Anyone who owns, and loves, a pet rabbit knows that bunnies need enough space to play and exercise in order to stay healthy. Exercise time can, to a certain extent, be provided by an outside run or by letting your rabbit roam the house (supervised, of course).
It really is important, though, to have a rabbit hutch that provides adequate room for your rabbit to move freely around. Otherwise, your poor bunny may suffer both mentally, and physically.
Many rabbit owners still used old-fashioned hutches that were designed to be used when breeding rabbits for food. Sad, right?! These hutches were designed to be small with the primary goal of fattening up the animals, not designed with the primary goal of providing the space and comfort that a pet rabbit needs (and deserves)!
What Size SHOULD A Rabbit Hutch Be?
There’s still some confusion about that and research is ongoing, which can make it difficult for pet owners since there’s a lot of conflicting information out there.
In general, the size of your hutch depends on the size of your rabbit. A single dwarf-sized bunny doesn’t require as much space as larger breeds. And there are some general guidelines to follow, as recommended by the RSPCA, although they are currently still researching into what constitutes and “ideal” hutch:
- Rabbits need to be able to stand up fully as well as move around freely. Many hutches have low roofs, so keep this in mind when choosing one.
- Aside from standing up, the rabbit should be able to lie outstretched in all directions.
- It should also be able to take several hops in any direction, and turn around without bumping into something.
It’s important to keep those guidelines in mind and they should apply to your pet rabbit when it’s fully grown. The RSPCA recommends buying a hutch that will last the lifetime of the rabbit, rather than a “starter” home that then gets upgraded to a larger “adult” home.
Other Rabbit Hutch Considerations
Aside from the size of the hutch, there are a number of other considerations. The hutch should be made up of both a shelter and a living area. The living area is where the rabbit can hop around, eat, and play, while the shelter is a place where it can feel secure and rest.
If you keep several rabbits in the same hutch, they should all be able to rest in the shelter at the same time. The shelter is particularly important for rabbits kept in outdoor hutches, as it provides shelter from the environment and a place to hide if there are any predators around.
If you’re going to have a pet rabbit, get to know what you need to provide for your little bunny to be happy and healthy.