Build your own outdoor rabbit enclosure: tips and tricks

To give your long-eared rabbits space to run around on the lawn, you can build an outdoor rabbit enclosure yourself. With a little manual skill, it’s not difficult at all. Here you will find useful tips and tricks to create the perfect garden domicile for your little ones.

Such a lovingly self-built outdoor enclosure is something wonderful for rabbits - Shutterstock / Ratthaphong Ekariyasap

Such a lovingly self-built outdoor enclosure is something wonderful for rabbits – Shutterstock / Ratthaphong Ekariyasap

Before you build a rabbit outdoor enclosure yourself, you should think about the size of your future long-eared home. The dimensions of the enclosure depend on how many rabbits you want to hop around in. Of course, the following applies here: the bigger the better. As a rule of thumb, the outdoor enclosure should be one meter high and offer at least 6 square meters of space for two to three rabbits.

Pay attention to the right materials

Because rabbits will gnaw at anything they can get their teeth on, it’s important that you choose the right materials when building your own rabbit enclosure. Be sure to use untreated natural wood so your pets won’t pick up paint or wood preservative when they nibble on the joists.

It is best to use stable square timber to construct four walls that you cover with aviary wire. The close-meshed grids should be spot-welded and have a wire thickness of 1 to 1.2 millimeters. It is important that the wire is galvanized so that it does not start to rust through after a few years. Remember that the wire mesh not only keeps your rabbits from escaping, but also protects them from predators such as martens, foxes and stray cats.

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Make the floor dig-proof

If you leave your rabbits alone on the lawn in the outdoor enclosure, the long-eared rabbits will sooner or later start digging. You should take appropriate precautions to ensure that the animals do not simply dig themselves out of the enclosure. In the case of a fixed outdoor rabbit enclosure, it is best to dig in the wire at least 50 centimeters deep on the sides. This way your pets can dig to their heart’s content in the middle of the enclosure, but cannot escape.

Build your own outdoor rabbit enclosure: the cover

To protect against birds of prey, cats and martens, an outdoor enclosure in the garden absolutely needs a cover or other protection from above. It is best to also construct the cover from aviary wire – a simple net is not marten-proof. With very large outdoor enclosures for a large group of rabbits, however, such a cover can be difficult. Walls two meters high, with a strip on top that is at least 50 centimeters wide and bends outwards at a 30-degree angle, can help here. In the trade you will also find such fence elements under the designation cat fences, as they can also be used to make a garden cat-safe for a feline outdoor cat.

In the event that your bunny noses want to retreat, we also recommend a weatherproof and heat-insulated shelter in the rabbit outdoor enclosure. They stay nice and warm in winter, cool in summer and stay dry when it rains. You can either buy the house ready-made or build it yourself.

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