Three Little Ladies Rabbitry, Jersey Wooly
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Outdoor Rabbit Housing

Holland Lops Barn

Our First Outdoor Structure

We have had several housing setups for our rabbits since we started raising them a few years ago. Our first housing was actually very practical. We had two 4X4 posts supporting a 10X8 roof. I made cages that were suspended from the poles. We had a whopping four holes. We were able to keep the rabbits dry and shaded, while having no problems with ventilation and air circulation.

Winter posed a problem because we wanted to shelter the rabbits from the cold wind. We partially wrapped the cages in bubble wrap, keeping the bottoms open. But like all good bunnies, ours liked to chew, and the victim of the chewing was the bubble wrap. So something that seemed to be good actually became a lot of work.

Move Into the Shed

The second winter we had some severe winds and it literally ripped the roof off. Imagine a 10X8 roof becoming airborne, it was quite a site! So we decided we would hang the cages in the shed and I would build a large litter box. I wasn't too aware of spraying issues with bucks until spring when I decided it was time to move them back outside. You can probably guess there were urine sprays just about everywhere in the shed. I decided that this would not happen again.

It was time to fix the roof. Lifting the roof into place and securing it again, became quite a challenge, and in fact was never the same again. It blew off during another storm and knocked all the cages to the ground this time. So I came up with an alternate plan.

Incoporating a Hutch

Barn Outside

We were given a regular 4 hole outdoor hutch. I decided to incorporate that with our existing structure. I leaned the old roof from the top of the old 4X4 posts on one end, and unto the new hutch on the other end. This worked well. During the winter I put up a couple of 4X8 plywood sheets on the sides and used some heavy mil plastic to keep snow and wind out. We kept it warn with a couple of heat lamps. It was a little unsightly but it worked.

New Barn

cages

Finally we broke down and bought 15 cages from Klubertanz. We purchased urine guards and trays. Later I purchased another 6 hole cage from a breeder going out of business. We have continued to purchase from Klubertanz. Although the cages are a little expensive, I think they are well worth the money. I have cut and made my own cages before, but it's much easier this way.

new barn

Last summer we tore down our makeshift rabbit house, and started to build a barn. The new barn when complete will house about 50 holes. The cost of a kit shed/barn was well beyond our reach, so I purchased plans over the internet, and have built the barn from lumber I purchased at a lumber yard. You can see our plans at The Tool Center. With only the roof to complete all has gone well. We currently have some rabbits in our house, and the balance is in the shed until the new barn is complete.

Conclusion

If we had it to do all over again, well who knows what we would have done. Thing is when we started, we never dreamed purchasing a couple of rabbits as pets would turn into a 30 rabbit operation. The bottom line is there are many available setups for rabbit owners. As long as the needs of your rabbits are met (shade, shelter from precipitation, sanitation, and ventilation) you can make many setups work. Often times, structures can be built with wood left over from other projects. However, the more serious we have become about raising rabbits, the more we see the need for a barn or shed, completely dedicated to raising the rabbits.

Rob Usakowski
Three Little Ladies Rabbitry


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