Michigan gardener and handyman Robert Moulder enjoys raising rabbits, but he doesn’t like confining them in hutches. A few years ago, he came up with the idea of attaching small hutches to old lawn mowers so he could move the critters around easily to fresh grass and weeds.
“The portable hutches are very easy to make, and I use all scrap materials,” Moulder says. “I picked up a bunch of old mowers and removed the motors. That leaves a nice platform to mount the hutch on a movable chassis.”
For some of his hutches Moulder bolted an old metal filing cabinet to the top of the mower chassis. On others he built a simple box. He cuts an access door in the top so he can lift bunnies in and out and tend to feed and water. The hutches are bedded with dry hay, and he also has a small feeder for pellets inside the hutch. An opening at the front allows rabbits to enter cages so they can “graze” on grass and weeds.
“If the bunnies get too warm in the summer, I shade the hutches and cages with canvas,” says Moulder.
He moves the hutches once a day so the rabbits always have fresh grass and forage. That reduces feed pellet consumption 50 percent. Each mobile hutch holds two or three rabbits. They feed out 15 rabbits each summer.
Moulder and his wife are vendors at the local farmers market, and they often take one of their portable hutches and a few bunnies to their produce stand. “They’re a big hit with the kids and adults,” says Moulder. “It’s a good way to get some attention and have people notice the produce we have to sell.”
Reprinted with permission from FARM SHOW Magazine, www.FarmShow.com.