Choose the right home
Traditional small hutches can compromise rabbit welfare as they do not allow rabbits to behave normally. A hutch should actually only be viewed as your rabbits’ ‘bedroom’.
The hutch should be permanently attached to a much larger run or exercise area, so your rabbits can decide when they go outside to stretch their legs. If a ramp connects the hutch to a run, ensure it is wide enough and not too steep so your bunnies can get up and down safely and easily.
A good quality hutch provides shelter and protection from extremes of weather and temperature, is draught-free and predator proof, and is a cosy place to sleep.
Provide lots of bedding to keep your bunnies warm; this should also be safe for your rabbits to eat such as dust-free hay. In the wintertime when it’s particularly cold, you should consider moving your rabbits’ home somewhere warmer such as a shed, unused garage or outhouse; and don’t forget to make sure they can exercise every day.
The bedroom area should be as big as possible:
- Big enough to allow rabbits to lie down and stretch out comfortably in all directions.
- Tall enough for them to sit (and ideally stand) up on their back legs without their ears touching the roof.
- Long enough to allow at least three continuous hops from one end to the other (make sure there are no obstructions in the way).
- As rabbits should be housed in friendly pairs or groups, their bedroom area should be enough to allow all the rabbits to perform all the behaviours mentioned above at the same time.