The main considerations when choosing a hutch are size, construction, ease of maintenance and cost.
If you are on a limited budget then you need to consider whether a rabbit is the right pet for you as a good rabbit hutch and exercise run is likely to cost around £300.
A good rabbit hutch should be made of solid wood (not plywood), be well constructed with no loose nails or screws and have a waterproof roof of solid wood covered with thick roofing felt.
It should be on legs or stilts so that it is raised off the ground and should have at least two compartments inside it, one of which is all solid walls to give the rabbit an area to sleep and shelter from bad weather.
The door(s) should have thick wire mesh, strong hinges and a secure catch - ideally, you should be able to padlock the door(s).
Rabbits have been stolen from hutches and predators, especially foxes, are very capable of breaking into a poorly built rabbit hutch.
The size is extremely important.
The minimum recommended hutch size for one rabbit is 6ft x 2ft x 2ft.
The rabbit should be able to take three full hops and stretch up on its hind legs.
For a pair of rabbits, increase the dimensions as much as possible.
If rabbits are not able to hop and stretch up then their bone structure can be severely affected, particularly in young rabbits under a year old who are still developing.
The best rabbit hutch is one which meets the above specifications and is attached to a secure, permanent exercise area of at least 8ft x 4ft x 2ft.
The exercise run should be covered at the top as well as the sides with wire mesh and checked frequently to ensure the rabbit is not digging holes at the edges which may allow it to escape.
Rabbits can live for 10 years or more so the cost of a good hutch is well worth it.
A solid wood hutch means you will be able to maintain it more easily.
It is better to shop around online rather than go to a pet shop.
There are many independent retailers selling hutches and you are likely to find one cheaper online than in a shop.
You can even get hutches custom-built to your specifications and provide a safe, wonderful home for your rabbits.
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