Assisi Animal Sanctuary is Northern Ireland's largest independent animal welfare charity providing shelter for up to 200 companion animals - cats, dogs and rabbits.
Charity Reference No: NIC104594.
In the words of the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund, ‘A hutch is not enough…’
Rabbits need a lot of space to move and run about in. They do not like to feel confined and squashed into a small space, as they are prey animals and need to feel like they have somewhere to run to.
The minimum accommodation any rabbit should have is a 6ft(L) x 5ft(H) x 2ft(D) double storey hutch, with at least a 4ft x 8ft run. Anything smaller than this is inadequate, even for the smallest rabbit. Hutches should always be of the very best quality as they have to withstand poor weather conditions and must keep the rabbit warm and dry at all times. A good quality hutch and run could cost you £200 plus.
Ideally a shed conversion would be better, as a well converted shed can make a wonderful comfortable home for any rabbit. A shed can provide a rabbit with more floor space than a hutch, and it can also be multi level. With the extra over-head room the rabbit will not feel as closed in and will be more relaxed in its surroundings.
Sheds can be very easily converted using good quality ply wood, and vinyl flooring can be laid. The vinyl flooring should be laid before adding the ply wood to clad the inside of the shed. This prevents the rabbit from digging up and chewing the vinyl.
Multiple levels can then be added in by making shelves and ramps with extra pieces of ply wood, ensuring that the shelves are not too high up, or have a side on them to prevent the rabbit from falling off.
Outside runs can be easily built using good quality wood and wire mesh. By building your own run it can be made as big as possible and will not be as costly as buying one from a pet shop.
By providing your rabbit with as much space as possible you are ensuring it is a relaxed and happy rabbit.