New bunny owners are always wondering what is the best rabbit house setup. A clean and safe environment is what a rabbit needs to thrive. You don’t need much space to create a living space for your new rabbits. Follow along as we share our rabbit setup and rabbit housing ideas that can greatly improve your rabbits life. Don’t forget to download our FREE rabbit essentials checklist so you can be prepared to care for you rabbit!
Rabbits Need a Safe Place/ Secure Place
You may or may not be aware that rabbits are a very gentle and fragile animal. If frightened a rabbit can develop heart problems or even be scared to death. It is essential to give your domestic rabbits a quiet place to live, away from all loud or startling noises. A great idea to consider if you don’t have the perfect environment is a rabbit hide box. It is such a great way to keep your rabbits comfortable, even in a frightened state. This is an excellent rabbit cage idea that should be in every rabbit playpen or rabbit house.
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Easy Clean System For Indoor Cages or Outdoor Rabbit Enclosure
No matter where your rabbit’s cage is located it is always important to have a well ventilated and easy to clean bunny house. With our set up, whether indoors or outdoors, their is no need to have a litter box. It will only cost a few extra dollars to make an easy clean system to keep the air smelling clean all of the time. When we started implementing this easy clean system, now it only takes 5-10 minutes to clean and there is virtually no odor and plenty of fresh air in our rabbit area! Our setup is a three sided lean-to that could easily be upgraded into a four sided enclosed air conditioning building. Adding a cement slab and a window unit would make our rabbits feel like they are royalty. Doing this would give you the ability to breed year round to supply the whole city with pet or meat rabbits.
We have a basic wooden frame as a structure. We ran 1/2 electrical conduit across the bottom to allow some extra support for our DIY rabbit cage. I have seen many large cages sag over time and i wanted to prevent this from happening, so far so good! I uses PVC roofing material for the litter tray. This is a great option because it is the cheapest thing and since it’s not a structual component its a perfect place to use this type of roofing material. I use storage totes on the floor to collect all the waste. Using individual storage totes make for easy lifting and easy clean. No shoveling and horrid smells from manure that sat on the ground all season.
The Hard Truth About Rabbits
If you are new to raising rabbits there is one thing to learn that may be very difficult for you…. Rabbits are messy! The pictures in this blog post were taken only 6 months after the construction of our rabbitry. There is urine stains and hair everywhere! If you are like me and like everything super clean and organized this is something you will just have to be okay with. Now I will say that even though things stain and it looks gross at times, if you use this easy clean system you will smell no odors!
Implementing Water Systems
The structure and a wire cage is not the only part in a rabbit shelter. Water is one of the biggest components in your rabbitry. Many rabbit owners like to set up automatic watering systems for their rabbits to have unlimited water supply. A water bottle is another options that people consider. This could be a good option if you need to be hands off for long periods of time. In my experience I did not like either of these methods for a couple of reasons.
1. Hard to clean hoses- Hoses can grow mildew or get moldy and be very difficult to clean resulting in poor quality water.
2. Hard to drink water- The rabbit nipples or rolling ball are too hard for rabbits to drink resulting in dehydration or heat stroke.
3. Too many components-while this may be hands off water for a couple of days, one of the many components of the watering system could fail and without realizing the rabbits could be without water for a long time. It is best to get into the habit of checking their waters twice a day. I have to admit it feels like a lot of work like this sometimes but it does some good things for the rabbitry. Also the water bottles have those little hooks that are just a hassle to work with.
I have found that rabbits can drink more with a hook-on water bowl or a 1 gallon water feeder that I get from a tractor supply, this is the best choice in my opinion for watering systems. I have a hose spigot in my rabbitry so i can easily give them fresh water when ever they need. This gives them plenty of water in a natural position to guzzle down and cool off in those hot summer months.
Giving rabbits water frequently lets them know you care about them. It also gets them to know you and understand you are the caretaker. This allows a bond to happen between you and the rabbits. If you are a rabbit lover you will really want this bond. This is especially important when you have to examine the newborn little bunnies in the nest box It is important that they know your scent and know that you are not a threat. I have touched every single one of my rabbit babies so far and the mom has rejected none. It is amazing even though rabbits can be sassy they still respect the bond that we have.
