Housing

The recommended hutch sizes for small and medium sized rabbits are shown below.

We believe hutches of this size are best used as secure sleeping quarters and that your rabbit should also have a large playpen or be able to free range during the day.

Luckily most rabbits get to experience a double story hutch, allowing them an upstairs sleeping area and a downstairs play area.

Your rabbit’s hutch should have an overhanging roof to provide protection from rain and it should be secured to the ground to prevent it from overturning in bad weather. During the warmer months place your hutch in the coolest area of your property.

Don’t worry if you’re unable to sit your rabbit’s hutch on grass – rabbits don’t require grass as part of their diet.

We do not recommend hutches that are off ground with a wire base as this can cause sore hocks. If your hutch is sitting off ground a solid floor is preferred.

Ample bedding should be provided at all times. This could be straw, wood shavings, shredded paper or some breeders even use sawdust and sand.

If you are worried about myxomatosis you can cover your outdoor hutch with a net or attach gauze mesh to any outside open areas your rabbit uses. Just be aware that mosquitoes can still get in cracks and can still get in when you open the door. Netting is not a 100% solution to prevent myxomatosis.

Do remember that myxo is not as common as one would think and when it does show up in Melbourne and other areas of Australia it is usually limited to a small number of suburbs.

Rabbits can be kept inside and this is becoming more common with more people choosing rabbits as apartment pets or replacements for cats.

There are a large variety of indoor cages available on the market that are very hygienic and easy to clean.

Rabbits can be easily toilet trained but avoid using clay-type litters as these can cause digestion problems if nibbled.

The biggest problem caused by rabbits roaming free inside the house is biting through electrical cords – so homes should be bunny-proofed before release.

Recommended hutch/cage sizes

Small breeds weighing about 1Kg

100cm long x 35cm wide x 45cm high

Medium sized breeds weighing up to 4Kg

124cm long x 45cm wide x 50cm high

Rabbit Hutch

Hutch hygiene

Hutches should be cleaned out on a regular basis. This is especially important in warmer weather in order to prevent flies being attracted to the hutch, as this may result in an infestation of maggots. In the winter months, bedding can become damp and mouldy from extreme weather.

Every day

  • Remove any soiled or damp bedding or change litter tray.

Once a week

  • Remove all bedding and thoroughly sweep out all the old bedding.
  • Rinse with warm water and mild detergent and wait until dry.
  • Spray inside of hutch with a rabbit safe disinfectant / deodorant and wait until dry.
  • Replace with clean bedding.

Weather

Rabbits are sensitive to both hot and cold weather.

In the heat the best solution is to have your rabbit indoors and possibly have a fan going.

If you need to leave your rabbit outside there are a few options you can try to keep them cool and comfortable:

  • Your rabbit will benefit from an ice cube placed in the hutch that they can lie on. Frozen water bottles or ice packs work well - change them over every few hours.
  • A wet towel draped over the outside of the hutch will also cool it down.
  • Bricks can be placed in the hutch and watered to remain wet, rabbits love lying on them!
  • If the hutch is large enough you can also include some wet straw.

Do not ever wet your rabbit!

RABBITS CAN DIE FROM HEAT STRESS

In the cold weather make sure outdoor hutches are fully protected by wind and rain. Apply lots of soft bedding for them to cuddle in to and clean it every day to make sure it does not become wet.

Another benefit of having two rabbits is that they will keep each other warm. Once again, in the extremely cold weather, your rabbit will much prefer to be inside!