Thursday, 28 March 2013

Bunny Basics Part 5

Todays topic is "Accommodation for your Rabbits".

Rabbits can be kept outside all year round in the UK - in winter if left outside they will grow a thicker coat so the cold is not so much of an issue providing they have somewhere snuggly warm to sleep. In the UK they can be vaccinated against the diseases they might pick up from their wild cousins (carried by biting insects, so actually even if they are NOT outside it is worth getting them vaccinated against everything your vet can).

If you want to store something rabbit-sized outdoors then a hutch is enough - if you want to provide a decent home that will keep your rabbit healthy, it isn't.

Ideally you want a shed attached to the biggest run you can fit in the space you have - 10 foot by 6foot is a good start, bigger is better. They need access to the run at all times so they can.., well, run(!), when they want. After all, they will be most active at dusk and dawn, which at some times of the year will be when the human members of the family are out or fast asleep. For the run you will want something tall (so you can get in it to clean) and secure (because many of the animals living wild and domestically in your neighbourhood won't see your new family members the same way you will), not just secure on the sides but above and below too (rabbits and foxes are excellent diggers). Inside the shed you will want a nest box or hutch into which in winter you can stuff as much straw as you can while still leaving room for your bunnies to crawl in and sleep. There are lots of pictures of interesting example setups on our website.

If you want to make the most of having rabbits in your family, you may choose to have them live in your house. There are whole websites dedicated to setting up your home for this, including tips on bunny proofing, training and placement of litter trays. One of the more important things to understand is they will still need their own space, an area that is theirs, including some place to hide away when they don't want to be seen. Again, this doesn't need to be a hutch (and even a cage may not be appropriate) but inside away from the elements and predators there are lots of good options you could go for.

Even with house rabbits, it is good to get them outdoors regularly if you can (I am talking about UK rabbits here - please check local advice!). They will appreciate a blast round a rabbit-proof garden and some tasty fresh grass to chomp on. Even in the winter it is important to give them the option to go outside though, without the winter coats of outdoor rabbits, if it is really cold they may choose not to!


  1. Speedy isn't keen on the cold but he is getting to run around the whole house which he enjoys

    1. Whisky is the same - sometimes he'll pester me to open the back door, only to peer out, see the bad weather and head back in. He loves racing round the house though.

  2. Can't believe this cold weather is still going on...poor bunnies are longing for the grass to grow.