accommodation

How much space?

As much as you can provide for them, but at least 2 square metres for a pair. They also need height space to stretch up on their hind legs. I highly recommend avoiding pet shop cages and hutches as they are generally very limited in terms of space and are not very aesthetically pleasing. They only really have enough space for necessities, such as a water bottle, food bowl, hide house etc, but there is no space for enrichment or for the rabbits to run, hop, binky etc. These days there are so many options and there really is no excuse to house rabbits in a small cage. Often people use the excuse of not being able to afford a bigger cage, however pet shop cages are definitely overpriced and you can buy better alternatives for a similar cost. Remember, rabbits are not low budget pets!

Indoors or outdoors?

 

A frequently debated subject, but neither option is right or wrong. Both indoors and outdoors have positives and negatives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indoors is certainly more convenient because you do not have to worry about them getting too hot, too cold, or worry about temperature fluctuations, drafts etc. It is also much easier to bond with your rabbits if they live indoors because there is generally better interaction - if for example they live in your bedroom, you are able to give them much more attention and this definitely speeds up the bonding process. It is also more practical having them indoors over the cold season because you don't have to go outdoors during the cold to clean, feed, health check and all the other jobs which need doing.

 

On the other hand, housing rabbits outdoors allows them to live more humanely, as they can exhibit more natural behaviours and experience a more natural life. Housing them outdoors is also great for fresh air, which I feel is an important thing, plus they are able to receive plenty of Vitamin D from the natural sunlight. In my situation, I am able to provide a bigger home for the rabbits housed outdoors because we have more space in our garden compared to the space indoors, so that is another benefit. When rabbits live outdoors, the fresh air definitely helps with the smell and odour is generally not as strong as it is when they are housed indoors.  

 

 

 

 

 

Accommodation type?

There are so many options when it comes to housing your rabbits. Deciding wether they will be housed indoors or outdoors has an important role in accommodation type. There are some suitable homes you can buy online, you can construct your own, ask someone else if they can build one for you, convert old furniture, purchase a garden building (such as a shed or playhouse). There are endless options, but here are some questions you should ask yourself.

  • Will it meet the minimum size requirements?

  • Is it safe from other animals (e.g. dogs, foxes)?

  • Is there sufficient ventilation?

  • Can I clean it with ease?

  • Is it free from drafts?

  • Will the enclosure be out of direct sunlight?

  • Can they keep warm enough if housed outdoors?

 

 

 

If you answered 'yes' to all of these, then the accommodation you have chosen is most likely going to be suitable. Of course there may be some things which you answered 'no' to, but remember you can always make adaptions to ensure all of these basic requirements are met.

 

 

Here are some examples of rabbit accommodation for ideas and inspiration:

OUTDOORS: PLAYHOUSE

Pros:

  • Easily available

  • Windows (rabbits like to look out)

  • Can be purchased secondhand

  • Visually pleasing

Cons:

  • No outdoor area provided

  • Not much height space (small door etc)

  • Can be quite expensive to buy new

  • Limited space (without an aviary)

OUTDOORS: DOG KENNEL 1

Pros:

  • Outdoor area attached

  • Ventilation is very good

  • Roof protects against the elements

  • Several access points

  • Built in hide area

Cons:

  • Not very aesthetically pleasing

  • Could be a bit too drafty

OUTDOORS: DOG KENNEL 2

Pros:

  • Ventilation is good

  • Protected from the sun

  • Built in hide area

  • Easy to access

  • Semi-outdoor area

Cons:

  • Not very visually pleasing

  • Not protected from rain etc

  • Run would need to be attached 

  • Difficult to clean

OUTDOORS: COMMERCIAL AVIARY 

Pros:

  • Ventilation is good

  • Different levels

  • Various sizes/designs to choose from

  • Secure

 

Cons:

  • Expensive

  • Can't be adapted easily

OUTDOORS:  HOMEMADE AVIARY

Pros:

  • Ventilation is good

  • Spacious

  • Can be built to individual wants/needs

  • Easy to access

  • Visually pleasing

Cons:

  • Expensive to buy materials

  • Needs a roof for all year use

  • Requires a hutch/insulated area

  • DIY skills needed

  • Requires lots of garden space

OUTDOORS: SHED/PLAYHOUSE & HOMEMADE AVIARY

Pros:

  • Spacious

  • Choice of indoors & outdoors

  • Suitable for all seasons 

  • Great ventilation 

  • Easy to access

Cons:

  • Expensive

  • DIY skills needed (aviary)

  • Takes up lots of space

OUTDOORS: hutch with permanent access to large run 

(at least 2 square metres per pair)

Pros:

  • Provides lots of space

  • Can be purchased secondhand

  • Hutches are easily available

  • Interaction is good

Cons:

  • Can be quite expensive to build

  • Not very visually pleasing

  • May require DIY skills

INDOORS: LARGE PLAYPEN

Pros:

  • Affordable

  • Good interaction 

  • No DIY skills needed

Cons:

  • Not safe from dogs etc

  • Bunnies must be litter trained

  • Not suitable with carpet (unless trained)