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Your complete guide to buying a rabbit hutch

Posted on June 18, 2016

Rabbits are one of the most sought-after pets to have after dogs and cats. Owning a domesticated rabbit requires less maintenance than dogs or cats and it is equally rewarding for the owner. People have been keeping rabbits as pets since the early 18th century. Rabbits have quite the personality which can just brighten up your day when you’re around them and even help you cope better with the rigors of the day. Once you’ve bonded with your rabbit, they will be able to distinguish you by your voice and sights and even follow you around to other corners of the house. These cute bunnies will soon become an integral member of your family.

Rabbits need clean and spacious housing to be happy. It is therefore imperative that you spend a lot of time and research in finding a hutch for your rabbit. Buying a hutch for your bunny rabbits requires a lot of effort and thought-process. Consider it as a one-time investment and you want to be bang on in your purchase. DuringDays offers a wide assortment of rabbit hutches online to help you find the perfect house for your furry pet.

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When you set out to buy a hutch, you will need to consider many factors. You will have to find answers to questions like: How do you find the perfect coop for your rabbit? Should you build or buy a hutch? What material should it have for its flooring? How much minimum space is required by a bunny inside a hutch? How much should you spend in buying the hutch? You need a comprehensive buying guide for hutches to make your purchase easier. Luckily for you, we understand the dilemma that you are facing in finding an enclosure for your rabbit. We have listed down answers to some of your most important questions in this buying guide.

Different types of rabbit hutches

When you visit a pet store you will find so many compact hutches that are unsuitable for your rabbit. Your rabbit needs a spacious hutch to roam, exercise, eat, and sleep in. The bigger the size of hutches, more expensive they become. Considering that you have an average-sized bunny that weighs around six pounds, hutches need to at least be of the size of 12 square feet (1.1 square meters). This will help your bunny hop three-four times from one end-to-end. A rabbit can hop over six feet on an average. There should also be secure run apart from this space of 8' x 6' to help your rabbit play and exercise. It would be great if this run area is a permanent part of the structure of the hutch so that the rabbit can use it depending on its mood.

This is the minimum dimension that you should look for when buying a hutch. Whether the hutch is being used indoor or outdoor makes no difference in the minimum specification of the hutch. Hutches should also be sufficiently tall enough so that the rabbit can stand up freely inside it. There are different types of bunny homes available for sale at reasonable prices on DuringDays. We have listed down different types of hutches that you will find on our website and the marketplace.

Hutch classification based on the number of stories

  • Single-level hutches: A single-level hutch is a single-tiered structure made of wood and wires. It comprises two sections including the run which is the area where your bunny will exercise at and the dark compartment where the rabbit would fall asleep in.
  • Double-level hutches: Double-level hutches are two-storied structures which can be joined together through ladders to allow your rabbit to climb inside the enclosure. They offer more space than the single-level clutches and can also be used to house two rabbits together.

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  • Triple-level hutches: A triple-level hutch has three stories and offers much more space than the earlier two forms of hutches. They can be used to accommodate numerous rabbits in one enclosure.

Hutch classification based on its uses:

  • Indoor hutches: Indoor hutches are tailor-made to be used inside the house. They are ideal to use when you want to keep the rabbits inside the house and under your close supervision. They may have shorter legs compared to outdoor hutches.
  • Outdoor hutches: Outdoor hutches are bigger structures that are used to house rabbits outdoors. They are built sturdily using wood, metal, wire mesh, etc. to withstand the outside environment. Outdoor hutches will have longer legs to elevate the entire platform above the reach of prying animals.

What are the different features that you should look for in a rabbit hutch?

What are the different features that you should look for while buying a hutch? We have listed down a few necessary features to bear in mind when you’re buying a hutch:

  • Space: A hutch should provide enough space for your rabbit with clear demarcated areas for sleeping, toilet, and run.
  • Ventilation: Rabbits are allergic to dust and dirt. Too much exposure to dust and dirt would cause breathing problems to your rabbit. Make sure that you have a properly ventilated hutch to house your rabbit in. Good ventilation will prevent the hot air to be trapped inside the hutch which can result in suffocating the rabbit.
  • Type of flooring: The flooring can be made of wood or wire. Wire floorings are convenient to clean but are hard on the feet of your rabbit. Be warned that the sole of your rabbit’s feet aren’t padded like dogs and cats and nor do they have haunches. It is better to choose a solid surface for the flooring than a wire floor. If you are opting for a wire flooring, at least ensure that the floor has a large-enough wooden section in the corner so that the rabbit can go and rest there when its feet starts to hurt. Ensure that flooring is made of materials that offer good insulation against cold or heat. You can use a wooden floor which has been treated for moisture control.
  • Weather Protection: Make sure that your hutches are built to withstand the change in temperature, moisture, and rain. It should have a waterproof covering.
  • Number of compartments: Bunnies need a hiding place, a play area, and other different compartments to avoid boredom and hide against threats. The sleeping area should be an enclosed area so that the rabbit doesn’t feels threatened.
  • Protection against chewing: Rabbits may chew the wooden corners of the hutch. A hutch with adequate protection like wire coverings above the wooden surface should be a better option.
  • Quality: Look for signs of superior quality in your hutch’s construction. Make sure that it is not made of ply wood or the quality of the materials used in the hutch is up to your standards. Inspect the overall finishing of the wooden structures and double-check to see if the material used is sturdy enough. (inam)

 What are the different points to consider when buying a rabbit hutch?

When buying a rabbit hutch, you should take the following into consideration:

  • How many rabbits are you going to house inside the hutch?

The size of the hutch and the number of compartments inside it will grow based on the number of rabbits you decide to keep in them.

  • What is the age and size of the rabbit that you are buying a hutch for?

A younger rabbit will not have attained its optimum size. It will continue to grow. Keep that into consideration when you buy your hutch.

  • How many compartments will you require?

The number of compartments would depend on the number of rabbits and the amount of space you want to give them in the coop. Increasing the number of compartments and the space inside them would help the rabbit find more activities to do and improve its welfare.

  • Do you want them to breed?

If the rabbits are of the different sex, your choice of keeping them in one or different compartments would be based on if you want them to breed. This would result in more compartments required in the future.

  • Is it secure?

How secure is the hutch? You need to be extra cautious in buying a completely secure hutch. Outdoor hutches can draw the attention of cats, dogs, and other animals that can hurt the rabbit if the hutch isn’t secure.

When buying a hutch, keep in mind the provisions that you will need to buy in addition to the coop. There are number of things that you need to purchase additionally including:

  • Bedding: You can use many different materials for the purpose of hutch bedding. You will need to clean up the beddings and refill them once in a few days. The different type of materials that you can use for the bedding purposes are:
    • Newspapers: Newspapers are the most readily available form of padding that you can use for your hutch. You will need to monitor if the rabbit is tearing the newspaper or ingesting it in large quantities.
    • Shredded cardboards: Shredded cardboards are a better alternative than the newspapers. It is much more durable in comparison.
    • Wood pellets: Wood pellets can be used for bedding purposes in the hutch. Wooden pellets are most commonly used in cat litters. Wood letters are easily destroyed when they’re exposed to water. They are heavy in weight and offer good absorption capabilities against moisture.
    • Paper pellets: Contrary to the weight of wooden pellets, the paper pellets are much lightweight in comparison. They are made using recycled paper which makes them an environmental friendly option for bedding.
    • Paper pulp beddings: Like paper pellets, paper pulp beddings are also made using the recycled paper. They have high absorption capabilities. They can soak a large amount of moisture and odor from the hutch’s atmosphere.
    • Softwood litters: Softwood litters like sawdust and pine shavings are not the safest choice of material to use for the bedding. It has been researched that long exposure to softwood litters may have adverse effect on the rabbit’s health and may result in liver disease. Use it only if you have a well-ventilated hutch.
    • Hays and straws: Hay is one of rabbit’s favorite materials. Use a uniform spread of hay for the hutch. Straws can offer good insulation for the rabbit against cold.
    • Accessories: You will need to buy toys for the rabbit. Rabbits are social in nature and having toys in the hutch would give it something to play with. You will need to provide something that is soft to hold and chew on for the rabbits.
    • Litter box: You will need to buy a litter box for the hutch. Rabbits are easily trainable and you can train them to use the litter box. It will also help you maintain the overall hygiene of the hutch.

Learn how to take care of rabbit hutches

If you have bought a rabbit hutch, you should learn how to take proper care of it. Rabbits cannot cope well with the fluctuating temperature. Make sure that they have a dry and warm area for shelter in the hutch. Read on as we tell you how to take proper care of the rabbit hutches.

