Aurora Rex Rabbit Ranch uses large rabbit hutch frames constructed of Schedule 40 PVC, on which we hang 4 all-wire rabbit cages. The hutch frame is almost indestructible, and cleaning is a breeze. Just cover and use. We set them up in our rabbit barn years ago. While the grey Sch. 80 PVC is reported to be much stronger, our PVC hutch frames have as yet had absolutely no issues with breaking, despite heavy use and lots of daily movement by the rabbits.
If you're interested in checking out wooden rabbit hutches:
Otherwise, read on; perhaps you'll appreciate a new perspective on rabbit hutches.
This PVC hutch frame has finished dimensions of over 7 feet wide and 6 feet high. It handles two tiers of cages, and there’s room to put a slanted drop pan underneath the top tier for ease of cleaning.
See how to set it all up with cages, water and feeder. We show you how to hang the cages on the PVC hutch frame, how to install the drop pans, and set up a gravity-fed automatic water system by Edstrom.
The full plans for constructing this large PVC rabbit hutch frame are contained in both of these e-books:
Or: Visit World of Raising Rabbits for more information and to check out all of our rabbit husbandry e-books.
Why not just give a rabbit a wooden rabbit hutch?
Well, you certainly CAN give wooden hutches to your rabbits, if you like. I don’t think wooden hutches are necessarily ideal – you’ll find this opinion in more detail and the reasons for it at Wooden Rabbit Cage.
Rabbit owners in Europe use wooden hutches almost exclusively. In fact, some countries now have laws outlawing wire flooring for rabbits. Unfortunately as is frequently the case, those (activists) arguing for hard floors did not understand the complete picture and were not familiar with rabbit husbandry.
Except for the danger of sore hocks in some breeds, wire floors are very healthy for rabbits. The floors stay clean as the urine and feces drop through the wire. As a result, the rabbit does not re-infect itself with parasite eggs, and this breaks the lifecycle of parasites such as coccidiosis, keeping the rabbit much more healthy.
Additionally, all-wire cages are typically much stronger than a wooden hutch to which some cheap wire mesh has been stapled. All-wire cages protect the rabbit from predators. The wire sides provide ample air circulation so that ammonia can dissipate keeping the rabbit’s lungs healthy.
The benefits of all-wire housing far outweigh the drawbacks in my opinion, especially when the rabbit owner also pays attention to and cares for the health of the rabbit’s feet.
There IS a drawback for wire floors for some breeds of rabbits which you should know about, especially when low quality wire mesh is used.
Rabbits with rex fur tend to have shorter fur on their foot pads. Cage wire, especially thin, rough or rusty cage wire, can wear the fur off the bottom surface of the rabbit’s foot. This usually occurs first on the hind feet, but can also affect the front paws as well.
Rabbits on many other surfaces, including carpet, can also experience a thinning of the fur and the development of heavy calluses on the hocks of the hind feet. If the calluses then break down, open sores can develop on the hocks. This can happen to any rabbit of any breed, and is not necessarily related to wire cages. See Rabbit Feet.
Giant rabbits apply more weight per square inch on their hind feet. Even though they have normal fur, the exaggerated pressure can result in worn fur and then callus formation.
One can quickly and easily overcome this drawback:
What about comfort? Isn’t sleeping on wire very cold and uncomfortable?
Not by the looks of this snoring rabbit...!
And in fact, given a choice, many rabbits
choose wire to sleep on over various beddings. Learn more...
The combination of all-wire cages and PVC hutch frames has proven to be the best of all worlds.
Using all-wire cages hung from our PVC hutch frames has been so successful that we collected our plans into several e-books in order to help you get the benefits of building them too.
All our World of Raising Rabbits E-Books can be found here, including the above hutch and cage e-books.
Your comments or experiences can help others who read them. So, comment away, and if you have pictures, you can post up to four of them. Pictures are always helpful.
(Have questions? Perhaps your question was already asked, and answered, below. If not, Karen has answered hundreds of your questions in her book: Rabbit Raising Problem Solver, covering every aspect of pet rabbit and livestock rabbit care as well as rabbit health and disease. We recommend it!)
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