When we bought our house, one of the things that we loved was the beautiful antique New England barn. The 13 modular stalls over the years have housed a large variety of animals from horses to pigs to chickens to llamas and goats. But you don’t need a massive barn to build your own bunny barn! These ideas could be used to convert a shed, barn, horse stall, unused garage, or even a spare bedroom in your house.
For my female bunny barn, I chose one of the corner stalls to take advantage of the extra natural light & ventilation. There is a nice large window that has a wooden door I can shut from the outside, and the windows to the side are closed off when I close the main doors to the barn making it secure at night. Here is the stall when we moved in:
and this is where we ended up after we were done:
The bunny boys live in the stall next door. The stall is the same square footage but they don’t have a corner stall so there is only one window. They do have a side “window” that looks into the alpaca stalls which lets additional light in. Here is the boy’s stall when we finished
Safety & Basic Prep
First and foremost, you need to make the area safe. We have concrete floors, so predators digging in wasn’t a concern. I thoroughly checked the corners and walls for evidence of rotten wood where an animal could gain access or the rabbits could escape the stall. I decided to cover the lower half of the modular wall between the does & bucks with plywood just in case a rabbit decided to try and squeeze between the boards into the next stall for an unauthorized date.
The window in the doe stall was another concern. There was some old chicken wire across it. Many predators can rip or chew through chicken wire. I replaced the chicken wire with sturdy hardware cloth. There is a wooden exterior door that I can use to close up the window, but I knew in the summer I would want to leave the window open even at night so a secure screen was important. For the boy stall, their window is completely inside of the secure outdoor enclosure so we can leave that one open. In the winter we wrap the outdoor enclosure so snow & winds won’t blow into the boy’s stall.
Then I gave the stalls a good cleaning & pulled out the chicken coop that someone installed in the corner of the girl barn. I left the “floor” of the coop in place as a corner shelf for the bunnies. We installed a similar shelf and ramp in the boy barn.
We purchased 3/4 inch thick rubber floor mats – the kind you would put under gym equipment to cover the concrete floors. They are easy to sweep clean. I was worried they might chew the foam flooring but it’s been over two years now and there are a few chew marks on the edges but for the most part so far so good!
I wanted to brighten up the stalls so I painted the top a nice clean white. The outside of the barn is red with green trim. I used the green trim color for the lower half of the walls.
For the summertime, we got mountable barn fans that we hung from the ceilings. During the warm summer days it’s important to keep the air flowing and the fans run 24/7.
We purchased feed & water containers that could mount right to the walls. They are easy to remove for cleaning and keep the feed off the ground.
Each stall has a litter box with a hay manger hanging over it. The female stall has two litter boxes because we have more females than males. The rabbits get probably 80-90% of their poop & pee in the litter box which really cuts down on cleaning chores. They are naturally clean animals and are really easy to litter train! click here to learn about litter box training
It’s important to provide places for the rabbits to hide and have some cozy space. We have added items mostly just found around the house like a skirted chair, an old cat tower, cardboard boxes, cat tunnels, and pet beds.
The extra feed & hay is stored in a metal trash bin just outside the stalls. Open bags of feed can attract rodents, so it’s always a good idea to keep extra feed in metal bins they can’t chew through.
Lastly, we added Ring cameras in each of the stalls. I love going out and spending time with them, but I also love watching bunny TV. Right from my phone I can check on them anytime I want. It’s fun to see how they interact with each other when the humans aren’t around.
I found this great paper towel holder on Amazon that I mounted on the stall door. I use this to keep all my cleaning supplies handy – paper towels, a scraper, spray bottle, hand broom, & dustpan. I also keep some grooming supplies like a comb, grooming scissors, and nail clippers in there to make caring for the bunnies convenient.
Every day I use a broom to quickly sweep up any stray poops found outside the litter box and add them to the compost pile.
Once a week I use the spray bottle (filled with diluted vinegar or my special coop cleaner, click here to make it) and paper towels to wipe down any urine spray on the wall (mostly in the boy’s stall but sometimes the girls make a mess too!)
Year-round we scatter some straw or hay to give them fun digging & burrowing materials. I see them moving it around and piling it in corners. In the winter we add a lot more straw so they can make cozy beds.
Rabbits are curious and love exploring, so I have built some levels for them to explore with the shelves and ramps. In the girl barn, we used old outdoor rugs tacked to the ramp to give them traction. We didn’t have enough rugs for the boys so they got wooden “steps”. The rabbits don’t have any trouble navigating either one.
Most rabbits love tunnels, in the wild they would dig tunnels & burrows to live in. Pet rabbits enjoy having tunnels too! You can find pet tunnels at pet stores or online.
Our Bunny Barns wouldn’t be complete without a place for the humans to come & sit to spend time with the rabbits! We have human seating in both stalls.
Now for the cute stuff
I got lucky that we decorated in spring, right about the time HomeGoods had their Easter decor on clearance. I was able to score some adorable bunny-themed decorations for very cheap!
One of my favorite scores was a cute fabric Easter tablecloth for $5. The tablecloth material was used to make the valance for the window. I also wanted to cover the prison-like bars at the top separating the two stalls. Whenever possible, I used the factory hemmed edges of the tablecloth so there was minimal sewing. Sew some twine loops to the valances & hang them on nails over the windows. This makes the curtains easy to take down for washing occasionally.
I searched Etsy for rabbit prints I could print myself. For just a couple of dollars, you can purchase a downloadable drawing and print it yourself in whatever size works for you. Pop them in a frame and you have very affordable artwork!
The boys needed something a little more “manly” for their bachelor barn. They have the classic “Dogs Playing Poker” artwork that I found printed on a tin sign on Etsy as well as some little metal bunnies. Their stall already had some really interesting angles and crossbeams. Perfect for a little “buck cave”.
Rabbits love to have space to run and jump and do other rabbit things. While their stalls are spacious, I really wanted to be able to provide them with outdoor access as well. We built a large secure enclosure just outside their stalls. We built the frame out of 2x3s and covered the walls, roof, and entire floor with 1/2 inch hardware cloth. This keeps them totally safe from predators and ensures they can’t dig out. We divided the run with solid plywood for the boys & girls. Males can sometimes fight to “show off” when females are around so I didn’t want them to be able to see each other. The bucks can access their part of the enclosure through their window. The does’ window didn’t work for that configuration so we cut a small access opening in the wall for them.
We scattered hay in the enclosure to cover the wire floor. Both the boys & girls have some hollowed-out logs for climbing and enclosed places to shelter if they want it.