  • Clean it at timely intervals: Depending on the size of the rabbit hutch, you should ensure that you clean it at proper intervals. A smaller hutch would require more frequent cleaning. Rabbits are easily prone to bug and mosquito attacks. Keeping your rabbit in an unclean environment for prolonged periods may result in your rabbit to fall sick.
  • Keep it warm: If you have placed the hutch indoor, you can be rest assured that the ambient temperature will be to the rabbit’s liking. Make sure that the hutch is kept warm. You need to proactively check the temperature if you are placing the bunny outdoors. One way to keep the hutch warm is by adding better insulators like straws and warm clothes in between the hutch’s bottom surface and the rabbit. Use old blankets to cover the surface with a sheet of canvas to help keep the warmth inside the hutch. Close the hutch during the nighttime with just a small gap for ventilation purposes. It will be great if you can move the hutch to a warmer part of the house like garage during the night time. You can also cover the walls of the hutch with the same material to add more warmth inside.
  • Check for dampness: You need to keep your rabbit away from a damp environment. You can do that by periodically checking the surface and the bottom of the hutch for any signs of dampness. Any sign of dampness on the top of the hutch may mean that the hutch’s surface is leaking whereas any sign of dampness in the bottom means that your hutch needs mending at its bottom. You can also try increasing the height of the surface of the hutch by increasing its leg size to avoid dampness at the bottom. You can mend the roof of the hutch with a sealant which is readily available in stores. Most of the hutches will have a slanted roof to prevent the waterlogging on the surface.
  • Extend the legs: Adding or extending the legs of your hutch can serve you twofold. It will help you steer the hutch’s bottom clear from a damp surface and prevent it from rotting. You can extend it by placing bricks on the corner of the hutch or placing the entire structure on a separate stand. This will allow better air circulation to enter the hutch which will save it from the dampness. Extending the hutch’s table will also add as an extra layer of protection for your rabbit from the house’s other pets including cats and dogs.
  • Weatherproofing the habitat: You need to weatherproof the hutch using protective coating to prevent the dampness of seeping in. You need to apply the weatherproof coating once in every few years to ensure that the hutch is safe from moisture. To apply the protective coating, ensure that you have brushed the dust and dirt from the surface of the hutch. Scrub it lightly with a new sand paper to scrub away any residual dirt and to even the surface before sweeping the surface with the brush again. You can then repaint the surface of the brush using a waterproof wood preservative.
  • Add sunshades: You can use a piece of cardboard, sheet of plastic, or cloth to cover up a part of the mesh wires covering the hutch. This will create a partial sunblock to shield your rabbit from the direct sunlight. Make sure that the covering surface is waterproof if you are worried about the hutch getting wet during the rains.
  • Create a cozy bedroom for your rabbit: Most hutches will have a sleeping section in the design. This section would usually be covered to provide better protection and insulation. If your hutch doesn’t have a sleeping section, place a small box that will substitute as the sleeping room. During winters, add an extra layer of bedding after covering the surface with newspapers. You can use straw for the purpose. A small box in the sleeping area will provide a snug fit for the rabbit and keep it warm.

 Add runs to help them exercise

Apart from the space available inside the hutch, a hutch requires rabbit runs to help you keep the rabbit fit and engaged in physical activities. Rabbits are prone to running around and can easily cover the length of five tennis courts in a day’s work. If you do not have a spacious hutch, you should provide a run for the rabbit. A run’s length can be of 6' by 4' with adequate height for the rabbit to stand up on its rear legs. Ideally, a run should be placed attached to the hutch so that the rabbit can access it at any time of the day. There are different types of runs that you can purchase. Ensure that the wiring on the run is made of strong wire mesh which is tightly wounded to stop the predators from attacking the rabbits.

There are different types of runs that you can add to the hutch. We are listing down a few of the most common type of runs that you will spot added to a hutch.

