Everyone knows that large rabbit hutches are much better for rabbits than small ones, but apart from the obvious (having more space) – what are the real reasons why you should invest a bit more in a larger hutch for your furry little ones? Why spend the extra cash?
Firstly, more space means more exercise room. One thing you need to make sure you provide your rabbits is that they have enough exercise and play room to move about in. Not only is getting enough exercise essential to their health, it also helps keep rabbits happy & mentally healthy as well. In fact, ensuring that your pet is physically fit as well as mentally fit is key to giving them a long, happy life with you best family pets.
Don’t scrimp on those extra few yards of space, give your rabbits as much as you possibly can and they will love you all the more for it! Both the RSPCA and the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) both recommend a bare minimum hutch size of 6ft x 2ft but the bigger you can make it the better. Obviously if you are keeping rabbits indoors then space within the house is usually the limiting factor, but outside should allow for a larger rabbit hutch. Speaking of outdoors:
Is it better to keep rabbits outdoors or indoors? Does it even matter?
Actually, you can keep rabbits indoors or outdoors. It doesn’t matter in itself – but what does matter is that whatever location you choose for the hutch, that you ensure certain critical things are catered for. For example, keeping rabbits indoors is great for rabbit wellbeing as you can control the temperature & humidity with no harsh weather conditions to have to protect your rabbit from etc. However space is limited (usually) and it can get smelly & noisy at times.
Keeping rabbits outdoors on the other hand, you can have a much larger hutch for your little furry ones to eat, sleep and exercise in – but you’ll need more consideration to keeping them warm, sheltered and protected from natural predators which lurk in the big, scary outside world. Outdoor hutches are usually more expensive than indoor ones too – as they have to be much sturdier and protective, plus are generally larger in size than their indoor counterparts.
Given the above, it is usually considered better to have large rabbit hutches outdoors than a smaller cramped one indoors. Provided you can give your rabbits a safe, warm & sheltered environments to sleep and rest in, the larger exercise and play areas will benefit them greatly. Plus, outdoor hutches are often higher/taller as well making it easier for rabbits to hop and jump about as they love to do!
Another advantage of having a larger rabbit hutch is that it’s much easier to accommodate more than one rabbit. It is generally given that you should always keep 2 rabbits together as they love company and are actually highly social animals. If a rabbit is kept on their own, they can get bored and lonely just as we do. Having a big hutch will certainly help with this as well as things won’t get cramped inside like they might with a small hutch.
Why even use a Rabbit Hutch? What about other alternatives like cages?
It’s true that hutches are the most common and most popular of housing for domestic rabbits, but there is a reason for this and it’s not just because of convention. Far from it, in fact hutches are highly customizable, often coming in modular sections that allow you to design and build your own hutch design to suit whatever needs you require for your rabbits. Comfort is often much higher with hutches compared to bare-bone cages and offer much warmer and more sheltered living conditions. You don’t want your rabbits to get too hot or too cold during weather extremes throughout the year, so having that sheltered sleeping section that keeps them snuggled up and cozy in the winter and keeps the hot sun off of them in the hot summer months, is definitely the way to go. This is actually another benefit of large rabbit hutches, as there is more room for ample amounts of bedding material for them to snuggle into when its cold, as well as plenty of air space within during the hotter months to keep them cool.