One choice you will have to make when deciding to adopt a rabbit is where your new companion is going to live. Rabbits can live happily both outdoors in the garden or indoors as ‘houserabbits’, as long as their accommodation allows them to behave naturally.
Rabbits are traditionally thought of as outdoor animals, they are perfectly happy living outside just as long as their physical and behavioural needs are being catered for.
Rabbits are active animals and they can develop skeletal problems if they are left cooped up with no exercise. This is why daily exercise outside of their hutches is important. A rabbit’s hutch should only be thought of as a shelter. So we suggest a large hutch which has a large exercise run that is permanently attached. This is so rabbits can decide when they want to shelter and when they want to explore and play.
If you choose a traditional hutch as a bedroom for your rabbits, it needs to be big enough for a rabbit to take 3 hops and to stretch fully upright. For the majority of breeds we suggest a hutch that is no smaller than 6ft long x 2ft wide x 2ft tall. In addition, we also suggest an exercise run that is no smaller than 8ft long x 4ft wide x 2ft tall. This may sound like a large area, but it will only allow your rabbit on average 4 hops.
Rabbits whose exercise run is situated on grass will enjoy access to grass every day. This is great for their teeth and digestive health and it will also keep them busy. But this can cause problems. Unless you take proper precautions, they are likely to dig their way out and this could put them at risk from predators.
If you decide to place an exercise run on concrete you will need to find an alternative way of allowing your rabbit to dig. We suggest placing a large litter tray or planter filled with earth. This will need to be changed regularly. Your rabbit will also need access to a hayrack to give them access to hay that hasn’t got wet from the ground. A way of providing this is to use a hanging basket suspended from the top of the run, this encourages your rabbit to stretch up.
Tunnels are another great way of encouraging your rabbit to be more active and they also provide a substitute burrow. Toys such as willow balls and the necessary supply of fresh water will finish off your rabbits exercise run nicely.
Come and speak to us today and we can find you a hutch that is suitable for your rabbit.
If you decide to let your rabbits live indoors then you must remember to rabbit-proof your home before your housemate does it for you! This includes keeping all houseplants away from your rabbit as many are poisonous. Also remember to remove any obstruction and wires from your electrical appliances as rabbits love to chew, and they will chew anything! Some people choose to let their rabbits roam free throughout their entire house. Others choose to restrict them to one room or an area of a room. Whichever option you choose, we advise you to keep your rabbit restricted to a small area in the beginning and gradually increase the size of the area once they become familiar with their surroundings.
Rabbits are generally fairly easy animals to litter train, although the occasional accident is to be expected. The best way to train your rabbit is to place a litter tray in your home in the spot where your rabbit has chosen to “go”, the best product to use in a rabbits litter toilet is hay. Gradually increase the area they are allowed to run and play once they are reliably using their tray.