Guide written by:
Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter
If you plan on buying or adopting a rabbit, you will need a hutch. Planning on keeping several? You will need a set of hutches to separate males, females and young rabbits. Additionally, a range of accessories is required for the comfort and well-being of your animals, including feeding bowls and litter trays. Read on for our tips.
Choosing a hutch for your pet rabbit
Rabbits can be kept as pets or bred professionally. In either case, these soft and furry creatures deserve a nice place to live. But don't forget about their reputation as prolific breeders! In other words, if you don't want a thriving rabbit farm on your hands, you will have to neuter all males kept in mixed hutches.
Depending on the size of your space and plans, hutches can range from little cabin-like structurescomplete with a run, ramp, a couple of tiers and any other extras aimed at keeping your rabbits happy down to more basic, functional hutches or even several smaller hutchesto make the most of your space.
Used to home rabbits and other small animals (chinchillas, guinea pigs, etc.), hutches come in a range of different layouts, dimensions and materials. These three points will determine how much maintenance your hutch needs, how much space it takes up, the well-being of your animals and the overall look of the structure.
No matter if you have a dwarf rabbit or a couple of larger rabbits (of the same sex or a neutered male and female) a rabbit hutch with a run is the best option for the well-being of your pets.
Like a little cabin for rabbits, these hutches are usually made from treated wood, or a mixture of different materials such as PVC or stainless steel.They are equipped with a mesh enclosure, a felt roof, a enclosed area on the top floor and a range of accessories such as a water bottle and a litter tray.
The roof should be set high enough to allow your rabbits to stand on their hind legs. These hutches are attractive and won't look out of place next to your garden shed.
Ideal for chinchillas and other small animals, these hutches are easy to maintain andare the best option for the comfort of your pets.
How many hutches do I need?
If you plan on breeding rabbits, the number of hutches you purchase will depend on just how many rabbits you plan on keeping. Generally speaking, you will need a hutch for:
- nursing or pregnant females;
- mixing rabbits;
- weaned baby rabbits;
- somewhere to keep your rabbits while you are cleaning their cages;
- a hutch for new arrivals and somewhere to quarantine any unwell rabbits.
If you are placing your hutch outdoors, please note the following:
- these hutches serve as a shelter for your rabbits;
- basic models are made up of just one tier;
- two-tier models are ideal for multiple rabbits;
- the lower tier must still be placed 25 to 30 cm from the ground;
- it's a good idea to set up a barrierbetween hutches.
If setting up the hutch indoors, note the following:
- the hutch(es) should be set up in a dedicated space, such as a shed;
- the hutch must be insulated;
- a temperature of around 15 to 20°C is idea for adult rabbits;
- a temperature of 29 to 30°C is required for young rabbits which are born without hair;
- a humidity rate of 50 to 80% is optimum;
- the door of the structure should be shielded from prevailing winds;
- choose low intensity lighting if possible;
- good ventilation is necessary to keep the air inside the hutch fresh.
Rabbit hutch size and accessories
There are a few guidelines to follow when deciding on a rabbit hutch size:
- a hutch measuring a minimum of 75 x 75 x 55 cm will fit one medium sized rabbit;
- a hutch measuring at least 75 x 75 x 55 cm will be required for larger breeds of rabbit;
- a wider hutch should be chosen for housing several rabbits (3 or 4), as deeper models are harder to clean;
- hutches are generally made from wood. Wood can be combined with stainless steel parts for easier cleaning.
Your hutch must be fitted with a few essential accessories:
- a feeding bowl made of plastic or stainless steel that can be fitted directly to the door;
- a hay rack that should be fixed to the door to prevent the hay from getting dirty;
- a water bottle placed high up;
- a litter tray filled with straw or a plastic gridthat should beat least 20 cm deep;
- anesting box (30 x 30 x 45 cm) filled with straw for any nursing females.
To sum up, your choice of hutch will depend on the number of rabbits you keep and their size. No matter which type of hutch you go for, it must be cleaned on a regular basis to avoid bacteria growth and to keep your animals healthy.
Guide written by:
Sebastian, self-taught DIY-er, Exeter, 192 guides
Redo a roof with wooden beams? Check.Advise Mister everybody in the DIY shop? Check.Redo the bathroom plumbing? Check.Fit together, build the walls, paint a partition, throw my hammer in a rage thinking that it will fix the problem? Check. The DIY motto ? Learning is better than delegating… well, it's also a question about your wallet! The satisfaction? The beer at the end of the job! What do the best have in common? The influence of Gyro Gearloose, Mac Gyver and Carol Smiley depending on your generation, a good dose of curiosity, a average hand-eye coordination and a taste for risks… and if it doesn't work, try again! Advise you? I'll do my best!