My 14-year old son Oliver was offered two female Holland Lop rabbits by a friend of his that no longer wanted them. He asked if we could take them so he could try out a little rabbit business.
I’ve also been thinking about raising rabbits as a meat source so I was game to try it. Holland Lops are more of a pet rabbit than a meat breed, but at least we could see how keeping rabbits went – dip our feet into the rabbit world. So we agreed and picked the rabbits up last Saturday.
The girls have beautiful coloring and friendly temperaments, though they haven’t been handled much. They arrived in a small metal cage so we set to work making a plan for a hutch.
I looked at a lot of resources online and decided I liked the raised hutch. Benefits of this design are ease of collecting their manure from underneath, ease of access for care since it sits near waist height, and metal hardware cloth prevents chewing and digging to keep bunnies in and predators out.
We went to Home Depot, Lowe’s and Tractor Supply before finding all that we needed, then set to work.
The basics of the design are 4×4 posts in the corners and midway across the long sides, 4ft in the front and 3.5ft in back to create a slope. Then we built a box of 2x4x10s about 2ft off the ground. We added supports in the middle for the roof and floor then started lining everything with hardware cloth. We decided on 2ft wide doors and added pieces to divide the front wall for the doors, filling in the hardware cloth on the front last. Finally, we covered the roof with some pieces of hard corrugated plastic that Josh had saved from some water tanks he cut up for firewood storage.
I had a nice shady spot picked out in the garden where nothing much ever grows so we carried it out and set it in place on concrete blocks.
We chose to use untreated wood so if the bun buns do chew anything they wouldn’t get poisoned. Might need a coat of paint, but again I worry about poisoning them.
We left this one open in the middle for the two does to cohabitate but we can add a divider in the middle eventually for when they are nesting.
I added some straw to cover the wire a bit to give their little feet a rest and give them something to nest into when it’s cooler. We also got a new feeder and water bottle.
The plan is to see how this one goes for a few weeks then build a second hutch for an eventual buck and weaned babies.
If anyone has a lead on a Holland Lop buck or is interested in baby rabbits let us know!
We’re proud of Oliver’s burgeoning interest in starting a little business of his own and looking forward to seeing how the project grows.
2 thoughts on “New Furry Friends at the Farm”
I’m a bunny fan too! They are beautiful!! I hope they give you loads of snuggles. Congratulations!
Looks a lot like the hutches Jeremy’s girlfriend built for their rabbits, she’s been raising meat/fur rabbits for about 10 yrs now. Used rabbit food makes great fertilizer! Good luck, Oliver!