Bragging about my latest rabbit tractor

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Robochelle

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It is now day 4, and no escapees! That's a record for any of our unattended outdoor enclosures

Plus, the buns have easy access to the grass and basically mow a section of lawn each day!
 

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BuffBrahmaBantam

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Thanks for sharing! What are you using for flooring to keep them from digging out underneath? How many rabbits do you have in it and how often do you move it to fresh grass? What are the dimensions?
 

Preitler

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Actually, i've never had a rabbit digging under anything to get out. They do dig at times, and sometimes end up where they weren't supposed to, but that's more by accident than anything else. With tractors they'll hardly have time enough to build a decent tunnel.

As for escapees, I tend to ignore them, give them an easy way back and feed the others some pellets, loudly shaking the pail, and they come running.

Anyway, not sure how warm it gets where you live, but direct sunlight alone could be a problem. You might want to add an about 1" layer of styrofoam under the sheet metal roof, although the sheet metal protects against direct sunlight it radiats a lot of heat down, the closed space can heat up significantly. With an insulation under the roof the climate under it is much cooler and nicer.
Also a tarp or sunscreen over the open area might be a good idea - they do't really like direct sunshine in summer.
 

Robochelle

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Thanks for sharing! What are you using for flooring to keep them from digging out underneath? How many rabbits do you have in it and how often do you move it to fresh grass? What are the dimensions?
Floor is 2x4 fencing on the outside and 1/2 inch hardware mesh on the inside. I definitely need flooring, because the ground is uneven... the reason for bragging about no escapees is because previous tractors had flooring that they still escaped through (and we now have puppies who are untested around unattended rabbits, definitely don't want escapes rn)

I've got 3 in there, they're 5m old. 4x4 foot for the run, 2x4 for the hide. We move it daily.

Not sure why my rabbits are different, but they love sunning and if I gave them an open water dish they'd shout POOL PARTY!!! We also checked the temp on the inside on our hottest day and it was fine - we are in Canada so we don't get equatorial heat. 30c is our hottest
 

eco2pia

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I have extra large dog crates, but I have been wanting to upgrade to something like this. The floors are something like 3x5 openings and up until recently no rabbit has been able to dig out because they didn't seem to get that they had to focus on just one square.

Now I have a houdini who has repeatedly dug out in a day. I was worried about it until I got the idea to center the cage over his burrow and leave it there. He is loving it, he literally runs to hide UNDER the floor, and then peeps up at me for treats, lol. No more escapes, and he is happy to stay there in the center of the floor. But I would rather have a proper floor that was rabbit proof eventually, because he has of course eaten all his grass...
 

Robochelle

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I have extra large dog crates, but I have been wanting to upgrade to something like this. The floors are something like 3x5 openings and up until recently no rabbit has been able to dig out because they didn't seem to get that they had to focus on just one square.

Now I have a houdini who has repeatedly dug out in a day. I was worried about it until I got the idea to center the cage over his burrow and leave it there. He is loving it, he literally runs to hide UNDER the floor, and then peeps up at me for treats, lol. No more escapes, and he is happy to stay there in the center of the floor. But I would rather have a proper floor that was rabbit proof eventually, because he has of course eaten all his grass...
Have you considered giving him a bin full of dirt? If he digs his burrow in it you'd be able to move it with the cage...
 

rsummers

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Build process: (planned changes in brackets)
- Drill and then screw all holes.
- Air stapler with 1" staples for all mesh
- 3" screws for 2x4 joints
- 1" screws for plywood.
- Dimensions given are outside measurements

1) Floor
Materials
- Two 2x4x6'
- Three 2x4x3'8.5" (2x4x4')(one ripped to 2x3")
- 4' x 4' square of 2" x 4" Welded wire fencing
- 2' x 4' rectangle of 1/2" hardware mesh
Steps
- Build the frame with the 6' boards on the outside, butting the cross pieces to it screwing into the ends of the cross pieces. (Use a half-lap joint instead of a butt joint)
- Cross pieces go at each end, and at a 2' middle for the inside piece. (ripped crosspiece goes on the end of the 2' section. to prevent dragging droppings when moving the tractor)
- Staple the Hardware mesh to the top of the 2x4 section.
- Staple the fencing to the bottom of the 4x4 section.

