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View Full Version : What do you guys think of hutches?



Zao77
03-26-05, 08:26 am
Hello everyone!

Just wondering, what do you think of those "hutches" (wooden ones that are over $$$) at (some) pet stores?


I used to house my rabbits in them (they were mini-rabbits) with 4 to 8 square feet of "space" to walk on (it was 2.5 feet high).

the bunnies seemed to do well (they got around 5 hours or more of exercise a day).

bunnyluv17
03-28-05, 08:09 am
I don't like them at all. Most are meant for outside, but rabbits belong inside with the family. 4 square feet is way too small for any rabbit, 8 sq. feet is okay. Hutches are generally overpriced and have wire bottoms (which are uncomfortable and can cause sore hocks). Rabbits can chew and destroy the wood parts, and the wood can become soaked with urine. A C&C condo or puppy x-pen is a much better choice for rabbit housing.

Zao77
03-28-05, 09:24 am
yeah our bunnies were kept outside since my mom had/ still has severe allergies to rabbits. They never got sore hocks though, my guess is because most of the time they were not in their cages.

lilliesmomma
03-28-05, 09:26 am
I completely agree with you. Rabbits shouldn't be outside like that. I think it is mean, although I am biased since my bun is treated like part of our family... much like a cat or dog would be.


I don't like them at all. Most are meant for outside, but rabbits belong inside with the family. 4 square feet is way too small for any rabbit, 8 sq. feet is okay. Hutches are generally overpriced and have wire bottoms (which are uncomfortable and can cause sore hocks). Rabbits can chew and destroy the wood parts, and the wood can become soaked with urine. A C&C condo or puppy x-pen is a much better choice for rabbit housing.

Pumpkin_King
05-05-05, 01:20 pm
I don't agree rabbits should not be kept outside, I've kept my rabbits outside all their life, they have 32sq ft of space, I give them about 3 inches of wood shavings, plenty of straw and I've never had any problems. If I kept them inside they wouldn't have anywhere near that amount of space, I just don't have room, but I guess people do things different in England, I know no-one who keeps there rabits indoors.

weaseldropping
05-26-05, 02:04 pm
I completely agree with Pumpkin_King.
Mind you, ours is on eye drops which specifically say on the tube "not to be used on rabbits for human consumption", so maybe we Brits think of rabbits as being closer to sheep than parakeets? (After all, the whole countryside is alive with free-range rabbits)

Myspoiltpiggies
05-27-05, 12:28 am
I think some people are just a bit too fussy. Rabbits can live inside or out. Why can't they live outside? As long as they get space, handled regularly..etc.. I'm sure it's just the same as being in the house. Rabbits don't need extra warmth like African hedgehogs or anything.. I have never known anyone who keeps their rabbits indoors either, this is the first place I've heard people do that...

bunnyluv17
05-27-05, 09:41 am
In the past, rabbits have primarily been seen as farm animals or livestock, not pets. As more and more people keep rabbits as pets, the attitudes about them have changed. People have been bringing the rabbits inside to be part of the family just like the family dogs or cats. When in the house, the rabbits can get more attention and interaction with their families and become an important part of the family. They are protected from the weather and predators (I am not going to go into detail about the many dangers of keeping rabbits outside, since I have already done so on other threads).

Most people who keep rabbits outside, confine them to hutches for most(if not all of the time). This is not a good life for the rabbit and it is a lonely existence. The average lifespan of an outdoor rabbit is significantly less than one kept primarily indoors; this is due in part from outdoor dangers as well as the higher liklihood for neglect. Out of sight, out of mind.

Many shelters and rescues in the United States will not adopt to anyone planning to keep their rabbits outside; they know what lives these outdoor rabbits lead.

It is different in England and other countries, but here in the United States there is a strong and fast-growing movement to keep rabbits indoors. Times are changing, and I'm glad they are.

VoodooJoint
05-27-05, 10:28 am
I am sure there are many websites and forums that will support the keeping of rabbits outside. This is not one of them.

This forum is based on the idea of large indoor housing for our pets. Housing that can be made cheaply so people can save money and give their animals a large living environment at the same time.

We advocate better living conditions for animals that previously had been living in small, confining spaces. By better we mean larger and indoors. Outdoor hutches as a full time living space do not meet those requirements.

ChadWPB
05-27-05, 10:59 am
I think some people are just a bit too fussy. Rabbits can live inside or out. Why can't they live outside? As long as they get space, handled regularly..etc.. I'm sure it's just the same as being in the house.

Absolutely wrong. Outdoor == Livestock. Indoor == Pet. There is no way that you could keep tabs on an animal's health when it does not occupy the same space as you. Would you go outside often during a spell of heavy rain? Searing heat? Bitter cold? It's doubtful. Unless a sophisticated (and expensive) heating/AC/ventilation system is put in, there will be temperature and humidity fluctuations far unlike one would experience in their homes. During those times is when the most stress is put on the animals and chances are they'll die.

I guess since I live in the U.S., I will never understand the UK/Australian notion of keeping small pets outdoors. These are domesticated animals, much like humans. They lack the ability to withstand temperature changes like their wild counterparts.

My opinion? Outdoor hutches are a dreadful idea. It's borderline cruelty in my opinion.

Rachy1412
05-27-05, 11:22 am
If I had lived in the USA or been brought up differently I would have kept my rabbits indoors. I have kept 7 rabbits outside and never lost one to the heat, animals or cold. Although if I had the option I would deffinately keep my rabbits indoors. They get 5hours a day of running around, they get love and affection and I have never missed an illness or cut. I do agree that they would get more affection if they lived indoors.. that much is obvious.

If I lived in Australlia or the USA I would keep my rabbits indoors. The heat in some of the countries is way too much for rabbits. However here in the UK the weather can get hot but not as much as it would in AU. We have no large bird of preys in the cities, we have no large cats or large prey animals.

If you have the option then keep them indoors!

ChadWPB
05-27-05, 11:31 am
I wouldn't be too sure about that. I know in one recent summer the UK had a heat wave that brought temperatures up to 100F (38C). Though admittedly rare, the results could be devastating to your pets. And it still does get cold as well as humid. Humidity fluctuations can leave animals susceptible to URI's. I'm not sure about rabbits but an URI can easily kill a guinea pig.

Rachy, you might put in the extra effort, but I hear many more horror stories than stories like yours.

Rachy1412
05-27-05, 12:28 pm
My dad used to be a fencer for 15years. He went round many peoples houses who had rabbits. They were all cramped up in tiny hutches with no where to run around and no shade. It is sad how people that keep their animals outdoors never pay attetion to them.

It was 30C today... it was in my opinion very hot. All the rabbits got a spray of cold water and I hosed down their hutches with freezing cold water, I changed their water bottle twice and made sure they stayed in the shade. Even the guinea pigs that live inside were flaked out! If it snows then all outside animals should come in!

I agree that a 4ft squared hutch is WAY to small. My hutches are all 16ft squared, the ones you buy in the petshop are too small and pricey.. it is much cheaper to build your own.