to the Rabbit Hutch
Rabbits originate from the Iberian Peninsula. "Spain" literally
translates as "the land of the rabbit."
rabbit will need ample space, a clean cage, shade (if kept outside) and
Rabbits can be kept in the home or outside in a weatherproof, protected hutch.
Always buy the largest home you can afford for your rabbit, and at the very
least ensure the cage or hutch is four times the size of the rabbit. The animal
should have enough room to stand on its hind legs without its ears touching the
top of the cage. Wire cages or hutches are advised as they are stronger, easier
to maintain and unlike wooden structures cannot be chewed, or become soaked and
smelly with urine.
speaking, the rule is one cage, one rabbit. In nine out of ten cases adult
rabbits do not get along but it is however possible to house females together -
as long as they have sufficient space. The old saying
multiply like rabbits" is certainly true so don't house rabbits of opposite
sexes unless you want to breed.
wire floors can be used as they facilitate cleaning - droppings and urine pass
through the grating into a removable tray beneath. Nonetheless, wire bottomed
cages have disadvantages: they prevent rabbits from reabsorbing their droppings,
which is an important part of diet. Metal wire can also turn cold quickly,
robbing the rabbit of body heat especially at night and during winter. Metal is
also uncomfortable for a rabbit's paws so you will need wooden boarding on the
floor and some hay for added warmth and comfort.
and hutch should have feeding bowls and water vessels: open containers or a
vertical drinker attached to the side of the rabbit's housing. A rabbit should
not be in its cage 24 hours per day. If outdoors the hutch should have an
adequate-sized run for exercise, if indoors the rabbit should be allowed to run
around a room. All rabbits should be supplied with chewable toys which keep its
teeth in trim while providing some useful distraction.
Outdoor rabbits will need a hutch, which is basically, a two sided structure
containing a cage and an enclosed unit. Hutches with heavy wire mesh are best as
these prevent the animal from escaping, and, predators from entering. Rabbits
can live quite happily outdoors if their housing is waterproof, warm,
draught-free and with dry bedding. In colder temperatures the hutch should be
placed near a wall or side gable to block it from the elements. In summer always
provide a rabbit with shade because the animal's brain swells very quickly; in
the wild rabbits hide from sunlight
should be slightly elevated above ground level as this allows air
circulate and prevents moisture from gathering. A raised hutch also stabilizes temperatures for the bunny inside.
Indoor rabbits are normally neutered as this makes them less aggressive and
rabbits can be provided with litter trays and organic cat
litter (not clay or wood based litters as the dust causes respiratory problems).
A litter tray is needed for house training a rabbit, which is a good idea if
your pet has full run of the home. After deliberate care and planning, a rabbit
can be "taught" to use its litter tray in much the same way as a cat.
In the home rabbits should be safe from danger. Things like wires and cables,
books and magazines should be out of reach, otherwise a rabbit will happily
munch its way through them!
many humans, rabbits love to eat all the wrong foods! Like us, they will eat
junk food before tucking into a fresh salad and the proverbial "rabbit
food." With this in mind, it is important that owners keep their rabbits
healthy - by feeding the correct foods.
Rabbits are dawn and dusk feeders that in the wild prefer a variety of sweet,
tender foods that are rich in protein and fiber. Commercial rabbit foods have an
important place in a rabbit's diet because they contain approximately 16%
protein and 16% fiber. Rabbit pellets should be fresh, sweet smelling and short
in length. Rabbits can be fed a mixture of pellets and flakes made from grasses,
oats, bran, peas and corn. Once you have decided on a
of food, your pet rabbit should do well on 50 grams (2oz) of pellets per day
depending on its activity level and size. Divide this into two feedings, one in
the morning and at night. (Don't allow your bunny to free-feed as it leads to
obesity and may cause diarrhea).
a pellet-only diet is not advised because it lacks other essential nutrients.
Furthermore pellet food doesn't exercise a rabbit's teeth in the way for which
they were designed. A rabbit's teeth are designed for slicing and grinding at a
rate exceeding 120 chews per minute. Small, hard pellets of food cannot be
sliced so they are crushed by the molars. This causes dental misalignment
because the teeth are growing too quickly before they can be worn down.
approach is to feed on a diet of bulky foodstuffs, alfalfa, hay, and vegetables.
In your rabbit's salad you can also include clover, peapods, dandelion greens,
kale, carrot tops, parsley and beetroot tops which are high in plant proteins.
Do not feed lighter greens such as lettuce, bagged salad greens, celery or
cabbage as they lack nutrients. Lettuce can cause diarrhea, cabbage causes
wind, and celery can get caught in the rabbit's gut. Try and include three
different dark green vegetables every day in your rabbit's diet.
* Don't overfeed rabbits on beans, peas, corn, wheat, barley and vegetables that
* Don't feed your bunny crackers, bread or pasta as these are sugary and can
cause tooth decay in rabbits.
* As a treat, feed your rabbit fruits that are high in fiber such as apples,
pears, peaches, pineapples and strawberries. Avoid bananas and grapes.
* Everyone knows that rabbits love carrots - but however don't just feed the
body of the carrot - the carrot tops are a valuable source of protein.
* Supply rabbits with grass. It is an essential part of a rabbit's diet in the
wild; it is an excellent source of fiber, and maintains the health of the
Young rabbits should be fed on a pellet-only diet until the age of six months.
After this time slowly introduce fresh greens.
any sudden changes to a rabbit's diet as it will cause stomach upset.
vegetables in water to remove any material that may have been sprayed on them to
preserve freshness and color.
in a bright corner of the hutch if you want to encourage your rabbit to eat.
rabbits prefer sweet foods, you can use molasses or sugar to dress up a food
which you are trying to introduce to the rabbit's diet. Gradually reduce the
sugar topping until the rabbit is eating without sugar.
have a fresh supply of water in the rabbit's hutch. Rabbits drink about two
times more water than the amount of food they eat. Remember a rabbit cannot
survive longer than 24 hours without water.