2) Run uprights and Top
Materials
- Four 2x4x24" This can be shorter if you want a shorter run.
- Two 2x4x4'
- Two 2x4x3'8.5" (2x4x4')
Steps
- Build the top same as the floor but with only the 4x4 section
- Notch both ends of the uprights 1 3/4" deep and 3" long. Notches need to be on the same side.
- Fit the notched part of the upright over the 6' board snugged up to the crosspiece. Screw on snug, but so you have some play in it.
- Fit the top onto the uprights with the notch matching the floor
- Screw the top tightly, then tighten up the bottom. One screw to the side rail, one screw to the crosspiece.

3) Hide
Materials
- Two 2x4x??? - Depends on angle used
- Two 2x4x???
- Two 3x4x3'8.5" - One of these is optional
- Plywood Measured to fit
Steps
- Screw a temp upright to the short edge of the hide end.
- Top piece will be angled and butted to the Run side rail and butted to the upright. (see poor diagram at bottom)
- Measure it how you want, what I did was cut a 2x4 at a 15% angle, butt it up to the end of the top siderail and measured the angle at the crosspiece. As well as measure the crosspiece where the top would touch.
- Cut your top pieces identical and your uprights to the proper length.
- Angle the top of the upright so that the roofing can overhang without hitting that angle.
- Rip the crosspiece at that same angle.
- Screw the uprights into place. They will be 1/2 on the butt end of the side rail and 1/2 on the floor crosspiece.
- Screw the top pieces into place
- Screw the crosspieces into place. On the inside of the uprights at the top, and optional depending on roofing to the top crosspiece of the run. I didn't need it with the metal roofing.
- You should now have an flat frame you can put the roofing on.
- Cut the 2' sides of the hide to go on the outside and screw to the frame. You may want to allow for ventation space at the top.
- Measure and cut the 4' sides to fit inside the uprights. These will only screw to the top and bottom rails.
- Cut your entrance from the hide to the run and attach the door if you wish. We have ours so we can get them into the hide, then close them off from the run to access them.
- The roof goes on last.
4) Finishing steps
Materials
- One 4x4' square of 2" x 4" Welded wire fencing
- Three 2x4' square of 2" x 4" Welded wire fencing - Adjust height if you've changed the upright height.
- Roofing material sized to have some overlap.
Steps
- Staple the sides
- Check that you haven't left any tools inside the run
- Staple the top
- Attach the roofing. In our case I also put a crossbeam notched into the hide top rails as I was using leftover scraps of roofing. Any weather resistant material is suitable. Just make sure you have ventalation at the top if used in hotter weather.

Tractor_Diagram.jpg
 

jaxmarblebuns

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Written "plans" at the bottom. I'll be refining them with proper measurements and pictures when we build the next one. And possibly create a video of certain parts.
damn, this is thorough! Thank you so much 😊

I’m hoping to make some tractors so that our rabbits can gain a bit more muscle, but still stay safe from the rodents. I really liked this one, this helps a ton.
 

Robochelle

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Did you use hardware cloth on the inside so they are protected from predators at night? Just trying to understand the reason for different floor material inside and out.
With the next one I believe we were intending on extending the 2x4 fencing across the whole bottom (we had changed our mind on dimensions after we cut it) but still add the raised mesh inside the hide.

It's hardware mesh instead of solid wood to allow poops to drop through, and it's raised from the ground to give them a dry place if the ground is wet.
 

Robochelle

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The little half size got out yesterday morning 😡 the puppies tore open the chicken wire I'd wrapped around the outside. Darn dogs don't care about their enamel!

Luckily I saw the little doe waiting for the barn door to open, like a good little bunny. So yesterday evening I spent taking the wire off the outside and installing it on the inside -- would have been better if we'd put it inside to begin with. Lesson learned

This morning I watched one of the pups try to grip the chicken wire and whine when he couldn't reach it
 

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