Owning one or more rabbits can be a great experience. They make wonderful pets and companions. You will need somewhere for your rabbit to sleep and rest when they are not hopping in the yard or keeping you company indoors. A rabbit hutch is a great way to keep them safe and out of the elements.
Rabbit hutches come in a variety of sizes and styles. Large rabbit hutches are generally the best, as you want your pet to have plenty of room to stretch out and get comfortable. However, if you go too big with a small rabbit they may lose some of their sense of security, so be sure to include a nesting area. An outdoor rabbit hutch is typically made from wood that has been treated using non-toxic chemicals. This is important as you don’t want your rabbit becoming sick from toxins.
When looking for a rabbit hutch for your bunny, there are a few key features you’ll want to look for.
High quality wood – Go for the best you can afford. It will matter in the long run and your rabbit hutch will last longer, and keep your pet warmer and more secure if a high grade wood is used.
Size matters – You definitely want your rabbit to have enough room to move around and designate an area for eating, and one for sleeping. The cage should be high enough for your pet to jump without bumping their head as well. If you have multiple rabbits, be sure the hutch is large enough for each of them to have their own space, even if they choose to sleep together.
Security – Make sure that the rabbit hutch you are buying is solid and sturdy. Remember, you are responsible for ensuring your rabbit’s safety when they are in their outdoor hutch. Raccoons, coyotes, dogs, cats, foxes and even squirrels may try to gain access to your rabbits and/or their food. Choose a cage that is secure from predators and keep your rabbit safe from harm.
Ease of cleaning – You will be far more motivated to clean your rabbit’s hutch more often if it is easy to clean, but do not compromise safety or structure for ease of clean up. Remember, your rabbit is counting on you.
Buying a wooden rabbit hutch is a big decision, but one you will only have to make once.
You Can Build It Yourself
Even though we are in the business of selling cages and rabbit hutches, we understand that for many people the cost of buying a rabbit hutch is just not in their budget. However, building a hutch yourself is not all that difficult and materials required for building it are not too costly. If you have some basic carpentry skills, you can easily complete it over a weekend.
If you design your own rabbit hutch, make sure you follow some basic layout rules such as allocating plenty of floor space for your bunny to move around. Another important thing that may impact your design is that, even though they are pet rabbits, rabbits feel more comfortable in a den and not a cage. You should try to design the hutch in such a manner that your rabbit will think of it as their den.
Many commercial rabbit hutches contain wire floors. This is typically an attempt at an easy way to keep the floor of the hutch clean because it allows dirt, any rubbish and the rabbit’s waste to fall through. However, wire floors are way too rough for some breeds of rabbit’s feet/paws and you may need to keep a layer of padding, such as fresh straw or hay, covering the floor. A general rule is: Hay is for eating and Straw is for bedding. If you are building your own hutch you may opt for a vinyl floor covering on a plywood base. The plywood base creates a very strong bottom and the vinyl is relatively easy to clean. The vinyl is also very inexpensive and fairly simple to replace when it gets worn or otherwise needs replacing.
Wire mesh is often used for the front of the rabbit hutch. This is perfectly fine and it allows for air flow to reduce odor formation. Avoiding the use of plastics altogether may be good option, because your rabbit may chew through the plastic over a period of time.
Two story rabbit hutches are becoming more popular than in the past but traditional one story hutches are typically much easier to build. If you want to build a second floor, then you need to use materials that are strong enough to give the support for the additional floor. Metal brackets can be used for extra strength on the sides and in the corners. Ramps can be made using plywood or plank lumber.
If you are building your hutch for the outdoors, bear in mind the temperature fluctuations during the different seasons and design the hutch accordingly. If it is exposed to direct sunlight, remember the changing positions of the sun through the year. If you want to keep your rabbit hutch indoors, then rubber or plastic feet placed on the bottom of the legs will reduce the wear on floor and carpet.
If you have lot of space in the hutch (for the size of your rabbit), setting up a small maze will pave the way for your bunny to go exploring but still remain safe and secure. Even if you build your own rabbit hutch, don’t forget, you will still need to buy some things for your rabbit. Items like toys, a litter box and some bowls.