Rabbit Hutch or Bunny Palace? (Part 1 Outdoor Homes)
If I offered you the choice between a one room bedsit and a luxury house, there wouldn't be much competition. Unfortunately for rabbits they often aren't given the choice.
The traditional rabbit hutch, a ply wood box 1'x1'x4' with no room for excerise is the fate of all too many rabbits. Some lucky bunnies, however, end up with luxury homes that boarder on the bunny equivalent to a palace!
The generally accepted minimum guidelines for rabbit housing are a 6'x2'x2' hutch with a 6'x4' exercise run, but please check with the rescue you plan to adopt from what their exact requirements are.
You don't have to stick to a hutch though, there are lots of different setup options. Take a look at some of the homes below and let them inspire you.
Click on the photos to enlarge.
I have three mini lop boys that live in a playhouse especially put up for them, with a converted run. In the house they've got a few shelves to sit on, a hay corner (also used as a toilet, so it gets cleaned out every day!), a 'box' (small house), which is their bedroom.
The playhouse is 5x5 foot and the run is about twice as big.
Cozy Shed Palace
The bunnies have the free run of an 8x6 shed. Inside is 2 hutches, but the bunnies aren't locked in them, instead they site on top of the hutches and look out of the window.
There is also a couple of night light for the evening time.
Bunny Houe & Run
Bunny Palace with Extensive Grounds!
The windows open and close and have wire behind them for extra security. The inside is insulated also for security as well as warmth. Ventilation holes were drilled under the eaves and the door is now a stable door so the top can be left open on good days. When open, the top is secured by strong wire mesh.
Inside are two cages, the upstairs with a ramp, lots of toys and things to jump on. They use large potting trays as litter trays - you know how girls always want to go to the loo together!
Bunny House 1 has also now been joined by Bunny Houses 2 and 3, with more runs attached and all have electrics installed.
Beautiful Blue Bunny Play House
This luxury bunny pad is based around the Poppy Playhouse from B&Q. It is 5 ft by 5 ft including the veranda. Its mounted on fence posts supporting a platform. A cat flap in the door and a ramp down to the ground mean the occupants can come out for excersise and be locked safely inside when necessary. The windows are coved in mesh rather then the perspex provided, this helps with ventelation. Inside are big shelves so the rabbits have different levels to sit on adding to the floor area availble.
Two Storey Hutch & Run
The hutch is two stories each of 5'x 2'x 2', it was custom built for me buy a local pet shop. It is all tongue and grove wood and is very sturdy. As you can see all the doors close with a bolt for added security. The hutch is painted with that Garden Shades paint and is much nicer than the original orange! Each floor is covered with lino to make cleaning easier. I put a litter tray in the area behind the solid door on the top floor and the rest of the hutch is kept clear for extra space. There are no internal dividers again to increase the space.
The run is 7' x 5' x 29" and has a sliding lid so I can gain access. Ideally I'd have liked a flap right across at the front that folded back instead (I didn't think of that when designing it). It was built for me by Aviary Accessories (www.aviaryaccessories.co.uk).
A Castle Fit for Giants!
These hutches accommodate Bos (giant 18lbs) and Mabel (small dwarf lop about 6lbs). Below them live three 6 months old buns (two bonded one single) the lower hutch has a 'mesh' dividing wall, for getting used to each other, hopefully these three will all bond ......... The hutch furthest away houses Flip and Skip, (Bigger Bevererns at about 11lb weight) one on each level, bonded pair but don't like to live together all the time. Both hutches are 6ft wide and 4ft deep, and about 8ft high, they have moveable bedrooms in some, and one has a 'loft conversion too' - for the more adventurous rabbit.
In the background of the Giant Hutch photo, you can just see a standard pet shop sized hutch, (through the fence) we just use this for buns to play with in the garden, no one has ever 'lived' in it except the little dutch when they were 8 weeks old for about 6 weeks.
The two storey white house is home for the little dutch, this is 4ft square and 5ft high.
Your Bunny Palace
If you have a bunny palace and would like to see it here, please send photos and a description.
For more information on housing rabbits see: The Rabbit House