What should you consider when making rabbit cages
If you plan on making your own rabbit cages you need to plan out the size that best suits your needs and your rabbits breed. Not all rabbits are the same size, and does require more space than bucks. Are you planning on leaving your grow outs with the mother once they are weaned? If so, your cage needs to be big enough to accommodate everyone, if not, then you need extra cages for your grow outs. Rabbits can be raised in different pen types, and you need to decide which is best for you.
Other things to consider are your materials. You will want galvanized wire mesh. For does and newborn kits you need your wire to be no bigger than 1/2" × 1" in size for the spacing for the floor of the cage. This is commonly referred to as baby saver wire. It has this name due to the fact that it saves baby rabbits from falling through the cage floor. The sides and top can be 1" × 2". You should also consider putting the baby saver wire up a couple inches on all sides to prevent the kits from getting through the sides next to the floor of their cage. To secure the different wire types together you can use J clips. There are J clip pliers that are designed to use with them. You can make cages completely out of the galvanized wire mesh( good video here ) , or you can use wood for framing. If you use wood, just keep in mind your rabbits will chew on it. You will want to use non treated wood, and be prepared to have to replace some of the parts over time due to the chewing. There is another method to making rabbit cages that utilizes wire shelving racks. There is a great instructional video here)
Do your research as to where to get your wire. I bought wire recently to do a dog crate conversion to a rabbit cage, and for a rabbit tractor. There are quite big differences in prices between stores. Here at Ontario rabbits I try to be as price conscious as I can. I didn't want to just run to the nearest store and buy everything if I could get some elsewhere at better prices(taking gas into account as well).
This was my findings as of mid February 2022. I ended up ordering the 2"×4" from princess auto, and picked up the 1"×1/2" and the 1"×2" at minor bros. The price was not the cheapest, but I had to pick up pellets and hay there so the price difference made up for the cost of gas saved going elsewhere.
Other points to consider are how you are going to support your cages. Are they in a building or outside? Will your rabbits need protection from the sun and wind? Will they be hanging or sitting on something? Are you stacking them? Are you using trays to collect the rabbit manure or is it falling through the cages to the ground?
If stacking your cages, you will need trays or dividers that stop the waste from the top cages from falling down onto the rabbits below them. You can use dividers on a slant that allows the poop and urine to side down and fall behind the cage below. It can either fall to the ground or you can set up buckets or totes to collect the waste for easy clean up. Rabbit waste is great fertilizer!
Keeping the cages off the ground helps keep the rabbits safe from predators, and using hanging cages is even better for safety. The cages need good air flow and shade in the summer as heat is hard on rabbits. In the winter rabbits need protection from the wind and to be kept dry. Keeping rabbits on the ground in cages or rabbit tractors can cut down your food bill considerably, but requires them to be moved to fresh areas every day. There is much to consider.
All of these points need to be taken into consideration when planning your cages and rabbit setups. There is a lot of planning, but if your like me it's vital as my thought process can change a dozen times from initial thought to finished project.