Step by Step process on how to make hay racks for a rabbit cage or hutch

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making hay racks for Rabbits

July 18, 2019

We use a few different ways to feed our rabbits hay.  Hay is the most important part of a rabbit diet along with a good balanced rabbit pellet and fresh water. With angora rabbits, it is a struggle to keep their coat/wool clean as they grow out. Hay can get caught in their fur and cause tangles and matting. Then when hay gets wet, it even stains the fur. We have two favorite ways to feed hay to our rabbits.  One way is by attaching a hanging wire basket to the outside of their cage. If they have a cage or hutch that is made of wire (which is what is recommended for the angora breed), it is easy for them to reach through and grab a strand of hay from the rack. The mess is on the outside of the cage and not falling on the inside of the cage.

We have taken pictures of the stages in making these hay racks.  You can use several things to make hay racks and different suppliers sell these but we found it most economical to make them with as many rabbits as we house.  You can also adjust the size and make it as small, wide, tall, narrow, or big as you want! These are homemade and look homemade but the rabbits are happy so we are happy with them! I sat in the house on a cold day at my craft table and made about 20 of them this day.  I thought it might be helpful to just take pictures along the way and share for anyone that might find it useful. Kids can even do this job. Just grab a pair of garden gloves as the wire can cut or hurt your hands.

The above photo is of the two sizes I have made.  Give or take an inch, you can make it to suit your cage or number of rabbits in a cage.  For litters, I like to make longer ones that stretch across the cage more.

The first step is to make sure you have all the supplies needed:

  • 1 x 1 inch of welded wire or whatever wire you feel is best. Too small of squares will prevent the rabbits from being able to pull hay through.  Too big of holes might make you have more waste.
  • J clips to hold it together and even can be used to attach to hutch​
  • J clip pliers
  • Tin snips or wire cutters of some sort
  • pliers to bend wire and fix sharp cut ends to not poke you or rabbits
  • ​some kind of gloves to protect your hands

When you cut your wire, you should be able to get two or three racks from one clear cut across the wire.  When I am making the smaller size rack, I count 11 boxes and cut on the 12th row all the way across.  This piece then, can be divided into three sections.  

One section turns out to be approximately 11 x 7 inches or squares wide, then you bend into place.  The first picture below is of this piece cut and ready to begin. Next, follows each stage in the process of making these racks in order.

1. Take your first cut section that you divided and start by removing the bottom corners
2. After you have cut the bottom corners, it will look like the photo above.  Then you will want to bend the wire into place and secure with a J-clip.
3. Bend the sides and bottom towards each other.
4. Set your wire in the position you want it to stay
5. Use pliers to line up the wires where you secure them with a J-clip.
6. Now attach your J-clip to hold the side to the bottom (on both sides).
This is how the corners should look on both bottom sides.
7. Sharp exposed wires on the bottom need to be bent so not to cut or poke you or your bunny.
8. Use  pliers to bent inward all the exposed sharp wires on the bottom.

9. I only do the bottom and top of the rack this way.  I leave the sides because I can use them to attach to my cages.
After bending the exposed wires inward, this is what it should look like.
Notice, sides are not done this way. Only do the sides the same way if you want to use something else to attach them to the hutch/cage (j clips or zip ties).

This is a view from the top of the hay rack after completed.

I wanted to get pictures of how to hang the rack on a cage but this cage is not where I wanted the rack.  It is just warmer in the house right now and this cage is right next to where I am working lol.

So I am showing you below how to attach the rack but it was not actually attached properly.  Also, I did not want hay in it so I stuffed it with tissue paper and removed the tissue paper as soon as I finished taking the photo.

I am using pliers to pull the exposed sharp wire ends around the wire cage and hooking to attach.
If you don't like the exposed wire as a way to attach the rack to the cage, you can bend them like I did earlier in this process (like on the bottom flap) and just use J-clips  or zip ties to secure the rack to the cage or hutch.
Hopefully this helps someone in need of a cheap hay rack for their rabbitry!

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