Rabbit keeping is one of the most critical activities that is becoming increasingly famous in many homes. Before bringing a new rabbit at home, it is imperative to set up a cage that will operate well according to the unique needs of the rabbit. Are you worried about how to get a cage for your rabbits at this time of COVID-19? You are at the right place. I will take you through simple guidelines on how to convert dog crates into rabbit pens to prevent incurring expenses of purchasing new models.
The preparation of rabbit cages out of dog crate ensures sufficient space for food and water storage and upright sitting without crouching. Therefore, I welcome all esteemed customers into our website to get more information on why Dog crates can be an excellent alternative to the bunny cage.
How to make a rabbit cage from a dog crate
The following are simple instructions to follow when converting a dog crate to the rabbit cage. The guidelines base on my cage; therefore, you need to adjust your costs and dimensions to suit your pen.
- Dog crate (1)
- Shelves cut from MDF (3). Do not use chipboard
- Timber baton of with 2x6ft length
- Bolts with nuts (15). You must show the bolts through the next side of the baton by 0.5 inches.
- Large washers (15). The washers should be large enough to span across many cage bars.
- Small washers (15). The washers should be lower than the baton width
- Wooden dowel pegs (2). Each dowel peg should be approximately 1inch long.
- Screws. They must be plenty and long enough to pass through the shelf into the baton.
- At least eight carpet tiles.
- Carpet tile glue. (1 small pot)
- Sufficient short notes of cable ties.
- Tiny wood glue.
- A pencil
- Spanner. Choose the one that can fit the nuts properly.
- Tape measure.
- Electric drill and screwdriver bits
- A saw for cutting shelves into small size.
Measure the dog cage
Measuring a dog cage is essential. Across the 2 levels, I chose to have 3 shelves. One with large L shape to cut across the left side of the pen into with the second shelf fits and running against the back of the cage. The third shelf fits through the right side of the cage with a slightly higher level.
Notably, it is crucial to think about the size of your cage and the cost of the shelve widths and the amount of space needed under the shelves.
I measured the cage length and divided it into three sections since I knew how to make my end shelves wide while leaving enough space between them. Then measured the shelf running through the back of that can meet the left-hand side of the full length of the rabbit cage.
Choose the sitting position of the shelf
Choose the position where the shelf can sit comfortably. It is important to remember that each shelf requires to sit slightly higher above the horizontal bar.
Rabbits can access my top shelf by jumping from the lower shelf onto it comfortably without much struggle. However, it is essential to create a ramp for easy accessibility to the bottom shelf. Therefore, using your tape, measure from the ground where you need to place the lowest shelf.
Similarly, ensure to create a ramp with the right angle that is not steep too for climbing of the rabbit. Remember to take all inside measurements of the cage to allow enough space all around the shelf for simple fitness.
Attach the baton to shelves
Once you have measured your shelves and cut into the desired size, you can, therefore, attach the baton. However, it is necessary to confirm their fitness by holding them inside the cage.
The attachment procedure involves cutting a piece of the baton for every side of the shelf that can touch the side of the cage. Remember to do this for every shelf.
Screw the baton
Screw every baton onto which it will be the underside of the shelf. Remember to leave enough space from one screw to the next of at least 4 inches. Accordingly, the edges should line up neatly on the side that is touching the cage. Ensure neat line up for both end of the shelves except the shelf running along the back of your age. This shelf requires a baton on the two edges which touch the cage while the other edge of the model touches another shelf.
The shelf is now ready for the attachment to the cage by inserting a bolt across the baton under the proper lined up shelf. You should begin the attachment with the highest shelf, followed by the second shelf, then finally the lowest shelf.
Guidelines of shelves touching the cage
The following are guidelines involving sides of shelves touching the cage only:
Here you need to drill holes for the bolts that merely smaller than the bolts themselves. This ensures tight holding of the bolt to prevent spinning loosely in the hole. Remember to use a smaller drill than the large one in making holes since you can always increase the size of the hole if the bolt is not able to screw in.
Hold the shelf in position inside the cage by ensuring that smooth running of the horizontal bar of your cage in the middle of the baton. Use a pencil in marking the areas where you require to drill and place the bolts. Make the holes where larger washer may span through the horizontal bar of the cage and at least 1 vertical cage bar.
1st shelf (lower left)
Use the electric drill to make 2 holes on the two small parts of the shelf only since there is a door on this phase of the cage that still requires to be useful. Place the holes evenly, and the drilling must occur in between the screws used in connecting the baton to the shelf.
2nd shelf (long back)
You require to make 4 holes on one long side of the shelf, touching the position of the cage. Ensure evenly spacing of the holes, and you should drill in between the screws, which are connecting baton to the shelf.
3rd shelf (higher right)
You need to drill two holes on two small parts of the shelf, followed by three holes to the long side. Ensure evenly spacing of the holes and also remember to make them in between the screw used in fixing your baton to the shelf.
Fix the third shelf
Hold shelf 3 inside the cage and ensure the holes drilled to line up directly above the horizontal cage bar. Put 1 large washer on one bolt and screw it into the baton without tightening it fully. The large washer should span through the flat bar of the cage and one vertical cage bar. Carry out the same procedure for every hole made on the shelf.
Place one small washer at the back of the bolt, followed by a nut on it. Keep holding the spanner in position using a spanner while tightening the bolt fully. Carry out the same procedure for every bolt on the shelf.
Fix the first shelf
Hold shelf 1 in position and screw in bolts just the same as step 6.
Fix the second shelf
Hold shelf 2 in position and follow procedure 6 in screwing bolts to make a complete cage for the rabbits.
Now you should have your bolts in place and shelves fully tightened, followed by a massive push on the shelves to confirm that they are secure because this is the best way I have secured my models, and actually, they are very stable and tight.
Create a rabbit ramp
Plane down one edge of the baton and another edge of the ramp. To the underside of the lower shelf front, add another piece of the baton.
Next to the edge of the shelf, hold the ramp in position and plane down the ramp edge for proper fitting to the sides of the shelf.
When the angle for both baton and the ramp fits, screw the baton to the inside of the shelf and remember to angle 1inch overhang for the ramp to fit appropriately.
Attach wooden dowel to the ramp
You should now attach the wooden dowels onto the ramp for easy accessibility, waste removal, and simple cleaning of the cage.
Measure and mark 1 inch of the ramp angle edge and make a shallow hole that is tightly small than wooden dowel pegs. Squirt a little wood glue in both holes and hammer the dowel through each hole while wiping off excess glue.
Measure the width of the ramp
Measure the width of the ramp with the baton angle edge attached to the underside of the shelf. Mark 1 inch and make a hole in each mark for better slotting of the dowel pegs. Notably, the holes require to be slightly larger than the wooden dowel peg for it to fit correctly.
Cover the cage with cable ties.
The last thing you need to do is going around with the cable ties around the outer cage edges for the security of rabbits against predators.
Creating a rabbit cage from a dog crate is one of the perfect decision to make since it is economical. Accordingly, the dog crate makes a cheaper and excellent alternative to a bunny cage. Similarly, the price of a large crate for a dog is half the cost of a rabbit cage with the same size. The dog crate also comes with an extra height providing plenty of space for shelf expansion. Therefore, customers need to follow simple instructions discussed above to enable them to create the best model at a low cost.