An outdoor rabbit cage for your rabbit
Rabbits can be kept outdoors all year round but, ideally, they should be kept in a large insulated hutch, shed or unused garage during the worst of the winter weather and shaded from the sun during the hottest parts of the summer. Never put your rabbits in a garage that is in use as car exhaust fumes are very dangerous.
An outdoor rabbit cage should be large enough to allow the rabbit sufficient space to get up on its hind legs, stretch out and hop around.
Rabbits need a weatherproof hutch, raised above the ground to keep the hutch off the damp and to protect the rabbits from rats and mice.
A sloped roof is ideal to allow the rain to run off. It should be large enough to allow the rabbit room to rise up on its hind legs, to stretch out and to perform at least three hops.
Rabbits living in an outdoor rabbit cage will also need access to weatherproof shelter. This should be off the ground to keep out damp and to protect your rabbits from predators.
The rabbit needs a sleeping area where it feels safe and is hidden from view and away from draughts and extremes of temperature.
Rabbits should have daily access to their outdoor rabbit cage for exercise all year round.
Making Out Door Rabbit Cages More Secure
When rabbit proofing your outdoor rabbit cage consider security from the point of view of something trying to get in as well as your rabbit escaping. A fox can easily clear a garden fence: They are also excellent diggers and will tunnel into a rabbit cage. Foxes have powerful jaws and will gnaw through chicken wire rabbit cages in order to get at 'dinner'.
A secure outdoor rabbit cage is the best way of giving a rabbit exercise. The outdoor rabbit cage should have a top and, if on the garden, a bottom to stop your rabbit jumping or digging out and predators doing the reverse.
Weld mesh is much better than chicken wire, it is stronger as it is welded, not twisted, at each join. The mesh should be firmly attached to the frame of the outdoor rabbit cage; if your rabbit cage is stapled, consider reinforcing it with U-shaped metal pins.
An Outdoor Rabbit Cage should be a fortress.
A rabbit should never be left in an outdoor rabbit cage overnight; it's a dangerous world if you're a rabbit. All carnivores; foxes, dogs, cats, hawks, owls and weasels see your pet rabbit as a potential meal and they often hunt at night. A determined predator will break through the wire netting of outdoor rabbit cages to get a meal.
Rabbits have a nervous disposition, so even if they only sense the presence of a predator it will probably be sufficient to send your rabbit in to a frenzy that could easily lead to injury. The confines of an outdoor rabbit cage turn into a trap; it has been known for rabbits to break their backs, fracture limbs, cause themselves injury or even suffer a heart attack when they sense a predator in the garden at night.
Perhaps the best way to avoid alarm and injury is to move your rabbit indoors at night. Alternatively you should ensure that your outdoor rabbit cage has a shelter that provides protection. Indeed the whole garden that is home to your outdoor rabbit should be protected; gates should be closed, movement sensitive lights should operate and the rabbit should be able to retreat out of sight.
Placing an Outdoor Rabbit Cage.
Another potential risk to the outdoor rabbit comes from the plants on which they are allowed to graze. Rabbits are a bit stupid and do not have the sense to avoid poisonous plants. If you place an outdoor rabbit cage on the garden, check that any plants within the cage are not poisonous.
Perhaps a greater risk than plants is from fertilisers and pesticides that are used on lawns. If you place your outdoor rabbit cage on the lawn check that no toxic products have been used to treat it.
Beware the summer with Outdoor Rabbit Cages.
The high temperatures of summer bring unsuspected problems; rabbits, with their fur coats, do not like the heat and heat stroke can be fatal.
Ensure your outdoor rabbit cage is in as much shade as possible during the day and ensure a constant supply of water is available. Dehydration is a big problem for long-haired or over-weight rabbits who live in an outdoor rabbit cage; exhaustion may make them too weak to move around and find fluid.
If you cannot place your outdoor rabbit cage in natural shade, you can provide cool shelter by hanging wet fabric over cage.
Also cool rabbits down by placing a little ice in the drinking water or spraying their ears with a water mist.
If your rabbit does become over-heated do not put it in a bath of water; the nervous disposition of rabbits could easily create a shock that could kill it: Instead revive it by dampening the rabbit’s ears with a damp, cool cloth.
Outdoor Rabbit Runs