General Husbandry Care for Rabbits

As Rabbits are becoming more and more popular as pets it is important that we are aware of correct husbandry techniques to ensure they live a happy and healthy life. A common misconception about rabbits is that they are able to be housed in a hutch at all times. Rabbits enjoy plenty of space to run, jump, sit upright and express normal rabbit behaviours.

Indoor pet rabbits are becoming increasingly more popular. Having a pet rabbit live indoors allows for frequent contact with humans, making bonding easier. We know rabbits love to chew, so it is essential to ensure items around the house have been rabbit-proofed. This includes covering up electrical cords by threading them through polypipe and utilising baby gates and fences to divide the house into rabbit friendly areas. Ensure rabbits have their own safe place to hide and toilet whilst inside.

If you decide to house your rabbit outside, they are best suited to a hutch or playpen in an area that is free from direct sunlight, wind or rain. It is important that they have enough room to move around and stretch out as rabbits are active and inquisitive animals, The more room the better for our furry friends, with a minimum floor space of approximately 1.5m x 1.5m. You should remove all substrate weekly, or twice weekly if two rabbits and thoroughly clean the hutch using a hutch clean spray to eliminate any soiled areas. Rabbits can be easily litter trained so including a litter tray with recycled litter such as breeders choice litter can help eliminate soiling throughout the cage.

Outside rabbits hutches should be well predator-proof with netting or fly screen to protect from mosquitoes and flies. It is imperative to keep your pet rabbit cool on hot days, especially if they are solely outdoors. Rabbits are sensitive to the heat and may experience heat exhaustion when temperatures are in excess of 28 degrees. Apply frozen plastic ice bricks throughout the cage so your rabbit can lie against them to keep cool.

Although rabbits make great family pets and can be very social animals, they require time and commitment more so than some other pets. A good quality diet paired with correct husbandry care will ensure best possible outcome for your rabbit.

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