Easy to Make Rigid Wire Mesh Garden Rabbit Run.

Posted in E books, Gardening Tips, how to features, recycling re-using projects on July 10th, 2013 by John Coxon

RABBIT HEALTH AND SAFETY

We will be bunny sitting the school rabbits over the summer holidays as the person who usually takes them home to care for them cannot have them this year. They have lent us their hutch but it was down to me to sort out a run for them in the garden.

It is not enough and simply cruel, I think,  to  keep rabbits in a hutch all the time- Rabbits need to run, jump, stretch up, dig and forage –so if you have a stretch of lawn you can make a run giving your bunnies plenty of space to exercise while keeping them safe. (You should never feed grass cuttings to rabbits- it will make them ill- let them graze and nibble at live grass leaves)

I have made runs in the past , making a framework from rough-sawn roofing laths ( 2” x 1”) timber lengths then attached chicken wire to the frame using galvanised small staples.  But recently had a great idea to make one far more easily and quickly.  You can actually buy runs made from rigid steel mesh that simply clip together to create a big wire box but suppliers tend to charge a lot for this option but I found some easily sourced materials locally and bought it second hand for a mere £10.

PLEASE CLICK ON ANY IMAGE FOR A LARGER VIEW

Heras rigid wire mesh Temporary consturction site Security Fencing

Heras rigid wire mesh Temporary consturction site Security Fencing

My idea came from this material- the “Heras” temporary fencing panels used by builders to help secure construction sites. A rigid galvanised mesh is welded to a light alloy tubing framework – the panels are roughly £20 each to buy new but you can get them second hand as I was able to locally. When the wire mesh is separated from the tubular frame it is rigid enough to stand upright.

Now you could separate the mesh using a hack saw but that is hard  relatively slow work! I used a small angle grinder with a metal cutting wheel and that cut through both the tubing and the mesh like cheese.

small angle grinder with metal cutting disk

small angle grinder with metal cutting disk

Having separated the mesh from the frame with the angle grinder I was left with a length of mesh roughly ten feet by six feet. This I was able to cut down to two ten foot lengths twenty one inches high ( two meshes high) tall enough to prevent a bunny jumping over it. You could of course cut down these into five foot lengths to make a square sided enclosure held together by cable ties.

Angle grinder makes light work of cutting wire mesh and leaving no sharp edges.

Angle grinder makes light work of cutting wire mesh and leaving no sharp edges.

I opted for a circular run as I quite liked the organic shape. I have not yet made a mesh roof for my run since , when the rabbits are in their run I’ll be out in the garden pottering as usual. (I may use fruit netting over my structure to keep out predatory cats and the occasional sparrow hawk.) As a keen gardener and having grown my lawn from seed, I prefer the wire mesh over a wooden framed run since the latter will damage and mark the lawn whereas the wire mesh has minimum contact with the ground and won’t cause unsightly yellowed grass strips.

Easy to cut through the galvanised tube frame work and to separate the mesh.

Easy to cut through the galvanised tube frame work and to separate the mesh.

I was left with a handful of short straight lengths of rigid wire and a simple job to bend the ends over in your hand to make a few pegs to secure the structure to the ground.

rigid wire lengths worth keeping for other small jobs and making pegs

rigid wire lengths worth keeping for other small jobs and making pegs

simple to make by bending wire lenghts to shape by hand to keep the run sections in place on the lawn.

simple to make by bending wire lengths to shape by hand to keep the run sections in place on the lawn.

 

 

wire mesh sections ready for forming the run - held together with cable ties.

wire mesh sections ready for forming the run – held together with cable ties.

 

finished rabbit run in place aximumising play and exercise space for the rabbits.

finished rabbit run in place maximising play and exercise space for the rabbits.

 

 

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