Rabbit accommodation

Rabbits need lots of space at all the times, with peak activity levels being at dawn and dusk. The more space you can offer your rabbits the better, however, the minimum accommodation requirement for a pair of average sized rabbits is at least 3m x 2m x 1m (L x W x H). This makes up both their exercise area and a sheltered sleeping area. The sheltered area (which could be a large hutch or shed) should be a minimum 6 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet (L x W x H) and the rabbits should have permanent access to the entirety of the accommodation. The sleeping/shelter area could either be placed within the 3m x 2m exercise area or attached to the exercise run via a tunnel. Giant breeds or groups of more than 2 rabbits will require a larger area. It is usually easier to build your own accommodation as most pet stores do not supply big enough runs.

Potential set ups include:

  • A large secure hutch (6ft x 2ft x 2ft) attached to a large secure outdoor rabbit run (3m x 2m x 1m)
  • A secure shed/wendy house (ensure there is ventilation) attached to a large secure outdoor run
  • A secure aviary/covered run with a shelter (hutch) that sits inside (aviaries are particularly good as you can walk in and sit with your rabbits).

Things to consider for outdoor accommodation

There are also a few safety precautions you should consider such as making accommodation predator proof by using strong, robust bolts and fittings that are not easily opened. Use strong gauge wire (not chicken wire), the thicker the better. 16 gauge (1.2mm) or more is recommended. Make sure gaps in wire are small enough that small predators such as weasels and stoats can’t squeeze through. You will also need to ensure rabbits cannot dig out and predators cannot dig in! Various ways to do this can include using paving slabs or a wire mesh skirt around the perimeter of the accommodation. You will need to monitor your rabbits for any spots where they have been digging and fill them in accordingly. You can also provide a dig box to encourage your rabbit to dig there.

Make sure your rabbit’s accommodation is free from any extremes of weather/temperature, is ventilated, dry and draught free. Any hutches should be raised off the ground, so they do not get cold/damp and have waterproof roofing, solid floors (not wire that will make feet sore) and placed in the shade. Rabbits are prey animals so also need plenty of places to hide within their enclosure so that they can feel safe and happy. They also love platforms of different heights to sit on and scan their environment. Provide plenty of insulating bedding in their shelter so they can keep warm. Most rabbits will also toilet in one area so you can also provide a litter tray that will need cleaning daily.

Guinea Pig accommodation to be updated…

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