Bunnies are happiest in groups of at least two. Two bunnies don’t take up a lot of space, but to live comfortably they need more room than you might think. What size hutch does a rabbit need? What size hutch for two rabbits? And what about a run?
Rabbits need more than a cage. They need a home. For an outdoor bunny, that means at minimum, a hutch, a bunny box, and a run. What size rabbit hutch do you need for your bunny? What size hutch for two rabbits? Our guide will tell you all you need to know.
How Much Space Does My Rabbit Need?
In the wild, a rabbit covers a lot of ground. A white cottontail rabbit, for example, has a home range of up to 20 acres. You don’t need to provide that much roaming space, but your bunny will need enough room to run, jump, stand up, and stretch its back legs. And we all want our pets’ homes to be as comfortable as possible.
Your rabbit will need two kinds of space: living space and exercise space. Living area means the hutch, including a nesting box or other hiding place. Exercise space means a run. Ideally, these should be as large as your space and budget permit. Consider the following recommendations a minimum.
The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund recommends that your rabbit’s hutch be large enough for “three hops” from end to end. That means a minimum of six feet long by two feet high by two feet deep. A 6ft x 2ft x 2ft hutch will allow your rabbit to hop, stand up, stretch, and move around comfortably.
We consider the RWAF guidelines to be the minimum starting point. Many of our hutches are larger than this. Adding a run can provide your bunny with a safe place to exercise, dig, play, and engage in other natural behaviors.
Even if your bunnies are still young, buying a larger hutch now will save you the trouble of having to buy a new one if they outgrow it.
In addition, you should provide your bunny with plenty of toys and activities for mental stimulation. Because no one likes to be bored, and that includes your bunny.
Do Different Breeds Need Different Sized Hutches?
With the exception of giant breeds, the minimum hutch size recommendations should work for most rabbits. But some small and medium breeds have special needs as well.
Lion Head Rabbits
Lion head rabbits are good natured, friendly and clever. However, they can also be more timid than the average rabbit.
For this reason, your lion head bunny will need at least the minimum size hutch in a quiet place. Make sure to provide plenty of hiding places, whether a bunny box or even an activity tunnel. Also give them plenty of attention and toys to occupy their active minds.
Mini Lop and Netherland Dwarf
You might think a miniature breed would need less space. But the Mini Lop averages three to six pounds, which isn’t that much smaller than regular breeds. Provide your mini lop with the same amount of space you would give any other bunny.
An adult Netherland Dwarf, on the other hand, tops out at just two and a half pounds. That’s the size of an eight-week-old kitten! You can probably get by with a smaller living area for a Netherland Dwarf. Just make sure to follow the “three hop” rule.
How Big Should a Hutch Be for Two Rabbits?
We recommend a minimum of at least 1.1 square meters (12 square feet) of space per rabbit.
Our single hutches provide plenty of room for a single bun. Our two-tier double hutches provide ample room for a pair. A two-tier hutch, with its doors and staircases, also gives your rabbit a more interesting living area.
How Much Space do you Need for Three Rabbits?
Three rabbits? Now, that’s going to take a bit of ingenuity.
Few hutches have enough area to comfortably accommodate three rabbits. One solution is having more than one hutch. A downside to that is that the rabbit living in single quarters could get lonely. If you do take this option, make sure that their hutches share a run, and that all of your bunnies get a lot of time together in this area.
A better solution would be adopting an even number of rabbits so that no one will be left out.
A Run Is Essential
A rabbit run is a large, enclosed outdoor space for your rabbits to exercise. Many have a wood frame and wire walls.
A run adds more space to your rabbit setup. If your run connects to your hutch, your rabbits can play and exercise on their own schedule during the day. At night, simply secure the door that connects your hutch and your run, to keep predators out and your rabbits in.
Speaking of predators, it’s important to take measures to make your rabbit run dig-proof and chew-proof. This will help to protect your rabbits from foxes and other garden visitors.
Our Chartwell runs and hutches work together to help you build the enclosure that works best for you and your bunnies.
Rabbit Hutch Tips
Here are some ways you can make the most out of your hutch and your setup.
Choose Your Hutch Location Carefully
Rabbits are very sensitive to heat. Temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius) can be dangerous. So place your hutch out of direct sunlight, and always keep an eye on the temperature in the summertime.
Provide Enough Bedding
Provide enough bedding to cover the floor of the hutch. Don’t worry about using too much. It’s better to use too much than too little.
When temps cool down, your rabbit will use the bedding to stay warm. At other times, bedding will soak up excess moisture and make cleanup easier.
Keep Your Hutch Off the Ground
A hutch that sits on the ground is vulnerable to moisture This can damage the wood. It can also expose both the wood, and your rabbit, to harmful mould and mildew. Hutches that sit on the ground can also expose your rabbits to predators.
All of our hutches are raised to mitigate these problems.
If you place your run on the ground, make sure to place it on a hard surface so that your rabbits can’t dig out. Alternately, you can sink wire mesh into the ground along the perimeter to dissuade both your rabbits and any predators.
Do a Regular Hutch M.O.T.
Inspect your hutch at least once a week for damage from moisture, chewing, insects, etc.
Rabbits need plenty of living space and exercise room. Why not check out our runs and hutches, and plan your own rabbit palace?
And for more advice and tips on making sure you have a happy bunny take a look at our rabbit library here.