Rabbit housing

Domestic rabbits can be raised outdoors or indoors. Housing for rabbits range from outdoor hutches, to indoor cages, to the free run of the home.  Whichever option is most suitable for your home and rabbit, all should provide a shelter from extreme weather conditions and predators as well as a resting retreat.

Outdoor

Outdoor rabbits are usually housed in large hutches made of wood or metal, or wire cages. Hutches can be quite expensive. The wire cage, although not as good in terms of protecting and providing comfort for your rabbit, is a cheaper option. Most rabbit owners prefer wooden hutches as metal ones tend to become quite hot in summer. Rabbits are susceptible to heat stress and as they do not sweat or pant, the only way they cool down is through their ear veins, which is often not sufficient in the heat of the summer sun. Therefore, it is important that the hutch or cage is sheltered under a verandah or a shady tree.

A hutch should be divided into two connecting areas - one area with a wire mesh door to allow light and air through, and also to prevent bugs such as  mosquitoes from biting your rabbit. The other area should provide weather protection against the sun, cold, wind or rain.  Most hutches or some cages will have a hinged door at the top to allow easy access for cleaning. The floor of the hutch or cage should be covered with newspaper then laid with hay to provide cushioning and warmth for your rabbit. A solid board or rug can be put in cages to avoid your rabbit's feet being caught in the wire. The hutch or cage should be raised off the ground and secured from cats, dogs and predators in your surroundings.

The size of the hutch or cage depends on the size of your rabbit (fully grown), the number of rabbits you intend to keep in the housing and how much time they spend in it. The larger the housing the better it is for your rabbit/s.

The hutch or cage must also have a place for food and plenty of water.

Rabbits can be litter trained so put a litter tray lined with newspaper and hay in the hutch or cage and clean it out daily.

Indoor

Indoor rabbits can be housed in an indoor hutch or cage. A wooden or metal hutch is suited for indoors too but are not necessary. A simple cage with a solid base and lots of hay is just as good. 

If you let your rabbit run loose around the house, make sure you supervise your rabbit and "rabbit-proof" the areas and things that they cannot have access to. Things such as electrical cords and access to any nice furniture should be restricted as rabbits like to chew.

Litter train your rabbit by placing a cat litter tray and line it with newspaper and then fill it with hay. Rabbits like to toilet and chew at the same time. They are naturally clean pets and will toilet in the same area so try to pick an area of the house where they will feel safe and place the litter tray there.

Make sure your rabbit has access to daylight in order for them to absorb enough Vitamin D to keep them healthy. Place them in the morning sun but not directly in the sun's rays. Remember to move their cage to a cool and dim area so they can rest without any disturbance.