Outdoor Hutch Ideas/Plans

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RoseBun1

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Hello All,

We've had our rescue buns (bonded pair) for a couple months and they are doing AWESOME!

The cabinet conversion/den conversion has been amazing and they seem to enjoy it. However, they seem when I take them to their outside play space. Running and playing and doing binkies. The two spaces are close to the same size (outside is 2 xpens together in a square, inside is 1 xpen making an L with the wall). I think they just like being outside more, and I don't blame them. It's gorgeous out right now.

Anyway, I want to make a hutch that I can put in their outside play space so they can live outside when we have these week stretches of nice weather. In looking at other posts here, a lot of people opt for the shed approach, but I can't do that as I need/want to be able to move it. I'm thinking just a traditional outdoor hutch with the pen around it, but it seems like people have strong feelings against traditional hutches. Any advice/ideas?
 

RoseBun1

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To clarify:

This will only be for when there are several days of nice weather. If there is rain or storms in the forecast, they will still have their space in the house. Same for cold weather. We will take it down and store it in the winter, which is why I want to be able to move it.
 

Blue eyes

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I get what you are trying to do. Those typical small wood hutches are frowned upon when rabbits are confined to just those hutches. BUT, if they have a permanently attached run, then it doesn't really matter how small the hutch is.

However, it sounds like you are just using ex-pens for their outside confinement. Those are fine to use only if there is a human present at all times. Otherwise birds of prey could swoop down.

But from what you describe, you want the rabbits to be able to stay outside for several days at a time (possibly overnight as well?) Your challenge will be to create a portable outdoor space that is still predator proof. That would mean a mesh covering over the area.

The only thing I can think of is to make panels that can be folded or clipped/unclipped to make them moveable.

The following photo is just a rough idea... but bear with me as I explain some changes. I would not raise the roof if the rabbits were inside. But it almost looks like the wire part is from an ex-pen. Perhaps a wood frame could be made with the 3 sides on hinges. The frames would be hollow. But once they are set up, the ex-pens you have are placed inside against the frames to create the enclosure. (No need to slant roof over hutch since it is only for use in good weather.) You could even create a doorway for you to walk in.
For the hutch inside the enclosure, just about any pre-made one would do since it is only for short periods and they'd always have access to the run area.

upload_2019-7-30_13-35-34.png
 

RoseBun1

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I get what you are trying to do. Those typical small wood hutches are frowned upon when rabbits are confined to just those hutches. BUT, if they have a permanently attached run, then it doesn't really matter how small the hutch is.

However, it sounds like you are just using ex-pens for their outside confinement. Those are fine to use only if there is a human present at all times. Otherwise birds of prey could swoop down.

But from what you describe, you want the rabbits to be able to stay outside for several days at a time (possibly overnight as well?) Your challenge will be to create a portable outdoor space that is still predator proof. That would mean a mesh covering over the area.

The only thing I can think of is to make panels that can be folded or clipped/unclipped to make them moveable.

The following photo is just a rough idea... but bear with me as I explain some changes. I would not raise the roof if the rabbits were inside. But it almost looks like the wire part is from an ex-pen. Perhaps a wood frame could be made with the 3 sides on hinges. The frames would be hollow. But once they are set up, the ex-pens you have are placed inside against the frames to create the enclosure. (No need to slant roof over hutch since it is only for use in good weather.) You could even create a doorway for you to walk in.
For the hutch inside the enclosure, just about any pre-made one would do since it is only for short periods and they'd always have access to the run area.

View attachment 42133
That's basically what their setup looks like now except no wood frame and the top is a tarp.
IMG_20190730_212150.jpg

Sorry for the quality of the photo. I went out to get them for the night and decided to take the pic quick. The carrier usually isn't in there, and the tarp usually covers the whole thing. I just flip it back to get in and out of the door and make catching them a little easier.

I guess I'm wondering, if I want to leave them out for the night, should I replace the 2 wooden hides with an actual hutch?
 

Blue eyes

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I am unsure what potential predators you have there -- coyotes? fox? weasels? wolves? cats? dogs? raccoons?

I'm concerned that the pen is just too flimsy by itself to offer any real protection -- especially overnight or when they aren't monitored. That's why I was thinking of something more substantial as in the photo I posted.
 

Butterscotch

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That's basically what their setup looks like now except no wood frame and the top is a tarp.
View attachment 42134

Sorry for the quality of the photo. I went out to get them for the night and decided to take the pic quick. The carrier usually isn't in there, and the tarp usually covers the whole thing. I just flip it back to get in and out of the door and make catching them a little easier.

I guess I'm wondering, if I want to leave them out for the night, should I replace the 2 wooden hides with an actual hutch?
I know people keep rabbits outdoors all the time but I would caution against leaving yours out at night unless you have a very sturdy enclosure like blue eyes suggested. Those x-pens will not keep predators out, so I would hope that if you do replace the 2 wooden hides with a hutch that you securely lock your rabbits in at night.

I keep my rabbits indoors but their cages and play pens are in my living room near my sliding glass patio door. I used to leave my door cracked open about 4 inches at night (secured with a wooden dowel in the track) but one morning I pulled back my curtains just in time to see a raccoon scurry off my patio and up a tree. A few mornings later I found a big poop on my patio from some kind of wildlife. My point being, this raccoon is brazen enough to come right up to my house to sniff my rabbits, I cringe to think what it would do if they were kept outdoors in a hutch.
 

Nancy McClelland

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Must be very sturdy and completely enclosed-top, bottom and all four sides. My dad and I built a chicken coop and used door hinges and pins so we could take it down and move it--double wired everything but the bottom.
 
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