Outdoor Rabbit Hutches
Outdoor rabbits invariably live in outdoor rabbit hutches of some sort. This is their home. It provides protection from the weather and from predators. They feel safe there. A good hutch will provide enough room for the rabbit to move around, have an eating area and an enclosed area.
Most outdoor rabbit hutches are on tall legs, raising the rabbit a few feet above the ground. Some can also be set on tables or even right on the ground itself.
If a hutch is set on the ground, the bottom should still be covered in wire and then bedding so the rabbit cannot dig out and escape. This also keeps predators out. A hutch on the ground should also have another level so the rabbit can get off the damp ground if they choose.
You can buy hutches or you can build them. Most are made of wood and wire. If you have wooden flooring inside, be sure to clean it thoroughly on a frequent basis. Urine can soak into the wood, making it impossible to clean properly. A wire floor will allow urine and droppings to fall out of the hutch.
You can always put a large tile or a resting mat inside for your rabbit to sit on, though a healthy rabbit should have nice thick fur on their feet to protect them from the wire. Floor wire should always be heavy gauge wire with a grid pattern of 1 inch by ½ inch.
Hardware cloth is too flimsy. It will not only leave your pet vulnerable to predators, but the thinner wire of the hardware cloth can wear at their feet.
There are a few things outdoor rabbit hutches need to have. It should offer protection from the weather. This includes hot sun, cold wind and rain. At the same time, your hutch needs good ventilation. Rabbits can survive the cold much easier than the heat, so a good air flow is extremely important.
To prevent your rabbit from chewing on the wooden portions of the hutch, you may want to look for one with wire covering any choice beams or supports. Your rabbit will find these areas very enticing.
The hutch should be sturdy and have a solid roof on it. If there is more than one wall that is wire, you may want to enhance the hutch with tarps in cold rainy weather to keep the damp out.
When it comes to size, you want to plan for 1 square foot per pound of adult rabbit. This means that a six pound rabbit needs six square feet, which is easily given in a hutch measuring 2 feet by 3 feet. A rabbit with this much room will have room to move freely. Larger spaces are also easier to clean. It also gives room for bunny toys, a litter box if you choose to use one, and any other accessories you need to add.
Choose outdoor rabbit hutches that will be easy for you to clean. If cleaning becomes a chore, it is likely that it won't happen as often as it should. Make sure you can easily reach every inch.
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