Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The $400 Rabbit

In our family Ralph the Rabbit has a special place in our hearts. She has been with us the longest and is generally speaking the easiest pet we have ever owned.

During the last wind storm her outside hutch was destroyed. We are very thankful that she was not in the hutch at the time. With the impending storm we had brought her inside. Good thing we did! Her hutch was shattered when we went out the next morning.

We knew she needed her outside hutch repaired but what was left was hardly functional. We decided to salvage what we could and build her a new hutch.

I based her new hutch off of the design from her old one. I was able to salvage the roof and the floor from the old hutch so that gave me a jumping off point.

Here is the completed hutch!

You can see that inside the hutch she has two "rooms". One public with a wire floor and one private with a closed floor. We place her hay in the private room to allow her a place to nest and relax. This is also a great place for her to keep warm in the winter. Having the closed floor has to be easier on her little feet. I have to say I am not a fan of the wire floors. While easier for cleaning they just seem very hard on the animal.

I have found that I am pretty "anti-hutch". Rabbits are meant to be moving and exercising throughout the day. Keeping them locked in little boxes just upsets me. Ralph was however adopted from another family that no longer wanted her and has always been a "boxed rabbit". In an effort to make her life a little more fun we decided to build her a giant new run as well.

This is simply some 2x4s, rabbit wire, and some plastic roof sheets. The finished product is a 4ft by 6ft "box" with an open bottom.

Ralph is able to hop around to her hearts content. She has lots of fresh grass and dandelions to eat. I even think there is some talk of a bunny obstacle course in the future.  When the grass in this location is eaten down we can simply move the run to a new location.

My next step is to install a burrowing system. Rabbits are natural burrowers. I plan to take advantage of this fact and install a tunnel system between her runs and her hutch. I have all the materials, just need the time and energy to hook it all up!

As you can tell Ralph is quite the spoiled bunny. We joke that she is our $400 rabbit. After all of these building projects that might just be true!

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