Outdoor Rabbit Hutch – 4 Key Tips, Location Advice & More Outdoor Rabbit Hutch – 4 Key Tips, Location Advice & More
(Last Updated On: June 4, 2020)Rabbits love the outside world, but it’s not always a friendly place for them. A host of predators and... Outdoor Rabbit Hutch – 4 Key Tips, Location Advice & More
(Last Updated On: June 4, 2020)

Rabbits love the outside world, but it’s not always a friendly place for them. A host of predators and the elements all pose a threat to rabbits.

That’s why selecting the right outdoor rabbit hutch for your bunny is crucial. It is the only barrier between them and the outside world. At the bare minimum, it needs to provide a safe haven from predators and decent shelter.

But there are other important considerations that should be weighed up. In this guide you’ll find out everything you need to know about choosing the best outdoor rabbit hutch to give your bunny a humane and happy home.

Let’s dive right in…

How To Choose The Correct Size Hutch – 4 Key Tips

By far, one of the most important considerations is size. Many hutches sold today are still too small for a rabbit to happily live  within. This is a carry-over from the times rabbits were held in hutches simply to fatten them up for meat.

In fact, an RSPCA study conducted in 2007 found that traditional hutches did not provide adequate room for rabbits to express important behaviours such as hopping or rearing on their back legs. Low ceilings and an overall lack of floorspace offered little more than a cramped living space that is not ideal for rabbits.

In contrast to this, rabbits who lived in much larger hutches were found to spend more time engaging with their environment. They moved around more, were inquisitive and far less time was spent being inactive. In short, the study found a increase in living space led to an increase in happiness.

When it comes to size, a rabbits home can never be too big.

The RSPCA set out guidelines that recommend a hutch for a single or pair of rabbits, each weighing less than 2Kg, should be a minimum of 3m long by 1m wide by 1m wide. With a sleeping area of 1m by 1m incorporated into this.

Sadly not many hutches are this big and the advice from the RSPCA can be inconsistent. Sometimes this minimum figure is quoted as the size of the hutch alone and other times this size is recommended as the minimum size of the hutch and run together.

But, despite this sometimes confusing advice there are some simple rules you can follow that that will ensure you get the right sized home for your rabbit:

1 Not Always Buying A Rabbit Hutch

An ideal home for rabbits?

It might surprise you to learn that chicken coops can make a great substitute for a rabbit hutch. They are usually large and still provide a nice, cosy sleeping area. Many are also designed to be very secure and often feature heavy-duty predator wire and an attached run.

2 Buying a Double Hutch

If you’re searching for rabbit hutch and find they are all too small try widening your search to include hutches designed for 2 or more rabbits. These can sometimes be split over two tiers and despite being aimed at housing 2 bunnies they often provide the ideal amount of space for one.

3 A Hutch With An Attached Run

It goes without saying that hutches with attached runs are typically much larger. They provide your rabbit with the ability to choose between being inside or out. And, as rabbits are usually most active at dawn and dusk, it allows them to move freely between the two without our help. This is handy because at these times we are often tucked up in bed!

It might be tempting to place your hutch and run combo on your lawn but this isn’t always a good idea. Your rabbit could easily burrow out or a predator could burrow in. Foxes are known to dig under fences to get at their prey. To help prevent this happening you can attach predator-proof wire to the bottom of the run and burying this straight down into the ground. This will provide some protection but is not foolproof.

4 You’ll Still Need A Separate Run…

That’s right. Even with a hutch and run combo, you’ll probably still need to buy a separate run. Unless of course, yours equals the minimum 3m by 1m size requirements. But, even then, your rabbit will still need to get outside to safely exercise.

This might seem like an additional unnecessary expense. But you will see the difference a good-sized run makes to your rabbits quality of life. It will run, hop and binky because it will have the space to exhibit these behaviours.

This is a far cry from the view many of us have of rabbits, they are surprisingly active if they are allowed to be.

Best Selling Outdoor Rabbit Hutches

Bestseller No. 1
dibea RH10240 Premium (147 x 52 x 85 cm), Large Rabbit Hutch 2 Floors Log Cabin, with 3 Doors for Rabbits Guinea Pigs
  • Spacious, robust and weatherproof Rabbit Hutch, 147 x 52 x 85 cm (W x D x H)
  • Made from impregnated fir wood and iron wire, useable indoors or outdoors. The detachable roof is...
  • 2 storey small animal hutch, with spacious layout, 3 rooms, 3 doors, 2 levels. Open free run zone...
Bestseller No. 2
Rabbit hutch XXL Small animal enclosure Premium rabbit villa 212x52x85 cm
  • SHELTER & ENTERTAINMENT IN ONE. This rabbit hutch with its two storeys and generous run area serves...
  • ROBUST MATERIALS. The small animal shelter is made of robust fir wood and the roof is fitted with...
  • SPECIAL FEATURE. A running ramp gives the animals access to the 2nd floor, where the screen offers...
Bestseller No. 3
6ft Chartwell Double Guinea Pig Rabbit Hutch | Perfect Outdoor & Indoor Rabbit Hutch for 2 Rabbits Or Guinea Pigs | The Biggest Hutch On Amazon
  • BRITSH MANUFACTURING: We're a proud member of the Made In Britain Campaign and are the only...
  • GIVE YOUR PETS THE GIFT OF SPACE: Unlike other lesser Rabbit Hutches on the market, our rabbit cage...
  • KEEP PREDATORS OUT: Our 5ft Chartwell Double Guinea Pig Hutch is the only hutch on the market...

