Did you know… the idea of keeping rabbits in a hutch first came about from the Victorians who used the hutches to house the rabbits they were soon to kill to eat them! Grim, but true. Hutches were never meant to be the long term homes of the rabbits but it just stuck.
What is Fair for a Rabbit?
The RSPCA states that the minimum welfare requirements of a living area for a pair of medium sized rabbits (mini lop, for example) is 6ftx2ftx2ft (182cmx60cmx60cm). Please note that this is a minimum and is meant to be the size of just a rabbits home and not include the time a bunny spends out and about. There is nothing more funny than watching your bunnies race around the garden or your home doing binky hops!
So, based on these recommendations I have come up with a collection of pics of the various ways people are now keeping their bunnies. As more people are being made aware of a rabbits requirements there are more and more interesting bunny homes appearing online. It does not have to cost the earth and some of these set ups are surprisingly low cost!
Please note: when searching for your new bunnies home, please take note of the measurements given and compare them with the RSPCA’s advice. Also, be aware that just because a product has the same picture on various sites, does not mean that it is the same item with the same dimensions. Watch out for crafty sellers including overhangs and nest boxes in their overall dimensions, this can fool you into thinking a hutch/pen/coop is much bigger than it really is.
Please see my Bunny Pinterest Board HERE as it contains great rabbity inspiration.
I have found the following hutches to be good value and satisfactory. A hutch is a good bunny home when it is combined a permanent run. You can add some great toys (home made or bought). Bunny should also have a good amount of time with their humans and out of their living area.Bluebell Hideaway Hutch for Rabbits and Guinea Pigs £99 H112.50 x W152 x D61cm. You can view/purchase this hutch from Pets at Home, click HERE to view.
I have been to visit this hutch myself and it is definitely big. My only reservation about this hutch would be the thin ply wood. Maybe you could make a cover for it in the winter and keep it under a lean-to type structure for shelter from the weather. I have seen these hutches painted lovely colours too and they look fab.
SO, this is the only hutch I have on my list. This is because they are soooo expensive! You could try to look for one second hand or even make one yourself (my pallet hutch is to follow). There are more in Pets At Home but they do cost much more. I would begrudge paying more than £145 as you could possibly buy a 6×4 shed new for this price and I think you would be getting much more for your money there. More on this later…
Egg Shell Extra Large Chicken Coop
This next set up is a chicken coop rather than a hutch. Again, it would do better under shelter but I love the idea of this. The children and I saw this at our local pet shop and loved it. The children could get into it! It was £100 more at our local pet shop though. Here it is for a total of £125.99 including delivery.
This is the best site I have found for this chicken coop at Egg Shell click HERE for the product. The Overall dimensions for this one are “250cm (L)x 75cm (D) x 103cm (H) overall dims incl nest box and roof overhangs both side”. This is quite large isnt it. Be careful if you shop around for this one as they might look the same but very often have smaller dimensions.
Here is another Coop/hutch, but the picture (the one without measurements) makes this pen look huge… but it isnt!
It doesn’t quite meet the RSPCA guidelines but I have included this one in my list because I actually think it would make an excellent pen for a single INDOOR bunny. Click HERE for the link to the website. The price for this is a whopping £199!!! Painted, I think this would look great inside though.
This hutch is similar but a bit more simple. This has made it a little cheaper, larger and a bit more affordable…
The Manor 6ft Extra Large Rabbit Hutch
My Bunnies’ Outhouse Conversion
Inside Bunny Shed’s – Examples
Here are some of my favourite Rabbit sheds, nothing fancy, just a bog standard shed (minimum 6×4) which has been made by the owner into a fantastic bunny home…
All of these bunny sheds seem to have runs attached to the side but you dont have to have a run attached of course. you could take your bun to their run just like you would if they lived in a hutch or as a house bunny. Some of the sheds are quite extravagant but they dont have to be. Like mine, isn’t extravagant, its simple and very cost effective and means that two or more female buns can live together (obviously you can not keep breeding does together or two uneutered males, or un-altered males and females. It does not work, too many hormones about the place and it isn’t natural for them to live togehter like that, I will write more on this to explain further soon).
So, where is the best place to get your shed from?
- If you already have a shed which is ideally 6×4 and you could do without it then why not use it for your bunnies. Ensure it is water tight. Alter it inside so that the bunnies can not chew their way out (some bunnies like to chew). All this could involve is lining the shed with thin ply wood only where the bunny can reach.
How to convert your shed so it is bunny ready?
1.Ensure it is water tight. This is especially important if your shed isnt new/second hand etc. A damp bunny home will lead to a poorly bunny.
2. Make is escape proof/bunny chew proof.
3. Predator proof the shed. You need a good bolt lock that a fox cannot undo. Latches are not good enough as I think foxes can work out how to undo these. It doesn’t matter where you live, foxes are about! Think of a fox as a dog cat. They can climb and jump rediculously high and are very clever. Also, don’t assume they only come out at night. Also, think about buzzards, owls etc (birds of prey) they often hunt in the day and will take a rabbit no problems, regardless of it being in your garden. Think of any runs attatched to the shed… give bunny plenty of tunnels and covered areas so the bunny can relax (they wont relax with these sheltered areas as it is in their insticts, they know they are yummy to birds of prey.
4. Fill it with everything bunny needs and loves! including;
- Food bowls
- water bottle/s
- Hay rack
- Litter Tray/s
- Sleeping area (box, Cat bed, Teepee, cat carrier with hay and sawdust inside)
- Toys (like balls, tubes, mats, soft areas like a dog bed, hanging food using pegs, big branches, little branches, hideouts)
- Levels – Bunnies love levels to jump on to. They love to sit up high and watch!
Remember, this type of set up is probably going to be a bit of trial and error for you and bunny. Just go with it and enjoy it. It can be a great way to be able to spend time with bunny.
Please send me any pics you may have of your bunny shed set ups, i love to see other peoples take on this! firstname.lastname@example.org
Indoor Bunnies Homes
Even if a bunny is lucky enough to have the run of your house, he/she still needs to have her own space and the same amount of recommended room applies (6ft x 2ft x 2ft). Please keep in mind that your bunny may need to be protected from children and other pets.Here are some great ideas on google image search.
Here are the links for the cheap cage and run set up on amazon. I always prefer to buy from Amazon rather than ebay as there is a no quibble returns policy on amazon, they are brilliant…
Amazon Rabbit Run – Viva Pets £21.99 N.B. With any run, your bunny could dig out, this may not be suitable for very large bunny breeds.
Rabbit Cage 120cm Amazon – this cage is on the small size and it definitely needs a permanent run attached to it.
You will need to bunny proof your home. Keep bunny away from wires, especially electrical wires as they do and will chew through them. It will be very important to litter train an indoor bunny, for information on how to do this please click HERE.
For more advice and information about everything bunny, please see my Bunny Board on pinterest… Click HERE.