HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN
LARGE & INEXPENSIVE
BUNNY PEN:

Click here for our portable pens!
 

Important Note of Caution:   

Being outside can expose rabbits to harmful threats such as predators (dogs, cats, raccoons, coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, and etc.).  We increasingly feel that mosquitoes may pose a serious threat to rabbits -- potentially carrying infectious disease.  The feces of raccoons and opossums often carry a virus that causes disease in rabbits.  Please exercise extreme caution if you plan to keep your rabbit outside, even if only for short periods.

 




 

You will need:

 

MATERIALS:

  1. A length of Chicken Wire fencing -- 3' or 4' widths

  2. A pair of wire cutters

  3. A heavy hammer, or light sledge hammer

  4. A clamping tool or Cage Clip Pliers

  5. Hav-a-Hart clamps or Cage Clips

  6. Metal or wooden fencing stakes/posts

  7. Large "zip ties"

 

 

SELECTING A LOCATION:

It is vitally important that you select a location where your bunnies will always have access to some shade. Ideally, your pen will get some sunlight as well -- especially during the winter months when deep shade will be very chilly.

Once again, be absolutely sure that your location does not completely lose shade at any time during the day. A bunny will die quickly if trapped in full sun on a hot day.

It is best to have some kind of shelter available to your bunny as well -- a "barn" of some kind, a hutch, or even a small dog house (no fleas please!) could be adapted to give the bunny shelter and a feeling of security. The shelter should be something that will keep your bunny nice and dry if it should start to rain! A wet bunny is a cold and miserable bunny.  (See the one we offer in the advertisements at right!)

Be sure to include a "nest box" filled with straw and/or Carefresh litter inside the shelter, for your bunny to snuggle up in and get warm.

 

HOW MUCH CHICKEN WIRE DO I NEED?

 

To begin, figure out where you want your bunny pen to be and what shape and size it should have. Then measure out the four sides, and add up their length.  Then, measure the length and width of the pen's floor. When you calculate the floor, keep in mind whether you plan to use fencing material that is 3' wide, or 4' wide.

Example:

If you want to make a nice 4' by 6' pen for your bunnies, you would add it up as follows:

  • 2, 4' sides

  • 2, 6' sides

  • 1, 6' long strip for the floor (if using 4' wide fencing)
    OR... 2, 4' long floor pieces (from 3' wide fencing), to be joined together lengthwise (one 4' side to the other 4' side) to create a piece 4' wide by 6' long.

Then, adding this up you would need a piece of Chicken Wire fencing 26 feet long -- for the taller, 4' width of fencing. Or, 28 feet of fencing if you are using the shorter, 3' width of Chicken Wire fencing. Got it? If not...




 

WHAT ABOUT A GATE?

One easy solution to the gate issue is build your pen so that, on one of the short sides, you simply snip the Chicken Wire, from top to middle, in two places. You don't need to make a third cut (from snipped side to snipped side) and remove the piece entirely because you're going to just fold it down, or fold it over.

Because you don't cut the piece of fencing completely off, you will be able to make adjustments as needed.

For example, if one of your rabbits becomes an exceptionally good jumper, you can simply refold the fencing so that your is a little taller! You can even use the large zip ties to reattach part of the snipped area to the rest of the fencing. (Zip ties, available at the hardware store, are easier to work with than wire, and will not scratch children or bunnies.)

You can also use a zip tie or two to hold the folded fencing down, so it doesn't flap up and scratch or trip someone.

 

BUYING THE SUPPLIES:

Okay, now that you know how much fencing you will need, make a trip to Orchard Supply Hardware or a similar store.  (Note that many of the supplies are also for sale on this page.) Ask them to cut you the fencing you need.  Or buy a precut package, if it's in the size you need.  Make sure to buy the sturdy 1" Chicken Wire -- anything more flimsy just won't last, and anything firmer will be too hard to work with.   "Aviary Wire" is really much nicer to use, but it will cost you a bit more.

Don't forget to buy the other items while you're there! (If you are like me, you should take a list!)

If you are building the 4'x6' pen, or you will need at least 4 good sturdy metal fencing stakes. If you're pen is larger, you will obviously need more.

