Outside Rabbit Hutches
Outside rabbit hutches are a great way to house your rabbits. They can be made as individual cages for each rabbit, or one hutch can be large enough to contain several separate cages so it can house many rabbits. There are quite a few benefits to housing your rabbits outdoors instead of in the house.
Daily cleaning of the cage is not necessary outdoors. The droppings should fall to the ground or to a tray positioned below the cage. Odor is not as big of a problem outdoors as it is in the house. Trays can be cleaned once or twice a week instead of the daily requirement indoors.
If the droppings fall to the ground, once a month you can shovel them into your garden. Rabbit droppings are one of the few "cold" manures that are safe to put in your garden directly from the animal without composting.
Outdoors, you don't need to worry about your rabbit digging up the carpet or chewing on the wires of your electronics. Outside rabbit hutches are perfectly safe for them. If you want to give them a run, be sure to put wire on the floor of the run as well. Rabbits will dig... it is their nature!
Rabbits have adapted to life outdoors better than life indoors. They are meant to grow heavy winter coats. Their metabolism is geared to fresh air, not recycled air that has been artificially cooled.
Of course, indoor rabbits can adapt, especially if you pay close attention to their health and well-being. They may end up drinking more water indoors to compensate for a lack of humidity in the air. They may shed more frequently.
With more grooming because of the shedding, they may need more fiber in their diet to help move any ingested fur out of the digestive tract. Rabbits can get fur balls like cats can, only they cannot regurgitate them.
All this being said, if you have outside rabbit hutches for your rabbit, they must be secure. You don't want to walk out one morning to find your rabbit was visited during the night by a raccoon or stray dog.
The hutch should protect your rabbit from anything trying to get into the cage. Use the proper gauge wire and secure it to the framework of the hutch. Make sure corners are tight and that there are no gaps where a predator could gain purchase into the cage.
You also want to make sure the hutch is weather proof. Rabbits are very susceptible to heat stroke. Good ventilation is a must to help your rabbit remain cool in the summer. Frozen water bottles and fans can also be used to assist your rabbit during hot weather, but the ventilation needs are real.
Winter weather brings snow, rain and wind. The hutch should keep your rabbit snug and dry. Rabbits can keep warm as long as they are not wet or in the path of wind.
Now that you know what to look for in outside rabbit hutches, you can be prepared before your rabbit arrives. Take the precautions mentioned and your rabbit should enjoy a long happy life.
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