Traditional rabbits in Australia have been housed inside; however there has been an increase in popularity to house rabbits indoors, this is largely due to the fact keeping them inside ensures they are safe from predators and disease.
Due to the large amount of time they spend around their owner’s house bunnies feel safe around humans and make excellent companions. When keeping them inside there are many different options.
- Free range inside – remember that your house will need to be bunny-proofed. Covering any electricity cords. It’s also a good idea to provide your rabbit with its own bunny bedroom to hide and have some space.
- You can divide your house into bunny free and bunny friendly zones; these can be divided by baby gates and play pens.
- Rabbit enclosures inside – remember that all rabbits need 4 hours of free roaming exercise on the ground. You can construct a playground so that bunnies can have fun in their play time.
Some rabbits have the best of both worlds, with access to inside and outside via a cat door. Some outside time is always good and much appreciated by house rabbits.
An outdoor enclosure or hutch system is good for a rabbit to play in safely during the day – make sure any enclosure is predator and insect proof.
Having your rabbit live outside brings it closer to their natural conditions in the wild. This will reduce their exposure to humans, making them more independent and potentially more anxious then being handled. It can also increase the risk of natural dangers.
If a bunny has free range outside, this leaves them vulnerable to predators (dogs, cats, and foxes). If your yard doesn’t have the proper precautions you may run the risk of animal attacks. It is highly recommended to have a secure night time enclosure to prevent any attacks. Free range bunnies are also at risk of eating harmful plants, and vulnerable to heat stroke, flystrike and insect born viruses.
If your rabbit is confined in a hutch outside, they will be secure, however they need enough room to have a good run around in (at least two metres in length), however many commercial hutches are too small.
- 3 square metre enclosure minimum, with enough height for the rabbit to stretch and jump
- Make sure it is fully insect proof
- Make sure they have a spot to hide
- DO NOT have metal runs or hutches as they heat up considerably in summer.
- Move rabbit inside when temperature are predicted over 28 degrees.