Outdoor rabbits need a hutch, which provides a safe, secure living environment. This basic but essential item is available in a variety of sizes and styles, offering different benefits and features. Understanding the types of rabbit hutches and important aspects to consider, enables you to purchase the right habitat for your rabbit, helping it achieve a long and healthy life.
Rabbit Hutch Size
The rabbit hutch size is the most important consideration. Rabbits require lots of space to move around. If you get your rabbit as a baby, take into account how big it grows as it matures. Rabbits need to take at least four full hops across the length of the hutch, so for small breeds, such as a dwarf lop or Netherland dwarf, the minimum hutch length is 180 cm. Rabbits must be able to stretch out fully in every direction, so for small breeds, you require a minimum width of 60 cm, and large breeds need a hutch width of at least 90 cm. If you have multiple rabbits, you require a larger hutch. Rabbits like to stretch and stand on their back legs, so the rabbit hutch must be tall enough to allow the rabbit to stretch up on its hind legs, with a minimum height of 60 cm for small breeds and 90 cm for large breeds. If you do not provide an adequately proportioned cage, you cause depression, muscle atrophy, stunted growth, and spinal problems.
Additional Exercise Space
In addition to its living quarters, your rabbit needs plenty of room for daily exercise to avoid obesity and muscle wastage. A hutch attached to a rabbit run is the ideal solution, as your rabbit has access to the outdoors whenever it wants. The rabbit run must be tall enough to allow your rabbit to stand up on its hind legs, and must provide ample space for it to run around, eat grass and weeds, and explore. Most rabbit runs have a wire mesh and durable wood construction, keeping your rabbit safe and secure, while not restricting airflow and sunlight.
Accessorising Your Rabbit Hutch
An empty hutch is no good for a rabbit. These curious little creatures require a number of accessories. Your rabbit needs bedding in the form of hay, Timothy hay, or straw, as well as an additional layer of sawdust across the bottom of the hutch. The sawdust and straw bedding provides a comfortable, insulated sleeping environment and also a good source of fibre. The hutch must also have a rabbit water bottle, usually attached to the outside, with the spout poking through the wire mesh. A food bowl and toys keep your pet stimulated. Provide treats and an herb or salt wheel for further nutrition. In the winter, cover the hutch with a heavy blanket or vinyl hutch cover to keep your rabbit protected against low temperatures and also to prevent the water bottle from freezing.