What do rabbits need from their hutch?
Rabbits can be a great family pet – in fact, they are the third popular pet in the UK, according to the RSPCA. With their floppy ears and cute little noses, it’s not difficult to see why. They’re often a little easier to look after than cats and dogs too. However, little Flopsy still needs a home! Whether you’re keeping your rabbits inside or out in the garden, building your own hutch can be a great project for you to get stuck into.
First up, it’s important to note that brand new hutches for rabbits are very expensive. You can find some bargain second hand rabbit hutches (for example, here on the Friday-Ad!). Making your own hutch is not necessarily cheaper than buying one, but it means that you can make it fit your requirements – as well as those of your rabbits – perfectly.
If you are going to make your own rabbit hutch, it’s important to remember what rabbits need to keep them happy. Some pet shops or even DIY stores will have plans for rabbit hutches to help you with your project, so don’t be afraid to ask for some advice. It’s important that you get the environment for your rabbits right.
So what do rabbits want? Check out the list below for some pointers.
• Plenty of room – Thumper didn’t get his name because he likes lazing about. Rabbits like to exercise, so their hutch must give them ample room to do just that. A lot of rabbit hutches, particularly outside ones, have a ‘run’ part of it, to give the rabbit plenty of space to hop, run and dig.
• Somewhere to hide – Rabbits naturally live in underground burrows, which give the furry little creatures the opportunity to hide if they get scared. This instinct is something that needs to be catered for in a domestic rabbit hutch. A secure compartment of a hutch will give your rabbits somewhere to hide, away from the sight and smell of those pesky foxes.
• Curiosity killed the rabbit – You may not think it, but rabbits aren’t stupid. They need things to keep their brains occupied, as much as you or I. Tunnels, tubes and toys will help keep your rabbit busy and content. It’s also important to make sure there are no nooks and crannies that your rabbits can hurt themselves on or in. They are curious animals and will explore as far as they can, so make sure there’s no where for them to escape.
• Keep your rabbit warm – Like most of us, rabbits don’t like living in areas that are damp and draughty. Make sure there’s plenty of rabbit-friendly bedding that your little furry friend can snuggle down in. Dust-free straw or hay is often the best, as this is safe for rabbits to eat (which they will!)
If you are unsure about how to look after your rabbits properly, the RSPCA can offer some great advice.
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