Building a Lawn Tractor for Rabbits

Ryan built a lawn tractor for us last year after we got our first rabbits. We‘d had our first litter, and knew they couldn’t stay with their mom much longer. They get so big so fast, and accumulate A LOT of poop – especially when you’re using stacking cages!

So Ryan got to work building a tractor, and it’s been a fantastic addition to our homestead!

Benefits of Using a Lawn Tractor

We really like using rabbit tractors because it cuts down on our feed costs while simultaneously fertilizing our lawn. Our lawn died pretty early this year from the heat wave we had last month, but I still move the rabbits at least once a day to give them clean ground. I throw in some hay and garden greens every day to make up for the current lack of grass. Hopefully our lawn will come back nice and lush next year so the rabbits have plenty to graze on!

We also like using rabbit tractors for our grow-outs because it allows them more room to run and play. They can dig a little bit, get more sunshine, and live happy lives before their big day comes.

The Build

It’s been great to have a place to let our litters grow out and enjoy fresh grass every day. We decided it would be good to have another tractor to rotate our breeders through to let them enjoy the grass too, or to split up large litters.

This time, I wanted to build the rabbit tractor all by myself! Ryan showed me how to use the tools, and I ordered some materials. All of the wood I used was scrap wood from other projects that we had lying around.

The tractor Ryan built is a little tall (3 feet), and on the heavier side so it can be a challenge to move and get rabbits out of it. After looking online for different builds people made, I settled on a design by Tiffany of Teal Stone Homestead.

I used all of her measurements and instructions for the frame, but made a few changes to other parts based on preferences or materials I already had on hand. I’m not going to list any specific measurements here because I think Tiffany does a great job of that in her blog post and accompanying video, which I’ll link to at the end of this post. Be sure to check it out!

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My completed rabbit tractor! I opted not to paint mine.

The Lid

For my tractor lid, I used PVC roofing panels (paid link) instead of metal. I bought two 2x8ft sheets and cut them down to 6ft. I had to lay them on top of one another to get the 3ft width I needed, but I think it worked out well. The plastic panels were pretty cheap and much lighter than the metal panels. 

Next time though, I think I'll just change the measurement of my tractor to 2x8ft so I don't have to cut the roofing panels.

The Den

For my den, I just used some thin plywood that I had lying around. I measured it out to the size I wanted, and added a couple more 2×2’s to give me something to screw the front piece of plywood to. The bottom front is open so the rabbits have the option to sit up on the shelf, or stay on the ground underneath the shelf. I used 6 inch 2×4’s to support the shelf in the den, which is just a piece of thicker plywood we had on hand. 

 I left the bottom 6 inches open so the rabbits can also crawl in under the shelf if they choose.

My measurements were about an inch off, so my shelf isn’t cut to a perfect rectangle, but it still works. It rests on top of the 6 inch 2×4’s so I can easily remove it to clean or replace it.  

I opted to attach my plywood to the outside of the tractor instead of the inside.

The Handles

Instead of cotton rope, I used some gate handles (paid link). I like the cotton rope idea, but there wasn’t any available at my local store. And I think my rabbits would just chew it up.

Gate handles were a great alternative. I installed two handles on one side, and later added one more to the opposite side.  

I also added a handle to the lid next to my latch to make it easier to open.

The Bottom Wire

For the bottom of my tractor, I left the inside completely open and attached 6 inches of hardware cloth (paid link) to the outside perimeter instead of the inside. We have it set up this way on our other tractor, and so far it has helped keep predators out and rabbits in. The rabbits also can’t pee and poop on it as easily this way, and it’s much easier to clean. We can just hose it off, rather than having to flip the whole tractor over.  

If you look closely at the ground, you can see the hardware cloth I added to the bottom perimeter of the tractor.

Staples Instead of Lath Screws

I tried to attach my hardware cloth via lath screws like Tiffany does, but it was giving me a hard time. I just didn’t have the patience for it. Ryan used a staple gun to attach the hardware cloth to our other tractor, so that’s what I ended up doing for this one too. It went much faster that way!

That’s it for the changes I made. For specific measurements and instructions, be sure to visit Tiffany’s blog post!

how to build a rabbit tractor

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