Mastering Rabbit Hutch Design
While getting a new rabbit is exciting, rabbit hutch design can also be exciting. You don't need a degree in architecture to do this. Just keep in mind a few key rules and your rabbit will be happy and secure in its new home. Ready to take the plunge?
The general rule of thumb for rabbit hutch design is one square foot per one pound of adult rabbit. This means that if your rabbit will mature to be six pounds, he needs a cage that is six square feet. That could easily be a cage that is 24 inches by 36 inches.
Likewise if your rabbit will mature at ten pounds, his cage should be ten square feet. For these larger cages, make sure you can reach all the way to the back in case you need to catch your rabbit or clean up a dirty corner.
Now comes the fun part... designing! Your rabbit will choose one corner to be his bathroom. You can choose to put a litter box there or not, as you please. Wire floors will help droppings to fall out of the cage, but you will still need to clean these corners on occasion when droppings and fur build up.
Rabbits love to have a hiding place. You can provide one by putting in a plastic or wooden box with an entrance cut in it. This will keep your rabbit feeling safe. It also gives them a protected area if the weather is windy outdoors or if they feel frightened. Having a large cage makes it easier to provide these things. Another way to do this is to put a wooden wall near one end of the cage with a door cut into it.
Make sure your rabbit hutch design is easy to clean. Your rabbit will appreciate having a clean home and you'll appreciate the ability to finish the job quickly without a lot of hassle. Cages that are difficult to clean eventually become so much of a chore that you'll put it off until the job is so bad you'll be tempted to just toss the cage and start over. Weekly cleaning will keep your job easy to handle.
Raise your hutch off the ground if your rabbit will live outdoors. This keeps the rabbit away from the dampness in the winter. It also prevents them from catching many diseases like internal parasites, coccidia and other illnesses. Indoors this is not an issue.
You'll also want to make sure your rabbit's hutch is tall enough that you can access it easily. If it hurts your back to access it, you'll find you clean and attend to your rabbit less and less as time goes on.
Give your rabbit enough head room. Rabbits like to stretch up on their hind feet. Instead of giving them 12 to 18 inches of height to a cage, give them 2 feet at least. This lets them stretch and explore. You also want enough floor space so they can lie down in a stretched out position. Many rabbits love lying like this, especially when it is hot.
Sketch out your design along with measurements and you are ready to head to the home improvement store for materials. Rabbit hutch design is fun, isn't it?
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