rabbit hutch questions

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by SammyRouen, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. SammyRouen

    SammyRouen In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2014
    Hey everyone,
    I am SOOOO excited to say I am getting meat rabbits to start raising for meat this spring! (Yay)
    i just have a few questions about housing from my breeders and their young. First I have read about the sizing for the wire the bottom is 1/2 in by 1/2 or 1 inch and the sides are 1 in by 2 in. now I have lost chickens to foxes, raccoons, and hawks but I'm mostly concerned about the Raccoons. Can a raccoon reach through a 1 by 2 in space and grab babies or even the mothers out of the hutch?
    Also should I make a separate hutch for the babies to finish growing in once they are weaned (around 6 to 8 weeks old)?

    Thanks for the help! :)
  2. FoxHead

    FoxHead In the Brooder

    Jan 26, 2015
    Greenville, MI
    Hi Sammy!
    I raise standard rex rabbits in Michigan. Using the 1/2 x 1/2 wire for the bottom has worked well for the most part. With some of my rabbits, usually does that have I've bred, the 1/2" was just a little too small to let the poop fall through. It would fall through in time from the rabbit hopping around. It got troublesome when the does had kits and the fur in the poop kept a lot of it literally hanging around. If I were to do it over I would use 1/2" x 1". Just my opinion.
    All of my hutches are off the ground about 2 feet. I haven't had problems with predators yet. I know that coyotes and other animals lurk around the hutches, but have not broken into any of them. A raccoon can reach through 1 x 2 wire. That's what I have on my hutches and I don't think they harass the rabbits long with it being off the ground.
    With the kits, I keep them with the mother until six weeks, and then move them all together into a space of their own. It has always been a smooth transition. The things I've learned to keep up on while they are nursing, making sure the eyes are not crusty, and making sure they don't have poop caked up around the genital area. Other than that, it is really something that handles it's self. Before you know it, you won't have enough space for the number of rabbit you have.
    Have fun!! [​IMG]
  3. SammyRouen

    SammyRouen In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2014
    Thanks for the help FoxHead! I'm excited, I'm gonna start building cages this weekend 4 for breeders and two extras as growing pens for the babies! :)
  4. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    1/2" x 1/2" is usually "woven" hardware cloth; 1/2" x 1" is usually welded wire. Welded wire is usually a larger gauge than the hardware cloth, so it tends to sag less. That becomes an issue with larger cages, because sitting for long periods on uneven surfaces makes a rabbit more likely to develop sore hocks. If you use the 1/2" x 1" wire, make sure the side with the wires spaced 1/2" apart is on the inside, so the rabbits' feet will have the maximum possible surface area to contact.

    Yes, a raccoon can reach through 1" x 2" wire; I have lost chickens that were temporarily housed in rabbit cages to them, even a cage with 1" x 1" spacing. My losses with rabbits, though, have mostly been to dogs and snakes. Given enough time, a determined dog can get into even a well-built rabbit hutch, and even if he can't get in, it is possible for a dog to kill a rabbit without getting the rabbit out of the cage, or at least damage the rabbit enough that you will have to put it down. It's very important that dogs and dog-like animals not be able to get around or under rabbit cages!

    I don't know what the snake situation may be like in your area, but here in southeastern North Carolina, we are pretty much snake central. I know from experience, rabbits are petrified of snakes. I have seen 10-lb rabbits totally losing it all around me when an 18" Garter Snake crawled through the rabbitry. A snake that size is no threat, but one large enough to eat babies could get through 1" x 2" wire, and be unable to get back out once it has eaten the whole litter. I have had that scenario play out a few too many times. These days, my pregnant does get put into cages made entirely of 1/2" x 1" wire, and the kits will stay in cages like that until they are too big for a Rat Snake to swallow . . . [​IMG]

    Good luck with your new buns![​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: