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A Custom-Built Hutch System

What we've done since we built our barn last year and quickly ran out of room is buy a 16x20 car port. We built cages and suspended them from the roof, and that's where our Flemish Giants are.
This is a view of our carport from the southwest. We have 12 cages inside; eight hanging and four down the middle.
Winterizing: We live in southwestern lower Michigan, so what we'll be doing for the winter is attaching plastic to at least three sides of the carport. We'll then anchor the plastic to the ground with bales of straw. Eventually we'll attach 1x4 boards to the uprights and make frames for each end in order to attach screening. We'll install a door at the south end, which is about four feet from the rabbit barn. We also want to run electric to the carport for light. Our Flemish seem to be doing very well there as opposed to being in the barn.
This view is from the north end. As you can see, the cages down the middle are free-standing.
Building Cages: We build our own cages using 1x2 galvanized after weld wire. We order the wire from Klubertanz, a supplier in Wisconsin. We usually order in rolls of 100 feet, but order the wire for the floors precut. Probably lots of hardware stores carry galvanized after weld, but none in our area carry the floor wire. And it's cheaper to order through a supplier, in my opinion. We fasten the wire with j-clips. If we need a divider in the cage, those are fastened with o-clips. We also have a j-clip remover for those little mistakes we make. We've gotten better since we started,though. We can put together a 48x30 cage in less than an hour.

Our Flemish cages are 48x30; our Silver Fox cages are 24x30 for bucks and 24x36 for does. Our Mini Rex cages are 15x24, 24x24, and 24x30 (does), though we've decided to sell our MR herd. We want to concentrate on the Flemish Giants and Silver Fox.

This is a shot of how the cages hang. We drilled holes in the roof, put in eyehooks, sealed with silicon, and then suspended the cages from wire on all four corners. Bottoms of the cages are secured with wire to the upright poles.

Floors: All of the outside cages have wire floors. We use 14g 1x1/2 galvanized after weld floor wire, precut. Actually, all our cages have wire floors. We have pans in the barn because those cages are stackers. We use a wire brush to clean the floors.

A view of the free-standing cages. We built the frame with 2x4s and landscape timbers. The cages are suspended with cage hooks at the bottom.
Doors: There's nothing special about the cage doors except that we make them to size for our rabbits. Flemish are very large, so those doors are large. Some are hinged at the bottom, but most are hinged either right or left.
This is a view of the free-standing cages from the other end.
A Little Advice: If you want to build your own cages, I suggest that you study pre-made cages carefully. Notice some of the shortcuts like cutting the corners of the floors, sides, and/or tops so that when j-clipping you're not trying to clip three wires.The only real problem we've run into is bending the wire. We use a 2x4 and a hammer. I'd love to know how the pros bend theirs. I'm sure they have something just for that, but we make do. And it works for us.
These are some of our first hutches. They're attached to the side of one of our barns. In the winter we attach plexiglass to the front of them. The bottoms are left open for airflow. These were built with wood frames and wire floors.
Wood Hutches: We also have three hutches on the back of the same barn the side hutches are on. Yes, they're made of wood, and, yes, the rabbits have gnawed some of the wood. But cages been there for four years now and are just starting to show signs of needing repair. We plan on leaving the basic structures and making cages that will just slide in.


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Building Rabbit Housing shows how to build cages and hutches. Buy it at B&N.


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Buy wire for your cages at Bass Equipment.


Get tools for assembling your hutch at Bass Equipment.

Bass Equipment carries a complete line of door locks and latches for your cages.
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