For any animals to live in a summer cottage or a personal plot, a convenient and comfortable place is required first of all. An aviary is needed for a dog, a chicken coop for chickens, and so on. Rabbits, it would seem, are relatively small animals, but they need their own, most suitable conditions for life, and even more so for reproduction.
Let’s immediately note that there are two options for arranging housing for rabbits – a barn, a common place where there can be several dozen heads, and separate cages for one or two individuals. But even if you have a spacious barn with a fence inside, where literally herds of rabbits can jump, you will still definitely need cages – separately for rabbits and their future offspring.
The optimal size of the cage for one large rabbit, shed young or for a rabbit with rabbits is 1×1.5 m. The cages are built on supports 70–80 cm high, so it will be much easier to care for the animals.
For the construction of a rabbitry, a cage for rabbits, materials should be prepared:
- Wooden bars for creating a frame.
- Metal mesh with cells up to 20×20 mm so that the rabbits cannot get out, get stuck or fall through. It is better to take a welded mesh, it will be easier and more reliable to install it. Optimum bar thickness – 2 mm.
- Metal corners for fastening wooden bars.
- Self-tapping screws or nails.
- Any roofing material you choose. It can be ordinary slate, galvanized sheet, corrugated board, the remains of shingles after building a house – the main thing is that the cage is reliably protected from precipitation.
Often, instead of boards, sheets of plywood, OSB, fiberboard are used for cage sheathing. An important point: rabbits are rodents, don’t forget! Therefore, although wood is the optimal material for building cages, animals can simply gnaw it. Metal inserts are designed to protect the main parts of the cage, wooden bars that protrude and often become the object of animal attention. If you do not want to repair the cage every few months, it is advisable to protect the bars by sheathing with tin or a light aluminum corner.
As for the tools, you will need a welding machine if the frame of the rabbitry is metal. Or you decided to make the supports and the base from metal racks or pipes that need to be welded together. Otherwise, you need a hacksaw, hammer, screwdriver or drill. Grinder may be required.
First, a framework for the future cell is knocked out of the bars. The back and side walls are made solid, because rabbits do not like drafts. The hinged wooden slatted door and mesh should be made large enough for easy care of the animals. You can close the door with any latch or hook.
Rabbits love secluded places, so part of the front wall is also made solid, behind it a house is set up, fenced off from the main space of the cage.
In general, the rabbitry should be divided into two parts – a place where the rabbit eats and defecates, and a house where you can sleep, and the rabbit will be able to arrange a nest for cubs, and rabbits under the age of one month will be comfortable and safe.
Such a mother cell is almost always closed, a hole of about 17×17 cm is equipped in it. Moreover, it must be at a height of at least 10 centimeters from the floor so that the rabbits do not crawl around the cage. The size of a closed rabbit house is about a third of the entire cage space. Alternatively, a board that fences off the closed part of the cage from the one located behind the grid can serve as a very simple mother liquor and a house.
Separately, it should be said about the arrangement of the floor in the rabbitry. Experts advise making the floor at the back or side wall 10–15 cm wide from a fine and thick enough net so that animal excrement simply falls down. Usually, a sennik, a feeder is also set up in this place so that pieces of hay do not accumulate in the cage either..
The floor in a closed house is made solid, of boards, plywood, OSB and other materials. In the remaining space, you can equip a slatted floor – made of wooden planks 20–25 mm wide, the gap between them is 15 mm. Thus, the floor in a rabbit cage can be of three types, and it is used simultaneously in different functional areas.
Of course, you can make the entire floor of the cage solid. But then you will have to spend a lot of time and effort on cleaning, in which case it is necessary to make an incline so that the feces are collected at the back wall. It is convenient to make removable floors. So it’s easier to replace them if necessary, and remove after the animal.
Do not forget about such necessary things as a feeder and drinker. Some people just get by with bowls that can be bought at any pet store. However, for the convenience of feeding rabbits, you should equip a special sennik – a compartment behind the net where hay is stuffed. But a container for grain, of course, is still needed. The drinking bowl can be equipped simply from a suspended plastic bottle, because the rabbit can turn the bowl over and spill water, jumping around the cage.
As for the purchase of ready-made cages for rabbits, the average price varies from 18-30 thousand rubles, depending on the size, filling and material.