• southernontariorab

Finished dog crate to rabbit cage conversion

Updated: Mar 18

I have finished converting my old dog crate into a rabbit cage. I found out a few things along the way that will make my next two easier and a bit better. Overall I am very happy with it though. I have not yet brought it home. I assembled it at my parents farm, and need to use a van to bring it home, as it is too large to fit in my vehicle. Hopefully by this weekend Marshall will be checking out his new cage and loving the extra room and fixtures.


A large dog crate that is now being used as a rabbit cage, complete with hideout and shelf.
Converted dog crate to rabbit cage

The crate is a large folding style dog crate. I recently changed out the kitchen cabinets in my home and had 3 lazy Susans that I did not need. I repurposed one to be a second floor to utilize some of the extra height that comes with a dog crate. The lazy Susan was white coated wire that was very sturdy. I cut a piece of plywood to fit in the half moon shape. It is not fastened down, so it can be taken out to be cleaned when necessary. I designed a hide out that is just shy of the width of the crate, and just short enough to slide under the second level. It's designed to give him a place to hide or feel secure, as well as functioning as a ramp to give him easier access to the second level.


I am in no way a great wood worker. This was very much a trial and error build. I think my next hideouts will have a more gradual and less steep slope. I will have to see how he reacts to it to know for sure. Another option would be to attach horizontal slats to it to give him more grip while climbing up the ramp. Both are options I'm considering.



As you can see from the photo above, the bottom of a dog crate after you remove the pan, has very spaced out wires. A rabbit can easily slip out through those spaces. I designed two different external bottoms to fit the cage, one for grazing on grass and greenery while on the ground, similar to a meat rabbit tractor, and the other for when the ground is too wet and the cages need to be up off the ground.



Two external cage bottoms. One with baby saver wire, the other with wire suitable for grazing on greens on the ground.
Two external cage bottoms. One with baby saver wire, the other with wire suitable for grazing on greens on the ground.


The cage bottoms with the small tighter spacing is commonly referred to as baby saving wire. It's 1/2" x1" galvanized welded wire. It has small enough spacing that it's easy on your rabbits feet and also small enough to prevent newborn kits from falling through the wires if they somehow got out of the nesting box. This particular bottom is for a male rabbit, so I don't have it going up too far on the sides, as there won't be any kits in his cage.


Baby saving wire used to make a shelf suitable bottom fora rabbit cage that is  a dog crate converted
Baby saving wire used to make a shelf suitable bottom


The second cage bottoms is 2"x4" galvanized welded wire. It is large enough the when placed on the grass, it allows the grass to pop back up vertically which allows the rabbit for nibble and forage. If the spacing was too small it would hold the grass down. Most younger rabbits do not try to fig out, some mature rabbits will. This should not be a problem with this bottom as most of the spaces are divided in half once you place the cage into it.


2"×4" spacing for a foraging crate bottom.
Large spacing that allows for foraging.

Working with the galvanized wire mesh takes more time than I had expected. The j clips that you can buy to secure your wire parts together take a bit to get the hang of. A lot of people make their own cages using wire mesh and j clips. I give them a lot of credit. My cage bottoms are functional, but they are not perfect and could use some work to be more visually appealing. That being said, I. Still very pleased. This project allowed me to repurpose a dog crate, a lazy Susan,and also the wood was scraps left over from other jobs. The wire and j clips were the only new items purchased to make this cage.


Overall I am very happy. It was made cheaply, it used up scrap items and gave new life to old items that were just taking up space. Minor adjustments might need to be made if the hideouts ramp is too steep, and somehow using the crates plastic tray as a roof for the cage are the only 2 notable things that need more attention.


 

Update

Marshall appears to have no problem using the ramp on his hideout. He was introduced to his new cage today and it seems to have gone over very well.

Dog crate made into a two story rabbit cage.
Marshall on his second level in his rabbit cage


New Zealand Flemish giant cross rabbit.
Marshall with a willow branch




373 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All