A rabbit hideaway box serves several purposes – it provides a place for the rabbit to hide, provides the doe with a birthing box for her litter, and provides a high place for a lookout point. Rabbits are prey animals, and as such will want to hide when they are scared.
The rabbit hutch was built a couple of weeks ago, so now it is time to build the hideaway boxes. One box will be built for the doe and one box will be built for the buck.
The first hide box was built 20 inches X 24 inches. After the box was placed in the hutch it seemed a little large.
The second box was built 16 inches X 20 inches. Even at 16X20 the box seems a little big.
I may cut that down to 12 X 20, but it will be after the rabbits are grown. Right now the boxes seem a little large, but the rabbits still have a lot of growing to do.
Bill of material
- Extension cord
- 1/8 drill bit for pilot holes
- #2 phillips bit
- Left over plywood from the chicken coop
- 2 – 8 feet long pine shelving boards
- 2 inch long outdoor wood screws
- 3 inch hinges
Depending on how high you want to make the walls, that is width of the pine boards. I bought 1 X 12 X 8 feet long boards. 12 inches may be a little high for the hideaway box. But then again it depends on the size of the rabbit.
If I were to build the boxes again I probably would not build one 20 X 24 inches. It just seems a little large for the cage and the rabbit.
Decide what size you want to make the hideaway box.
Cut the plywood the size you wish to make the box.
Lets cut the boards. I started by making a entrance hole for the box with one of the pine boards, then cut a board for the back wall.
Stand the plywood up on its edge, hold the boards in place, screw with 2 inch long screws. It helps if you have someone hold the boards while another person operates the drill.
Measure how long the other walls need to be, cut the boards, secure with 2 inch long screws.
Once all of the walls have been secured, place the lid on top of the box, equally space the hinges, secure with screws included with hinges.
On my rabbit hideaway box the screws went through the plywood lid and protruded into the inside of the box. This posed a danger to the rabbits. To cover the points of the screws I cut a piece of trim that was left over from building the rabbit hutch. Take the center screw out of the hinge, use a 1 1/2 inch long screw, place the trim inside the box, screw the 1 1/2 long screw into the hinge, through the pine board and into the trim.
When the lid is closed the points of the screws should go into the trim so they are not exposed.
The safety, welfare and health of my animals are important to me. I would rather build the box a little big now, and have to cut it down later, then to have it too small when the rabbit is grown.
The rabbits seems to spend more time on top of the box than inside the box.
I am a little concerned about the wire. As the rabbits get older and get heavier, I concerned the welded wire may start breaking under the weight of the rabbit as it jumps down from the top of the box.
A man my wife works with raises rabbits. He told my wife he puts pine straw inside the box. I might get a bunch of pine straw, put it in the boxes, and see how the rabbits react. Having something inside the box seems more natural than just a bare box with nothing in it.
The lid works well. I am able to stock my head into the rabbit cage, lift the lid and peak inside of the box. This will come in handy when the does has her litter, and when the box needs to be cleaned out.