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outdoor rabbits


A hutch should only be a shelter and not the only living space. It should be a very nice solid well built, big hutch, of at least six feet, and attached to a secure run of at least 8' x 4'. Please bear in mind that these recommendations are all minimums - and like many things in life, bigger is better! (from RWAF)

updated Jan 2014:
Since 2013, I like sheds even better for living spaces with runs attached. You can go inside the shed even in bad weather, and visit with the bunnies, they are easier to clean & insulate, absolutely safe, and also a much better investment. And you can easily lock them for security.

Our big run
s are ten & 12 feet long 6 feet wide. Our first run was built for us and we were naive in that it is only 4 feet tall. It is better to have the run be tall enough you can stand up in it or you will get a neck ache from bending over when cleaning it or visiting the rabbit. Our other runs are tall enough to stand upright in. A house inside the run needs to be big enough the rabbit can move around in it and make a bed in it. In winter, the bun will spend more time inside the house and it should be nice and roomy for this. Also it allows for more air to circulate in hotter weather. 

below photo: 1 foot square paving stones between the runs keep foxes from digging in, right photo: large run built on a deck with avairy panels around 3 sides and secure roof
All runs should be fox and predator proofed. This means paving stones to prevent foxes digging in around the outside or covering the entire inside floor (I also pave the inside of the runs where those bunnies love to dig), a foxproof top attached securely to the run (ours are a combination of barn roofing and welded wire mesh), the wire should be attached to the wood frame with secure metal staples and plenty of them to go around, and the structure should be strong enough to take something landing on top of it or pushing against it as well as high winds. Paving stones should be at least 300 x 300 mm. We also have used welded wire mesh around the runs 400 mm wide with flint stones spread across the top and big heavy rocks along the width to make it secure. If instead, you use welded wire buried under the run and attached securely to the bottom of the sides, you will not then need to pave around it, as nothing will be able to dig in. The run wire itself should be welded wire at least 16 gauge. The higher the number of gauge, the wimpier the wire. http://www.louispage.com/blog/bid/7075/Understanding-Wire-Gauges-Used-In-Welded-Woven-Wire-Mesh-Fence

Shade in summer is very important for outside buns. See rabbit health for how we provide shade.

more photos (January 2014) of some of our bunny housing: (click on photos to see them larger)
please note that the hutches are donated ones that we use as "rooms" inside the sheds or runs - we never shut them in them 
 
Sound expensive? What cost is protecting the life of an animal you love?  I do not know about you, but I prefer the animals I share my life with to be comfortable and happy. I protect my animals from danger - and it only takes one night for a fox to dig into a run. I feel that any one who has a "pet" is taking on the responsibility of another life and should honour that.

A RABBIT'S LIFE IS LIFE IN PRISON IF HE LIVES SHUT IN ONE OF THESE THINGS WITHOUT A PROPER RUN (the first one is not even proper shelter), NOT HAVING A BIG AREA TO RUN AND JUMP AND KNOW JOY:
  

 Maus showing joy in running and jumping for the first time in his life.