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Indoor Housing Tips & Examples

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Wise Old Thumper
This thread covers indoor housing.

Please note that whatever type of housing you choose rabbits need space! And lots of it!

The RWAF suggests that rabbits have an overall area of 10 ft x 6 ft with a run height of 3ft, or in metric, 3m x 2m and a run height of 1m. This gives an ideal minimum area of 60 square foot. Bigger is better!!

Table of contents:

Part 1 - Links
Part 2a - Dog crates with attached pens
Part 2b - Examples of dog crates with attached pens
Part 3a - Pens
Part 3b - Examples of pens
Part 4a - NIC panel cages
Part 4b - Examples of NIC panel cages
Part 5a - Bunnyproofing
Part 5b - Examples of bunnyproofing (1) (2) (3)
Part 6a - Hutches
Part 6b - Examples of hutches
Part 7 - Indoor and Outdoor

If anyone has links or pictures to add or would like their pictures removed please PM me directly and I'll get it sorted :)
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Dog crates:

What are they?

Dog crates are large cages designed for dogs.


(Image from www.totrainmydog.com)

What are the advantages?

Dog crates are very useful for rabbits. They are sturdy and roomier than a 'rabbit cage'. Pens can be attached to a dog crate quite easily with cable ties. Dog crates also make a good base for bedding, litter trays, food bowls, etc within a bunny proofed room. With a bit of DIY a shelf can be quite easily attached to a dog crate.

What are the disadvantages?

Most dog crates are not much bigger than four foot or so which alone is too small for a rabbit so they MUST be used along with a pen or as a base for a free-ranging rabbit. They are also quite heavy and not easily moved although they do fold down quite easily.

OK, so I want to go for a dog crate, what do I do now?

Firstly take a look at the pen and bunnyproofing parts of this as a dog crate is too small to be used alone.

Dog crates can be purchased in most pet retailers. They also can be found on Ebay relatively cheaply.

This is a walkthrough of a base and shelf being put into a dog crate:

Phase 1 - Plastic base removed. Base of wood, lino and wood edging.


Phase 2 - Second shelf. Batons across as 'joists' - screws at the ends at the bottom to stop them slipping. Second shelf exactly the same as base just with a hole cut out for the ladder. No lino at this point, we didn't think it would be needed but it was so we added that later.


Phase 3 - Ladder added. Connected with a hinge so it can be raised for cleaning. Batons across for grip. Large square baton at the bottom to raise it a bit to make the angle not so steep.


Finished - We decided to move the ramp to the outside to give more space inside the crate.


Check Tesco Offers and Lidl Offers.
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What are they?

These are barriers that can be put up to block off or create an area that a rabbit can't easily escape from.


(Image from http://thespiritdog.wordpress.com)

(Image from http://tacklepets.co.uk)

What are the advantages?

They can be easily taken down and moved. Some have separate panels which means they are very flexible in use. They also can be used for bunny proofing if necessary at a later date.

What are the disadvantages?

They need to be high enough that the rabbit can't jump out so 3ft+ depending on your rabbit. Sometimes a cover or sheet needs to be pegged on too as some rabbits can climb the bars. Some pens are already connected which may make it more difficult to fit them to the area you have. A few of the ones with separate panels don't make good straight lines as they are designed to have a bit of an angle at the joints although they can be connected with cable ties instead but this does mean they can easily fall over if a long line is made. Also with pens you can't create levels or shelves although boxes and stools can be used instead but be aware this will make it easier for bunny to hop over!

OK, so I want to go for a pen, what do I do now?

Make sure the pen you going to buy will fit with what you want. Search for puppy pens as well as rabbit runs as these may fit with what you need better. With pens it's a good idea to use something as a base in case of any accidents. An offcut of textured lino, the kind used in kitchens and bathrooms, work quite well. Some people use plastic floor mats but these can be more expensive.
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NIC panel cages:

What are they?

These are cages made with NIC (Neat Idea Cubes) panels. These are also called C&C cubes or mesh storage cubes. These panels connect together with connectors and are made with either mesh or a grid. These are designed to make a divided up storage area but are very flexible and also easy to build with. They are often used for custom guinea pig cages but with can also be used as a nice base area for rabbits.


(Image from http://www.jtote.com)

What are the advantages?

NIC cages are very flexible. They can be built up with levels and hideyholes and they can also be taken down and reused in a different manner. Tops can be added and with a bit of ingenuity so can doors. They also work very well for bunny proofing if needed at a later date.

What are the disadvantages?

There are not as sturdy as dog crates and pens.

OK, so I want to go for a NIC cage, what do I do now?

Find some panels!! This can be a lot easier said than done. They are out there but take a bit of searching. Sometimes B&Q have them. Sometimes they can also be found on Ebay or Amazon. Normally they come under the name 'mesh storage panels' or 'C&C cages'. As with pens it's a good idea to add something as a base. Non slip lino is a good option.

