Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Bunny Hutch: 99.9% Recycled FREE Materials

Over the last two weekends, Dan and I have been working on a gold elite status mutli-level bunny hutch made completely of materials we had laying around, left over, or collected for free from others. 

Whoop! Whoop! Nothing like turning "trash" to treasure!

The only thing we paid for were the hinges and the slide lock for the hutch side door. So, this magnificent fur baby summer home, which would probably cost us about $300-400- based on size and "accessories" alone- cost about $4. Of course, it also took about 10 hours of our time, some planning, some patience, and a review of all materials--but over the course of two lovely weekends, it really seems more like a pleasure than a chore....and the end result has lasting value.

The hutch features a ton of venting for great airflow to keep things cool. A top level complete with snoozing loft, slatted flooring, and ramp access to a 9 square foot base level, half shaded by a flat roof that doubles as a drop in access door. That way, if they decide they do not want to be in the upper level when I need to grab them, I can access them from below as well. We are just going to throw a few cinder blocks--or maybe a cool little yard statue-- on top of the drop in panel. The buns will only be out during the day as well. 

All of the wood came from our various build leftovers and pallets that we have collected. The screen came from a few rolls I had made a point to save and hang on to for two years! They were for the small garden I grew in Cumberland for two years. I carefully dismantled and stored the fencing, not knowing what I would use it for, but feeling good that I didn't just say, aw to heck with it, and put the whole mess on the curb. 

We picked through the wood we had and after establishing a basic frame with the stronger pieces of wood (2x4s), the rest of the process was more organic. I really enjoyed working with Dan, building something once again. The whole experience was further bolstered by the fact that we were making something we needed from things we already had on hand. Not only were we slowly cleaning up our scraps, we were producing something of serious value. Down at the local hardware store, a hutch about half the size of this one was going for $179! 

When we finished the hutch, we laid down fencing to block any digging, then set the hutch in place. Then, we immediately put the bunnies in there, excited to see their reactions and just genuinely appreciated what our time and tenacity had produced. In the past, I would have looked up how to do this and then marched out to the big box store and bought all materials brand new, undoubtedly purchasing more than I need for some supplies simply because it only comes in one quantity. (Why do I have to buy 5000 staples?!) I look forward to approaching so many more projects with this mentality: "I can't spend money on can it be done?" Up next? The container gardens!

Thanks for reading!
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  1. If you have grass, place a cage with a screen side down on a patch of grass, especially clover, so that it sticks up through the screen. The rabbits will eat it and will be in heaven. You will probably need to move it every day. It will save on food cost and fertilize your yard. Make sure to provide them plenty of shade in the summer.

    1. Thanks for the tip! We are actually planning to build a chicken tractor next, and then after that, some sort of mobile rabbit station too, so they can do just as you mentioned, feed for free all day, LOVE IT, and fertilize the yard! :) I will certainly post about whatever we create!

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