For most rabbits, a hutch is more like a home. This is because this is the place where they are going to spend most of their time. They depend so much on these structures as these can provide them with the comfort and security they need.
As a rabbit owner, it is your duty to provide your pets with a good quality hutch that is clean and durable. It must be able to protect them against predators like snakes and foxes, as well as keep them warm during the cold winter days.
What Is a Hutch?
A hutch is basically a cage that is made of wood, plastic or metal and wire mesh. While it usually has tall legs to prevent damage caused by rotting, there are also those varieties that can be simply placed on a flat surface.
Nowadays, you can purchase a hutch in pet stores or build one yourself. It really depends on you. But then again, whatever decision you have in mind, it is important that you provide your rabbits with the best and most comfortable hutch you can find.
An Ideal Hutch
Luckily, rabbit owners don’t have to worry so much about finding the perfect bunny hutches as these are readily available in stores and on the web. Plus, the styles vary so much. As a matter of fact, there are certain designs created for about every need. Some appear like huge wooden boxes. Others look like country cabins.
Even with the varying designs, the choice you make relies on several factors. Aside from the budget you set and the comfort of your rabbits, here are some other points to consider:
Ability to Withstand Varying Weather Conditions
When buying a hutch, make sure it can protect your bunnies from moisture, heat, and cold. Thus, as much as possible, it should have a waterproof covering and windows to allow proper ventilation.
Ability to Resist Chewing
To prevent your rabbits from gnawing away the wood parts of the enclosure, be sure you get a design that has wire over the wooden sections.
Although a typical outdoor hutch must have a metal mesh floor to allow the droppings of the rabbits to freely fall through, you still need to ensure that there is a solid portion of the floor. The reason for this is that rabbits cannot stand walking on wire the whole day. If you leave them there, they might acquire infections.
Does Size Matters?
Of course, the larger the hutch, the more expensive it will be. But you must always remember that rabbits will spend most of their time in the hutch. Hence, the bigger the hutch you get, the better it is for your pets.
When it comes to size, there is one thing you must take note of. Every 1-pound of rabbit needs at least 1 square foot of space. For instance, if your bunny weighs around 4 pounds, you will need a hutch with a measurement of 4 square feet or 2 x 2 feet. If you are buying a hutch for a baby rabbit, you must also estimate its size when it grows up to avoid future spending.
Once space is compromised, expect your pets to suffer. If they don’t have enough space to move around, they will easily get bored. Other than that, if a rabbit is given such a very small space, it will be at risk for obesity.
In addition, the hutch must also be spacious enough to house all other accessories your rabbits need. These include feeding tray, recreation items, and water bowls.
Choosing the Best Design
For practicality, you need to consider the design of the hutch. You don’t want to spend all your fortune over something that is of no use for you or your bunnies.
To guide you in buying, it is vital that you consider the following:
From short enclosures that can be placed flat to the ground to tall hutches that require ladders to assemble, the rabbit enclosures today obviously comes in various heights. However, as mentioned above, the most important thing you must consider is the safety and comfort of your rabbit.
Hutches that are so close to the ground could be unhealthy for your pets, especially during the cold winter days because moisture and cold air may easily get in. Therefore, it is best that you get something that is of moderate height. Something that you can easily reach when cleaning is already acceptable.
The best hutches are those that offer shelter and protection for your rabbits against predators. So if you find one that suits your price range, better opt for one. Otherwise, find another alternative, such as giving nest boxes that can be used as hiding places.
When all these are taken into perspective, raising and caring for rabbits will be something you will look forward to.