Some places that may stock panels:

Ebay seller
Ebay search
Amazon seller
Amazon seller
Amazon search
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What is it?

Free ranging is when you allow a rabbit the run of the house or part of the house. To allow this you need to bunny proof for two reasons. 1. To protect bunny - if a rabbit chews through a live wire it could kill them. 2. To protect your house and possessions. Many of use have long lists of the things our rabbits have chewed!!

What are the advantages?

When you create a caged area that space becomes the rabbits. When you bunny proof the space remains yours but also the rabbits too. You also get to spend a lot of time with your rabbits and the bond between rabbit and human grows. It can also be cheaper. Also it creates a lovely big space for a rabbit.

What are the disadvantages?

Destruction! Some rabbits are by nature destructive. Some things can help, providing a lot of space through free-ranging helps for a start. Ensure bunny is neutered or spayed and that they have natural things to chew on. There can also sometimes be some mess. Hay has a habit of ending up in unusual places! Even litter trained rabbits do tend to take poos with them when they jump out of litter trays.

OK, I want to bunnyproof, what do I do now?

Choose which room or rooms you want to allow bunny access to. Take a good, long hard look at the area you want to proof from a rabbit perspective. Are there wires? If so cover these or move them behind furniture. Is there wooden furniture at bunny level? You might want to protect that. Are there small gaps behind furniture? You might want to block those off, when out of view you can't see if they are being or have been destructive. They can get through surprisingly small gaps. I've seen Nutmeg squeeze through a two inch gap!

Baby gates, mesh storage cubes (as known as NIC or C&C), pen panels, hardboard, cable ties and plastic tubing are all things that help. Also be aware that the proofing may need tweaking in the future.
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What are they?

A hutch is a predominately wooden box for rabbits. The usually have two compartments and two or more doors, some meshed and some solid wood. The smaller enclosed area gives the rabbit somewhere to hide in if it's scared. Sometimes they come in double heights and sometimes over the top of a run. These are mainly used outdoors but can also be used indoors.


(Image from www.deemillen.co.uk)


(Image from www.forshamcountryarks.co.uk)

What are the advantages?

Hutches are quite easy to get hold of as they tend to be the first thought for rabbit housing. They also work well for areas with limited space. Hutches can also be used as a base area for rabbits in the home while they free range within a room or rooms.

What are the disadvantages?

Most hutches on the market are not big enough to meet the minimum requirements for rabbit housing, they are also quite difficult to clean out.

OK, so I want to go for a hutch, what do I do now?

Some good suppliers of large hutches are:
Animal Magic Pet Supplies
Ebay guy
Forsham Arks
Happy Hutch
Rabbit Hutches UK
The Rabbit Hutch Shop

If a hutch is used alone it should be at least 6 foot long, 2 foot high and 2 foot deep to allow the rabbit or rabbits space to move around.

It can be a good idea to fit non-slip lino to the bottom of the hutch and secure the edges with wood battens, this stops urine soaking into the wood and makes it easier to clean out. Rabbits in hutches need attached runs or aviaries or at least 8 hours in a larger area. Runs can be attached with cat flaps or tunnels.
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Changes in temperature can affect a rabbit's health so in a setup like this if the rabbits are outside they MUST be able to get indoors through their own choice if they need to.

Hi all!:wave:

OH & I have been thinking about this for a while....Ive got a shed I could convert...but we needed the storage...and we also wanted to spend more time with the buns and if we used the shed they would be at the bottom of the garden and when they were housed there in their hutches - most evenings I would be out there...rain or shine and OH would be indoors....so it was not enjoyable.

Of course we also wanted what was best for the buns....and that means space space space! lol!
This is our solution for now....and we are really pleased...we plan to make the garden abit more secure and give them access to that in time.

Sorry its long...hope it helps anyone with some idea's!



Our new sideboard....secret conversion to bunny bolt hole - indoor free range access area!


The buns sideboard shelf....Master Archie posing...he spends most days sleeping on the cushion or the rug indoors!


Tunnel from inside the sideboard - Archies head! lol!


This is where the tunnel leads to outdoors into their joined hutches....


The tunnel that goes from the sideboard - through the wall and into the hutches...the bricks are for steps - but mainly because the hutches are raised off the ground and the bases can be lifted out - so the bricks are used to weight the base down to stop predators being able to move them.


Master Archie loves the new setup and jumps about alot! lol!


Arrabella & Archie hanging out together.....


Poor Indiana in the upstairs area for 24 hours. Its not ideal...The girls are being swopped over every night...then they go crazy running about stretching their legs...they have been seperated as they were fighting and wounded each other quite badly. Now that Im home again - and they are almost healed, I will be getting their VHD vacs and then trying to rebond...;)


Tunnel from joined hutches to run area.


This panel slides into the hutches where the wooden tunnel comes to the run. This is screwed in for security when needed. Dont know why the picture is side-ways:roll:...its the right way up when I copy the link...sorry about that!:roll::D


From this thread
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