*Easy, cheap, covered colony* DIY Cattle Panel Greenhouse/Rabbitry

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Heartbased Homestead

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2023
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Larkspur, Colorado
Howdy rabbit folks, the post is finally here! This is how I set up my covered colony.

This works well for a beginner set up, imho, and provides a weatherproof space to actually "enjoy" the rabbits. It's my little slice of heaven. And as a beginner gardener in zone 4b, it's made the learning process easier and more enjoyable too. It is a treat, a place to go read a book outside even in the wind, rain, or snow (yes it holds up, due to the rectangle support pattern vs. the normal hoop support, which often collapses under heavy snow prsssure or mountain winds).

I drew up many designs before settling on this one. The benefits of this design are: full protection from predators, no dirt and minimal loose hay (so nests arent hidden/inaccesable), easy access to colony, a divider which opens vertically so transfers of large hay bales or objects (like pallets) can fit, while also not allowing bunnies to escape.

Another benefit is a stable temperature, as all the bunnies, deep litter system, and growing plants combined create and hold warmth, yet under the pallet stays very cool as it's in the shade and on the north facing back end of the hutch. I have my hutch aligned north-south for cool in the summer and heat in the winter, but warmer climates might consider a west-east alignment to block the hottest part of the day's sun coming from the west, so your palet and backend should be in the east, with a reflective tarp covering the back and top.

Many instructions and videos are available online of how to set up the cattle panel greenhouse and the costs, I'm trying to write more condensed posts here, since I already trauma dumped too much (🤐).

Even though the prices are inflated where I live, it only cost me about 250$ total for all new materials.


- 4 cattle panels, only 2 needed for the rabbitry half, 2 for the greenhouse half (plus stakes).

- Plastic greenhouse cover, and a shade for the rabbit half.

- hardware cloth for the rabbit's half of ground and sides up to 2 ft, chicken wire for the rest of the sides as far as you want to go. Mine are only about 4.5 ft as the angle discourages climbing.

- wood for the divider and staples, hinges, ect.

- cheap old door and a base wood to attach (make sure door opens inwards so you won't be scooping snow to access in the winter)


The rabbits side of the hutch is 8x6, 48sqft (two cattle panels)
Palet 4x4, adds 16sqft (and has 4 solid "hallways" which can be converted to nesting boxes with enough room for a fullgrown NZ mama to crawl through, nurse, and turn around in).

64 sqft total.

Any Qs and comments welcome.

Here are the pics:


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