Here is a tutorial for the rabbit tractors we built. Supplies listed are for making two tractors that are approximately six feet long, two feet wide, and two feet tall. I am able to drag them myself or lift them with the help of my son. They are a lot lighter than wooden ones, but still pretty solid. And they were very easy to make. You may need to sand the edges of your boards. Total cost of supplies was $102. It may cost less in your area. We have a pretty high sales tax.
8 pieces of 1″ PVC pipe 10 feet long
16 1″ PVC fittings (side outlet elbow) to make the corners
Minimum 13′ of 3″x2″ grid wire 36″ wide
3 roles of 1″x1″ grid wire 15′ long and 24″ wide
2 boards 3″x2’x3/8″ for attaching door to PVC (have cut at store)
2 boards 2’x2’x1/4″ for a door/sun shade (have cut at store)
2 sets of 2 hinges to attach door
8 bolts 2″ long with wing nuts
8″ cable ties (lots) the black ones are more expensive but don’t break down with UV.
Hacksaw or PVC pipe cutter
Rather than spending a lot of time calculating how deep the PVC goes into the fitting and how much of the fitting does not have PVC in it, round to whole numbers and figure it will be close enough.
The tractors will be about 2’x2’x6′. Cut 2 feet off of each end of each of the 10′ pipe. You should be left with 8 sections of six foot pipe and 16 sections of 2 foot pipe.
Make a rectangle using 2 of the 6 foot long pipes, 2 of the 2 foot long pipes, and 4 of the side outlet elbows. The position of the third hole in the elbow should go up.
Add a two foot pipe to each corner.
Make another rectangle using 2 of the 6 foot long pipes, 2 of the 2 foot long pipes, and 4 of the side outlet elbows. The position of the third hole in the elbow should go down.
Attach the second rectangle on top of the 4 2 foot long pipes.
Lay out the 3 foot by 2 foot grid wire with about four inches of wire extending past each end.
Attach the wire to the pipe with cable ties. Just do enough to secure it while you are building the rest of the tractor.
Center a fifteen foot one inch by one inch piece of grid wire on one of the two foot square sides and pull tight, attaching every twelve inches or so, wrapping around the rectangle, ending a few inches past the pipes. Attach wire to end pipes.
Cut one piece of fifteen foot one inch by one inch piece of grid wire in half. Starting at the base of the open square, attach wire and wrap up and across the top of the rectangle. You will want to leave a two foot by two foot opening at the far end so cut off extra wire (about 9 inches) or fold it back.
Place your three inch by two foot long board on one of the unwired corners depending on which way you want the lid to open, to the left or to the right. Drill three holes along the long side of the board and the corresponding section of pipe and then drill one hole on the short end of the board and the corresponding section of pipe. Match up the holes in the board with the holes in the pipe. Slide 4 bolts into each hole coming out the far side of the pipe. Put a wing nut on the end of each bolt and tighten it into place.
Attach the two foot by two foot piece of wood for the door to the other piece of wood with hinges. It should rest on the far side pipe when closed.
Secure the door shut with a brick or rock heavy enough to keep it closed but not so heavy you break the door or you can add some kind of lock to it. Or drill a hole in it and secure it with a twisted piece of wire.
Add cable ties to finish securing the wire to the frame. We put one about every four to six inches. When doing the bottom and the top make sure the cable ties goes through both pieces of wire. Either snip off the extra bit of cable ties or make sure they are pointed out of the tractor so that the rabbits don’t try to chew on them, because they will.
Add rabbits. You are done.
We will use a tarp when necessary to provide extra shade on half of the tractors or to provide shelter on windy days or if it starts raining on an overcast day, they have somewhere to go while I make it out to them. I would not leave rabbits in this overnight. It is not meant to be a place for them to live in, just a place for them to play and eat grass for a few hours each day that it is nice enough to be out.
*****Please see the following posts for improvements on these tractors****
The full size lids make it easier to take the rabbits in and out of the tractors and provide more shade for them.