Create a custom rabbit hutch
Jim Miller is a district director with the American Rabbit Breeder's Association. He says rabbits that live outside can take the cold, but not drafts. They're prone to respiratory illnesses so if you're building a hutch, keep this in mind.
"It should have a solid roof with overhangs so that the weather can't beat in on the sides," Miller says. "The hutches that I like have three sides that were solid, and of course rabbits like to chew so that's something that you have to look at as to repair or maintenance."
Miller says if the wood has a lot of knots or edges, the rabbits sink their teeth into it, so it's best to use smooth, solid wood for the sides. Some people use wood for the bottom of the cage, but it requires regular cleaning, otherwise you'll have urine build-up. Miller advises using standard rabbit wire on the bottom instead.
"The worst thing you can do for a rabbit is put them on chicken wire or something like that," he says. "They will end up with sore feet and then you have a very sick and unhealthy rabbit. The wire you can buy from a variety of suppliers, and if you were interested you could go to a regular ARBA show, and the suppliers are usually there and you can get wire from them."
If the rabbits are full-grown, it's not a good idea to have many of them in one hutch. Mature bucks may fight. Give each bunny his own living quarters. Small breeds need about a two-feet-by-three-feet (2ft. x 3ft.) space, and larger breeds should have a hutch that measures at least two-feet-by-four-feet (2ft. x 4ft.) hutch. To protect rabbits from predators, all hutches should be up off the ground a couple of feet or so.
Radio interview source: Jim Miller, District 3 Director, American Rabbit Breeder's Association
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