Building a Rabbit Tractor Out of PVC Pipe

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.

Parts Needed:

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.

Tools Needed:

Wire cutter
Hacksaw or PVC pipe cutter
Drill

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****

https://whendidthisbecomeafarm.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/more-pvc-rabbit-tractors/

https://whendidthisbecomeafarm.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/pvc-rabbit-tractor-improvements/

The full size lids make it easier to take the rabbits in and out of the tractors and provide more shade for them.

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19 thoughts on “Building a Rabbit Tractor Out of PVC Pipe

  1. Looks great – I’m sure it would work for my chickens too!

  2. Wish you had posted prices for the items. This looks great! I’d love to have two or three of these!

  3. Those look great! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Very nice! This is going on my to-do list, one for the bunny and one for the hens. Thanks!

    • LuckyRobin says:

      Thanks. If there is one change I would make, though, it is to make the lid cove rat least 2/3 of the top so that if you need to get inside to get them back out again, you can do so easily. Mine like to go to the far end and wait. My husband is going to change that for me when he comes home again in 10 days.

  5. […] can follow step by step instructions on When Did This Become A Farm blog, […]

  6. Nuru says:

    A bit late to the game; I love this idea and I am unquestionably going to nick it for my chicken breeding pens! (using the improved pvc roof panel version) But I would highly recommend using similarly gauged wire twisted around the sections instead of zip ties if you have certain predators that are of concern in your area (a raccoon would figure out how to chew off the plastic zipties in no time and most dogs would snap them just by pulling on the wire) it should be fine if it’s placed in a protected garden area however.

    • LuckyRobin says:

      We have slowly been replacing the zipties with j-clips over the last few months as we’ve been replacing the wooden lids with corrugated roofing panels. It’s just tedious and time-consuming. They are only used in a fenced area when I am at home and never at night. We only get raccoons and skunks at night. They are safely locked up in the rabbit shed before it gets dark.

  7. Tina says:

    Thank you for sharing. My son and I have been wanting to make a rabbit tractor for his bunnies for awhile. I was putting it off because I didn’t have a clear plan in my head. I like your PVC structure and since we have plenty of access to PVC scraps, this will work great for us.

    I also really like your improvements. We will use them!

  8. Victoria says:

    Hello! I have a few questions about your PVC tractors. Do you have any trouble with the pipe bending in the middle of the 6 foot tractors when you move them while “loaded up” with rabbits? Does the wire sag? have you had any escapes? Did you use these in winter and if so did you notice the PVC being more brittle and liable to break when moved during the winter? How quickly do your litters graze an area down? Have you seen any injuries from the wire, moving, zip ties or cohabitation(same sex or otherwise)?
    Thank you!
    Victoria

    • LuckyRobin says:

      I don’t move them while the rabbits are in them. The rabbits stay in one spot all day, which is how long it takes them to graze the area, and then go back to their cages for the night. These are not something they should be left in overnight. If they eat the area down sooner than in a day, which is rare, I give them some hay, and they always have access to pellets. The next morning the tractors are moved to a new location. The wire hasn’t sagged so far. No, I’ve never had any escapes. No, I don’t use them in winter because the ground is either mud or snow here. We use them only in good weather. No, I’ve never had any injuries, but we are careful to make sure that there is nothing on the inside that could hurt them. So far the PVC is in good shape, but I check it over at least once a month.

  9. Mickey says:

    That looks great and I’m going to make one with my son this winter for inside, then take it outside for spring. Thx for all the info. Il write back with a pic when done.

  10. Bev Thompson says:

    My only issue would be, how did you go with removing the rabbits from the tractors? As I could see them hopping down to the far end out of reach. maybe a door at each end would combat this issue?

    • LuckyRobin says:

      My son just stepped inside and scooped them up and stepped back over if they pulled that, but most of them didn’t. If I were to build them over again I think I would only make them 18 inches high instead of 24 inches high.

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