Rabbits are highly social animals and need the company of their own kind to thrive. Therefore we prefer our rabbits to be rehomed in pairs. Our single rabbits are available to be paired with another already in the home. We will occasionally rehome single rabbits but only if we have found them to be happier on their own and they will be going as a house rabbit where they will be receiving plenty of human company instead.
Their hutch should be at least six foot long, two foot high and two foot deep, with a large area to exercise in, as a minimum requirement. Depending on the size of the rabbits these dimensions may need to be increased. A lot of the shop-bought hutches are far too small.
A converted shed is the best type of housing for rabbits. It may need some insulation to keep it warm in winter and cool in the summer.
Outside space to run
We recommend all our rabbits have access to a grassy area at least once per day for their mental and physical well-being and so that they can exhibit natural rabbit behaviour.
You can attach a permanent run to your rabbit’s converted shed which is predator safe, giving the rabbits the chance to enjoy more freedom. Some people prefer to rabbit proof their garden so that the rabbits can free roam during the day, only being put safely back in their hutch/shed at night. If the rabbits live outside they will need to be checked on at least twice a day.
If you decide that you want your rabbit to live indoors with you, you will need to find an area for the rabbit to live and decide what form the housing will take. Some people convert large dog crates, partition part of their room with fencing or make a large wooden hutch. If the rabbit will be free roaming during the day, electrical and phone cables will need to be covered with tough cable protectors to stop the rabbit chewing through them. A litter tray should be available for the rabbit to use and the rabbit must have access to food and water at all times.
Rabbits that live indoors will still need a secure area outside, where they will be able to get vitamin D from the sun and be able to exhibit normal behaviours such as grazing and digging.
We will also ask you what you are going to feed your rabbits. A good rabbit diet consists of
- 85% good quality hay or grass
- 10% leafy green veg
- 5% extruded pellets or nuggets (about an egg-cup full)
A diet with less than 85% hay or grass can cause severe dental problems and gut stasis, both of which are very common and can be fatal for your rabbit. For more information about required diet for rabbits, click here.
You should continue to vaccinate your rabbit every year for myxomatosis, RVHD1 and RVHD2.
Rabbits and children
Contrary to popular belief, rabbits do not always make the best pets for children. Rabbits have sharp teeth, nails and powerful back legs that can give nasty scratches. Children imagine having a pet that they can cuddle and in many cases they are disappointed and lose interest once they find out that rabbits really do not enjoy this sort of attention. Most rabbits prefer to be quietly stroked whilst on the ground rather than being picked up.
It’s necessary therefore that the adults in the home are prepared to be responsible for the rabbits’ care, should the children lose interest.
Are you a new rabbit owner, or thinking of getting rabbits as pets for the first time? Many of the welfare and care guidelines for rabbits have changed over the last few years, as we have begun to understand the species better.
Download our free brochure containing all our top tips for rabbit care and everything you need to think about before getting rabbits as pets.