At RWAF, we all too frequently come across rabbits being kept in accommodation less than 2 meters wide, which is far too small for them. These small rabbit hutches, or indoor caging, have often been sold as supposedly suitable for such animals, and create a vicious cycle whereby they are seen as suitable because rabbits continue, wrongly, to be seen kept in them!
We therefore wholeheartedly support Preloved’s proactive stance in removing them from sale as such accommodation by November 2020.
However, we realise that such items may still be present on the site for a number of reasons.
Housing may be upcycled for entirely different projects, for example not for animal housing at all but as a renovation project for household furnishing or a children’s mud kitchen for the garden.
- Open Door Bolt Holes:
Buyers may intend to use their hutches or indoor cages with the door(s) permanently left open. They could be used within a large enclosed run, to protect from weather extremes, to hide from predators, or even just to sit or stand on top of.
They could also be useful as an “open-door” shelter within the home, where rabbits can freely go in and out, and feel secure. If this is part of a spacious indoor area, with rabbits entering as a free choice when they feel threatened by transient things such as visitors, this can be helpful in helping the rabbit feel generally secure.
- Temporary Isolation:
Indoor caging can be useful if a rabbit needs temporary space restriction, under veterinary advice, for example after surgery.
A Hutch Is Not Enough
We know that owners often have excellent intentions with regard to using such accommodation as a temporary measure but would emphasise that using them is only really acceptable as VERY short term housing in such specific situations, and not as a regular event eg whenever its cold and wet, or whilst waiting to build something better, which can often take a long time.
We continue to stress that “A Hutch is not enough“, and would not normally even use the word “Hutch” to describe suitable rabbit housing. We use the term here to specifically describe this obsolete accomodation type and how it should either NOT be used at all, or only used in particular ways, as above.
For more information on the specifics of housing your rabbit, and why a hutch is not enough, take a look at our website.
For more Preloved articles regarding Rabbits, please see:
Richard Saunders BVSc DZooMed MRCVS
European Veterinary Specialist in Zoo Health Management
RWAF Vet Specialist Advisor