a single 10' roll without waste. Tripley, in fact, given that I would have a complete set of hutches then and would not need to look around for more for a little while before finally getting rabbits!

Either way, the price was certainly worth it for the 1/2" stuff alone, but itd be nice if i could use the lot ;)

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Re: Hutch build idea

Post Number:#2  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat Nov 14, 2020 7:50 am


I personally wouldent use the 1" spacing wire for floors,
I had a lot of injuries when I tried that..
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Re: Hutch build idea

Post Number:#3  Unread postby NewZealands4Lyfe » Sat Nov 14, 2020 1:28 pm


I agree with Micheals 4 Gardens, 1-inch wire as flooring could be very very bad for your animals' feet. I would suggest 1/4 inch hardware cloth, in Alberta, it's cheap and doesn't wear easily. 1/2 would work as well, but as for walls and roofing, I have found 1x2 and 1/2x2 grids work just fine. it really depends on your breeds, if your planning to breed them and what you are looking for in a setup.
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Re: Hutch build idea

Post Number:#4  Unread postby CanineWild » Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:03 pm


Ok, thanks for the input- I was kind of thinking it'd be too wide, but it's not a big deal to find something else ;)

NewZealands4Lyfe, I'd been under the impression that 1/4" wasn't large enough to let droppings through, have you found otherwise? I'd considered doing 1/2" hardware cloth, but read that hardware cloth in general wasn't great wearing. Still, many use it without issue, so that said, I think it's what I'll go to since the shelving seems unwise. I'd still do a replaceable floor, so if it does give I can do something else later. Its certainly much cheaper than the oft recommended 1/2×1 stuff!

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Re: Hutch build idea

Post Number:#5  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:12 pm


CanineWild wrote:Ok, thanks for the input- I was kind of thinking it'd be too wide, but it's not a big deal to find something else ;)

NewZealands4Lyfe, I'd been under the impression that 1/4" wasn't large enough to let droppings through, have you found otherwise? I'd considered doing 1/2" hardware cloth, but read that hardware cloth in general wasn't great wearing. Still, many use it without issue, so that said, I think it's what I'll go to since the shelving seems unwise. I'd still do a replaceable floor, so if it does give I can do something else later. Its certainly much cheaper than the oft recommended 1/2×1 stuff!


you are right, hardware cloth is a temporary solution at best.
1/4 inch will pass no poop, and 1/2 x 1/2 clogs up all the time.
Rabbit flooring is 1/2" x 1" , and as heavy a gauge as you can get.[preferably 14 gauge]
The 1/2 inch spacing shelving you have will work fine.
If it is galvanised or stainless so much the better.
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: Hutch build idea

Post Number:#6  Unread postby CanineWild » Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:15 pm


Michaels4gardens, ok yes, that's what I thought. Hardware cloth would be my temporary option I'd want to trade out eventually. I liked your dowel/pipe idea a lot, and I'd try that if I can wing it with my limited skills. I wish I could get the 1/2×1 here easier, but it costs a fortune!

The shelving is coated with whatever that white stuff is they often have. PVC maybe. It's in good condition, nice thick wires- I think they'll be comfortable on it, even if they do end up chewing it a bit.

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Re: Hutch build idea

Post Number:#7  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:27 am


CanineWild wrote:Michaels4gardens, ok yes, that's what I thought. Hardware cloth would be my temporary option I'd want to trade out eventually. I liked your dowel/pipe idea a lot, and I'd try that if I can wing it with my limited skills. I wish I could get the 1/2×1 here easier, but it costs a fortune!

The shelving is coated with whatever that white stuff is they often have. PVC maybe. It's in good condition, nice thick wires- I think they'll be comfortable on it, even if they do end up chewing it a bit.


I have built cages from "salvaged" materials in the past, the shelving you mentioned
[heavy gauge wire with the plastic coating] worked fine, it lasted much longer
than hardware cloth.
It tends to get rusty in the pee corners , so make sure hair ,hay, and poop doesn't'
accumulate there.. mine lasted for many years..
I used a stiff brush and clorox water to scrape/clean those about once month..
or whenever I noticed buildup in the corners..
[I couldent use the torch on those ,it ruins the plastic]
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: Hutch build idea

Post Number:#8  Unread postby CanineWild » Sun Nov 15, 2020 5:55 am


Oh that's great to hear! I'd be very happy to have it last a few years. Might see if I could get them to pee in a tray of straw or something if I find corners get bad fast. Will have to experiment ;)

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Re: Hutch build idea

Post Number:#9  Unread postby NewZealands4Lyfe » Sun Nov 15, 2020 4:08 pm


CanineWild wrote: NewZealands4Lyfe, I'd been under the impression that 1/4" wasn't large enough to let droppings through, have you found otherwise? I'd considered doing 1/2" hardware cloth, but read that hardware cloth in general wasn't great wearing. Still, many use it without issue, so that said, I think it's what I'll go to since the shelving seems unwise. I'd still do a replaceable floor, so if it does give I can do something else later. Its certainly much cheaper than the oft recommended 1/2×1 stuff!


1/4 is what I use for my outdoor hutches, the replaceable floor is smart due to wear caused by urine and constant pressure. If you go with a wire floor, it's important to have an area where the rabbit can get off the wire, I gave a 12x12 piece of OSB to my buns, that's where they sleep now.
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Re: Hutch build idea

Post Number:#10  Unread postby CanineWild » Sun Nov 15, 2020 7:52 pm


Hey, whatever works, works! I think I'll go for the 1/2 though ;)

Will definitely have a non-wire spot. Drew up some plans yesterday- gonna have a 2'x3' wire section next to a 1'x2' section of wood that I can close off in the winter with a little access door for the bun. Itll be nice and big for doe and babies, so I think I'll make two like that, and an additional two could be a bit smaller if I felt like it for a buck and any extra/older growouts. 2'x4' is pretty big for meat rabbit standards, but I doubt I'll have more than 3 breeders at a time, so I can afford the space ;)

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