Wood Rabbit Hutch
Pros and Cons

A wood rabbit hutch is commonly used for outdoor rabbit housing. Wood is attractive and you can decorate the outside of the hutch to match your house if you wish. Wood has many pros and cons that you need to consider before building your hutch.

On the Positive Side

Wood insulates your rabbit during cold weather. It stops the cold wind and rain from blowing into the hutch and makes them feel secure and safe in their private little hutch. It is fairly easy to work with, even for those who aren't used to building things. Wood is usually strong enough to withstand predators. It is adaptable, durable and easy to find.

On the Negative Side

Rabbits like to chew on wood. Given enough time and easy access to it, they can eventually chew a hole right through it. This is probably the biggest drawback to a wood rabbit hutch. You cannot use wood alone for the roof. Water soaks through wood and the wetness would eventually get to your rabbit.

You'll need to augment the roof with waterproof tar paper and shingles or other types of roofing material to keep your pet dry. Wood can eventually rot, given enough time and moisture. Wood soaks up urine, which makes it difficult to clean completely.

How to Choose

When choosing whether or not to build a wood rabbit hutch, you must weigh the positive and negative issues that you face. Do you have access to another affordable material that will do everything that wood can do? If not, you can find ways to work around wood's weaknesses. The outside can be painted to help keep dampness out.

A solid roof made of waterproof material will keep your pet dry from above. Provide a litter pan for your rabbit to use. It means more work for you because you need to clean it frequently, but it may keep urine from soaking into the wood. Cover any exposed wood on the side with a layer of 14 gauge wire. This makes it harder for your rabbit to get hold of the wood with his or her teeth and chew it to bits.

When you design your wood hutch, make an area that is enclosed on three sides so your pet has privacy and warmth. Make another area with a wire wall on one part to give them light and good ventilation. Make sure the door latches securely to keep your rabbit safe.

While some wooden hutches sit low to the ground, it is actually safer for your pet to be a bit higher. This makes it easier for you to clean under the hutch and keeps your pet further away from the damp ground and any parasites that may be living there.

If you are tempted to put a solid floor in your wood rabbit hutch, do so at your own risk. You can put in a litter pan and hope your rabbit never misses, but most rabbits will choose to relieve themselves on the wood rather than the wire floor, causing the urine to soak into the wood permanently.

It is up to you. You can do your best to keep the cage as clean as possible. Some rabbits do catch on and start using their litter pans with great success.

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