Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How To Build a Rabbit Cage from a Dog Crate

My boys decided they wanted another rabbit. I'm OK with that, but I am not OK with shelling out $50.00 for another cage from Tractor Supply. They are flimsy and we had to redesign them to open from the top anyway. The itty-bitty side door just doesn't work for us.  If you look closely at the picture below you can see where we made hinge doors on top. 
To re-purpose your dog crate into a rabbit cage, you will first need to get your supplies. 

A good steel pair of J-Clip Pliers and wire cutters. {Don't buy the cheap aluminum ones or they will break in the first two minutes.}
J-clips and/or zip ties.
Heavy-duty wire. Once again, don't waste your time on the cheap stuff. I'd advise getting the 1 in x 0.5 in wire. Otherwise, your rabbits foot could get stuck.
First, I took a ruler and measured the length and width of the cage. Then, I cut the wire to fit. This was a bit confusing because the wire fit perfectly on the sides of the cage and could be easily J-clipped. Yet, it was either too short or too long on the front and back. I decided to cut it short as it is only a fraction too small on either side and there is no danger to the bunny. As a result, my J-clips weren't long enough to connect the wire bottom to the front and back of the cage, so I zip-tied them. It worked great. 
After I had the wire in, I realized that if I had zip-tied the wire in all the way around I would have been able to move the cage floor up to the next horizontal bar and allow a larger space between the tray and the cage floor. The bar I used  to secure the floor to is the single horizontal bar closest to the bottom of the cage and J-clips will wrap around the wire and the single bar. The horizontal bar above the one I used is a double row of bars and you can't J-clip around that with my small clips. That wouldn't be an issue with zip-ties as you can adjust them to any size you need. Next time, I think I'll just go with the zip-ties and leave a bigger gap at the bottom. 

 Either way, it works. My tray still easily slides out and the rabbit is a good distance away from any waste that may land in the bottom. Though our rabbits are litter box trained, they still have an accident sometimes. How high you raise the floor is just a matter of preference. Do which ever you wish.
I hope this is helpful to some of you out there. Let me know if you have any questions!

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