care:inside

This is an old revision of the document!


This page shows some of my rabbit housing, both old and new.

Rabbits can be very territorial so it is not always possible to have them share cages or pens. Sometimes it is possible to keep rabbits in a colony setting (that's a large space where multiple rabbits live), but this usually only works with does or immature juniors, and then only if they all go in the space at the same time. Introducing a new rabbit to an established 'colony' usually results in fighting. Many who use colony housing use it only when the does are 'dry' (i.e. not having babies). Sometimes does will raise litters in a colony setting, but there is a danger that other does may injure or even kill babies that aren't theirs. I suspect this is because the environment we have set up does not provide the kind of space that they need to be able to raise litters while still meeting their territorial requirements.

Bucks can rarely be kept together as they almost always fight. We even have to make sure there is space between each buck's cage wires or they will fight through the fences.

Rabbits are still social animals though, so I always make sure they can see other rabbits from their cages and pens. This is true both inside and out. Outside, the hutches are arranged in a U-shape. The boys are all along one side. No matter where they are, they can always see at least a few other hutches.

I have a number of different inside cages that get used in different ways.

This one is for temporary use only (16“ x 24” x 15“ high).
It is too small for a standard size rabbit to live in (although it would be Okay for a dwarf breed).
My smallest inside cages are used for temporary housing (a few hours or days) or for weanlings.

This one has just under 5 sq. ft. (32” x 22“ x 18” high) but as you can see there is a shelf to sit on that provides extra space and interest.
The rabbit in the picture is Bo, who is retired.
He's very laid back and gets to run around the whole rabbitry when I'm doing chores.
Mostly what he likes to do is find some nice hay to munch and then sit and watch me work :-)

This is a 40“ x 20” x 20“ high pet rabbit cage (5.5 sq. ft.).
We use these for juniors and retired rabbits.
Notice they have a shelf they can sit on or hide under.
If you use a cage like this for your bunnies (pet or otherwise) always be very careful when getting the bunnies out or putting them back in as they can get their feet caught in-between the wires and get hurt.
Some people suggest holding them backwards (bum first) when taking them out or putting them back in.

This is a re-purposed large dog cage. It is 36” x 22“ x 33” high (5.5 sq. ft.).
I use this for anything but does with litters, but mostly they are used for juniors and bucks.
This has a shelf too.
Although these are smaller than my 36“ x 30” stackers, I actually like them a lot because they are high enough that the buns can sit up on their haunches (I've decided that is actually an important rabbit behaviour, so whenever possible, cages should be high enough to let them do that.)

This is also a re-purposed large dog cage. It is 35“ x 22” x 32“ high (5.3 sq. ft.).
I use this for anything but does with litters, but mostly they are used for juniors and bucks.
This has a shelf too, AND it is also high enough for the buns to sit up on their haunches.

The is a standard “three-hole stacker”. It is on the small side for my rabbits (although it is fine for smaller breeds). The cages in this one are 30” wide, 24“ deep, and 18” high (5 sq. ft.).
I use these for temporary housing when needed.

These are 2 small cages (new for 2019) that I plan to use for quarantine and temporary housing. They are on the small side for my rabbits (although it is fine for smaller breeds). The cages in this one are 30“ wide, 24” deep, and 22“ high (5 sq. ft.).
The weight sets them apart from the other stackers (they are singles rather than triple units so they are lighter), and will allow me to add a shelf along the back, giving the rabbits more “floor space” as well as a more interesting space.
Thank you Snoozer's Cages for these!

These are my regular stackers. They are 36” wide, 30“ deep, and 18” high (7.5 sq. ft.). The boys live in the bottom holes (some boys like to spray, so the bottom holes also have dividers between the cages).
I use these for everything except does with older litters (> 5 or 6 weeks, depending on how many were in the litter). I also have lighting above each hole so I can see the rabbits easily.

These are made out of dog ex-pens. Each one is 2' wide and 4' deep (= 8 sq. ft.) with a platform at the back.
They are good enough for anyone - including does getting ready to wean litters.
In the picture shown, I have a boy in each of the 2 left-most pens, a couple of junior girls in the 3rd pen, and no-one in the right-most pen (that's why there is no water bottle).
The divider between the right-most boy and the left-most girl is solid.
This keeps the boy from spraying her (and spending all his time & energy trying to woo her), and it also gives the girls some peace.
The vinyl lattice divider between the 2 boys is reinforced with 1/2“ wire so that they can't get at each other to fight.
Again, I really like the height.

UPDATE: The 4' high pens (in the right photo they are the 2 on the left) were rebuilt in 2018 to raise them off the ground.
They are now 3' high but a foot off the ground, making them MUCH easier to clean (my knees aren't what they used to be.)
The bottoms are plywood, framed by 1×6 boards.
The inner part of the base is painted to keep it drier and make cleaning easier. It gets re-painted once a year, or whenever a new rabbit moves in.
The shelf at the back is about 18”deep which makes the platform 3 sq ft, for a total of 11 sq ft of living space.

These are cages I designed and built in 2018.
I got a deal on some 24“ high dog expens.
I built a base out of 2'x4'x1/2” plywood, framed with 1×6 boards.
I took off 2 of the expen panels and used them for the top, and attached the remaining 6 panels to the base.
They are heavy, but very sturdy and give the rabbits a fair bit of room (8 sq. feet). The pieces are all attached with screws.
It's more expensive than nails, but WAY easier on my joints (no hammering), AND I can replace pieces if/when I need to fairly easily (like if they become too chewed).
Again, I really like the height. The buns seem to too.
UPDATE: I added a shelf (with “railing”) along the back in 2019.

In 2018 I rebuilt all of the old cages I had made out of ex-pens.
The 3'high expens have been turned into 2 stackers and a single.
The top cage of the stacker is still 3' high, as is the single.
They now have 2 shelves with a ramp that leads up to the second shelf.
There is a “railing” along the ramp and the top shelf to cut down on accidents.
The buns really seem to love being on the top shelf, and the babies, once they are big enough, have great fun running up the ramp and sliding down!
There are also extra wire panels attached because the babies can squeeze through the expen bars when thy first start running around.

These are my biggest indoor pens.
They're made from a single dog ex-pen. They're 4' x 4' (= 16 sq. ft.)
They also have at least one shelf, and a tree stump).
I use these for does with litters ready to wean, and for groups of youngsters before they “graduate” to individual cages.

In case you're wondering, that white shelf was a shoe shelf in a previous life.
Turns out, the bunnies love sitting on and under it (I like it because it's easy to clean).
I've anchored it to the side using some shower curtain rings to keep the bunnies from moving it around (see this page for more on them).
  • care/inside.1564679057.txt.gz
  • Last modified: 2019/08/01 12:04
  • by becker