Rabbits need a safe and secure space for sleeping and chilling out, and plenty of room to exercise. The rabbit hutch and rabbit run setup fulfils these needs. Linking the various bunny spaces with rabbit pipes such as the The Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System is even better, simulating a rabbit’s natural environment of burrows and tunnels. Even the most domesticated pet bunny has a built-in need for something that echoes the kind of set up they would enjoy in the wild.
Connecting hutches to runs is a great way to build your own garden rabbit warren
What Size Rabbit Cage?
There’s no definitive answer to the question “how big is a rabbit cage/hutch/pen?” It’s better to think in terms of the minimum dimensions you need to ensure a happy and healthy pet. It will depend on several factors, including the size of breed you have, the number of bunnies, and the space you have available.
Rabbits in the wild are prey rather than predator. For this reason they like to stay as close to a bolt hole as possible. As long as there is food and water available, they won’t want to wander too far from the home burrow. To heighten their sense of security, they like to spend many hours in a confined space underground, tucked up in a warm burrow. For pet rabbits, a hutch or cage fulfils this role.
That doesn’t mean you should cram rabbits into a small cage, though. In the past, this is what many owners did, but it is not the way to keep a healthy, happy pet. Bunnies need to stretch out and move around, even in a the confines of a cosy hutch.
Some people buy a dog play pen rather than a standard rabbit hutch and run. This works really well, as long as you provide a bolt hole inside the pen. Making the bunnies feel safe, rather than giving them endless space, is the key.
- When deciding where your bunnies will live, it’s best to go for something that will still suit their needs when they have reached full size.
- One to two medium sized rabbits will need a cage/hutch space of at least 12 square feet, combined with a run of at least 27 square feet.
- The front of the hutch should be long enough for two rabbits to lie down end-to-end.
- If using a pen rather than a cage, the rabbits will need at least 30 square feet, including an internal hutch/sleeping space.
- The more space you can provide, the better – you could, for example, combine two runs and a playpen.
- The different bunny areas can be linked with rabbit pipes, such as Omlet’s Zippi Rabbit Tunnel System.
Connecting hutches to a walk-in run is a great way to extend your garden rabbit warren!
The Importance Of Rabbit Runs
Rabbits need space to stretch their legs. Their muscles will atrophy if they stay in a hutch or cage all day. Their health will then suffer, and they can often become aggressive in these circumstances too.
Some bunnies tend to stay in their hutch or cage, or close to it, during the day. This doesn’t mean they don’t need the rabbit run, though. Rabbits are often most active at dawn and dusk, which simply mirrors their behaviour in the wild.
Can I Keep Rabbits Indoors?
Having a rabbit hopping around the kitchen and living room isn’t going to suit every bunny owner, but many people like to keep their pet as a ‘house rabbit’. To take this approach, your house or apartment needs to be ‘bunny-proofed’, with no hazards such as electric wires, or potentially dangerous pets on the prowl. You can toilet-train rabbits with kitty trays, too.
A pen is still very useful, though, for those times when you’re not around to keep an eye on your pet bunny. Rabbits need to feel safe, with a bolt hole never too far away. A hutch or box inside the pen satisfies that need.
Stephen, 16 June 2021
Need to start commercial rabbit farming. Advise please