Building an Animal Hutch

Your son or daughter has decided to get a pet. They want to get a rabbit, or a guinea pig, something not too small or big, something that can stay inside but not this time. With this issue you’re putting your foot down. If your child is having a pet, the animal has to live outside. Unfortunately now you need to think about building or buying a hutch. In fact, building a hutch isn’t that hard if you’re pretty handy as a carpenter. There are just a few things that you need to remember when building a home for your new furry friend.

Window Ingredients
You’ll need wire mesh that is reasonably strong, but not sharp, as if you have a bunny, the critter will likely want to gnaw at it from time to time. It needs to be strong enough to keep the animals in without harming them. Sometimes reinforcing part of the hutch windows with a plastic layer in front of the wire also helps to keep the cold out in the winter, and adds an extra layer of protection should your animal manage to get through the wiring.

Make it reasonably big
A lot of hutches you can buy are really only big enough for your animal to get a hop skip and a jump in before they reach the other side. Think about it, this little animal needs to have enough room to comfortably lie down in and get a reasonable amount of exercise during the winter months. Think about making it about a metre long, about the size of a desk, perhaps even a little bit longer if you can spare the space.

Animals love variety. Your new pet is going to be living in here for quite a while, so they need to be entertained. Giving the hutch more than one levels allows the animal a bit more space to move around. Plus they’ll get regular exercise from running up and down stairs, or jumping down a ramp. Trust me, your pet will love it.

Be sure to check out the RSPCA’s advice on proper care for rabbits and other hutched animals.

You can also choose to elevate your hutch by putting it on legs. This is great because the extra storage created beneath the hutch can be used to store the food, straw and newspaper for your pet. If you elevate your hutch, you will need to make 100% certain that your pet cannot accidentally get out, as sometimes older pets can get injured from a fall.

Doors and Beds
Give your hutch a couple of doors at least. If your animal is skittish or excited, sometimes it can be hard to get a hold of if your hutch only has one door. You don’t want to be 45 minutes late for a check up with the vet because you were busy coaxing Fibbles out from the corner. However make sure every door has a lock on it, a simple bolt latch will work just fine.

Another important thing is to make the bed area thicker and warmer for your animal. Filling it with straw can only do so much, so using thicker wood when building the nesting area really adds that extra level of warmth in the winter

So now you’re a little more informed on the kind of hutch that would make a good little home! Now you just need to watch out for those pellets!


John Butler is an animal lovel and DIY enthusiast who has contributed this post on behalf of Quality Ironmongery, the online store for ironware supplies for all your home DIY projects

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