People all over the world keep their rabbits in hutches, they are the staple living environment after all, but why should you splash out the extra cash on large rabbit hutches as opposed to a standard size that at first may seem plenty of space for your rabbit to reside in?
First and foremost, one of the bigger factors in keeping your rabbit happy and entertained is that of companionship. Not just with you and your fellow humans but other rabbits as well.
It is a well known fact that rabbits are highly sociable creatures and even in the wild they form groups and buddy up. The same is true for domesticated rabbits at home as well – paired up with the right rabbit, your furry little one will be as happy as can be.
This is where large rabbit hutches come into play – whilst a standard size, cheaper hutch may just be enough for a single rabbit – introducing another rabbit into the environment will quickly make the space seem cramped and your rabbits happiness would soon decrease. Wouldn’t yours?
Always make sure the living environment you create for your rabbit has plenty of space for at least one other rabbit for companionship.
2.) Sizing: How do you know when big enough is big enough?
There truly is no maximum limit on rabbit hutch size that you should adhere to. The bigger the better and the more space your rabbit has to hop around in, forage and explore. With that being said, there is a minimum that you should adhere to.
Rabbits ideally should have enough room to take at least several hops before reaching the end of the enclosure in either direction. It should also be high enough that your rabbit can stand up fully on its back legs to periscope their surroundings (they do this naturally in the wild so is behaviour you need to allow them to do freely). When your rabbit is standing up on its hind legs, its ears should not be folded back at all against the roof – this is the minimum height!
Sleeping quarters can be standard sized and as long as your rabbit has enough room to snuggle up in a cosy, dark environment out of the way of the outside elements with easy access to food and drink then you’ll be fine.
Here are the actual recommended minimum dimensions for rabbit hutches as given by the Rabbit Welfare Association (RWA):
6ft X 2ft X 2ft – this is the minimum size hutch for 2 small breed bunny rabbits.
Rule of thumb though – the larger the better. You can extend your hutches with add-on runs and tunnels to not only increase the exercise space your rabbits have but also to a custom configuration that you can ensure will fit into whatever space you have available.
3.) Is all bedding the same? Does it matter?
It’s already having a large rabbit hutch but just putting any old bedding material in the living quarters is not enough. Rabbits naturally burrow in the wild with access to whatever they can find to make bedding out of – given what’s available out in nature and what they prefer – bedding comprises wood chippings, hay and such like. It is also a good idea to put some layers of newspaper down first to soak up any wayward liquids such as urine.
Avoid straw and sharp stem grasses, as not only are these less comfortable but can actually injure rabbits eyes!
Another great advantage of a larger rabbit hutch, is that of ventilation – having bigger dimensions will mean that ventilation for your rabbit is much more efficient due to the larger space the air has to move around in. Provided your hutch still has sufficient access for fresh air to get in and ammonia, carbon dioxide and other harmful gases can escape.
In summary – if you follow the above guidelines and recommendations, you’ll be providing your rabbits with a home that they’ll enjoy spending time in for many happy, healthy years to come!