Finding the right outdoor rabbit cage might seem easy. Just go to your local feed supply store and choose the best option they have for your budget right? Then you get it home and find a few things you wish were different about the cage. Or problems you did not see happening.
Been there done that and I want to help you figure those issues out BEFORE you go buy an outdoor rabbit cage and are stuck with something you don’t love.
Keep in mind that I make my own cages but I know that is not an option for everyone. After I give you the key points to think about I will give you a list of cages that you can look at that meet all of the speculations.
Size Of The Rabbit
Now you probably know that I raise the second heaviest breed recognized by the ARBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association) only surpassed by the Flemish giant. So the cage space they need compared to a holland lop is VERY different obviously because of the size difference. BUT you also have to think about something like the energy level.
My rabbits don’t need something as big as say, the Checkered Giant because the Checkered Giant has a VERY high energy level. So they need more space to spend that energy.
French lops are the saint bernards of the rabbit world whereas the Checkered giant is the grayhound. Give a french lop a cozy place to lay and they are happy.
Space For Babies In Your Outdoor Rabbit Cage
If you are raising rabbits and you don’t intend to breed your rabbit or rabbits then you can skip this section.
If you plan to raise babies then you need to think ahead to the future and plan for space of the next box AND space for after the babies get active.
If you are looking for more info on nesting box tips read more in this post.
There are a few reasons for this. One, it opens up more room for all of them. Two, they tend to only use the box as a toilet and in the summer with flies and heat! YUCK! It is best for everyone involved to just get rid of it. Also if the babies squeeze behind the box they can get stuck and not know how to get out of there predicament causing injury or even death.
For french lops, once the babies are 3-4 weeks old I typically take the nest box out and give them a smaller cardboard box that they can go into at night.
Solid Flooring On An Outdoor Rabbit Cage Is A Bad Idea
Before I get into the why I don’t recommend having solid floor in your rabbit hutch hear me out.
If your rabbit is bread well and came from a good breeder their feet should be strong and not have any issues with the wire. Rabbits that are prone to sore hocks should not be used in a breeding program.
With that said If you already have a rabbit and it does have issues with it then get something that is called a resting mat. Is healthier than a solid floor.
Ok ready? Take a deep breath. Here is why I don’t get solid flooring.
Rabbits go to the bathroom in the same location and they tend to pick the place where they are most safe to go. So if your cage has those quiet little rooms off to the side, where do you think your rabbit is going to go? YEP on that solid floor where the waste will not drop through.
Remember what I said about the nest box getting nasty? It’s the same here. They will fill it up and the foul smell you have ever smelled will be there.
Here is the other reason. FLY’S LOVE IT! And it only takes maggots 24hr s to hatch. So if you forget even for a day. You can end up with a horrible mess.
I don’t mean to be disgusting but I want you to realize how serious it is.
I know a lot of people think this will be a good idea in the wintertime but trust me when I say the trade-off is not worth it. The health of your animal will suffer from waste so close to the living area.
This next tip for outdoor rabbit cages is going to be next to impossible to find. But avoid as much direct contact with the wood as possible. Rabbits will chew the living daylights out of any wood they can get a hold of. If possible try to put wire around any corners or places the rabbits could sink their continually growing teeth into.
Fleas Don’t Care Who The Host Is
This is more of a “be mindful” rather then a don’t. But the cages with the closed-in exercise areas my not be the best idea. Fleas don’t care who their host is so long as they have one.
This is why I never let any of my rabbits run free in the yard. You also have no idea what while animals ran across your yard at night bringing diseases along with it.
If you want your rabbits to have space to run then keep an eye out for fleas and be willing to treat it if they end up with them. You can also section off an area where you evely treat it natrualy for bugs.
I LOVE to use Diatomaceous Earth on everything for my animals. Which you can find linked below at Tractor supply.
Red Lake Earth Diatomaceous with Calcium Bentonite, 20 lb., W097 [More]
Recommended Outdoor Rabbit Hutches
IF that is not the case you can close up the access hole and use that small side container as storage for food or supplies.