If, at some later point, you find your pen's fencing is bowing or bending a bit, you can purchase some of those green, bamboo garden stakes to insert (vertically) in the fencing to stiffen it up.

 

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER: 

  1. The first step is to place the metal fencing stakes where you want them to go and to pound them into the ground securely.

  2. Next attach the end of the Chicken Wire fencing to one pole with the large zip ties.

  3. Begin unrolling the fencing and wrap it around the backside of the next pole. Continue on to the other poles.

  4. Take a break here and go back to pole #2. Stretch the fencing good and taut, and zip tie it onto the pole. Repeat the process with the other two poles.

  5. Now bring the fencing around the rest of the way, to the pole you began with. Zip tie it onto the pole. Trim off the excess fencing (which you will be using for the floor of the pen), and lay it aside.

  6. Go ahead and create your "gate" now, as described above. (You will need to get inside the pen to lay out the flooring.)

  7. After you're gate is complete, lay the flooring piece inside the pen, and get out your Hav-A-Hart clamps and clamping tool. Make sure the flooring is aligned properly, then begin attaching it to the sides of the pen, using the tool according to the directions on the package.

  8. You may want to just tack the fencing in place to begin with, spacing the clamps widely at first. However, it is very important to go back over the fencing and be sure that there are no gaps that a rabbit could slip through!

  9. Be sure to also use the clamps to completely secure the seam at pole #1, where the beginning and end of the fencing meet.

  10. If you have used two pieces of fencing for your flooring, you can use the clamps to securely join the seam.

 

 

You're All Finished!

 

 

SOME ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

There are a few additional issues that you should keep in mind when creating your outdoor bunny pen: 

One of these is that chicken wire can rust out and become prone to breakage.  The more moisture the wire is subjected to (for example if the pen borders on a frequently watered garden), the faster it will rust.  There are specially coated varieties of chicken wire and etc that resist rusting.  (They have a green plastic-like coating.)  But some rabbits may find this irresistible for chewing. Be sure to examine your pen from time to time to make sure there is no breakage (from rust or anything else) that would allow your rabbits to escape.

Before you build your pen, you should evaluate the creatures that may be visiting your yard.  Raccoons, although often content to snoop through your garbage, will sometimes kill and eat small bunnies when driven to it by hunger.  Once a taste has been developed, even full sized rabbits may be attacked and killed.   Other creatures such as coyote, bobcat, mountain lion, large hawks or eagles can also be a threat as can more domestic hunters such as dogs and cat (there are those few cats out there that will take down a full size rabbit, though most cats seem to  largely be a danger to young rabbits).

And don't forget, no matter whether your rabbits are in a hutch or in a pen they will leave droppings (poop) which will need to be cleaned up.
 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Although making your own pen is still the less expensive option, portable pens have now come down so much in price, and are so high quality that really, if we were building one of these pens today-- we wouldn't!  We would cheat and buy two of the walk through pens shown below and hook them together for a nice 4 foot by 8 foot pen.

 

 

 

 More ideas for building your own
 hutch or rabbit pen

 

 

We love that these pens take so little work!
 Plus, you can easily fold them up and move them out of the way.

Arrange to give up to 16 square feet of space.

The included grass anchors will keep your bunnies from scooting under the wall of the pen-- or knocking it over. If you need more room, just buy 2 pens and join them together!  Does it get any easier?

1. Easy access door allows you to get in and out without stepping over the pen.

2. Thick wire gauge 6,7 (frame) & 11. The smaller the number the thicker the wire.

3. Removable pin allows you to add additional pens for added play space.

4. No exposed screws, wires or pins.

5. Free outdoor grass anchors
 

Order the 30" high pen for just $47.99!

Order the 48" high pen now for $66.99!

 

 
 

9 square feet provided by 18"W x 29"H panels

Indoor/outdoor pen gives your pet a safe, roomy place to play and exercise. Wire panels assemble quickly and easily without tools.

Perfect for small animals, toy breed dogs, cats, and most puppies and kittens. Note: pet use only, not to be used as toddler's play pen.

Order it now for $38.39

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The perfect hutch for use with your outdoor pen!

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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