It may be surprising to learn that there are still quite a number of people who dive into getting a pet rabbit without being properly informed about the type of housing they should acquire for their new pets. Or perhaps they were given a rabbit, or a pair of rabbits, as a gift. Either way, education and dedication are necessary to ensure a long, happy and healthy life, and is starts with the housing. Rabbit hutches are basically shelters---homes---for pet rabbits. It serves to protect rabbits, as well as other animals like guinea pigs and ferrets, from small predators such as foxes and cats. A sturdy, good quality rabbit hutch is important to have if you are serious about having a rabbit as a pet. Since many pet rabbits, when taken proper care of, live as long as 15 years, the hutch you provide them should be ensure their safety and health. Hutches come in a variety of style.
Depending on your budget, location, and space, you can opt to get a basic solitary, an elevated one, a double-decker, a triple-decker, and a deluxe double with run. The type of rabbit hutch you pick should depend on the number of rabbits you plan to have. The smallest size acceptable for two small rabbits is 150 cm x 60 cm floor area by 60 cm tall. In case you have, or plan to have two large rabbits, floor area must be a minimum of 185 cm x 90 cm by 90 cm tall. According to the Rabbit Welfare Association and the Bobtails Rabbit and Guinea Pig Rescue, the largest rabbit rescue in the UK, rabbit hutches should be large enough for a rabbit hop 3-4 times without hitting its and to stand up on its hind legs to look about its immediate environment. It must also not force the rabbit to hunch over or fold its ears against the roof. If possible, the RWA recommends that hutches be equipped with either a rabbit run or quick access to a play and exercise space. Install a drip feed bottle with a metal spout on the hutch. This is one of the best methods for providing clean potable water since dirt and other matters cannot get into the water.
Rabbits need plenty of water, so make sure rabbit hutches are equipped with a full and properly operational drip feed bottle. In the rabbit’s sleeping area, provide a clean layer of dust-free wood chippings or biodegradable wood litter. This adds warmth to their home and has the added benefit of soaking up urine. A layer of newspaper will also do the trick. If you have access to soft hay (without the seeds), this is also a great addition to rabbit hutches because rabbits can bed and burrow in it. If no hay is available, shredded paper can be a good alternative. For hutches that are placed outdoors, care should be taken in terms of protecting the rabbit from extreme weather conditions and predators. Rabbit hutches should be weatherproof, elevated and placed away from direct sunlight and strong winds.