Having a properly equipped rabbitry is one of the most important conditions for keeping these fluffy rodents. Both domestic and decorative breeds need a separate space – it allows you to provide the necessary care and protect pets from possible troubles. If you have materials and minimal skills in handling tools, making cages for rabbits with your own hands is quite simple. Useful recommendations, photo examples and a small guide to their construction can be found on this page.
Features of making cells
Before starting work on creating shelter for rabbits, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the habits and physiology of future inhabitants. The most comfortable climate for these animals throughout the year is moderate heat (+ 12 … + 18C), average air humidity (60–75%), no wind and drafts. A drop in temperature to -25C, as well as heat above + 30C, excessive dryness or humidity are critical and can lead to diseases or even death of animals. Rabbits thrive best in the open air, and manure fumes (ammonia) and dust, which are usually present in sheds, negatively affect their health..
When building cages for domesticated hares, it is very important to provide for a way to clean surfaces from contamination. For example, the floors in boxes are often made removable, made of wooden slats or mesh, which allows waste to be collected in the pallet below, and the grates themselves can be easily washed and dried if necessary. The solid walls of the rabbitry protect pets from drafts, rats and insects, but from the side of the feeders it is always worth leaving a fine mesh for ventilation. For outdoor and portable structures, it is necessary to take care of a moisture-resistant roof, which, at the same time, will not get too hot from the sun. The cage doors should close tightly, leaving no gaps, and the locks themselves should be fastened so that only the owners can open them..
Types of cages for rabbits
Conditionally, cages for rabbits can be classified according to the following criteria:
– by type of pets (for large or small breeds, common or single, mating cages, queen cells, cages for young animals);
– by the method of operation (stationary and portable, outdoor, indoor, universal);
– by the number of tiers;
– by the type of material used (wood, chipboard / fiberboard / plywood, metal, mesh, plastic, combined).
Industrial cages for rabbit farms are significantly different from painted “houses” for decorative pets. The latter are usually kept in boxes consisting of a deep plastic pallet and a net. The doors can be plastic or plexiglass, inside there is a place for bedding, a feeder, sometimes an additional closed compartment so that the animal can hide.
Individuals bred for economic purposes are often located in multi-storey structures with a large number of separate enclosures. Such a cage can be either purchased ready-made or built independently using available tools..
Stages of building a rabbit cage
Making a cage for rabbits with your own hands from scratch includes several sequential steps. Each of them is quite significant, requires thoughtfulness and accuracy in work, but if you approach the matter with full responsibility, the product will serve for many years.
Measurements and drawings
The optimal dimensions are selected depending on the breed of animals, their age and number. On average, for females with offspring, a cage is planned with a length of about 170 cm, a height of 60–70 cm and a width of 100 cm. Young animals from a rabbit are planted at the age of 1.5 months, in groups of 3–5 pcs. Adults (over 3 months old) are kept for fattening in individual boxes of about 150x60x70 cm. The area for one rabbit should be at least 0.3-0.5 m2, the height of the walls – from 35 cm.
Selection of materials and accessories
The main criteria when choosing materials are their strength, resistance to mechanical stress and environmental characteristics. Also, do not forget that rabbits are rodents and easily damage thin wood. In general, any boards are recommended to be impregnated with antiseptics before use, and even better – with polyurethane varnish (liquid plastic). The biological waste of these animals is very corrosive, therefore, you should separately take care of regular cleaning of the flooring..
It is important that all surrounding surfaces do not evaporate harmful substances and do not impede the natural circulation of air. A healthy microclimate contributes to the correct development of pets, protecting them from all kinds of diseases. Various connecting elements such as fasteners, door curtains, guides for feeders and pull-out trays must be of high quality, with good corrosion protection – this will make it possible to operate the enclosures as long as possible.
For the manufacture of rabbit cages, first of all, a frame is constructed from a metal profile and / or beams. Then welded mesh, gratings made of wood, particle boards or plywood are attached to it. The back, and often the side walls are made solid, but the micropores in the material should easily allow air and moisture to pass through.
One of the most crucial moments is the arrangement of the floor. Replaceable rack-and-pinion designs that can be folded and unrolled, removed and easily washed have proven themselves best. As a floor, plastic sleepers, boards impregnated with polyurethane varnish, bamboo lamellas, mesh can be used. The size of the cells should be such that the paws of the animals do not get stuck, and the rods do not sag under their weight. The metal mesh is convenient from the point of view of cleaning, but it provokes dermatitis in rabbits, which makes it painful for them to walk, so it is still advisable to give preference to plastic or wood.
The lid of the rabbitry is at the same time a canopy that protects pets from precipitation and bright sun, as well as an additional door for opening and closing the enclosure. Usually it is fastened with a slight slope, made of a tight-fitting sheet of plywood or other material that is not prone to drying out or deformation. The roof cannot be made of metal, otherwise in the heat it will heat up the air in the cells too much. For the street, such an option as soft tiles, slate, ondulin is quite suitable.
Installation and operation
It is recommended to install ready-made cages for rabbits at a height of at least 0.3–0.5 m from the floor, with the exception of portable structures intended for walking animals on the grass. In other cases, the raised position of the base will protect the pets from dampness. Outdoors, enclosures are best placed in shaded areas, facing east or west..
In the cold season, you need to take care of the insulation of the enclosures. For this purpose, the outer upholstery of the walls with air-permeable seals (mineral wool, stitching mats, fibreboards, polystyrene, hay / straw / flax stalks, etc.) is suitable. In order for the cells to last as long as possible, they should be regularly cleaned, protected from moisture, and minor repairs should be carried out in a timely manner..
DIY rabbit cages – photo
A large number of interesting ideas and examples of building cages for rabbits with their own hands are collected in the photo gallery on this page. Any of the options presented, if desired, can be repeated at home, independently making a comfortable and durable aviary for fluffy rodents. The type of construction, materials and dimensions in each case are recommended to be selected individually, focusing on the number, type and breed of animals, as well as the peculiarities of their maintenance in a particular farm.