The dacha plot is an ideal place for keeping rabbits. These fluffy animals can be placed without any problems in a shed or put cells just under the open sky.
Caring for rabbits will give you a lot of positive emotions, if the home for them will be done competently and soundly.
Beginners should be aware that the rabbitry at the cottage is not a simple box with a lid, but a special design.
It should be created all the conditions for the comfortable maintenance of young animals, adult animals and pregnant rabbits.
Let’s take a look at the most popular options for rabbit hunters, examine the features of their construction and arrangement.
What should be cottage rabbit?
By correctly answering this question, we will avoid errors and omissions during its operation.
Cottage rabbitcher must meet several requirements:
- Optimum dimensions with minimum consumption of materials;
- Durability and durability of the structure;
- Ease of assembly;
- Compliance with the conditions of the veterinary standards;
- Easy access for feeding and cleaning (minimum maintenance time).
Deciding to make cages for rabbits with your own hands, you need to take into account the recommended sizes of such structures.
Two adult rabbits can be kept in a two-section cage. Its length should be at least 140 cm, with a width of 60 to 70 cm and a height of 50 to 70 cm. An inclined net for grass and hay is placed between the sections, and bunker feeders and drinkers are placed at the edges.
To save space rabbitry often do in two tiers. Such a solution, in addition to compactness, significantly speeds up the process of cleaning and feeding.
Cage sizes for group keeping of young stock:
- length is 200 – 300 cm;
- width 100 cm;
- height from 35 to 60 cm.
The actual calculation of cell sizes for rabbits under the age of 2 months is performed on the basis of the area norm for the maintenance of one animal (at least 0.12 m2).
A female with offspring will need at least 0.6 m2 area. In addition, for newborns in a cage, you need to install a nest box 35 cm long, 30 cm high and 25 cm wide.
Materials for the manufacture of rabbit
Here you need to reasonably combine strength and low cost. If you are going to build a rabbit with your own hands, do not forget that your eared pets are rodents. Therefore, the wooden parts of the frame, going inside the cage, it is better to upholster with metal (you can use foil from beer cans or galvanized roofing steel).
Having spent on this procedure a couple of extra hours, you will extend the life of their cells for a good ten years.
The simplest and most economical version of the rabbit frame is wooden, made of 50×50 mm bars.
They do not need to be antiseptic, so that the animals are not poisoned by toxic impregnation. But make sure that the material for the frame was well dried – certainly.
The roof of each tier should be made of material resistant to moisture. It can be wavy or flat slate. It is better not to use metal for the roof and cladding of rabbitry placed on the street. It is very hot under the sun and turns the cell into a hot “oven”.
The best option for frame cladding is a galvanized chain-link with a mesh size of 25×25 mm. Interestingly, it got its name from the English word "rabbit." Steel mesh used for the facade, doors and sidewalls of cells. The compartments for laying hay are made from a mesh with a larger cell (50x50mm), so that the animals are more comfortable to get food.
The bottom of the cells can be covered with a flat galvanized mesh (cell 10×25 or 25×25 mm), laying it on wooden support rails. This solution makes cleaning easier. Rabbit feces fall through the cells, accumulate in the receiving bin, or simply roll down the sloping roof of the lower tier onto the ground.
Solid flooring on the rabbit floor is used very rarely. The caustic urine of animals quickly permeates it, worsening the microclimate in the cage and causing wood rot. Instead, the bottom of the cell is made lattice, placing planed flooring blocks with a small gap (0.5-1 cm).
Rabbits do not like drafts, so the back of the cells are made deaf using OSB, plywood, board or polycarbonate.
The cage support for street rabbits can be made from metal. Welding from the corner (45×45 mm) such a structure, it is filled with ready-made prefabricated sections of extruded mesh, mounted on the framework of steel bar.
An important nuance of the comfortable keeping of animals in such cages is the installation on the floor of a small sheet of plywood, which protects the rabbits’ paws from corns (trapmatitis). Plywood is periodically removed for cleaning and drying.
The roof of the mesh cage will not protect animals from rain and sun. Therefore, on the street, it should be placed under a canopy of slate.
Considering the existing rabbit designs, we should mention the Zolotukhin method. It was developed based on years of experience and observation of the habits of fur-bearing animals.
His two main postulates are:
- The floor of the cage is made combined (the front part is an inclined flat slate flooring, and in the rear part there is a steel mesh);
- Grain feeders have a swivel design that makes it easy to clean and fill them.
The design of the floor was not chosen randomly, but on the basis of statistical data. According to them, rabbits about 70% of feces and urine are left in the back of the cage (where the grid is installed), and the remaining feces are scattered over its area.
In the cells constructed by the method of Zolotukhin, there is no moisture-absorbing bedding from straw. Therefore, they are always dry, and it takes a minimum of time for cleaning.
The sequence of manufacturing rabbit
Making your own sketch or using a ready-made drawing, you can begin to assemble the cells. To do this, cut to the specified size wooden slats frame and connect them with self-tapping screws.
It is more convenient to first fully assemble the front and rear frames, and then connect them into a common structure with short jumpers on the floor and ceiling.
Before fixing the frames with self-tapping screws, do not forget to make sure that the rails are vertical and perpendicular with the help of a level and a square in order to avoid distortions.
After assembling the frame go to the installation of the bars of the doors and sennik. The next step is the laying of net or rack floor (gaps between the slats 10 mm).
Having laid a floor, it is possible to begin cutting a grid and plywood, carrying out their fastening to a framework and sennik by means of self-tapping screws.
At the final stage, a roof of the first level is made using a moisture resistant QSB sheet. Its edge should protrude beyond the dimensions of the cage by 10-15 cm. The second tier is covered with a sheet of undulating slate, fastening it to the inclined frame bars.
Fully ready rabbitry can be called after the installation of doors made of OSB, bunker feeders and drinkers.