Prices & information last updated on 2020-11-24

Keeping Your Rabbit Secure

When it comes to keeping your rabbit secure the hutch you choose should do this in two main ways.

The first is providing adequate shelter. Typically the sleeping area provides the main shelter in a hutch. It should draught free, well ventilated and dry.

If it is damp, hot or draughty your rabbit could become ill and generally be uncomfortable. This area also needs to be cleaned regularly since it may also be the area within the hutch your rabbit chooses to use as a toilet.

The second is a place to hide. Again, the sleeping area usually provides such a place. Rabbits are prey animals and, as such, can scare easily. The sight or even smell of a predator can cause alarm and it is important they have a safe area they can retreat to if they feel threatened.

Provide Some Entertainment

Rabbits are very intelligent so its important that some form of entertainment is provided to prevent them from becoming bored and unhappy. This often termed as enrichment and can be as simple as providing some toys for your rabbit to play with and items to chew.

Generally, toys made from natural materials are best and you should avoid plastic where possible.

Rabbits also appreciate company and having access to other rabbits and/or you to play with is also important.

Never Buy This Kind Of Outdoor Rabbit Hutch

No, no, no….

We’ve seen a particular kind of hutch being banded around online that has caused us some concern. It is essentially a box on 4 legs with a wire door on the front.

It does not provide a sleeping area nor any protection from the elements. You should also avoid this kind of hutch at all costs.

Never buy a hutch with a wire floor. It might be easier to clean but it’s hard on your rabbit’s feet. Over time it will cause painful sores known as hocks on the bottom of your bunny’s feet.

Choosing A Good Location And Protection

Now we know what to look for in a hutch. There are two more items on our checklist we need to address:

1 A Cover Is Important

You won’t need to cover your rabbit every night but buying a cover will protect your rabbit on frosty nights.

If you can’t find a cover for your run a good quality tarpaulin sheet will do just as good a job. Just make sure you still allow air to make its way into the hutch even with the cover on.

2 Choosing The Right Hutch Location

The location you choose for your rabbit’s hutch is important. It should never be placed in direct sunlight or in a location where it is very exposed to the elements.

A hutch should also never be placed in a busy area of your garden (for example where children play) and it should never be close to any areas you might have BBQ’s or other open flames.

An ideal location is against the side of your house in a spot that does not receive direct sunlight during the day. This is particularly important during the summer when the internal temperature of a hutch will rocket in direct sunlight. This could kill your bunny especially since they are already prone to heatstroke.

To Sum Up: What Makes A Good Outdoor Rabbit Hutch?

The first time you own a rabbit it will surprise you. They exhibit a wide range of behaviours and are far more intelligent then they are often credited. But they can only lead happy and full lives if they have room to exhibit their full gamut of behaviours.

In short, you should always buy the largest hutch you can afford. It should be at least 3m by 1m by 1m and this can be either using a hutch or hutch and run combo.

The hutch should provide a nice and cosy area for your rabbit to sleep or hide in. You’ll also need a decent sized run in addition to the hutch (even if it comes with a small run attached) and allow you rabbit time to exercise every day.

Best Selling Outdoor Rabbit Hutches

Bestseller No. 1
dibea RH10240 Premium (147 x 52 x 85 cm), Large Rabbit Hutch 2 Floors Log Cabin, with 3 Doors for Rabbits Guinea Pigs
  • Spacious, robust and weatherproof Rabbit Hutch, 147 x 52 x 85 cm (W x D x H)
  • Made from impregnated fir wood and iron wire, useable indoors or outdoors. The detachable roof is...
  • 2 storey small animal hutch, with spacious layout, 3 rooms, 3 doors, 2 levels. Open free run zone...
Bestseller No. 2
Rabbit hutch XXL Small animal enclosure Premium rabbit villa 212x52x85 cm
  • SHELTER & ENTERTAINMENT IN ONE. This rabbit hutch with its two storeys and generous run area serves...
  • ROBUST MATERIALS. The small animal shelter is made of robust fir wood and the roof is fitted with...
  • SPECIAL FEATURE. A running ramp gives the animals access to the 2nd floor, where the screen offers...
Bestseller No. 3
6ft Chartwell Double Guinea Pig Rabbit Hutch | Perfect Outdoor & Indoor Rabbit Hutch for 2 Rabbits Or Guinea Pigs | The Biggest Hutch On Amazon
  • BRITSH MANUFACTURING: We're a proud member of the Made In Britain Campaign and are the only...
  • GIVE YOUR PETS THE GIFT OF SPACE: Unlike other lesser Rabbit Hutches on the market, our rabbit cage...
  • KEEP PREDATORS OUT: Our 5ft Chartwell Double Guinea Pig Hutch is the only hutch on the market...

Prices & information last updated on 2020-11-24