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Outdoor rabbits – A HUTCH IS NOT ENOUGH!
A hutch should only ever be used for shelter, NEVER the sole/main accommodation.
As a minimum we ask you provide our rabbits with a secure* enclosure of 6ft long x 2ft wide x 2ft high (each level) with an attached run of a minimum size of 6ft x 6ft x 3ft high.
*Outdoor enclosures must be enclosed so they are both predator proof and rabbit proof.
- Your rabbits should be able to decide when it would like to shelter or play.- They should be able to do 3 full bunny hops, lay stretched out and stand up on their hind legs.- If the run is on the grass you need to ensure your rabbits cannot dig out and predators cannot dig in.
Anti-dig kits are regularly available or you could use paving slabs around the edge. Alternatively the run could be under wired with chicken wire.
Your setup needs to be suitable for sheltering from the elements and include activities to keep your rabbits entertained and encourage them to display their natural behaviours of running, digging, jumping, hiding and grazing.
If your rabbits are allowed time to roam and explore the garden, this must be supervised at all times.The garden must be fully secure and free of poisonous plants.Here are some example set ups:
Rabbits could be kept in their own room/part of a room and be allowed to free roam safe areas.Even if indoors the will still require as much space as outdoor rabbits. We do not accept indoor cages as housing as these are much too small (but are great as litter boxes!)They will need to be able to show their natural behaviours of running, digging, jumping, hiding and grazing.
Safety – electric wires need to be put in protective trunking and hidden away.
Chewing – wires are not the only thing rabbits will chew. Wallpaper, furniture, door frames, carpets, clothes and shoes are a few examples. You need to provide lots of suitable chew toys to keep them out of mischief!
Great escape – rabbits can squeeze through surprisingly small gaps and can jump very high. Ensure you have blocked off any hidey holes that they could get stuck in.
Litter training – it is fairly easy to litter train your rabbits and this is something you will need to do, however you need to allow time to do this and have the rabbits in an area where you don’t mind accidents happening while they are learning
Outdoor space must be available even for indoor rabbits. This needs to either be a fully secure run 8ft by 6ft and at least 2ft high or a fully secure garden with no poisonous plants. Free access always needs to be supervised.
Here are some example set ups:
For more information on Rabbit Welfare visit- https://rabbitwelfare.co.uk/rabbit-welfare-association-fund/