Tools For Cleaning Our Rabbit House
The picture below is pretty self explanatory except for our poo pusher. It is a simple build, some 2×2’s and This. This tool can get into the grooves of the corrugated roofing material. The poo pusher will get the bulk of the waste getting it ready for your hose work. Then you can brush it clean.
Steps To Brief Clean Our Rabbit House
A Brief cleaning takes little time and will make you and your pet rabbit happy. First things first use your Poo Pusher (patent not pending LOL) and push all of the rabbit berries down the back into the storage totes. After you finish that up take your hose and hose the remaining material into the storage collecting bins. If you want, at this point you can take soapy water and scrub the litter tray under your cages. I like to spray natural disinfectant after to sanitize the trays. Finally, take your rabbit manure to your garden and you are good to go!
Deep Cleaning Our Rabbit House
Deep cleaning is never a fun thing but if you want your rabbits to have good air quality and stay healthy it is essential. HAIR, IT’S EVERYWHERE! When their is hair on the fan and on the cage floors and walls it’s time…It’s time to get a torch and burn all the hair off. This is by far your best bet, burn the hair and scrape it with a wire brush. This will make your rabbit hutches or wire pens look new again. It is also a very important step to keep your rabbits cool.
At times, there is so much hair on the fan the air can’t pass through so that’s when the torch comes in. I tried an air compressor to blow the hair off but the torch works so much better. This is a perfect time to mention that it would be a good idea to place your rabbit house out of direct sunlight. I have a covered area and I position my fan facing in to constantly blow fresh air in so the rabbits can have a good air quality.
After the hair it is a good idea to hose the walls and scrub the litter tray with soapy water. This is not necessary but sure does need it sometimes in my opinion. Scrub totes and rake and shovel under the totes if their was some lost manure.
Inside The Rabbit Cage
Rabbits Don’t Need Much to be happy. Pellets, Hay, A Tile or a hide box, and water. The food and water are obvious but the tile or hide box will allow your rabbits to get off the wire flooring to prevent sore hocks. The hide box will allow your rabbits to hide, get off the wire floors and will also give them something to chew on. This will save you money on chew toys!
How Much Space Do My Rabbits Need
Larger spaces are always better but you don’t have to have an acre for a few rabbits. I have 30X30X30 cages and it is plenty of space. I would prefer a 36X30X30 especially for does and their litters, but this has worked so far. I Also like to make my cages tall so they can stand up and stretch their legs. My rabbits are happy and healthy so I know they are doing okay. In nature rabbits like small spaces because it makes them feel safe. They don’t like to be overcrowded or cramped but they do like to feel secure. What we have is enough space for a mom and her babies but at weaning time it is such a relief to get those big babies out of their. A relief for me and for momma rabbit.
What Would I Do Differently
We are always improving and always realizing that what we thought was a good idea has a lot of kinks to work out. I tried using gutters and i thought it was a good idea and everything would easily drain down into one single bucket. I was wrong…sometimes we can’t always clean as often as we would like and when this would happen the gutters would overflow and cause more of a mess. I also would love to have made my PVC litter trays removable so I can take them off and scrub them better. Some storage totes have beveled edges so some manure falls between the two totes. If i could do it again i would keep the totes in mind when measuring out my bottom cage height. A completely square totes that would butt up to the other tote tightly would catch everything. I need to keep a look out for some tote sizes that would work in my situation. Also when planning i would have loved to incorporate flashing under the cages to stop the urine and feces getting in other places other than the litter tray and the manure collecting totes.
Rabbit Hutches Or Cages
Building wire cages can be intimidating but it is actually super simple and a way better option than hutches. We have a hutch and it gets way dirtier than our wire cages. Wire cages can be torched down to kill mites and diseases and this is not the case with a wooden hutch. Nothing against hutches but i have found that a wire cage is a much cleaner and more sanitary option
More Rabbit House Ideas
The options are endless. I have heard of many other ideas but in my particular situation i can’t implement them. I would love to connect pipe funnels to our cages so our rabbits can go into a pet playpen area or their kindling totes but one step at a time right? What kind of ideas do you have? Comment down below so others can read about them!