  • The apex run: It is a triangular shaped run which is made from wood and wire mesh. It is easily portable. It can be folded when not being in use and can easily be moved to other parts of the garden. It offers you the advantage of switching the rabbits run pathway to different pastures each time. It is not too spacious for the rabbit because of its structure. Due to its portable nature, it requires you to peg it down every time in order to be secure.
  • Plain wooden frame run: A wooden frame run is one of the easiest types of runs you can build without much help. It requires a wooden frame whose size can vary based on your requirement. The frame is covered with mesh to provide protection. It is lightweight and just like the apex run, it offers you the flexibility to switch the pathway of the run to cover newer section of the lawn each day. It also requires pegging down to fasten the structure. They are not as sturdy as their other counterparts.
  • Metal runs: Metal runs are lightweight structure that can offer your rabbit moderate protection as it roams within the confines of the run. You will need to peg it down on the course. These runs usually do not have a sturdy roof. It is therefore necessary that you provide constant vigil on the rabbit while it is out using the run.

Add accessories to your rabbit’s hutch

  • There are multiple types of accessories that you can buy to include in your rabbit’s hutch. We have listed down a few of the accessories to help you complete your hutch.
  • Toys: Include a few toys to give some company to your rabbit. These will help your rabbit to stay out of boredom. Include a few chew toys for your rabbit to dig their teeth into. Just remember to keep away any painted toy from your rabbit so that they do not ingest any harmful paint.
  • Water bottle: you need to provide your rabbit a clean source of water in its hutch. By adding a water bottle with a built in ball valve regulator fixed to the side of the cage, you will ensure that the hutch has a covered and clean water source. You will need to refill the water when it is empty. The ball valve will stop the water from trickling away. Remember to periodically clean the water bottle for better hygiene.
  • Food bowl: Like the hutch, you will need a sturdy food bowl that won’t topple each time your rabbit tried to access the food. Keep it at a readily accessible are and pick off the droppings and clean the bowl once every few days.
  • Tunnels or ladders: Tunnels and ladders are good ways to provide your rabbit with a fun activity. It is also a good way to connect two different sections of the hutch.

What are the different types of guinea pig rabbit hutches?

There are many varieties of rabbit hutches. Guinea pig hutches are the one of the most basic and functional type of hutches available in the market. They are sturdily built and offer you many levels of customization. We are listing down a few of the most popular type of guinea pig hutches for you below.

Single guinea pig hutch house cage pen with raised legs

A single guinea pig hutch is made of dried wood. It resembles the look of a mid-sized dressing table. The hutch contains an enclosed corner which occupies nearly one-third of the space of the hutch’s space. The rest of the space is occupied by another section of the house which can be used as the play area by the rabbit. It is a good looking housing solution which is also practical in approach. This deluxe wooden housing offers spacious quarters to house your rabbit. It has raised legs which prevents it from the catching moisture form the ground and also offers improved security to your pet.

Guinea pig hutch house with built in run

This is an extension of the previous type of hutch with the addition of run being added to it. This run and hutch offers a perfect mix of safety and functionality for your rabbit’s wellbeing. It is usually made of spruce wood which gives it a sturdy build. It consists of two tiers or levels of structure. The upper level houses the rabbit. It is connected with a ladder or plank to the ground in the lower level. The lower level on the ground is covered by wires or metal mesh with a secured door. This is the run area of the hutch. It is where your rabbit will come to if it wants to roam or play. You can open the entrance of the run to let your rabbit out to roam under controlled supervision.

Double rabbit guinea pig hutch house

A double rabbit guinea pig hutch house consists of two identical single guinea pig hutch houses placed on the top of one another. Both the levels can be connected through a ladder. Each of these hutches has its own separate cleaning trays. The ladder provides easy access to both the floors. It is an ideal housing solution if you are looking to house two rabbits together.

Conclusion:

When buying a hutch for your rabbit, it is important for you to give first importance to the space, size, and quality of the hutch before checking on the price tag. Dig deep into your pockets to find the biggest possible hutch that fits within your budget. You should adhere to minimum size requirement of the hutch if you aspire to keep your rabbit healthy and jovial. Rabbits are active social animals which mean that they would love the company of an additional rabbit that you would get them. Adding runs will do wonder for the mental and physical wellbeing of your rabbit. You can choose to place the hutch either indoors or outdoors. Ensure that the hutch is sturdily built with tightly winded wires to provide adequate protection. Look to place the hutch at an elevated distance so that it is out of the reach of the other animals that could end up hurting the rabbit. Opt for a spacious hutch from one of the many sturdily-built hutches on sale on DuringDays. Not only will you get a top-notch reliable hutch that your cute furry little friend will thank you for but you will also get free shipment of the hutch across major cities of Australia including Perth, Adelaide, and Sydney.

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