Planning Your Rabbit Hutch
Posted Dec 17th 2013 | By:
Much like architects require a plan in order to construct sky scrapers, you are going to need a plan to tackle the task of building a rabbit hutch. You want to ensure the both the safety and comfort of your rabbit(s), keeping protection from predators as well as the elements in mind. There is a lot to take into consideration before you get started and a solid plan will help cover all your bases.
The first step in the hutch building process is deciding where you want to place it and what size you want to be. Select an area for placement and mark off the dimensions for your hutch, taking care to record accurate measurements for the size you would like your hutch to be. The bigger you are able to make the hutch, the better, as it gives your rabbit more time to move and you can more easily add more rabbits in the future if you so choose. Something else to consider when it comes to a rabbit hutch is portability. If you build something mobile, such as with wheels that lock applied to the supports, you can relocate it from time to time so your rabbit's droppings can fertilize your yard. Also, moving it will keep the grass underneath if from dying due to lack of sun exposure. You want your rabbit hutch to be elevated at least a foot off the ground, but the lower it is to the ground, the less likely any grass under it will survive without once in a while seeing the light of day.
Once you have established your size requirements, it is time to think materials. The best and easiest hutch option is wood, which is durable and will last a while. For flooring options, it may sound convenient to have wire so that rabbit droppings can fall freely through, but in truth wire is hard on the feet and hocks of rabbits and should be avoided as flooring. Much better is vinyl flooring as it is sturdy and easy to clean in addition to not likely to injure your rabbit. To protect from the elements, make your hutch so that it has at least two or three solid walls. For your door and one side (if you choose not to have 3 wooden walls) chew-proof coated wire is essential. Do not sacrifice cost when it comes to this wire; rabbits can chew through lesser wires and injure themselves or escape into the wild where hungry predators lurk. Also keep in mind that snakes are flexible creatures and can squeeze themselves into tight spaces so you do not want to use wire with large gaps in it. If a snake can get in and manages to eat your rabbit, that will equate to two unpleasant surprises for you: the death of your rabbit and being greeted by a snake stuck in the hutch.
Complete your hutch with a location for food and a water source, a litter pan, and a softly bedded area and your rabbit is sure to love his new home. Happy hutch building, and if all else fails, read our article on house bunnies and give that option a shot.
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